ROY MOORE TRIES TO STOP ALABAMA FROM CERTIFYING DOUG JONES: Republican Roy Moore filed a lawsuit to try to stop Alabama from certifying Democrat Doug Jones as the winner of the U.S. Senate race.The court filing occurred about 14 hours ahead of Thursday's meeting of a state canvassing board to officially declare Jones the winner of the Dec. 12 special election. Jones defeated Moore by about 20,000 votes. Moore's attorney wrote in the complaint filed late Wednesday that he believed there were irregularities during the election and said there should be a fraud investigation and eventually a new election. Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill told The Associated Press Wednesday evening that he has no intention of delaying the canvassing board meeting. "It is not going to delay certification and Doug Jones will be certified (Thursday) at 1 p.m. and he will be sworn in by Vice President Pence on the third of January," Merrill said.
RUSSIA FALLS BEHIND IN SPACE RACE, LOSES EXPENSIVE SATELLITE: The Kremlin says authorities are looking into recent failures in Russia's space industry. In the most embarrassing incident in recent months, a satellite launched from Russia's new Launchpad was lost due to a programming error. Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said Wednesday that the Meteor-M weather satellite, which was launched Nov. 28 from the new Vostochny cosmodrome in Russia's Far East, was lost because it was programmed with the bearings for takeoff from Baikonur, Russia's main launch pad that it leases in Kazakhstan. The loss of the satellite and the corruption scandals around the construction of Vostochny have put pressure on Rogozin, who oversees the space industry. Asked about a possible overhaul of Russia's space industry, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Thursday that officials are looking into the situation.
SOUTH CAROLINA STATE TROOPERS ARMING THEMSELVES WITH AR-15'S: Some South Carolina troopers have been buying and bringing their own high-powered rifles to work to replace their less lethal state-issued shotguns, according to the agency's top official. The Department of Public Safety is seeking $500,000 in next year's state budget to equip all troopers with AR-15 rifles, which officials contend could save lives if there were a mass shooting in South Carolina. But Highway Patrol Commander Chris Williamson recently confirmed to the Post and Courier that some front-line troopers wanted the more effective rifles so badly for potential confrontations that about 50 have bought their own in the past couple of years. A typical AR-15 rifle costs about $1,000. A policy change allowed troopers to carry personal rifles on the job that meet specifications, provided they undergo the agency's eight-hour course on the weapon.
TRANSGENDER NC WOMAN FILES LAWSUIT AGAINST SAM'S CLUB OVER ABUSIVE TREATMENT: Bost hadn’t yet transitioned to life as a woman when she began working in 2004 at a Sam’s Club location about 25 miles (40 kilometers) northeast of Charlotte. Bost said she received praise and was promoted to supervisor before she began to express her feminine identity at work in 2008. The lawsuit said the harassment by co-workers and multiple managers began around that time and escalated as Bost began wearing her hair longer and adding makeup to her appearance. In 2014, one co-worker told a customer as Bost walked by: “Here comes that thing with an attitude,” the lawsuit says. Bost, who’s now 46, said she was repeatedly harassed by a man who became her direct supervisor when he was promoted to assistant manager in 2014. The lawsuit said he called her “it” in front of other employees, made off-color jokes and initiated unwanted physical contact. According to the suit, the assistant manager also was involved in fabricating written infractions against Bost that led to her firing.
MAN BUYS PICKUP TRUCK IN RALEIGH WITH BITCOIN: Omar Dahbour is not afraid to take risks in business. His company, RDU Auto Sales, in Raleigh, just started accepting bitcoin as a method of payment. “We brought it into the business to see if people were actually buying with bitcoin,” he said. “We wanted to differentiate. We wanted to try something new and we took a risk.” It took only a few days for Dahbour to sell a truck using bitcoin. “We just put a little widget on our website that we accept bitcoin on Dec. 14. We sold our first car with bitcoin on Dec. 18,” he said. “The individual who bought the car with bitcoin, he bought bitcoin in 2011 when it was less than a dollar. So, he spent a dollar and got a $19,000 truck.”