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Monday News: Here we go again


TRUMP TO REVEAL HIS STRATEGY ON AFGHANISTAN WAR: President Donald Trump will use a nationally televised address to outline for a war-weary nation the strategy he believes will best position the U.S. to eventually declare victory in Afghanistan after 16 years of combat and lives lost. The speech Monday night will also give Trump a chance for a reset after one of the most difficult weeks of his short presidency. Trump tweeted Saturday that he had reached a decision on the way forward in Afghanistan, a day after he reviewed war options with his national security team at a meeting at Camp David, Maryland. The president offered no clues about whether he would send thousands more U.S. troops into Afghanistan or exercise his authority as commander in chief to order that they be withdrawn from America's longest war.

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages

DON'T PERMIT NC TO BECOME A SAFE-ZONE FOR BIGOTRY: The pictures of a torch light procession, with marchers on the University of Virginia campus chanting racist and anti-Semitic slogans were all too reflective of horrific images out of fascist nations 70 years ago. Legislators should review recently passed laws, such as the so-called “Campus Free Speech Act" to be sure they haven’t inadvertently turned University of North Carolina campuses into safe zones for bigotry and potential violence. Freedom of expression is particularly integral to the learning mission of our universities and the appropriate presentation and discussion of controversial and unpopular ideas is critical to a good education. However, unfettered access to campuses by violent radicals while simultaneously institutionalizing punishments for those who challenge hateful acts is not what is intended in the law. It must be reviewed before it is too late.

Saturday News: Prodigal scum returns

STEVE BANNON BACK AT BREITBART AFTER OUSTER FROM WHITE HOUSE: Chief political strategist Steve Bannon is out from President Donald Trump’s White House and back at the far-right news website that launched him to political prominence. Trump told two senior aides that he decided to let go Bannon, according to The New York Times. The chief strategist insists that he resigned Aug. 7, but his departure was delayed because of the unrest in Charlottesville, Virginia. A White House official told CNN that Bannon was supposed to be fired two weeks ago along with former Chief of Staff Reince Priebus — but that Rep. Mark Meadows, chairman of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, asked Trump to keep him.

Friday News: Defending the indefensible


BERGER WANTS TO KEEP LAW IN PLACE PROTECTING CONFEDERATE MONUMENTS: The North Carolina Senate's top leader is skeptical about scrapping a 2015 law that prohibits permanently removing Confederate monuments from public property, as Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper called for earlier this week. Republican Senate leader Phil Berger wrote in a column released Thursday that "an impulsive decision" to pull down monuments wouldn't be wise. Berger says the legislation sought to reduce politics in decisions about monuments on government property. Cooper said Tuesday it was time to stop glorifying a war fought to defend slavery and worried about public safety following a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia and the toppling of a Confederate monument in Durham.

Thursday News: The company you keep

TRUMP'S LAWYER FORWARDS E-MAIL LACED WITH CONFEDERATE PROPAGANDA AND CONSPIRACY THEORIES: President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Wednesday forwarded an email to conservative journalists, government officials and friends that echoed secessionist Civil War propaganda and declared that the group Black Lives Matter “has been totally infiltrated by terrorist groups.” The email forwarded by John Dowd, who is leading the president’s legal team, painted Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee in glowing terms and equated the South’s rebellion to that of the American Revolution against England. Its subject line — “The Information that Validates President Trump on Charlottesville” — was a reference to comments Trump made this week in the aftermath of protests in the Virginia college town. “You cannot be against General Lee and be for General Washington,” the email reads, “there literally is no difference between the two men.”

Wednesday News: Take them down


GOVERNOR COOPER CALLS FOR REMOVAL OF CONFEDERATE MONUMENTS FROM STATE GROUNDS: Confederate statues should be removed from state property, Gov. Roy Cooper said in a public message Tuesday. He wrote a statement posted to the online publishing platform Medium. “Some people cling to the belief that the Civil War was fought over states’ rights. But history is not on their side,” Cooper wrote. “We cannot continue to glorify a war against the United States of America fought in the defense of slavery. These monuments should come down. Our Civil War history is important, but it belongs in textbooks and museums – not a place of allegiance on our Capitol grounds.”

Tuesday News: Taking out the garbage


GOVERNOR COOPER REMOVES SEXUALLY-HARASSING MCCRORY APPOINTEE FROM LOTTERY COMMISSION: Gov. Roy Cooper has ousted a state lottery commissioner for what the governor says were "sexually harassing" and "racially insensitive" comments to staff members and others at the N.C. Lottery Commission. Griffin, a Durham real estate company executive, was appointed to the commission in 2016 by then-Gov. Pat McCrory, who made him the chairman. “Your sexually harassing comments directed at Lottery Commission officers, staff and commission members have created a hostile work environment. Female staff members have requested to not meet with you alone. Your racially insensitive comments directed at lottery partners do not represent the values of the governor or the North Carolina Lottery.”

Monday News: Lights in the dark

CANDLELIGHT VIGILS MOURN VICTIMS OF HATRED AND BIGOTRY IN CHARLOTTESVILLE: A candlelight vigil is planned for Monday night in Raleigh to remember the people who were injured and killed during a white nationalist rally on Saturday in Charlottesville, Virginia. The Raleigh vigil comes a day after other towns, such as Durham and Cary, held similar gatherings. In Cary, local churches organized a vigil at Good Shephard United Church of Christ. Organizers said they want to show unity in the face of hateful actions in Charlottesville where 32-year-old Heather Heyer died after being hit by a car that was driven into a crowd of counter-protesters. Several hundred people gathered in Durham, too, to take a stand against hatred, organizers said. The Raleigh vigil begins at 7:30 p.m. at the Martin Luther King Memorial Gardens.

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages


IDEOLOGICAL FEUD IGNORES STUDENTS NEEDS, DAMAGES UNC: It is an ideological feud run amok. The roots are in the clichéd notion that North Carolina’s public universities are incubators of socialist, environmentalist, gender-liberating, non-Christian politics. Ideologues who claim a religious, conformist, free-market mantel are on a crusade to cleanse the halls of academia. And so now the clash has devolved into an on-going battle between out-spoken University of North Carolina Board of Governors member Steve Long and equally outspoken UNC Law School professor Gene Nichol, who advocates on behalf of the financially disadvantaged and for civil rights. As has been too often the case lately, the priorities of the privileged, well-financed special interests are of greater concern than the interest of citizens and the institutions that our legislators in general, and our UNC Board of Governors in particular, are supposed to promote.


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