NC'S CAPITAL STILL IN THE RUNNING FOR NEW ARMY COMMAND CENTER: A U.S. Army spokesman says officials have narrowed to five the number of cities under consideration to house a prestigious command center that's meant to modernize Army operations and technology. Col. Patrick Seiber tells the Austin American-Statesman that Austin, Texas, is a finalist for the Futures Command headquarters along with Boston, Minneapolis, Philadelphia and Raleigh, North Carolina. Seiber says 10 other cities — including Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles and Seattle — are no longer candidates. A final decision is expected by the end of June. The Army wants the center to be near experts in technology and innovation who can figure out emerging threats and what equipment will be needed to answer them.
ACTIVIST BREE NEWSOME INCLUDED IN N&O NC INFLUENCER GROUP: Bree Newsome, a Charlotte activist, said it's tough to make progress when people can't agree on the end goals. "Since the end of the Civil War the state of North Carolina like the rest of the nation has been stuck in a pattern of taking two steps forward only to take one step back," Newsome said. "Progress made during the Reconstruction Era (when North Carolina had 30 Black state legislators and a Black representative in the US Congress who was a former slave) was quickly ended with the Wilmington Massacre and the ushering in of Jim Crow laws," she said. "Progress in public policy and social practice is not something that happens as an inevitability with the forward progression of time. Rather, it is measured by the tenacity of those seeking freedom, equity and justice generation after generation. "
TEXAS BORDER DETENTION CENTERS FILLING UP WITH CHILDREN: Nearly 2,000 children have been taken from their parents since Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the policy, which directs Homeland Security officials to refer all cases of illegal entry into the United States for prosecution. Church groups and human rights advocates have sharply criticized the policy, calling it inhumane. Stories have spread of children being torn from their parents' arms, and parents not being able to find where their kids have gone. A group of congressional lawmakers visited the same facility Sunday and were set to visit a longer-term shelter holding around 1,500 children — many of whom were separated from their parents. "Those kids inside who have been separated from their parents are already being traumatized," said Democratic Sen. Jeff Merkley of Oregon, who was denied entry earlier this month to children's shelter. "It doesn't matter whether the floor is swept and the bedsheets tucked in tight."
CURRENT AND FORMER FIRST LADIES WEIGH IN ON FAMILY SEPARATIONS: First lady Melania Trump "hates" to see families separated at the border and hopes "both sides of the aisle" can reform the nation's immigration laws, according to a statement from her office. While the statement suggested the matter was an issue for Congress, Democratic lawmakers and others have pointed out that no law mandates the separation of children and parents at the border. A new Trump administration policy, which went into effect in May, sought to maximize criminal prosecutions of people caught trying to enter the U.S. illegally. More adults were being jailed as a result, which led to their children being separated from them. A former first lady, Laura Bush, joined the debate, calling the separation policy "cruel" and "immoral" and said "it breaks my heart." In a guest column for the Washington Post, she compared the separation of the children to the internment camps for Japanese-Americans in World War II.
ROGER STONE MET WITH RUSSIAN IN MEETING ARRANGED BY TRUMP CAMPAIGN OFFICIAL: Special counsel Robert Mueller is examining a previously undisclosed meeting between longtime Trump confidante Roger Stone and a Russian figure who allegedly tried to sell him dirt on Hillary Clinton. Letters to the House Intelligence Committee outline the contact. The letters say Stone met with a man in May 2016 who wanted $2 million in exchange for information about Clinton’s campaign. Stone rejected the offer. The meeting was arranged by Michael Caputo, who worked for Trump’s campaign at the time. Stone and Caputo now say they believe the man was an FBI informant trying to set them up. The man has denied that to The Washington Post. Their lawyers say they didn’t remember the episode when the committee interviewed them.