Biden picks ex-FDA chief Robert Califf to again lead agency
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden is nominating former Food and Drug Administration commissioner Dr. Robert Califf to again lead the regulatory agency. That’s according to a person familiar with the decision. Biden is expected to make the formal announcement Friday. Califf served as FDA commissioner for the last 11 months of President Barack Obama’s second term. Before that, Califf spent more than 35 years as a prominent researcher at Duke University. The FDA oversees COVID-19 vaccines, drugs and tests along with thousands of other medicines and consumer goods. Califf’s nomination comes after months of the concern the FDA has lacked a permanent leader.
Meadows to defy subpoena as Jan. 6 panel threatens contempt
WASHINGTON (AP) — A lawyer for former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows says his client will defy a subpoena from a House committee that is investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection. That’s likely to trigger a contempt vote against the former Republican congressman. The Jan. 6 panel had given Meadows until Friday to comply with the September subpoena and appear for a deposition, but his lawyer said that his client has a “sharp legal dispute” with the committee because former President Donald Trump has claimed executive privilege over the testimony. Meadows’ lawyer said the dispute would be resolved by the courts.
Raleigh airport recovering after hourslong power outage
MORRISVILLE, N.C. (AP) — Raleigh-Durham International Airport is recovering after an hourslong power outage at the main terminal. News outlets reported that after the outage was reported shortly after 4 a.m. Friday, the airport warned that it wasn’t able to serve passengers in Terminal 2, the busiest terminal. Terminal 1, which is home to only Southwest Airlines, was unaffected. The outage affected ticketing, security and other systems. Long lines stretched through the terminal and out the doors. But just before 9 a.m., the airport tweeted that two-thirds of the Terminal 2’s operating systems were restored and some gates were operational. Airport spokesperson Stephanie Hawco says the outage was caused by water damage to a power distribution center in the terminal.
FATAL DOG ATTACK-INFANT
Police: North Carolina infant killed in dog attack
KENLY, N.C. (AP) — Police in North Carolina say an infant has died after being attacked by a dog. News outlets report that Kenly Police Chief Josh Gibson says a pit bull attacked the infant Wednesday morning, news outlets reported. Police are investigating the infant’s death as an accident. Police said they weren’t releasing any information about what happened out of respect for the family. The dog is in Johnston County Animal Control custody. It is not known who the dog belonged to. The North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation is also working on the case.
North Carolina roadside zoo cited by federal officials again
WILMINGTON, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina roadside zoo has been cited for the second time this year by federal agricultural officials, this time for failing to monitor injured animals properly. WECT reports the citation issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture stems from an inspection on Oct. 4 which noted a tiger with a 1.5-inch open wound on her ear and a camel with a closed eye. The latest report says the park failed to refer health problems with the tiger and the camel to a veterinarian, noting that regular communication with a vet and daily observation of the animals are needed to minimize pain.
TOW TRUCK DRIVER KILLED
Troopers: Tow truck operator dies in hit-and-run on I-95
DILLON, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina troopers are looking for the driver of a tractor trailer that struck and killed a tow truck operator from North Carolina on the side of Interstate 95. Troopers say 48-year-old Steven Bullard was hit near mile marker 195 on I-95 in Dillon County as he as loading a vehicle on his tow truck around 11:30 p.m. Sunday. The driver of the 18-wheeler did not stop. The Highway Patrol says the cab of the tractor trailer is a 2004-2007 white Volvo VNL that might have been painted green at one point. Troopers say the truck likely has damage to the right front and could be missing a headlight.
Gerrymandering surges as states redraw maps for House seats
Gerrymandering is surging in states where legislatures are in charge of redrawing voting districts used to elect members of Congress. A new map passed by North Carolina’s Republican-led legislature could net several new seats for the GOP — providing a big boost in the party’s quest to retake the U.S. House next year. But that could be canceled out in Illinois, where Democrats who control the legislature adopted a new map designed to elect as many Democrats as possible. Lawmakers in other states also have been using 2020 census data to draw districts beneficial to their own parties.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-NORTH CAROLINA
Few North Carolina children 5-11 vaccinated in early rollout
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Few North Carolina parents had their children vaccinated in the first days COVID-19 shots were available for kids age 5 to 11. State data shows more than 24,000 kids in the age group got the vaccine within the first five days it was administered. This represents less than 3% of the almost 900,000 children eligible in the age group. Dr. Mandy Cohen leads the state Department of Health and Human Services. She said she got her two daughters vaccinated once the kid-sized Pfizer shots became available. She recommends other parents do the same or contact their child’s pediatrician to share any questions or concerns they may have.
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