STATE ELECTIONS BOARD BEGINS ITS INVESTIGATION INTO NC09 TODAY: Republican Mark Harris leads Democrat Dan McCready by 905 votes in the unofficial count. But the board doesn't necessarily have to show that there are 905 votes in question. The law allows for a new election to be called if "irregularities or improprieties occurred to such an extent that they taint the results of the entire election and cast doubt on its fairness.” Some Republicans, citing court precedent, have said that only calling enough votes into question satisfies the law. But there are four separate reasons in the law for calling a new election, and the "taint" one doesn’t say anything about number of votes, while the three others do. There are allegations, including an affidavit from a poll worker, that totals from early in-person voting were shared with someone before Election Day. The state GOP is on record saying that, if this occurred, it’s a strategic advantage for Election Day turnout operations and enough on its own to warrant a new election.
RICK GUNN WHINES ABOUT MUSEUM HOLDING "CASINO NIGHT" FUNDRAISER: In a news release Wednesday, Rep. Jamie Boles of Moore County and Sen. Rick Gunn of Alamance County, both Republicans, pointed to a “Casino Night” event being held this weekend at the N.C. Museum of History, and they said Cooper’s administration is violating a law he refused to change. “This game night is occurring on state property, literally across the street from the governor’s office where he decided not to allow it,” Gunn said in a news release. “Games are played for fun only, which is had in spades,” said the group’s treasurer, local attorney Stephen Later. “Casino Night is an annual fundraiser that raises money for the North Carolina Museum of History and its exhibits, programming, and purchase of artifacts important to the state’s history.” But on Thursday, the group announced that Casino Night has been canceled. “With differing interpretations of the law, canceling the event was the safest thing to do,” Later said in another statement released to media.
IMMIGRANT ADVOCATES RECORD VIDEO OF UNDERCOVER ICE OFFICIALS DRESSED AS DAY LABORERS: An activist group that supports the rights of undocumented immigrants living in the United States claimed this week that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers were seen in Hendersonville dressed as day laborers in an effort to round up undocumented immigrants. DreamACTivist claims the video was shot in Hendersonville on Wednesday. They posted it along with a petition to Gov. Roy Cooper to oppose the actions. Alerta Migratoria NC, another group that supports undocumented immigrants and opposes deportations, shared the video on their social media. "I see ICE impersonating members of our community to trick and deceive," said Viridiana Martinez of Alerta Migratoria NC. "People are terrified. People are terrorized. If that’s what ICE wanted to achieve, they certainly have."
EUROPEANS BALK AT TRUMP'S DEMAND THEY TAKE BACK ISLAMIC STATE FIGHTERS: The question of such foreign fighters has been a conundrum for the Europeans for several years. Islamic State prisoners could be exposed to torture or the death penalty if they remain in jail in Syria or Iraq, and the EU opposes the death penalty. But few European countries have embassies in Syria or Iraq, let alone extradition treaties to get their citizens back. Proving who is who and gathering solid evidence against suspects that would stand up in European courts is virtually impossible. Then there is the question of what to do with the wives and children of European jihadis. The case of a British teenager who ran away to join IS, has given birth to a baby boy and now wants to return to the U.K. has ignited debate in Britain about how to deal with citizens trying to leave Syria now the extremist group is collapsing. “It is certainly not as easy as they think in America,” German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas told reporters Monday at a meeting of EU foreign ministers. “German citizens have the right to return, but we have little ability in Syria at present to check whether German citizens are actually affected.”
RIFT BETWEEN TRUMP AND EUROPE GROWS, THREATENING TO UNDERMINE GLOBAL BALANCE: A senior German official, who asked not to be identified because he was not authorized to speak on such matters, shrugged his shoulders and said: “No one any longer believes that Trump cares about the views or interests of the allies. It’s broken.” The Europeans no longer believe that Washington will change, not when Mr. Trump sees traditional allies as economic rivals and leadership as diktat. His distaste for multilateralism and international cooperation is a challenge to the very heart of what Europe is and needs to be in order to have an impact in the world. But beyond the Trump administration, an increasing number of Europeans say they believe that relations with the United States will never be the same again. Karl Kaiser, a longtime analyst of German-American relations, said, “Two years of Mr. Trump, and a majority of French and Germans now trust Russia and China more than the United States.”