BURR SAYS HE HAS MORE IMPORTANT THINGS TO DO THAN INVESTIGATE RUSSIA: “It’s safe to say that, with the events of the last week, it’s reminded me of the importance of what I do. It’s also reminded me that, with the hearing yesterday on global threats, that I can’t just focus my efforts on an investigation and Russia’s involvement in our elections, because the world is a very unstable place as it relates to security.” Most of Burr’s remarks focused on global security, and his comments on Comey notwithstanding, he ended with praise for the president, whom he has supported from early on. “I really worried as this year started with such a split of the American people, could we do big things?” Burr said. “I’m convinced today after hearing the president — who’s only focused on big things — we have no choice. We’re destined right now to do big things.”
HUGE TURNOUT FOR WRAL REPORTER MARK BINKER'S MEMORIAL: There was hardly a dry eye in the A.J. Fletcher Opera Theater as Binker's 13-year-old son, Mason, began his remarks. "My father is not in a better place," Mason Binker said. "He would not have cared if he were going to heaven. He would have stayed here with us." Hundreds of people gathered to hear from those who lived and worked with Mark Binker, a former WRAL multimedia investigative reporter who died suddenly last month at the age of 43. The common theme was that his work, his voice and his presence will be missed. Slideshows during the memorial service chronicled his life of 43 years, most of them showing him in the role he treasured even above reporting, as husband to Marla and family man, father of Mason and Max.
CHRIS SGRO IS LEAVING EQUALITY NC TO WORK FOR HUMAN RIGHTS CAMPAIGN: Sgro became know across the state as a leader in the fight against North Carolina’s House Bill 2, which curbed civil rights extended to the LGBT community by cities. It’s a battle Sgro says he will continue to fight on a national level, as director of communications for the Human Rights Campaign in Washington, DC. The HRC was also a key player in fighting North Carolina’s HB2, which was created by state officials to negate a Charlotte civil rights ordinance that extended civil rights to lesbian, gay and transgender people.
JOHN CORNYN AMONG SHORT LIST OF CANDIDATES TO REPLACE COMEY AT FBI: The first candidate to arrive was Alice Fisher, a top Justice Department official in the George W. Bush administration. She said nothing to reporters as she headed inside. Among those also expected to be coming were acting FBI director Andrew McCabe, Michael J. Garcia, an associate judge on New York's highest court, and GOP Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, the No. 2 Senate leader and a former state attorney general. That's according to two people familiar with the search process who weren't authorized to publicly discuss the deliberations and spoke on condition of anonymity.
AMERICAN COWS AND COOKED CHINESE CHICKENS SET TO TRAVEL: China will finally open its borders to U.S. beef while cooked Chinese poultry is closer to hitting the American market as part of a U.S.-China trade agreement. The United States would also allow U.S. companies to ship liquefied natural gas to China as part of the bilateral agreement reached following President Donald Trump’s meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping in April. The agreement covers a number of long-standing barriers in areas ranging from agriculture to energy to the operation of American financial firms in China.