IN ADDITION TO GENX, SIX MORE CHEMICALS FOUND IN CAPE FEAR DOWNSTREAM FROM TEFLON PLANT: All seven of the chemicals were found in the river below the plant, where more than 300,000 people get their drinking water. None of the chemicals was discovered in the river above the plant, leading researchers to believe Chemours was the source. It is not known whether GenX or the other chemicals that researchers found pose a health threat to humans because they are classified as “emerging contaminants” and not regulated by state or federal agencies. But the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services issued a statement Friday saying studies on animals found that GenX caused testicular, pancreatic and liver cancer. “Whether or not animal effects will be the same in humans is not known,” the statement said. Scientists say the chemicals found in the Cape Fear River are so new that they cannot determine exactly how much is in the water or how harmful they might be.
MCCAIN'S SURGERY FORCES DELAY OF HEALTH CARE VOTE IN SENATE: Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Saturday he will delay consideration of health care legislation in the Senate, after Sen. John McCain's announced absence following surgery left Republicans short of votes on their marquee legislation. McConnell's announcement amounted to another setback for GOP efforts, promoted by President Donald Trump, to repeal and replace "Obamacare" after years of promises. McConnell issued his statement not long after McCain's office disclosed that he had undergone surgery to remove a blood clot from above his left eye, and had been advised by his doctors to stay in Arizona next week to recover. With the vote set for the coming week now indefinitely postponed, GOP success in its long-promised Obamacare repeal grows all the more uncertain, despite heavy lobbying in recent days by Trump administration officials.
WEALTHY TEXAS BIGOTS THREATEN PRIMARIES FOR FAILURE TO PASS TRANSGENDER BATHROOM BILL: The Conservative Republicans of Texas political action committee says it's ready to pounce on those who don't support the strict proposal that mimicked a 2015 North Carolina law that sparked so much uproar and threats of costly boycotts that lawmakers there eventually rolled much of it back. No other state has approved such a law, despite similar bills being introduced in nearly 20 states. "To the extent that someone chooses to lock arms with Joe Straus and promote his liberal agenda for the state, and work with him to kill conservative legislation, we're going to be looking for and back a primary challenger to that individual," said Jared Woodfill, a Houston attorney who is the group's president. Woodfill's PAC donated nearly $2 million between the 2010 and 2016 election cycles to 100-plus Texas legislative candidates and other conservative causes, and plans to spend lavishly to target moderate Republicans up for election in 2018.
QATAR'S OSTRACIZATION MAY HAVE BEEN PRECIPITATED BY HACKING INCIDENT: The United Arab Emirates orchestrated the hacking of Qatari government news and social media sites in order to post incendiary false quotes attributed to Qatar's emir, Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad al-Thani, in late May that sparked the ongoing upheaval between Qatar and its neighbors, according to U.S. intelligence officials. Officials became aware last week that newly analyzed information gathered by U.S. intelligence agencies confirmed that on May 23, senior members of the UAE government discussed the plan and its implementation. The officials said it remains unclear whether the UAE carried out the hacks itself or contracted to have them done. The false reports said that the emir, among other things, had called Iran an "Islamic power" and praised Hamas.
HOMEGROWN NC TERRORIST MURDERED NEIGHBOR TO FINANCE PLANNED KILLING SPREE: A man who just started a life prison sentence for plotting to shoot hundreds of people for Islamic State is in court for a killing that authorities say he thought would help finance his plans. Justin Nojan Sullivan is scheduled in court Monday in the Appalachian foothills town of Morganton. The 21-year-old was sentenced to life in federal prison last month after pleading guilty last year for his foiled plot to attack a nightclub or concert. Authorities say Sullivan took a rifle from his father’s gun cabinet and killed 74-year-old neighbor John Bailey Clark in December 2014. Court documents say Sullivan took the man’s money for his terror plot. The News-Herald of Morganton reports Clark had $157 in his bank account and lived on a $600 monthly government check.