LOUIS DEJOY IS WREAKING HAVOC AT THE POSTAL SERVICE: Critics say the Greensboro businessman already has launched policies that have slowed mail service. They worry that as a major donor to President Donald Trump, he’ll delay delivery of what’s expected to be a flood of absentee ballots that could decide the presidential election. “DeJoy has engineered an unconstitutional assault on our Postal Service from within the organization itself,” said Democratic Rep. Alma Adams of Charlotte. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said he and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had a “heated discussion” with DeJoy Wednesday over their concerns about mail delivery, according to the Washington Post. DeJoy, 63, could not be reached. But in a statement last week, he said the postal system is “financially unsustainable” stemming from “a broken business model.” He promised to fix it.
RECREATIONAL FISHERMEN FILE LAWSUIT OVER SHRIMPERS USING NETS: The lawsuit accuses shrimp trawlers of violating state and federal rules, killing off large populations of fish and churning up sediment as a byproduct of dragging shrimp nets across the sea floor. The group asks a federal judge to enforce the rules in place. "Each defendant independently and significantly has harmed North Carolina’s coastal waters by using non-selective, destructive trawling equipment to harvest shrimp, or by allowing such shrimp trawling practices to continue despite federal and state laws prohibiting such activities," the lawsuit states. The suit names a number of shrimping companies and the state Division of Marine Fisheries. A DMF spokeswoman said Thursday that the agency had no immediate comment on the case, which was filed Tuesday in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina.
WHITE RACIST MAY GET 10 YEARS FOR THREATENING BLACK FAMILIES TO GET THEM TO MOVE: Douglas Matthew Gurkins, 34, entered his plea in federal court in the Eastern District of North Carolina, the U.S. Department of Justice said in a news release. It didn't give a hometown for Gurkins, and didn't say where the incident occurred. Court officials couldn’t be reached for additional comment Thursday afternoon. According to court documents, Gurkins drove to the family’s home, yelled racial slurs at them and told them they didn’t belong in the home. According to the documents, Gurkins threatened to shoot the mother and four children and any other Black people who entered the property. He then threatened the family with a metal rod, prosecutors said. The family moved out a few days later. Within the next four years, the defendant made similar threats toward two other Black families living in the same neighborhood, according to the news release. Gurkins faces up to 10 years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000. No date for sentencing was announced.
MARK MEADOWS THROWS TEMPER TANTRUM DURING COVID RELIEF NEGOTIATIONS: With a potentially disheartening national jobs report coming on Friday and the expiration of a federal protection plan for small businesses looming over the weekend, lawmakers and White House officials ended more than three hours of negotiations on Thursday night still starkly divided over proposals for a new relief package to help the United States through the pandemic recession. The talks, held in the Capitol Hill offices of Speaker Nancy Pelosi, turned so contentious that Ms. Pelosi said Mark Meadows, the White House chief of staff, had slammed the table at one point, an accusation Mr. Meadows denied. With little to suggest a compromise was in sight, Steven Mnuchin, the Treasury secretary, said the negotiators were expected to touch base by phone on Friday to determine whether it would be worthwhile to convene in person for more negotiations. Mr. Mnuchin and Mr. Meadows accused the Democrats in Thursday’s meeting — Ms. Pelosi, of California, and Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the minority leader — of an unwillingness to compromise, while Ms. Pelosi and Mr. Schumer said administration officials continued to push for proposals that did not meet the needs caused by the pandemic. “We have always said that the Republicans and the president do not understand the gravity of the situation, and every time we meet with them, it is reinforced,” Ms. Pelosi said Thursday evening. “It’s so clear that we should do something and we should do something big, and we should do it in a way that is bipartisan.”
LAWSUIT MAY UNRAVEL ALL OF TRUMP'S NON-DISCLOSURE AGREEMENTS: In a motion for summary judgment in the case, the former campaign worker, Jessica Denson, said the campaign sought a $1.5 million claim against her for violating an NDA. She said that came after she filed a lawsuit alleging sex discrimination by campaign officials. (That separate case is ongoing.) “These NDAs are representative of the levers of fear that this campaign and administration wield over people,” Denson told The Washington Post. “And if this lever of these NDAs is lifted, it is significant not only for the direct effect it has on people who have signed it, but for a general environment of people who are afraid to speak out.” Under her agreement, Denson was not allowed to disparage Trump during her time with the campaign “and at all times thereafter,” and she cannot disclose whatever “Mr. Trump insists remain private or confidential,” as defined by him. Denson’s attorney, David Bowles, said that he and his legal colleagues hope to win the case before Election Day, enabling hundreds of people who may have signed similar agreements to have the contracts voided and emboldening them to speak out about Trump. “You can’t stop people from criticizing political candidates,” Bowles said. “It is the heart of the Constitution and free speech.” The Trump campaign has battled Denson for more than two years and paid nearly $1 million to a law firm involved in the case, according to federal election records, although it is not clear how much is related to the lawsuit or other legal advice.