GOTRIANGLE PUTS TWO MORE ELECTRIC BUSES INTO SERVICE: The Triangle’s fledgling fleet of electric buses will get bigger this winter, and you’ll get a chance to see the newest buses on Tuesday. GoTriangle will unveil its first two electric buses in the plaza outside Raleigh Union Station, at the corner of West and Martin streets downtown. After a few words from Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin, U.S. Rep. David Price and others, the public will be invited to have a look at the buses, inside and out. The buses, built by Proterra Inc., a California company with a plant in Greenville, S.C., will bring the number of public electric buses in the region to six. Raleigh-Durham International Airport put four electric buses into service last May, shuttling travelers between remote parking lots and the terminals.
DEPLOYMENT OF 82ND AIRBORNE HAS FT. BRAGG COMMUNITY CONCERNED: Chilion Hargrove, a barber at the Amazing Cuts barber shop in Spring Lake, said he had three or four conversations about the issue Friday morning. Veterans and soldiers realize that killing the Iranian commander could make the situation worse. “That’s the biggest thing — the consequences,” he said. “It’s what can happen after what just happened. This is a real big deal because he was one of their top generals.” Fort Bragg troops have deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan for years because of conflicts in the two countries, but the news about the airstrike that killed Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani got their attention, Hargrove said. “They noticed this one,” he said. “We weren’t dealing with Iran at all until this.” Hargrove is a veteran, serving in the Army, the Marines and the National Guard. He said he’s concerned about those who are currently serving. “They don’t have a choice,” he said. “They have to go.”
ONLY 18 STATES HAVE PHOTO REQUIREMENT FOR VOTER ID: It is true, as North Carolina Republicans have said, that 34 other states have some sort of voter ID law. But only 18 of those have photo ID laws, according to a breakdown from the National Conference of State Legislatures. Other states allow bank statements and utility bills, for example, as proof of identity. Of the 18 photo ID states, seven have “strict” photo ID laws under NCSL’s definition, and 11 are “non-strict,” meaning at least some voters without acceptable ID can cast a ballot that will be counted without further action from them. NCSL considers North Carolina’s law “non-strict” photo ID "because it allows those who are indigent to have a work around" and vote without ID, Wendy Underhill, head of the NCSL's elections and redistricting team, said in an email.
HARVEY WEINSTEIN'S RAPE TRIAL BEGINS THIS WEEK: More than two years after a wave of sexual assault allegations against Harvey Weinstein ushered in the #MeToo movement, the disgraced movie mogul faces another reckoning: a criminal trial that could him put him behind bars for the rest of his life. Jury selection is scheduled to start this week in New York City in a case involving allegations that Weinstein raped one woman in a Manhattan hotel room in 2013 and performed a forcible sex act on a different woman in 2006. It is the only criminal case to arise from dozens of allegations against the Oscar-winning film producer. Weinstein, 67, has pleaded not guilty and maintains any sexual activity was consensual. At least one Hollywood actress is expected to testify against Weinstein, and several other accusers have said they plan to attend the trial, which could last about four weeks once a jury is picked.
IRAN SCRAPS WHAT REMAINED OF THE NUCLEAR DEAL AFTER TRUMP PULLOUT: The president’s unilateral action started a sequence of events — the re-imposition of American sanctions, Iran’s gradual return to nuclear activity over the past year, actions that led to the targeting of General Suleimani — that could be speeding the two countries toward conflict. Iran’s announcement means that it will no longer observe any limits on the number of centrifuges it can install to enrich uranium or the level to which it enriches it. Iran did not say if it would resume production at 20 percent, a major leap toward bomb-grade uranium, or beyond. But by allowing inspectors to remain in the country, as the foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, said Tehran would, Iran will have witnesses to its own “maximum pressure” campaign against the West. The primary American objective in the 2015 agreement was to keep Iran at least a year away from getting enough fuel to fashion a warhead.