Monday News: Adding insult to injury

FLOODING IN NC MOUNTAINS SWEEPS TRASH INTO RIVERS: Recent heavy rain not only led to flooding across western North Carolina, it also sent garbage floating into rivers. WLOS-TV in Asheville reports trash and debris have been flowing along the French Broad River, and some has been caught by dams or trestles, creating large piles. Eric Bradford, director of operations for Asheville Greenworks, said about 75 percent of the debris starts out as litter on the roads. When heavy rain falls, the debris flows into a storm drain that feeds into a creek and then into the river. Bradford said the organization had already planned a big cleanup for Saturday, but it's now delayed until the flood waters recede. He said Asheville Greenworks will intensify efforts to recruit as many volunteers as are needed for the cleanup.

GOOGLE APOLOGIZES FOR TELLING THE TRUTH ABOUT TRUDY WADE: Google has apologized to Republican North Carolina state Sen. Trudy Wade for an old photo of her with the superimposed word ‘bigot’ in red capital letters that appeared on the search engine’s results related to the senator’s name. “We apologize to Senator Wade that this image appeared in the Knowledge Panel in Search,” Google said in a tweet. “Images that appear in the Knowledge Panel are either selected by verified users or are automatically sourced from sites across the web.” "Only after Drudge Report posted it to a national audience and it began to go viral on social media did Google do the right thing," Wade said. Google then provided instructions for contacting the site owner. On June 3, Matt Comer, who posted the "bigot" image, tweeted that Wade never contacted him. "But even if she had, I wouldn’t have taken down the image. Facts are facts, and the fact is: Trudy Wade is a bigot," he wrote.

PARKLAND SURVIVORS HOLD SOMBER GRADUATION CEREMONY: Nearly four months after the Parkland, Florida, community was devastated by a deadly school shooting, seniors at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School gathered on Sunday to receive their diplomas. The community anticipated a bittersweet occasion, as students -- dressed in maroon caps and gowns -- and teachers planned to honor the 17 students and faculty killed, including four seniors who would have graduated today. Ahead of the ceremony at the BB&T Center in Sunrise, Florida, MSD teacher Darren Levine told CNN the mood was somber. "There's definitely a solemn feel mixed with joy, which is weird," Levine said. The family of Joaquin Oliver, one of the students killed when a gunman stormed the school on February 14, planned to attend the ceremony. His father, Manuel Oliver, was expected to walk in place of his son.

US AMBASSADOR TO GERMANY QUESTIONED OVER COMMENTS ABOUT PROMOTING CONSERVATISM IN EUROPE: The German government is seeking clarification of a report in which the new U.S. ambassador was quoted as saying that he wants to "empower" conservative leaders throughout Europe. A spokesman for the German Foreign Ministry told reporters Monday that the U.S. has been asked for "clarification on whether the statements were actually made in the form they were given." Spokesman Christofer Burger said Ambassador Richard Grenell's inaugural visit to the ministry on Wednesday will provide an opportunity to "explain how he wants his statements to be understood." The website quoted Grenell Sunday as saying: "I absolutely want to empower other conservatives throughout Europe, other leaders." Grenell drew criticism last month for tweeting that German companies should stop doing business with Iran after President Donald Trump quit the nuclear deal.

JANUARY LETTER FROM TRUMP LEGAL TEAM SAYS PRESIDENT COULD PARDON HIMSELF: Rudy Giuliani, in a series of television interviews, emphasized one of the main arguments in a newly unveiled letter sent by Trump’s lawyers to special counsel Robert Mueller back in January: that a president can’t be given a grand jury subpoena as part of the investigation into foreign meddling in the 2016 election. But he distanced himself from one of their bolder arguments in the letter, which was first reported Saturday by The New York Times, that a president could not have committed obstruction of justice because he has authority to “if he wished, terminate the inquiry, or even exercise his power to pardon.” The former New York City mayor, who was not on the legal team when the letter was written, added that Trump “probably does” have the power to pardon himself, an assertion challenged by legal scholars, but says the president’s legal team hasn’t discussed that option, which many observers believe could plunge the nation into a constitutional crisis. “I think the political ramifications would be tough,” Giuliani told ABC’s “This Week.” ″Pardoning other people is one thing, pardoning yourself is tough.”