By Colleen Jenkins WINSTON-SALEM N.C. (Reuters) - North Carolina's overhauled election law should be halted before the midterm elections in November to avoid discrimination against African Americans and young voters, lawyers for the Justice Department and civil rights groups said on Thursday. Attorneys for the state argued the changes in dispute apply equally to all races and said challengers had presented only speculation that some voters would see their ballot access unreasonably restricted or denied. The federal government and other opponents of the sweeping voter law revision passed by the state's Republican-led legislature in 2013 are seeking a preliminary injunction to block key parts ahead of a full trial next year. U.S. District Judge Thomas Schroeder did not immediately rule at the end of the four-day hearing in Winston-Salem but said he would issue a written opinion soon. North Carolina is among several states forced to defend changes to voting protocol, including its requirement for voters to show photo identification at the polls starting in 2016. Judges in recent months have overturned photo ID laws in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. Similar to voting rights battles nationwide, race and politics have been at the forefront of the North Carolina fight. Republicans argue tighter rules are needed to prevent voter fraud, while Democrats say the revisions target likely Democratic voters: minorities, the poor and college students. The state shortened its early voting period by seven days, ended same-day registration, banned provisional ballots cast outside the correct precinct from being counted and ended a program allowing 16- and 17-year-olds to pre-register to vote. "African Americans came to rely on these mechanisms of voting and the legislature knew that," Justice Department lawyer Bert Russ said. Lawmakers "took a sledgehammer to the early voting period when no one was asking for these changes," he added. Lawyer Marc Elias said the college students he represents would be irreparably harmed by reduced early voting and stricter ID requirements. His young clients are fighting the law along with groups including the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and the American Civil Liberties Union. Attorneys for North Carolina said the law got its first test in the state's primary election in May and no disproportionate burdens on African-American voters were revealed. State legislators "want everyone in North Carolina to have the right to vote on equal terms," said lawyer Thomas Farr, who argued voters would adapt to the revised law. Curtis Gatewood, an NAACP community organizer who attended the hearing, criticized lawmakers for taking actions he said would make it harder for people to vote. "Just because you have a law that you want people to conform to doesn't mean it's a just law," Gatewood said. (Reporting by Colleen Jenkins; Editing by Bill Trott and Eric Walsh)
Prince Harry compares his and Meghan Markle's royal step back to Princess Diana's experience in Oprah interview clip
In a first look at "Oprah with Meghan and Harry: A Primetime Special," Prince Harry said his biggest concern was "history repeating itself."
- Fort Worth Star-Telegram
The offer stands for Arlington residents with confirmed appointments at Esports Stadium Arlington, Globe Life Field or AT&T Stadium.
- The Independent
Medical examiner is ‘awaiting toxicology results’ before releasing a report on the death
- Reuters Videos
Prince Harry was worried about history repeating itself, according to excerpts released from his and his wife Meghan's much-anticipated interview with Oprah Winfrey.The CBS broadcast network released two brief clips from Oprah interview of the couple, which is scheduled to air on March 7.The suggestion of history repeating itself appears to reference the fate of Harry's mother Princess Diana, who was hounded by the British press and died at age 36 in a car crash in Paris after her divorce from Prince Charles.Harry said "I'm just really relieved and happy to be sitting her talking to you with my wife by my side," before going on to add "Because I can't imagine what it must have been like for her (Diana), going through this process by herself all those years ago.”It is the first TV interview the couple, formally known as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, have given since making their homes in California last year.They shocked Britain when they decided to step back from royal duties.Last month the couple announced that are expecting a second child.In the clips, Oprah said that no subject was off limits and at one point tells the couple "you have said some pretty shocking things here," including that their situation had been "almost unsurvivable".
- The Independent
The president returned to some of his favourite debunked theories about the election, and much more
- The Independent
Biden AG pick passes out of committee by bipartisan 15-7 vote
- Associated Press
Texas is lifting its mask mandate, Gov. Greg Abbott said Tuesday, making it the largest state to end an order intended to prevent the spread of the coronavirus that has killed more than 42,000 Texans. The Republican governor has faced sharp criticism from his party over the mandate, which was imposed eight months ago, as well as other COVID-19 restrictions on businesses that Texas will also scuttle starting next week. The repealed rules include doing away with limits on the number of diners or customers allowed indoors, said Abbott, who made the announcement at a restaurant in Lubbock.
- The Week
Arizona GOP lawyer tells Supreme Court the party needs certain voting restrictions to compete with Democrats
The Supreme Court on Tuesday heard oral arguments by Arizona Republicans in defense of two voting restrictions they are looking to keep in tact. At one point, Justice Amy Coney Barrett asked Michael Carvin, a lawyer representing the Arizona GOP, what the party's interest in maintaining the policy of discarding ballots cast at the wrong precinct was. Carvin answered, without hesitation, that removing the rule would prevent Republicans from competing in the state. "It puts us at a competitive disadvantage relative to Democrats," he told Barrett. "Politics is a zero sum game. Every vote that they get through unlawful interpretations of Section 2 hurts us. It's the difference between winning an election 50-49 and losing an election." In key voting rights case, Justice Amy Coney Barrett asks GOP lawyer Michael Carvin “what’s the interest” to Republicans in keeping voting restrictions in Arizona. Carvin: “Because it puts us at a competitive disadvantage relative to Democrats. Politics is a zero-sum game.” pic.twitter.com/In7GULkSUb — The Recount (@therecount) March 2, 2021 Critics argued Carvin was essentially admitting some Republicans believe "it is okay to manipulate elections to gain partisan advantage." Per Reuters, art of the reason voting rights activists have targeted the precinct rule is that voters sometimes inadvertently cast their ballots at the wrong polling station because their assigned location is not always the closest one to their homes. However, Reuters reports the high court, which has a 6-3 conservative majority, is likely to uphold the restriction, as well as another that makes it a crime to hand over someone else's ballot to election officials during early voting. More stories from theweek.comMcCarthy claims during House debate that Dr. Seuss has been outlawed. Dr. Seuss has not been outlawed.The myth of the male bumblerThe Trump administration reportedly quietly funded Operation Warp Speed with money set aside for hospitals
- The Week
The Trump administration reportedly quietly funded Operation Warp Speed with money set aside for hospitals
By late summer last year, Operation Warp Speed accounts were running dry, so the Trump administration appears to have used a financial maneuver allowing Department of Health and Human Services officials to divert $10 billion from a fund meant to help hospitals and health care providers affected by the coronavirus pandemic, Stat News reports. Congress granted the HHS permission to move pandemic-related money between accounts, though the agreement stipulated the agency had to give lawmakers a heads up. In this case, it appears the HHS siphoned the funds quietly, albeit with permission from its top lawyer. Other attorneys told Stat that the agency likely did have the wiggle room to carry out the action. Former Office of Management and Director Russ Vought defended the decision and said "we would do it again," telling Stat that not only did the administration have the authority, it was also "the right thing to do in order to move as quickly as possible because lives were on the line." Other Trump officials seemed to agree, per Stat, arguing that successful vaccines would reduce hospitalizations, making Warp Speed the more consequential outlet. It's still unclear whether the decision has resulted in less money for health care providers, as the Biden administration remains mum on the subject, Stat reports. Read more at Stat News. More stories from theweek.comMcCarthy claims during House debate that Dr. Seuss has been outlawed. Dr. Seuss has not been outlawed.The myth of the male bumblerManhattan DA investigators are reportedly focusing on the Trump Organization's chief financial officer
- USA TODAY
Royal Caribbean's new ship, Odyssey of the Seas, is set to debut with departures from Israel with all passengers and crew over age 16 vaccinated.
- KFSN – Fresno
Porterville police are asking for the public's help finding a missing 68-year-old man.
- Business Insider
10 Senate Democrats tell Biden to implement recurring stimulus checks after $1.9 trillion bill is passed
A group of senators thinks direct payments should be sent out regularly as the US economy gets back on its feet.
- Business Insider
10 hours in Cancún hurt Ted Cruz's job approval more than when he tried to flip the presidential election
New polling from Morning Consult shows Ted Cruz's job approval fell more after traveling to Mexico than when he objected to the election results.
- Associated Press
A semitruck on Tuesday crashed into an SUV carrying 25 people on a Southern California highway, killing 13 and leaving others injured, authorities said. California Highway Patrol Chief Omar Watson said 12 people died at the scene, which is about 11 miles (18 kilometers) north of the U.S.-Mexico border, and another died after arriving at the hospital. Hospital officials earlier reported there were 15 killed and more people in the SUV.
A filter that digitally removes beards is circulating on TikTok, but it can't be found on the app - you'll have to go to Snapchat to use it.
Design bloggers and Ikea fans told Insider the items they pick up at the store from trendy houseplants to decorative pillows.
See the mother-daughter duo serve up a sweet message in their first shared fashion campaign.
- The Daily Beast
DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS / Getty ImagesPrince Harry and Meghan Markle are being urged by some commentators in the U.K. to ask CBS to postpone the airing of its Oprah Winfrey interview, in which they are expected to mount a stinging attack on the royal family, as concern mounts over Prince Philip’s prospects of beating an infection.Prince Harry Tells Oprah He Left the Royals Because He Feared Meghan Markle Would Suffer Like Princess Diana Philip, 99, was moved to a specialist heart hospital on Monday and royal sources have been quoted by British newspapers saying the family is “pretty appalled” at the idea of the interview, which Oprah has said sees Meghan saying “pretty shocking things” being broadcast while Philip is so unwell.Penny Junor, author of Prince Harry, Brother, Soldier, Son, told The Daily Beast that airing the interview while Prince Philip was undergoing very public health travails risked making the interview look inappropriate, saying, “Anything could hijack this interview. Philip is ill. He is 99 and could die at any time. They were not to know he would get ill, but it could be seen to be the wrong time. But I doubt it is in their gift to postpone the interview. The control is in the hands of CBS and Oprah.”Robert Lacey, historical consultant for The Crown and author of the definitive royal biography Majesty, told The Daily Beast, “I think it would be a marvelous turnaround for Harry’s image if he took the brave step of canceling the whole thing this weekend—or, if that’s not practical, postponing it at least.”Royal commentator and former editor of Who’s Who Richard Fitzwilliams said it would “surely be appropriate” to postpone the interview.He told MailOnline, “Oprah is their friend and neighbor and would undoubtedly comply if asked and the gesture would I am sure be appreciated by the royal family. If an interview has been extended, as this recently has, it can also be postponed, as this undoubtedly should be.” Royal biographer Robert Jobson told the Mail, “With the Duke of Edinburgh clearly very unwell, the fact that the couple plan to go ahead with airing their self-indulgent, no-holds-barred interview with chat show queen Oprah Winfrey makes them appear heartless, thoughtless, and supremely selfish.“For U.S. broadcast network CBS, this interview is a coup, all about securing big viewing figures and big advert sales around the airing of their exclusive interview. So even if they wanted to, Harry and Meghan probably couldn’t dictate terms to Oprah Winfrey and the network now. Too much has been invested.”A TV industry insider told the Mirror, “CBS has sold millions of dollars worth of advertising around the interview, but bosses are aware of the delicacy of the Duke’s health. They have no loyalty to the royal family, although some feel as though they do to Harry and Meghan. For it to run if Philip’s condition worsened would be like setting off a diplomatic bomb. It would be grossly insensitive and hugely disrespectful.”Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.
- Business Insider
Top US general in the Middle East says troops were evacuated at just the right moment before a ballistic missile attack so Iran wouldn't know they left
A US general says that he believes Iran "expected to destroy a number of US aircraft and to kill a number of US service members."
- Business Insider
Biden refused to sanction MBS over Khashoggi's murder because he doesn't want his relationship with Saudi Arabia to get worse, officials say
A US intelligence report released Friday found that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman directly approved the 2018 killing of Jamal Khashoggi.