Tuesday News: Hasta la Vista, dirtbag

UNCW IS FINALLY ABLE TO GET RID OF NUTTY PROFESSOR MIKE ADAMS: Mike Adams, 55, will retire from the university effective Aug. 1, UNC announced in a statement Monday afternoon. It said the decision came after a discussion between Adams and UNCW Chancellor Jose Sartarelli. “Over the past several weeks, many of you have inquired about the status of a UNCW faculty member, Dr. Mike Adams, in light of the public attention generated by comments he made on his personal social media channels,” the university’s statement said. “We can now share the update that after a discussion with Chancellor Sartarelli, Dr. Adams has decided to retire from UNCW, effective August 1, 2020. We will have no further comment on this matter at this time, but we plan to share an update later this week regarding how we hope to move forward as a university community.”

FOREST TRIES TO CLAIM LAWSUIT IS NOT POLITICAL IN NATURE: "This is about the overreach of executive power and the rule of law," he said. "One person, in the position of governor or secretary of health, is not allowed, under the law, to shut down wide swaths of the economy indefinitely." Judges in three different jurisdictions have recently upheld the governor’s authority to shut down businesses, including bars and an Alamance County race track. Governors in other states, including Florida and Texas, have recently shut down bars and closed beaches because coronavirus infections spiked after those states pushed to reopen their economies quickly. Forest noted that some of those actions were taken by mayors and local communities, and he said North Carolina also should address the pandemic with more regional and local actions instead of Cooper's statewide orders.

ALAMANCE COUNTY LEADERS CALL FOR REMOVAL OF CONFEDERATE STATUE: Nearly 50 of Alamance County’s local government, business, education and healthcare leaders have signed a letter urging the county commissioners and the Graham City Council to relocate the Confederate statue that stands in Court Square. At a press conference Monday morning, five of those leaders shared their thoughts. “We as leaders in Alamance County recognize that we have a role to take the necessary and timely action needed to ensure that our county is an inclusive, equitable and welcoming place for people to thrive, conduct business, pursue an education and live fulfilling lives,” Burlington Mayor Ian Baltutis said, opening the conference. “While this artifact is undeniably part of our history, for many in our community it represents an ideology incompatible with equality,” he said. “While many believe [the monuments] exist simply to honor fallen soldiers, in actuality they were erected at a time of fervent white supremacy.” Baltutis added that the statue’s location in front of a courthouse, which “has historically failed to serve our communities of color with equality,” adds insult to injury.

TRUMP'S CHURCH PHOTO OP UNDER CONGRESSIONAL INVESTIGATION OVER POLICE TACTICS: Congress on Monday began to investigate tactics used by federal law enforcement officers to clear protesters near Lafayette Square ahead of President Trump’s photo op in front of the pale yellow facade of St. John’s Episcopal Church. Protesters, journalists and witnesses who were caught in clouds of chemical irritants, hit with police batons, pelted by projectiles and shoved with riot shields described their experiences and injuries to lawmakers, whose confidence in police officers’ tactics seemed to splinter along party lines. The hearings before the House Natural Resources Committee were the first of several, with lawmakers signaling they have more questions about the types of weapons used and whether federal police officers issued verbal warnings before launching stun grenades and chemical irritants into the crowd. No members of the Trump administration were called to testify. Park Police officials, who led the charge against protesters on June 1, declined to attend, lawmakers said, because one protester called to speak is part of a federal lawsuit alleging the administration authorized an “unprovoked and frankly criminal attack” on demonstrators engaging in their First Amendment right to protest.

CHINA'S CRACKDOWN ON HONG KONG IS ABOUT TO GET MUCH WORSE: China passed a contentious new law for Hong Kong on Tuesday that would empower the authorities to crack down on opposition to Beijing, risking deeper rifts with Western governments that have warned about the erosion of freedoms in the territory. The law’s swift approval in Beijing signaled the urgency that the Communist Party leader, Xi Jinping, has given to expanding control in Hong Kong after the territory was convulsed by pro-democracy protests last year. Details of the law had not been disclosed as of Tuesday evening but Carrie Lam, the city’s leader, said it would come into effect later in the night. The law underscores Beijing’s resolve to achieve a political sea change in Hong Kong, a former British colony with its own legal system and civil liberties unseen in mainland China. It could be used to stifle protests like those that last year evolved into an increasingly confrontational, and sometimes violent, challenge to Chinese rule. “Those who have stirred up trouble and broken this type of law in the past will hopefully watch themselves in the future,” Mr. Tam said in a television interview. “If they continue to defy the law, they will bear the consequences.” Mr. Xi has driven the security law through despite the challenges his government faces with the coronavirus pandemic, a lingering economic downturn and visa bans from the Trump administration aimed at Chinese officials involved in Hong Kong policy.