Tuesday News: McCrory jumps on Marsy bandwagon


HIS FINELY-TUNED SENSE OF SMELL DETECTED THE $5 MILLION CAMPAIGN BUDGET: In what could be North Carolina’s most expensive single campaign of the fall, former Gov. Pat McCrory Monday helped kick off the effort to pass a constitutional amendment designed to ensure the rights of crime victims. “Victims too often feel abandoned and we need to give them a voice,” McCrory told reporters in Charlotte. A simultaneous news conference took place at Raleigh’s Crime Victims’ Memorial Garden. Speakers there included former Wake County District Attorney Colon Willoughby. Critics question the need for the amendment as well as its potential cost. “What’s most disturbing about it is it really crashes head-on with the presumption of innocence,” said Drew Findling, president of the National Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys. “The presumption of innocence is abandoned when you immediately take the position that there is a victim of a crime.”

FLORENCE WINDS DROP SLIGHTLY, BUT STILL MAY ACHIEVE CAT 5 BEFORE LANDFALL: The National Hurricane Center says a new report from an Air Force Reserve Unit hurricane hunter aircraft indicates that Hurricane Florence's top sustained winds have decreased slightly to 130 mph (215 kph), with higher gusts. Florence is still a Category 4 hurricane and is expected to regain its top wind strength in the next day or so. It remains an extremely dangerous major hurricane through Thursday night. The 8 a.m. forecast changes the storm surge watch for the eastern United States, with the worst impact, a surge of up to 12 feet, expected on a stretch from Cape Fear to Cape Lookout in North Carolina. It says total rainfall could reach 30 inches in some places, prompting life-threatening flash flooding from South Carolina to Northern Virginia.

NCDP POSTPONES SEC MEETING ORIGINALLY SCHEDULED FOR SATURDAY: With landfall anticipated on or about Thursday evening, and the impact on North Carolinians presently occurring before landfall, we’ve received many questions about whether will postpone our SEC meeting scheduled for this coming Saturday, September 15th. Even though scheduled for Raleigh, those of us who remember Hurricane Fran from the mid-1990s are seeing too many eerie reminders and know that Florence will impact the entire state. Accordingly, after reviewing all the circumstances and consulting with the other Officers, I hereby postpone the September 15th meeting. This decision should come as no surprise. Stay tuned for a decision by your NCDP Officers and Executive Council on whether we can reset the meeting or not for a future date this calendar year.

PALESTINIANS FILE COMPLAINT WITH ICC OVER IMPENDING WEST BANK VILLAGE DESTRUCTION: The move comes a day after the U.S. closed the Palestinian de facto embassy in Washington because of its leaders' refusal to enter peace talks with Israel. National security adviser John Bolton also lashed out at the Palestinians for their attempts to have Israel prosecuted at the ICC, denouncing the court's legitimacy and threatening sanctions if it targeted Israel and others. Erekat said the Palestinians have asked the chief prosecutor to meet with village representatives and include Israel's actions as part of her investigation into possible war crimes by Israel. "The U.S. threats against the ICC are a coup against the rules in the international system," he said. "The Trump administration wants to dismantle the international order to ensure that it can stay above the laws and escape accountability."

NEOCON BOLTON'S ATTACKS ON INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT LIKELY TO INCREASE TORTURE: Afghan rights workers warned Tuesday that the U.S. national security adviser's blistering attack on the International Criminal Court investigating war crimes allegations will strengthen a climate of impunity in Afghanistan, prolong the war and embolden those carrying out acts of violence. In a speech Monday, John Bolton said Washington would not cooperate with The Hague-based court and threatened it with sanctions, saying it put U.S. sovereignty and national security at risk. For human rights activists in Afghanistan, Bolton's assault dealt a punishing blow to their relentless efforts to end a culture of impunity that has bedeviled efforts to bring perpetrators of crimes to justice. "The solution to put an end to war is by making everyone accountable, whether it is the Taliban or the Haqqani network or whether it is the Americans or the Afghan army or Afghan government," said Ehsan Qaane, of the Kabul-based Transitional Justice Coordination Group, which represents 26 organizations working for transitional justice in Afghanistan.