Wednesday News: "White" Christmas?


KKK LEFT RECRUITING FLYERS IN HILLANDALE NEIGHBORHOOD ON CHRISTMAS EVE: A Triangle community is expressing concern after discovering KKK fliers in their driveways on Christmas Eve. The notes, meant to recruit members, were placed in plastic bags, along with rocks and a few KKK business cards, and distributed throughout the Hillandale neighborhood in Wake County. "And, for whatever reason, they put peppermints in there," resident Mike Chandler said. Chandler found the bag in his driveway on the morning of Dec. 24. He said his wife drove around the neighborhood and found many other homes with the bags in their driveways. "It's a little bit disconcerting. I've been here 33, going on 34, years, never had anything like this come here before," he said. Among other things, the flier says “white pride doesn’t mean hate,” but many residents said they believe the KKK stands for hate.

TRUMP'S ATTEMPT TO BAN TRANSGENDERS ENTERING MILITARY SERVICE REJECTED BY COURTS: Barring last-minute intervention by the Supreme Court, the military's ban on enlisting transgender troops is set to fall next week, despite President Donald Trump's tweets. If so, it would be the rare instance of a major change in U.S. military policy that takes place despite the opposition of the commander in chief. But it was also unusual for the president to try to halt a developing policy by issuing a tweet that surprised top officials. A series of federal judges has rejected the president's position, most recently with rulings on Friday, and administration lawyers are running out of time to revive the ban before the Pentagon plans to begin accepting transgender recruits on Jan. 1.

OBAMA SAYS LEADERS NEED TO TREAD CAREFULLY ON INTERNET SOCIAL MEDIA: Former President Barack Obama told Prince Harry in an interview broadcast Wednesday that people in leadership roles must be careful in their use of social media and warned against spending too much time immersed in the internet at the expense of the world outside. Obama did not, however, directly mention his successor, President Donald Trump, who has made the use of Twitter a centerpiece of his presidency. "All of us in leadership have to find ways to recreate a common space on the internet," he said. "One of the dangers of the internet is people can have entirely different realities. They can be just cocooned in information that reinforces their current biases." He spoke with Harry in the prince's capacity as guest editor of the BBC Radio 4 news program. Both men said the interview, recorded in Canada in September, was Obama's first since leaving the presidency in January.

DEMOCRAT IN CONTESTED VIRGINIA RACE SEEKS HELP FROM COURT WITH HER STRUGGLE: The Democrat in a tied race for a Virginia House seat that could affect which party controls the chamber said Tuesday that she'll ask a court to declare the tie invalid and her the winner. Shelly Simonds and her lawyers said the court failed to follow state election law by allowing a ballot to be counted a day after last week's recount, among other errors. The campaign said it will ask the same court to reconsider its decision. In the meantime, state election officials postponed their plan to break the tie Wednesday in Richmond by drawing names from a bowl. The race between Simonds and Republican Del. David Yancey is for the 94th House of Delegates District in Newport News. If Simonds were declared the winner, it would split party control of Virginia's House 50-50.

INDIVIDUAL TAKES RESPONSIBILITY FOR GIVING GIFT OF MANURE TO MNUCHIN: The U.S. Secret Service says it has interviewed someone claiming responsibility for delivering a gift-wrapped package of horse manure addressed to Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin. The box was found Saturday at the home of Mnuchin's neighbor in the wealthy Bel Air neighborhood in Los Angeles. The LAPD bomb squad responded to the package, which police say was marked as being from "the American people." Secret Service spokesman Cody Starken said Monday that the agency was contacted by Los Angeles police and interviewed a person who claimed responsibility. He declined to identify the person. Starken says the Secret Service takes all confirmed and alleged threats seriously. He says the agency typically doesn't comment on possible criminal investigations or interviewing practices.