Monday News: Lies, damned lies, and statistics

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MAJORITY OF NC'S TEACHERS EARN LESS THAN REPORTED "AVERAGE" SALARY: More than half of Wake County's teachers make the state's average teacher salary, $51,214, or more, according to November 2017 salary data the district provided to WRAL News. Less than half of Durham Public Schools' teachers make the state's average teacher salary, $51,214, or more, according to data the district provided. About a third of Cumberland County teachers make the state's average teacher salary, $51,214, or more, according to data the district provided. Clay County, in the far western part of the state, is one of four North Carolina school districts where teachers get no supplemental pay. A majority of their teachers do not make the state's average teacher salary, $51,214, or more, according to data the district provided. Like Clay County, the majority of Graham County's teachers make less than the state's average teacher salary, $51,214, according to data the district provided.

TEACHERS FLOCKING TO RALEIGH WEDNESDAY WILL ENCOUNTER ENHANCED SECURITY MEASURES AT NCGA: In addition to the metal detectors at the front and rear entrances, administrators also installed bag scanners, hired more monitors, strengthened parking garage entrances and purchased more high-tech equipment as part of the $1.3 million security upgrade. "I am saddened that the world has changed and that these types of safety precautions have become necessary," said Senate leader Phil Berger, who with fellow Republican House Speaker Tim Moore signed off on the changes. "I expect our staff will continue to make every effort to ensure the Legislative Building is accessible and welcoming to the public." The changes will be tested immediately: Teachers are planning a major rally for education funding that's expected to draw 10,000 demonstrators on the session's opening day. Even on normal days, delays could become routine as citizens — including lobbyists, advocates and schoolchildren — pass through the halls.

NC ACTIVISTS WERE A PARTICULAR TARGET OF RUSSIAN HACKERS USING SOCIAL MEDIA: The Russian troll farm implicated in an elaborate plot to sow political discord in the United States specifically targeted North Carolina social media users, documents released by Democrats on the U.S. House Intelligence Committee show. The document dump Thursday, collected during the committee's investigation into election meddling, included thousands of pages of social media advertisements Facebook officials say were purchased by the Russian-backed Internet Research Agency. Federal prosecutors revealed some details of the extent of Russian meddling in February, when an indictment from U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller accused 13 Russian nationals of running a social media campaign to disrupt the 2016 presidential election.

TRUMP COMES TO THE RESCUE OF CHINESE TELECOM GIANT ZTE: President Donald Trump said Sunday he has instructed his Commerce Department to help get a Chinese telecommunications company “back into business” after the U.S. government cut off access to its American suppliers. At issue is that department’s move last month to block the ZTE Corp., a major supplier of telecoms networks and smartphones based in southern China, from importing American components for seven years. The U.S. accused ZTE of misleading American regulators after it settled charges of violating sanctions against North Korea and Iran. ZTE, which has more than 70,000 employees and has supplied networks or equipment to some of the world’s biggest telecoms companies, said in early May that it had halted its main operations as a result of the department’s “denial order.” The U.S. imposed the penalty after discovering that Shenzhen-based ZTE, which had paid a $1.2 billion fine in the case, had failed to discipline employees involved and paid them bonuses instead.

WHITE MALE BULLY GETS NIGERIAN WOMAN AND HER CHILDREN KICKED OFF UNITED FLIGHT: Obioma saw that the other passenger had sat in her assigned seat in the business-class cabin, according to the lawsuit, which was filed Friday in federal court in Houston. The passenger refused to move, so a flight crew member, instead, asked Obioma to sit elsewhere in business class. Later, before takeoff, Obioma went to use the bathroom. On her way back to her seat, the same passenger was standing in the aisle and blocking her from getting to her seat, the lawsuit says. She said "excuse me" three times, but was ignored. After several minutes, Obioma managed to squeeze her way to her seat. But just after she sat down, a crew member told Obioma to go outside the aircraft, where another employee told her that she will be removed from the flight. The lawsuit says the pilot had personally requested that she be removed because the male passenger, who was not identified, had complained that her smell was "pungent," and he was not comfortable flying with her.