Summer swelter: Persistent heat wave breaks records, spirits
A heat wave that’s already lasted more than a week keeps on baking the US, Asia and even the Arctic. At least eight US states Thursday hit 100 degrees, that’s after 12 did that on Wednesday. Records keep falling. A city in the Russian Arctic hit nearly 90 degrees. This early summer heat wave looks and feels more like August. Scientists say it has all the hallmarks of climate change. In Macon, Georgia, the temperature ramped from 64 to 105 degrees on Wednesday and then hit 104, a further record, on Thursday.
SUPREME COURT-NORTH CAROLINA-VOTER ID LAW
Supreme Court rules for GOP lawmakers in voter ID case
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court is giving Republican legislative leaders in North Carolina a win in an ongoing fight over the state’s latest photo identification voting law. The 8-1 decision Thursday doesn’t end the more than three-year dispute over the voter ID law, which is not currently in effect and has been challenged in both state and federal court. The decision just means that Republican legislative leaders can intervene in the federal lawsuit to defend the law. Justice Sonia Sotomayor dissented. A lower court had ruled the lawmakers’ interests were already being adequately represented by the state’s attorney general, Democrat Josh Stein.
Trans people can correct sex on North Carolina birth records
Transgender people born in North Carolina may now correct the sex designation on their birth certificate without undergoing surgery after a consent judgment issued by a federal court. New York-based Lambda Legal announced the judgment Thursday. North Carolina’s requirement that transgender people undergo sex reassignment surgery as part of establishing their identity was at the center of a lawsuit filed in U.S. Middle District Court in North Carolina last November by three law firms on behalf of an adult and two minors.
Lisa Price, wife of NC Congressman David Price, dies at 82
WASHINGTON (AP) — Lisa Price, the wife of U.S. Rep. David Price and founder of an advocacy group against gun violence, has died. She was 82. The North Carolina congressman said Lisa Price died Thursday in Chapel Hill. A spokeswoman for the Democratic representative said his wife had been battling cancer. Lisa Price founded North Carolinians Against Gun Violence and was its executive director until her retirement in 2007. She also advocated for civil rights, environmental protections, animal welfare and other causes. Rep. Price says he will retire after his current term ends. He has served in the House since 1987.
MEDICAID EXPANSION-NORTH CAROLINA
New Medicaid expansion pitch surfaces in N. Carolina House
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina House Republicans are pitching a plan that could authorize expanding Medicaid to hundreds of thousands of additional low-income adults, although not right away. Speaker Tim Moore talked Thursday to a legislative committee about a proposal billed as an alternative to a Senate measure that House GOP lawmakers aren’t supporting. The House proposal would direct the state Health Department to assemble a “Medicaid Modernization Plan” that includes expansion and present it a legislative panel by mid-December. The law would direct the General Assembly to vote thereafter to implement all or part of the plan. But there are no guarantees expansion would be ultimately approved.
Biden teams with East Coast governors to boost offshore wind
WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House is launching a partnership with 11 East Coast governors to boost the growing offshore wind industry, a key element of President Joe Biden’s climate change plan. Biden administration officials will meet with governors and labor leaders Thursday to announce commitments to expand important parts of the offshore industry. Those parts include manufacturing facilities, ports and workforce training and development. The Democratic president has a goal of deploying enough offshore wind power by 2030 to provide electricity to 10 million homes and support 77,000 jobs. The governors are from Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island.
SPORTS GAMBLING-NORTH CAROLINA
North Carolina sports betting legislation falters in House
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Legislation that would have authorized sports betting across all of North Carolina has fallen apart in the state’s General Assembly. The House late Wednesday narrowly rejected a measure that would have adjusted how betting operators would be taxed and state proceeds would be distributed. An unusual coalition of social conservatives and liberal Democrats halted the effort issuing warnings about the dangers of gambling. A House lawmaker who shepherded the two betting bills said the idea is still alive because one of the measures passed by a one-vote margin. But the General Assembly work session is likely to end late next week, leaving little time for retooling the legislation.
RACIAL INJUSTICE-SMOKIES TRAFFIC STOP
Black man wrestled to ground, jailed after traffic stop
A Black man from Mississippi is appealing his conviction on charges stemming from a traffic stop in North Carolina in 2020 during which a white National Park Service officer took him to the ground for not putting his hands behind his back while being frisked. Marvin Minor, who faced multiple charges, was sentenced to four months in prison by a magistrate after he was convicted on March 29 in U.S. District Court. The appeal was filed on June 6, shortly before Minor’s sentence was to end. The appeal makes multiple references to the fact that the traffic stop involving Minor occurred two months after George Floyd was murdered by a white Minneapolis police officer.