OUTSPOKEN BIGOT WITHDRAWS FROM ARMY SECRETARY NOMINATION AFTER CRITICISM: President Donald Trump’s second attempt to nominate an Army secretary failed on Friday when his pick, Tennessee state Sen. Mark Green, withdrew from consideration amid increasingly fierce backlash to his controversial comments about the LGBT community, Muslims and evolution. “It is with deep regret today I am withdrawing my nomination to be the secretary of the Army,” he said in a statement. “Unfortunately, due to false and misleading attacks against me, this nomination has become a distraction.” Green was a stark contrast to the person he would have been replacing, President Barack Obama’s appointee Eric Fanning, who was the first openly gay Army secretary.
HACKERS TRY TO SWING FRENCH ELECTION JUST LIKE WITH HILLARY CLINTON: France's election campaign commission says "a significant amount of data" has been leaked on social networks following a hacking attack allegedly suffered by centrist presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron, 36 hours before the nation votes Sunday in the crucial runoff against Marine Le Pen. The commission said Saturday that leaked data apparently came from Macron's "information systems and mail accounts from some of his campaign managers." In a statement released after a morning meeting, the watchdog said the leaked data had been "fraudulently" obtained and that fake news has probably been mingled with it.
GOVERNOR COOPER VETOES BILL SHIELDING HOG FARMS FROM LAWSUITS: House Bill 467 was passed last month in response to 26 lawsuits pending in federal court against the state’s largest hog producer, Murphy-Brown, a subsidiary of Smithfield Foods. In the suits, nearly 500 residents say hog farms have made their lives unbearable from odors, flies, buzzards, pig carcasses and other aggravations. Cooper said in a statement that the bill, which revises the state’s “nuisance” laws, would take away protections for homeowners. The bill protects hog farms, forestry operations and other agricultural operations.
DOCUMENTS RELATED TO WRONGFUL CONVICTION OF TWO BROTHERS TO REMAIN UNSEALED: A federal judge in North Carolina has denied requests to seal documents related to the case of two brothers who were wrongfully imprisoned for a child's death nearly 35 years ago. U.S. District Judge Terrence Boyle late Friday denied several motions seeking to keep the filings confidential. He wrote that the parties went too far in sealing a large number of documents in the matter of Henry McCollum and half-brother Leon Brown. Several news organizations including The Associated Press had asked to keep the court documents available to the public. The brothers were freed in 2014 after DNA evidence indicated that another man raped and killed the girl. They were later pardoned and the state awarded them $750,000 each.
APPARENTLY IVANKA TRUMP WILL BE THE DECIDER ON WHETHER US PULLS OUT OF PARIS AGREEMENT OR NOT: Though Trump’s inclination has been to leave the agreement, he’s allowed his daughter, White House adviser Ivanka Trump, to set up an extensive review process, a senior administration official said. The goal is to ensure Trump receives information from both government experts and the private sector before a making a decision. To that end, Ivanka Trump will hold a separate meeting Tuesday with Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt, the official said. Pruitt is a chief proponent of leaving the deal and has questioned the science that says humans are contributing to global warming.