JURY AWARDS $25 MILLION TO HOG FARM NEIGHBORS: A North Carolina jury has awarded more than $25 million to a couple in the eastern part of the state who filed a nuisance lawsuit against Smithfield Foods, the world's largest pork producer, for the swarms of flies, stench, rumbling trucks and other downsides of the hog farm next door. The verdict came on Friday after the jury deliberated for three days behind closed doors. It is the second verdict for hog farm neighbors in a series filed against Smithfield Foods. The decision also comes in a week in which North Carolina lawmakers adopted a new Farm Act that restricts when and how neighbors can bring such claims in court in the future. North Carolina has about 9 million hogs on nearly 2,300 hog farm operations. Iowa is the only state with more hogs, showing an inventory of about 21.8 million in 2017.
PAGING DOCTOR FEELGOOD, YOUR LAWYER IS ON LINE THREE: Authorities have accused a North Carolina doctor of illegally distributing drugs in what is being described as a "pill mill" scheme. Columbus County District Attorney Jon David told news outlets Dr. Jong Whan Kim prescribed numerous opioids and other drugs without a legitimate medical reason. Sheriff Lewis Hatcher said an investigation also revealed Kim schemed with his office manager and girlfriend, Tammy Lynn Thompson, to distribute the drugs from Kim's practice in Tabor City and other properties he owned. Hatcher said Thompson sold high-grade marijuana, oxycodone, hydrocodone and other illegal substances to undercover agents on numerous occasions. Kim is in the Columbus County jail under a $5,580,000 bond. Thompson is jailed on a $760,000 bond. It's not known if either has an attorney.
CHARLOTTE HOPEFULS HAVE FINGERS CROSSED OVER LANDING 2020 RNC CONVENTION: Charlotte public officials and community leaders plan to attend the Republican National Committee's summer meeting in Austin next month, with the belief that the city will be awarded the 2020 GOP national convention, according to multiple people familiar with the planning for the trip. Charlotte and Las Vegas are the only cities that have bid for the 2020 RNC, where Donald Trump is expected to be nominated for a second presidential term. The RNC's summer meeting is July 18-20 in Austin, Texas. The RNC's site selection committee is expected to meet July 18, and an announcement about the winning city could come soon afterward. The Charlotte officials asked not to be named because of the sensitivity of the selection process with the RNC. Flights have not yet been booked for the trip, but several people have been told to clear their calendars.
TRUMP HINTS AT ROE V. WADE DEMISE IN COMMENTS ABOUT SUPREME COURT: President Donald Trump suggested that his upcoming choice to become a Supreme Court Justice could lead to decisions that would make abortion illegal in some states. Asked in an interview aired Sunday on Fox News if he will ask Supreme Court nominee candidates their views on landmark abortion case Roe v. Wade, Trump said: “Probably not.” But he said he will be “putting conservative people” on the court during his presidency, and said abortion rights “very well could end up” being decided state by state “at some point.” Susan Collins of Maine, a moderate Republican senator whose vote could make or break the coming nomination said Sunday that she would not support any nominee who voices an intention to overturn the Roe v. Wade decision. Trump said he expects the coming confirmation process will be “very vicious,” blaming Democrats for, in his words, being interested only in blocking his agenda and nominees. Still, however, he said he expects some Senate Democrats to support his nominee.
DROUGHT DRIVES VIOLENT PROTESTS IN IRANIAN PROVINCE: Iranian state media say protesters have clashed with police over water scarcity in the southwest for a second night. IRNA says protesters threw stones and debris at police and set a car on fire in a protest that began late Sunday in the city of Abadan. The report says police blocked roads near the protest and that the situation is "under control." Similar clashes over water scarcity broke out in the nearby city of Khorramshahr late Saturday. Authorities say one protester and 10 police were injured, and videos posted online showed gunfire ringing out. Abadan is home to Iran's biggest oil refinery. The two cities are in the oil-rich Khuzestan province, which borders Iraq and is home to a large Arab community. The region has suffered from a yearslong drought.