HILLSBOROUGH BAR (AND CHAMBER) HAVE A PROUD BOY PROBLEM: Hot Tin Roof patron, Colin Dodd, sparked the controversy with a series of posts about a Hillsborough resident and known Proud Boy who had been frequenting the bar and occasionally bringing some of his friends with him. Kim Tesoro, a co-owner of the bar Hot Tin Roof, was hired as CEO of the Hillsborough/Orange County Chamber of Commerce in 2017. The issues surrounding the Proud Boys patronizing the bar “are in the hands of the ownership of Hot Tin Roof and their legal counsel,” the board said. Tesoro has referred questions to the bar’s attorney, Lynne Holtkamp, who issued a statement on July 7 but has not returned The N&O’s phone calls. I don't give AF about "diverse" opinions, Proud Boys are dangerous. They've attacked people in public several times, and took part in attempted coup of our elected government. They don't get a seat at the table, or the bar.
UNC WILL REQUIRE VACCINATIONS OR WEEKLY COVID TESTING THIS FALL: The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill notified students and parents this week of a change to the campus-wide COVID-19 testing program known as the Carolina Together Testing Program. Any students who can prove vaccination will no longer be subject to regular testing. Students who are not vaccinated or those who decide not to share their vaccination status with the university will be required to get a COVID-19 test within 24 hours of arrival on campus or in Chapel Hill for the fall. Those same students must then test at least once a week throughout the semester. "Failure to complete one or both of these requirements is a COVID-19 Community Standards violation and may result in discipline by the Office of Student Conduct," the university wrote in a letter to students. UNC is offering the vaccine, by appointment and free of charge, to anyone over the age of 12 in the Students Stores Pharmacy on the top floor at 209 South Road. Some walk-in appointments are available.
WAKEMED JOINS OTHER HOSPITALS IN REQUIRING ALL EMPLOYEES AND VOLUNTEERS TO GET VACCINATED: Another major North Carolina hospital system will require workers to get a COVID-19 vaccine. WakeMed Health & Hospitals informed its staff last week of its decision and confirmed the plan to The Associated Press on Tuesday. The Raleigh-area system with 946 beds across three acute care hospitals and one physical rehabilitation hospital has not yet decided when the requirement will take effect but said it will apply to “all employees, providers and volunteers in the near future.” Several other hospital networks, including Durham-based Duke University Health System, Chapel Hill-based UNC Health, Charlotte-based Atrium Health, Greensboro-based Cone Health, Wake Forest Baptist Health and Winston-Salem based Novant Health, announced last week that they would soon compel workers to get a COVID-19 shot. Dr. Mandy Cohen, North Carolina's top public health official, praised the move to mandate vaccinations.
CAPITOL COPS CUT LOOSE ON TRUMP AND HIS DERANGED FOLLOWERS: Capitol Police Sgt. Aquilino Gonell castigated former president Donald Trump for having characterized his supporters who convened in Washington on Jan. 6 as “a loving crowd.” Gonell was asked about Trump’s phrase by Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), one of the two Republicans on the committee. “To me, it’s insulting, just demoralizing because of everything that we did to prevent everyone in the Capitol from getting hurt,” Gonell said. “And what he was doing, instead of sending the military, instead of sending the support or telling his people, his supporters, to stop this nonsense, he begged them to continue fighting.” He said that members of the mob on Jan. 6 repeatedly told him that “Trump sent us.” “It was not antifa. It was not Black Lives Matter. It was not the FBI. It was his supporters that he sent them over to the Capitol that day. And he could have done a lot of things,” Gonell said. “One of them was to tell them to stop.” D.C. police officer Daniel Hodges recounted the harrowing experiences he faced while protecting the Capitol from insurrectionists, whom he repeatedly characterized as “terrorists” and “Donald Trump’s people” as he delivered his opening statement Tuesday. Hodges recalled watching the day quickly turn from a “peaceful assembly into terrorism” that ultimately left him brutally beaten and pinned between the rioters and a Capitol door frame, wondering whether he would die there or be dragged to the building’s West Front by taunting insurrections to be “lynched by the mob.”
US COMBAT FORCES WILL BE OUT OF IRAQ BY THE END OF 2021: US President Joe Biden and Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi on Monday sealed an agreement formally ending the US combat mission in Iraq by the end of 2021, more than 18 years after US troops were sent to the country. Coupled with Biden’s withdrawal of the last American forces in Afghanistan by the end of August, the Democratic president is completing US combat missions in the two wars that then-President George W Bush began under his watch. Biden and Kadhimi met in the Oval Office for their first face-to-face talks as part of a strategic dialogue between the United States and Iraq. “Our role in Iraq will be … to be available, to continue to train, to assist, to help and to deal with ISIS as it arises, but we’re not going to be, by the end of the year, in a combat mission,” Biden told reporters as he and Kadhimi met. There are currently 2,500 US troops in Iraq focusing on countering the remnants of ISIL (ISIS). The US role in Iraq will shift entirely to training and advising the Iraqi military to defend itself. The shift is not expected to have a major effect since the United States has already moved towards focusing on training Iraqi forces. Kadhimi is seen as friendly to the United States and has tried to check the power of Iran-aligned fighter groups. But his government condemned a US air raid against Iran-aligned fighters along its border with Syria in late June, calling it a violation of Iraqi sovereignty.