Good morning, here’s what you missed over the weekend.
1. KKK “parade” is an utter failure.
In the days after Donald Trump’s election, the NC-based Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan announced that they would hold a parade in North Carolina to celebrate on December 3. They didn’t specify the location until Friday night, that it would be in Pelham, where the group is based.
In response, hundreds of counter-protesters showed up in Pelham on Saturday. Here’s what happened:
Yep, that’s right. They never showed up. From our friends at Triad City Beat:
After completing the 1.2-mile loop, the protesters piled into cars and headed north to Danville, a small industrial city 13 miles to the north, just across the Virginia state line, attempting to locate the Klan.
The whereabouts of the Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan remained unclear for much of the morning. Multiple calls by Triad City Beat to a hotline listed on the group’s website went unreturned. One protester who spoke on condition of anonymity said two representatives of the Klan appeared at the Piedmont Triad Visitor Center and gave an interview to CNN before being quickly hustled away under a heavy law enforcement escort.
So yep, that’s two places where they were supposed to hold the parade, where they didn’t. Instead, in the late afternoon, about thirty cars and trucks flying Confederate flags drove through Roxboro, 50 minutes away, and shouted out “White power!” and other racist epithets. So brave.
Also, the founder of the group couldn’t make the rally because he was in jail, after he encouraged one Klan member to stab another Klan member. Yeah, seriously.
Meanwhile, a solidarity rally in Moore Square in Raleigh organized by the Triangle Unity Mayday Coalition drew around around a thousand protesters.
More about all of this in Wednesday’s paper.
2. Dakota Access Pipeline project halted due to Standing Rock protests.
Finally, some good news. From Indian Country Today:
Federal officials with the Department of Army announced on Sunday December 3 that they would not approve permits for construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline. The denial halts construction of the $3.8 billion dollar project that has been partially stalled at the easement of the contested Missouri River, the primary water source for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe.
The decision is a significant victory for the tribal nation and thousands of water protectors camped near the construction site of the pipeline project who have until tomorrow, Monday Dec. 5 to evacuate the sprawling Oceti Sakowin Camp.
While Sunday’s decision is seen as a major victory for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and its thousands of supporters, tribal leaders and organizers behind the movement are celebrating with caution.
“We hope that Kelcy Warren, Governor [Jack] Dalrymple and the incoming Trump administration respect this decision and understand the complex process that led us to this point,” said Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Chairman Dave Archambault II in a prepared statement, referring to Energy Transfer Partners, CEO and the governor of North Dakota.
“Our network is singing the victory song with the Standing Rock Sioux,” said Tom Goldtooth, director of the Indigenous Environmental Network. “However, we are cautiously hopeful that this is a total win.”
3. General Assembly special session set for December 13.
Gov. Pat McCrory on Friday set Dec. 13 as the date for a special session of the legislature to authorize funding and other disaster relief measures for parts of the state damaged by Hurricane Matthew.
McCrory announced the anticipated session in Kinston at the fifth and final regional meeting of a hurricane committee he formed.
“Now that we have received input directly from the communities most impacted by Hurricane Matthew, I am officially requesting that the legislature convene for a special session to address these important needs as quickly as possible,” McCrory said in a statement his office released. “I want to thank the communities for their feedback and the members of the committee for their tireless work to help North Carolina recover. While this is the final regional meeting, our work (to) help those in need is far from complete.”
Meanwhile, McCory is keeping the election going:
The recount of about 94,000 ballots in Durham County should be finished well before the 7 p.m. Monday deadline, officials said Sunday as the tabulations were in full swing.
The Durham County Board of Elections hired more than 50 locals and brought in extra vote-counting machines to help speed the recount, which began Saturday afternoon after emergency meetings held by both the county board and the state board of elections that tackled controversial election issues around the state.
After a partial recount in Durham was reported Sunday night, Governor-elect Roy Cooper picked up three votes and McCrory lost one.
Keep an eye on both of these things and how they relate to each other. Also, you should be aware
4. Salisbury, N.C. man goes to D.C. pizza place, which he read on the internet was the center of a child-sex trafficking ring run by Hillary Clinton, with an assault rifle; causes extreme panic.
I give up:
A North Carolina man was arrested Sunday after he walked into a popular pizza restaurant in Northwest Washington carrying an assault rifle and fired one or more shots, D.C. police said. The man told police he had come to the restaurant to “self-investigate” a false election-related conspiracy theory involving Hillary Clinton that spread online during her presidential campaign.
The incident caused panic, with several businesses going into lockdown as police swarmed the neighborhood after receiving the call shortly before 3 p.m.
Police said 28-year-old Edgar Maddison Welch, of Salisbury, N.C., walked in the front door of Comet Ping Pong and pointed a firearm in the direction of a restaurant employee. The employee was able to flee and notify police. Police said Welch proceeded to discharge the rifle inside the restaurant; they believe all other occupants had fled when Welch began shooting.
The restaurant’s owner and employees were threatened on social media in the days before the election after fake news stories circulated claiming that then-Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and her campaign chief were running a child sex ring from the restaurant’s backrooms. Even Michael Flynn, a retired general whom President-elect Trump has tapped to advise him on national security, shared stories about another anti-Clinton conspiracy theory involving pedophilia. None of them were true. But the fake stories and threats persisted, some even aimed at children of Comet Ping Pong employees and patrons. The restaurant’s owner was forced to contact the FBI, local police, Facebook and other social-media platforms in an effort to remove the articles.
5. Busy weekend for global politics.
On Sunday, both the prime ministers of Italy and New Zealand resigned, with Italian prime minister Matteo Renzi resigning after losing a referendum on the country’s constitution. (Why do they keep doing this?)
Meanwhile in Austria, a former head of the country’s Green Party running as an independent successfully prevented a neo-Nazi from becoming the nation’s president. So that’s good.
Trump, meanwhile, caused an international incident:
President-elect Donald J. Trump spoke by telephone with Taiwan’s president on Friday, a striking break with nearly four decades of diplomatic practice that could precipitate a major rift with China even before Mr. Trump takes office.
Mr. Trump’s office said he had spoken with the Taiwanese president, Tsai Ing-wen, “who offered her congratulations.” He is believed to be the first president or president-elect who has spoken to a Taiwanese leader since at least 1979, when the United States severed diplomatic ties with Taiwan as part of its recognition of the People’s Republic of China.
In the statement, Mr. Trump’s office said the two leaders had noted “the close economic, political, and security ties” between Taiwan and the United States. Mr. Trump, it said, “also congratulated President Tsai on becoming President of Taiwan earlier this year.”
Mr. Trump’s motives in taking the call, which lasted more than 10 minutes, were not clear. In a Twitter message late Friday, he said Ms. Tsai “CALLED ME.”
That’s reassuring. Here’s one possible reason Trump is so warm towards Taiwan:
Investors are welcome, and on Sept. 8, a Taiwanese-American woman named Chen Siting, or Charlyne Chen, arrived, claiming to represent a very prominent businessman: Donald J. Trump. She had been referred to the Taoyuan mayor by Annette Lu, a former vice president of Taiwan, the mayor’s office said in a statement on its website.
“I told them: Isn’t Mr. Trump campaigning for president? Isn’t he very busy?” the mayor, Cheng Wen-tsan, said in a television interview that aired on Nov. 18, referring to Ms. Chen’s group. “They said she is a company representative. His company is still continuing to look for the world’s best real estate projects, and they very much understand Taiwan.”
“She had authorization documents issued by the Trump company,” he said, without specifying.
That’s it, have a good weekend.