Daily dose

The flat-earth society reaches into the classroom:

Flawed idea would bring abortion debate to middle schools (Raleigh News & Observer) -- Asking middle school instructors to teach teenagers that abortion causes premature births is a flawed concept in several ways. One, the issue is best left to parents and mentors, not as part of an ordered curriculum. Second, legislators with a social-conservatism agenda now are specifying courses.



NC House off next week, will keep negotiating (AP) -- The North Carolina House and Senate are going separate ways next week but want tax and budget talks to continue.


'Meltdown kind of day' at legislature (WRAL-TV) -- Long days and long hours as the state legislature wraps up its session caused a "meltdown kind of day" on Thursday,


Legislators' impasse over competing tax plans affecting other state bills (Raleigh News & Observer) -- The NC General Assembly is grinding to a halt as frustration mounts about Republican lawmakers' inability to reach a consensus plan to cut taxes. The tax impasse hits at a crucial time and now threatens other legislation to protect foster children and students riding school buses


McCrory releases statement concerning the continuing budget resolution (N.C. Political News) – Gov. Pat McCrory released the following statement after signing a continuing budget resolution. “The continuing budget resolution will keep state government funded as we work on major initiatives like tax reform, Medicaid reform, our economic development reform called Partnership for Prosperity, and a revamp of the State Personnel Act,” said Governor McCrory. “This has already been a historic session as the General Assembly has tackled many reforms that were largely ignored in the past, resulting in the position we are in today. There is still much work to be done to get North Carolina back on the right economic track.”


NC becomes 1st state to drop federal jobless funds (AP) -- With changes to its unemployment law taking effect this weekend, North Carolina not only is cutting benefits for those who file new claims, it will become the first state disqualified from a federal compensation program for the long-term jobless. State officials adopted the package of benefit cuts and increased taxes for businesses in February, a plan designed to accelerate repayment of a $2.5 billion federal debt. Like many states, North Carolina had racked up the debt by borrowing from Washington after its unemployment fund was drained by jobless benefits during the Great Recession.


TOUGH TO SWALLOW: ‘Big Gulp bill' headed for Senate vote (WRAL-TV) -- An ALEC bill banning local governments from limiting the size of soft drinks is likely to win state Senate approval next week.


NC House passes abortion education bill 68-42 (AP) -- A bill requiring North Carolina schools to teach that abortions and other activities put women at risk of later premature births passed the state House on Thursday.


Bill Will Require Middle-schoolers to be Taught About Causes of Preterm Birth (N.C. Health News) -- Including abortion in the reproductive health and safety education curriculum has been hotly debated in committees as the science behind the proposal was picked apart, while lawmakers argued over the semantic difference between “risks” and “causes.” “The reproduction part of the curriculum is around preventing teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases and other diseases – such as heart diseases, cancer, diabetes and healthy activities – behaviors to benefit you,” said Vanessa Jeter, a spokeswoman for the Department of Public Instruction. “We don’t really talk about abortion per se in the standards, so this would really open a new door.”


House Passes Abortion Teaching Bill (WUNC-FM) -- Lawmakers in the state House have passed a bill that would require seventh graders and above to learn that abortions are a risk factor for pre-term births. A Democratic representative introduced an amendment to the bill that called abortion and other factors risks rather than causes. The amendment passed.


Bar Association to hold less sway in judicial picks(WRAL-TV) -- A provision tacked on to an unrelated bill would allow the governor to set aside the recommendation of local bar associations when choosing replacements for District Court judges.


NC House defeats 75 mph speed limit study (AP) -- An effort to raise the maximum speed limit on North Carolina highways to 75 mph reached a stop sign Thursday as the House voted down a proposal to direct a state agency to study the idea and offer roads on which to experiment.


Speed limit hike runs out of gas (WRAL-TV) -- A proposal to raise the state's maximum speed limit to 75 mph is parked for the rest of the session after House lawmakers voted it down.


N.C. auto dealers say they'll keep fighting Tesla (AP) -- Tesla maintains its own showrooms but directs customers online to purchase one of its electric cars, which have earned near-perfect ratings from Consumer Reports.


OOPS! McCrory corrects letter, Pork Council neutral on puppy mill bill (Raleigh News & Observer) -- Gov. Pat McCrory has sent a new letter to Senate leader Phil Berger pointing out an inaccuracy in an earlier letter he wrote urging the Senate to pass House Bill 930, which would impose new standards of care for large, commercial dog breeders, the Insider reports. In a letter earlier this week, McCrory wrote that the N.C. Pork Council opposed the legislation. In the new letter, the governor said the council has remained neutral on the measure. "It's our mistake," said McCrory spokeswoman Kim Genardo. "They have remained neutral." The Pork Council confirmed that position.


McCrory stays out of dog house; supports wife's puppy mill bill (Raleigh News & Observer) -- Gov. Pat McCrory has been trying to back his wife's support of puppy mill legislation, but someone in his shop forgot to do some basic fact-checking.


DEADBEAT LEGISLATOR? Credit card company suing Brown (Greenville Daily Reflector) -- A credit card company filed a lawsuit against a Pitt County legislator alleging he has not paid his bill. American Express Bank filed suit on May 16 against freshman Rep. Brian Brown.


NC Senate bill would pay license plate contractors more, counties less (Raleigh News & Observer) -- A state Senate bill that would give private license plate agencies more money - at the expense of county governments - is coming under scrutiny.


Governor ends NC lease on Indian Cultural Center acreage (Fayetteville Observer) -- Gov. Pat McCrory on Wednesday signed a law that terminates the state's lease of about 400 acres to the nonprofit N.C. Indian Cultural Center Inc. and offers the land, plus an adjoining 110-acre golf course, for sale to the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina. But the transfer will face resistance from a professional strongman who says he is owed $2.8 million for the years of work he has put into the property. "I got every receipt, I've got every bill," said Harold "Iron Bear" Collins. "I got bagfulls of all this stuff. Just pay me for what I've done."



PAY TO PLAY: Group protests outside private event featuring McCrory (Greensboro News & Record) -- About two dozen people attended a protest Thursday night outside Grandover Resort where Gov. Pat McCrory was speaking at a private event. The group was protesting over changes in the law that reduced unemployment benefits. The news station said at least one of the protesters lost his job in April at the Freightliner plant in Cleveland, N.C.


PAY TO PLAY: Unemployed Workers Protest Outside McCrory Dinner (WFMY-TV) -- Some unemployed North Carolinians are not happy about losing jobless benefits on Thursday. They let Gov. Pat McCrory know it, loudly. They held a rally outside a private $5,000-per-person dinner McCrory was attending in Greensboro. Several unemployed North Carolina residents were outside the Grandover Resort telling their hardship story. Philip Diehl traveled from Mocksville to tell people about his struggle. He's been collecting unemployment benefits that include insurance. Under his union contract, he'll lose the coverage and be forced the pay $2,000 a month for COBRA benefits. He also won't be eligible for federal benefits. Diehl is a cancer survivor. Ryan Tronovitch, the Deputy Communications Director with the Governor's office provided this statement: ‘These are well funded liberal groups, which are part of Blueprint North Carolina, whose stated major goal is to 'eviscerate' Governor Pat McCrory and the leadership in North Carolina. The governor is looking forward to returning to his childhood hometown tomorrow in Jamestown to talk about jobs and economic development during his Main Street.”


Transportation post caps mayor’s steep ascent (Charlotte Observer) -- Anthony Foxx, who became the city’s youngest mayor four years ago, breezed into becoming the nation’s 17th transportation secretary Thursday morning after a 100-0 vote in the U.S. Senate.


Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx confirmed as U.S. Secretary of Transportation (N.C. Political News) -- The U.S. Senate unanimously confirmed Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx as the next U.S. Secretary of Transportation on Thursday. President Barack Obama said, “I am pleased that the Senate today voted unanimously to confirm Anthony Foxx as the next Secretary of Transportation. Anthony knows firsthand that investing in our roads, bridges and transit systems is vital to creating good jobs and ensuring American businesses can grow and compete in a 21st century global economy. I welcome Anthony to my team, and I look forward to working with him as we aim to modernize the infrastructure that powers our economy.”


Foxx confirmed as next transportation secretary (WRAL-TV) -- Anthony Foxx, the mayor of Charlotte, N.C., and a political ally of President Barack Obama, was unanimously confirmed by the Senate Thursday to be transportation secretary.


Watt faces pointed questions at Senate hearing (Charlotte Observer) -- Congressman Mel Watt defended himself at a Senate confirmation hearing Thursday from accusations he’s unqualified to head the federal agency that oversees mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and signaled he supports moving the housing finance industry back toward the private sector.


Watt faces tough questioning during confirmation hearings (NEWS14-TV) -- U.S. Mel Watt is facing his first test to become the next director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency. The group oversees Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The Senate Banking Committee questioned Watt on his knowledge and ability to lead this agency. Watt has represented North Carolina in Congress for the past two decades. Now, he hopes to take his expertise in finance to help lead the Federal Housing Finance Agency, but his nomination is not without controversy. Just a few minutes after the hearing started, the ranking member of the committee said he questioned Watt’s experience and ability to lead two trillion dollar companies with few checks and balances. There was no objection from North Carolina senators who introduced Watt to the committee. This includes Republican Richard Burr who made his opinion clear. “Mel Watt is a good man,” said Burr.


Watt faces pointed questions at Senate hearing (AP) -- U.S. Rep. Mel Watt (D-NC) defended himself at a Senate confirmation hearing Thursday from accusations he’s unqualified to head the federal agency that oversees mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and signaled he supports moving the housing finance industry back toward the private sector. And in a significant difference from the policy of Fannie and Freddie’s acting regulator, Watt also said he might consider reducing borrowers’ principal on underwater mortgages.


NC becomes 1st state to drop federal jobless funds (AP) -- With changes to its unemployment law taking effect this weekend, North Carolina not only is cutting benefits for those who file new claims, it will become the first state disqualified from a federal compensation program for the long-term jobless. State officials adopted the package of benefit cuts and increased taxes for businesses in February, a plan designed to accelerate repayment of a $2.5 billion federal debt. Like many states, North Carolina had racked up the debt by borrowing from Washington after its unemployment fund was drained by jobless benefits during the Great Recession.


NC restricted licenses not always enforced (WRAL-TV) -- On any given day, about 7,000 convicted drunken drivers are on North Carolina roads with a restricted license, meaning they can only drive during certain times of the day and for certain reasons. Those restrictions may not be worth the paper they're written on.


Big business-recruiting changes in store for N.C. (Charlotte Business Journal) -- Look for the N.C. General Assembly to vote today on a bill that would make sweeping changes to how the state recruits companies and jobs. Gov. Pat McCrory and his Republican allies in the state House and Senate back the plan, all but guaranteeing its approval. The major shift involves privatizing the sales, marketing and support services of the state Commerce Department by moving those duties to a newly created private nonprofit. In addition, North Carolina would slash funding for the regional partnerships dedicated to economic development and corporate relocations across the state. Instead, eight newly drawn zones would fall under the authority of the Commerce Department. It will take six months to a year to make the transition to the new privatized system, supporters say. Sharon Decker, the Commerce secretary, points to high unemployment rates and slow job growth during the recession and afterward as the primary motivation for the change. “Quite honestly, I thought I would explore (privatization) for a year and then we would look at what we needed to do,” Decker said during an interview this week in uptown Charlotte. “But there are a couple of challenges that drove me to the decision that this was the right thing to do. One, there really weren’t solid, strong processes in place (at the Commerce Department) that were sustainable for the long haul. Processes had worked in the past, but coming out of this difficult economy, we’ve got to be positioned for a lot more proactivity and we’ve got to be a lot faster.”


Senate, 68 to 32, Passes Overhaul for Immigration (New York Times) -- The most significant overhaul of the nation’s immigration laws in a generation passed the Senate with strong bipartisan support on Thursday, setting up a fight in the Republican-controlled House.


Roll Call on U.S. Senate Comprehensive Immigration Overhaul Bill (New York Times) – Roll call vote on the bill to provide for comprehensive immigration reform and for other purposes.


Hagan Votes 'Yes', Burr Votes 'No' On Immigration Reform (WUNC-FM) -- U.S. Senator Kay Hagan was among the supporters helping to pass an immigration reform plan proposed by a bipartisan group of her colleagues.


Farm Bureau praises Hagan on vote for immigration bill, Burr votes against (Hickory Record) – N.C. Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan was true to her word when she voted for Senate Bill 744 on Thursday. She had told participants on a conference call that she was supportive of what she referred to as common - sense immigration legislation. “I am for what is best for North Carolina,” she said, “and supporting the immigration bill is right.” North Carolina’s other senator, Republican Richard Burr, voted against the bill. The 30-minute conference call included brief statements about the immigration bill by Hagan, Larry Wooten, North Carolina Farm Bureau president, and Brooks Raiford, president and CEO of the North Carolina Technical Association. Wooten said that the legislation could solve a problem that has plagued agriculture for many years – that of manual labor. “A machine does not know the difference between a green and a ripe grape,” he said, stressing the importance of agricultural laborers in such areas as sweet potatoes, tobacco and Christmas trees, mentioning three large areas of North Carolina agricultural production.


Who wants GOP to pass immigration reform? Major Republican donors Washington Post) -- The big GOP givers want their party to make a deal.


N.C. gays aren't assured benefits, despite Supreme Court ruling (Fayetteville Observer) -- The U.S. Supreme Court decision that partly struck down the federal Defense of Marriage Act on Wednesday won't automatically confer federal marriage benefits to gay couples in North Carolina who legally married in other states, several lawyers said.


Surgeon, conservative star speaks at N.C. fundraiser (AP) — A rising national star in Republican politics is visiting North Carolina to help raise money for students to attend a private Christian school.


McCrory scheduled to visit Triad for tour, retreat (AP) -- Gov. Pat McCrory is meeting hometown friends and donors of a private nonprofit foundation as he visits the Triad.


Mayor of Wilkes town sues political foe (Winston-Salem Journal) -- Victor Varela, the mayor of Ronda, a small northwestern North Carolina town, struck back Thursday at perennial political foe Kevin Reece, suing him in N.C. Superior Court for trying to damage the mayor’s reputation while alleging that Reece is part of an international cockfighting ring.


Prosecutors want end to prisoner weekend release program (Raleigh News & Observer) -- District attorneys in North Carolina say they just discovered how many convicted felons who are nearing the end of their sentences are released on weekends. They want the governor to stop the release program immediately.


Mecklenburg official blasted for wanting hire of nonwhite male (AP) -- A Mecklenburg County commissioner is being criticized after she said she would prefer that someone other than a white man be hired as county manager.


St. Aug's defends convicted felons who run kids program (WRAL-TV) -- Two employees who work with young children at St. Augustine's University in Raleigh are convicted killers, court records show, but the university is standing behind them.


U.S. Senate Fails to Prevent Student-Loan Rate Increase (Wall Street Journal) – U.S. Senate efforts to prevent an increase in student-loan interest rates collapsed Thursday, increasing the likelihood that millions of undergraduates will pay higher borrowing costs in the coming school year.

Blue Cross Blue Shield exceeds benchmark for health care spending (Triad Business Journal) -- Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina reported Thursday that it had exceeded health care spending benchmarks


Blasting creates 40-mile detour on NC highway (AP) -- Efforts to straighten a curve on N.C. Highway 89 near Low Gap are forcing motorists to take a 40-mile detour.


Did the Paris Air Show yield aviation prospects for the Triad? (Triad Business Journal) -- A group of Triad officials recently flew to France for the 50th International Paris Air Show, with hopes of getting in front of major aviation companies that might want to expand operations in the region. They didn't come home disappointed. Dan Lynch, president of the Greensboro Economic Development Alliance, said the group returned to the Triad with numerous prospects that showed interest in potential expansions in and around the Piedmont Triad International Airport. The group held 14 meetings with undisclosed aviation companies including component parts manufacturers, an original equipment manufacturer and three potential suppliers to Honda Aircraft Co., which is producing a small business jet at PTI and targeting the end of 2014 for achieving Federal Aviation Administration certification.


Joe Stewart named NCFREE director (Raleigh News & Observer) -- Joe Stewart has been named executive director of NC FreeEnterprise Foundation, a non profit group that provides research on legislative issues and politics for business and industry groups. Stewart replaces John Rustin who left the group in April to become president of the N.C. Family Policy council. Stewart is a veteran of North Carolina government and politics. Most recently, he served as president and CEO of JRS Strategy Group, a political advocacy consulting practice. He has also served as associate vice president of the N.C. Chamber of Commerce, executive director Insurance Federation of North Carolina, chief deputy state treasurer, and assistant secretary of the N.C. Department of Crime Control and Public Safety among other jobs.


Woodhouse leaving post as chief Democratic spokesman (Raleigh News & Observer) -- Raleigh native Brad Woodhouse is leaving his post as chief spokesman for the national Democratic Party. Woodhouse has worked for five years as communications director of the Democratic National Committee, senior advisor to three party chairs and to the two Obama campaigns. His last day is Friday. He will begin work as president of Americans United for Change, a post he held before joining the party.


GOP takes control of election boards (Elizabeth City Daily Advance) -- For the first time in 20 years, county boards of election across North Carolina will have more Republican than Democrat members.



NC Symphony Takes On Science Fiction (WUNC-FM) -- The full sound of symphony orchestras is a familiar accompaniment to science fiction spectacles like Star Trek and Star Wars. The North Carolina Symphony is celebrating the music of sci-fi in its Sci-Fi Spectacular tonight and tomorrow. The concert is hosted by George Takei, “Mr. Sulu” of Star Trek fame.


Injured in Afghanistan, veteran gets keys to his 'hero home' in Holly Springs (Raleigh News & Observer) -- "Operation: Coming Home," a local nonprofit that builds homes for injured Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, held a ceremony Thursday to present a new home to Raleigh native Cody Stanton, who was injured in Afghanistan.


Rooms To Go to build in Harnett, provide 220 jobs (AP) -- Furniture retailer Rooms To Go says it plans to build a new warehouse, distribution center and retail showroom in Harnett County, creating 220 jobs over the next three years.


Furniture company to create 220 jobs (Sanford Herald) -- Gov. Pat McCrory and North Carolina Commerce Secretary Sharon Decker announced that Rooms To Go will be building a new warehouse, distribution center and retail showroom in Harnett County. The company reportedly plans to create 220 new jobs and invest $40 million over the next three years in Dunn. “Rooms to Go knows our state’s support for the furniture industry is second to none,” McCrory said. “It’s always great news when existing companies choose to reinvest and grow their business right here in North Carolina.”


HIV Call Center Opening In Chapel Hill (WUNC-FM) -- A new statewide call center at UNC-Chapel Hill called ONE CALL will connect people diagnosed with HIV to the medical care, counseling, and other resources they need. More than three quarters of those living with HIV in North Carolina do not seek treatment. Those who do receive proper treatment have a normal life expectancy and are much less likely to pass the virus on the their partners.


Active summer tick season brings health risks for children (UNC News) -- Tick-borne illnesses, including Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and others, pose a special health threat to children, particularly during the peak tick-activity months of June and July, said Marcia E. Herman-Giddens, child and family health consultant and adjunct professor at the Gillings School of Global Public Health at UNC-Chapel Hill.


Future now unclear for Franco movie filming in NC (AP) -- The future of a new James Franco movie scheduled to begin filming in Winston-Salem appears to be in doubt after a casting call was canceled.


Tar Heels 8th in final Directors' Cup Standings (UNC News) -- NCAA championships by women’s soccer and women’s lacrosse and five other Top 10 national finishes led the UNC to eighth place in the final 2012-13 Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup standings, the Tar Heels’ fifth consecutive Top 10 performance.



Duke board elects Gray chair (Charlotte Observer) -- Lead director Ann Maynard Gray has been elected Duke Energy’s chair and will replace Jim Rogers on Dec. 31, the company said Thursday.


N.C. beachesrank 3rd in nation in report (Wilmington Star-News) -- N.C. beaches ranked third in the nation in a report released Wednesday by the Natural Resource Defense Council which rated beaches depending on how safe they were for swimmers.


Fracking critics unhappy with Obama climate speech (AP) -- President Barack Obama's speech this week on climate change forcefully rejected some key arguments made by opponents of natural gas fracking, upsetting some environmental groups that otherwise back his climate goals.


GOP climate strategy: Focus on jobs (Politico) -- Republicans' plan for combating Obama’s climate agenda aims to skirt talk about science.


Offshore wind power set to sail (Politico) -- A dozen years ago, a wind farm was first proposed for Nantucket Sound. Will it ever be built?


Chinese Wind-Turbine Maker Indicted in U.S. (Wall Street Journal) -- The U.S. filed criminal charges against one of China's biggest makers of wind turbines and two senior executives at the company, raising the stakes in a corporate-espionage dispute that has simmered for two years.
A federal grand jury in the Western District of Wisconsin indicted Sinovel Wind Group Ltd. for trade-secret theft, criminal copyright infringement and wire fraud. The indictment alleges that Sinovel stole source code for software used to control wind turbines from AMSC, a Massachusetts-based engineering firm, and then shipped four turbines equipped with the allegedly pirated code to customers in the U.S.


South Carolina plutonium plant plagued by cost overruns, poor planning (McClatchy Newspapers) -- The cost of the plant at Savannah River, S.C., has ballooned, while its goals have contracted. After a federal expenditure of $3.7 billion, the incomplete facility is on the brink of being canceled.


Sustainability gets the green light (Politico) -- For diners who are mindful of the environment, there is an ever-growing list of considerations.


Putting the Pieces Together at North River Farms (Coastal Review) -- The N.C. Coastal Federation put in place one of the final pieces of the puzzle that will eventually restore water quality and provide public access to thousands of acres of restored wetlands at its North River Farms property.


Keep the sales tax holiday (Triangle Business Journal column) -- The elimination of this weekend that is highly popular with both residents and retailers, will likely lead to increased internet sales for back-to-school items. Brick-and-mortar retailers have been fighting to level the playing field with online-only retailers for years – the Sales Tax Holiday is the only three days a year that our local retailers are not at a competitive disadvantage with internet-only retailers who are not required to collect sales tax 365 days a year. Simply put, the Sales Tax Holiday is more than a line item on a budget. It has become an event for which families plan, map out the stores to visit for the best savings, and spend a day together. It has also become the second-largest shopping weekend of the year for the retail industry who employ one in four North Carolinians. The Sales Tax Holiday is a win for consumers, a win for the state and a win for the retail industry, North Carolina’s largest private employer.


Senate proposal lifting regulations for landfills deserves burial (Wilmington Star-News) -- Cash-strapped counties and large garbage haulers have found profitability in building huge regional landfills


McCrory's 'retreat' with donors raising eyebrows (Richmond Daily Journal) -- If you’ve got five grand to lay out for dinner and golf, your palate is entirely too sensitive for fare enjoyed by the … well, the little people. What Republican Gov. Pat McCrory and his gang aren’t too sensitive about is how this looks to all the people who don’t have $5,000 for a weekend and who voted for McCrory as the man who was going to fix what he said was a broken state government and return control and money to the people. It appears control is being returned to the people - the ones with a spare $5,000 for a golf outing.


State Democrats hurt themselves (Rocky Mount Telegram) -- For all of the attention surrounding Moral Mondays and an anemic 20 percent public approval rating of the N.C. General Assembly, one might think this is a golden time for the Democratic Party in North Carolina.


NC's still-waiting eugenics victims (Raleigh News & Observer column) -- Gov. Pat McCrory should demonstrate courageous leadership to secure funding for the state's eugenics victims. Phil Berger and his colleagues have a chance to partially rectify history and to put an end to the worst Democratic program ever.


Leaders are elected to make decisions (Greensboro News & Record) -- A proposal to place strict limits on state spending growth would take responsibility away from the legislature.


Art Pope's wealth shouldn't have trumped all (Fayetteville Observer column) -- This is the story of how one very wealthy man stopped a government program endorsed by three North Carolina governors (two Republicans and a Democrat), most of the judges from both parties on the state's top courts, and hundreds of civic and business leaders.


McCrory’s Strategic Mobility Fund will help Charlotte transit (Charlotte Observer column) -- The last time radical change came to transportation funding in North Carolina was 1989. The change at that time was a major improvement to how transportation funds had been distributed prior to then. We commend Gov. Pat McCrory and the legislature for recognizing change is needed again. Gov. McCrory knows the transportation infrastructure needs in North Carolina and the Charlotte region far outweigh the available revenue. He also knows that good transportation infrastructure and connections are keys to growing North Carolina’s economy.