COOPER VETOES GOP ATTEMPTS TO MEDDLE IN ELECTIONS PROCEDURES AND JUDICIAL RACES: Gov. Roy Cooper vetoed two bills late Friday, one dealing with elections laws and the other one of two judicial redistricting efforts passed by the General Assembly. Senate Bill 486 deals with various elections issues, from requiring criminal background checks on state and county elections workers to setting parameters for vendors of electronic poll books to barring any candidate who lost a primary election from switching to a third party to run in the general election. One section of the law outlines how judicial races will be handled on the November ballot after lawmakers canceled primaries for those seats this year. "Continued election meddling for partisan advantage weakens public confidence. Judges’ races should be free of partisan labels," Cooper said in a statement. Senate Bill 757 redraws judicial districts in Wake and Mecklenburg counties, splitting Wake County into six districts in which District Court judges would run instead of running in a countywide election.
SENATE REPUBLICAN TELLS CITIZEN TO "STOP BOTHERING" THEM WITH E-MAIL COMPLAINTS: A Raleigh voter sent an email to all 50 senators at about 11 p.m., saying they should be ashamed of their actions. "Our State Legislature is the poster child of hollowing out Democracy from within," she wrote. "Shame on those of you limiting our basic right to vote. Shame for sneaking around in the middle of the night changing laws without public discourse. You think no one is watching, or no one cares; or maybe you just think your untouchable. But you’re wrong." Sen. Rick Horner, a Wilson Republican, replied in an email that went to all senators a few minutes later. "Stop bothering people at such an hour," he wrote. Controversial bills come in at the last minute and at night because supporters know that nuances will slip by bleary-eyed critics and that some older legislators cannot endure the long hours, Jackson said. "They bring last minute bills up with bad language knowing they’ll be controversial and knowing people are too tired to fight about it," Jackson said. "It seems like we get worse every session..”
JUDGE THROWS PAUL MANAFORT IN JAIL OVER WITNESS TAMPERING: Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort has been jailed after a federal judge revoked his house arrest over allegations of witness tampering in special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation. The order by U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson Friday adds to the already intense pressure on President Donald Trump's former top campaign aide in the special counsel's probe of Russian interference in the 2016 election campaign and the possible coordination with Trump aides. Manafort, who is 69, now loses the relative freedom he enjoyed while preparing for two criminal trials, and he faces the possibility, if tried and convicted, of spending the rest of his life in prison.
NON COMPOS MENTIS: TRUMP TOLD ABE HE COULD SEND 25 MILLION MEXICANS TO JAPAN: President Donald Trump floored his fellow world leaders last week when he told Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe he’d send “25 million Mexicans” to Japan during a discussion on immigration. Trump told Abe he’s lucky that his country doesn’t have to deal with an influx of migrants, like the U.S. or European countries. “Shinzo, you don’t have this problem, but I can send you 25 million Mexicans and you’ll be out of office very soon,” Trump said, a senior EU official told The Wall Street Journal. The comment made others in the room uncomfortable, “but everyone tried to be rational and calm,” the official told the newspaper. Trump’s whirlwind stop in Quebec for the annual G-7 summit last weekend was beset by a number of purported gaffes and stunning statements made by the president.
TRUMP'S TRADE WAR WITH CHINA CONTINUES TO ESCALATE: China has fired back in a spiraling trade dispute with President Donald Trump by raising import duties on a $34 billion list of American goods including soybeans, electric cars and whiskey. The government said Saturday it was responding in "equal scale" to Trump's tariff hike on Chinese goods in a conflict over Beijing's trade surplus and technology policy that companies worry could quickly escalate and chill global economic growth. he Commerce Ministry says "the Chinese side doesn't want to fight a trade war, but facing the shortsightedness of the U.S. side, China has to fight back strongly." The ministry says it's also scrapping deals to narrow Beijing's multibillion-dollar trade surplus with the U.S. by purchasing more American farm goods, natural gas and other products.