Wednesday News: November is coming


CONGRESSIONAL MAP WILL NOT BE REDRAWN BEFORE ELECTION: Democrats complained that North Carolina will again elect its congressional delegation using a map declared unconstitutional. The federal panel in that case, though, concluded that there wasn't enough time to force a redraw this cycle. Last week, it considered delaying those elections, but on Friday, the plaintiffs in the underlying lawsuit said they didn't want to create chaos by going down that path. The panel agreed in its order Tuesday: "And we further find that imposing a new schedule for North Carolina’s congressional elections would, at this late juncture, unduly interfere with the State’s electoral machinery and likely confuse voters and depress turnout."

WAKE WILL DELAY SCHOOLS 2 HRS ON VOTING DAY TO LIMIT TRAFFIC ISSUES: The Wake County school board tentatively agreed Tuesday to open all 187 district schools on a two-hour delay on Nov. 6. School administrators made the request after citing how 68 schools serve as polling sites on what could be a busy Election Day. “A two-hour delay would be helpful to handle both the traffic and the in’s and out’s with the heavy time of voting, which happens in the morning prior to school starting,” Superintendent Cathy Moore told the school board. “It’s going to be a long ballot,” said school board member Christine Kushner. School officials say that the state’s school calendar law, which sets when the school year can begin and end, limits their flexibility to close schools on Election Day. But district leaders say they can reduce the impact that morning voting traffic has on schools.

RALEIGH CITY COUNCIL GETS AN EARFUL ON POLICE ACCOUNTABILITY FROM CITIZENS: There were tense moments at a Raleigh City Council meeting Tuesday night, as a group showed up to demand a change and accountability when it comes to law enforcement. It’s been nearly three years since Rolanda Byrd’s son, Akiel Denkins, was shot and killed by Raleigh police, and her emotions could not be contained while addressing the Raleigh City Council. “What will it take for the City of Raleigh to value black lives,” she asked. There was a new face in the group of activists this time- Frederick Hall, who was seen on video last month swinging at several Raleigh police officers before they used clubs and fists to subdue him. After a review of body-worn and dashboard camera video from the scene, Wake County District Attorney Lorrin Freeman said the officers' actions did not warrant criminal charges. “Just do your job, do what we voted on you to do,” Hall said, referring to city council members.

RUSSIAN SPIES CHARGED IN ABSENTIA FOR NERVE AGENT POISONING IN UK: British Prime Minister Theresa May says the two prime suspects in the nerve-agent poisoning of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter are agents of Russia's military intelligence agency. May says U.K. intelligence services have concluded that the men, Alexander Petrov and Rusdan Boshirov, work for the GRU agency. British prosecutors have charged the two men with the attack on the Skripals, but acknowledge that Russia will not extradite them. They say the names are probably aliases. Police say they came to Britain two days before the March 4 attack on the Skripals in the city of Salisbury, and that traces of the Novichok nerve agent were found in their London hotel room. Russia denies involvement, but May said Moscow was spreading "obfuscation and lies"

MUELLER WILL ALLOW TRUMP TO ANSWER WRITTEN QUESTIONS ON RUSSIA TIES: Special counsel Robert Mueller will allow President Donald Trump to submit some written answers about whether his campaign colluded with the Russian government ahead of the 2016 election, according to a report Tuesday. Two people briefed on the matter told The New York Times that Mueller’s office made the concession in a letter to the president’s legal team. Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s top lawyer in the Russia investigation, declined to confirm or deny the existence of such a letter, but acknowledged that “of course we would prefer written answers. It’s harder to flip in sneaky questions that way,” Giuliani told the New York Daily News. The special counsel’s letter reportedly doesn’t completely preclude a possible interview with Trump. Mueller’s investigators still hope to ask him collusion and obstruction of justice-related questions, according to the sources.