A suspected suicide bombing that killed twenty-two people at a concert in Manchester, England, is the major news story of the week. BBC News has an overview of the situation here. A 22-year-old Manchester man, Salman Abedi, has been named as the suspected bomber, and seven other men, some of whom are related to Abedi, had been arrested in connection with the attack at the time of writing. The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the bombing, and the U.K. has raised its terror threat level from “severe” to “critical,” meaning that another attack may be imminent. Keep reading for more news.
The investigation into Russian involvement in the presidential election continues to dominate the news this week. On Wednesday, the Justice Department appointed Robert S. Mueller as special counsel responsible for leading the investigation. The appointment comes after it was reported that former FBI director James Comey kept memos contemporaneously documenting his conversations about the investigation with President Donald Trump. Mueller previously served as FBI director under George W. Bush and Barack Obama. Keep reading for more news.
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The big news of the week was President Donald Trump’s unexpected removal of James Comey as FBI director. The News Hour has an overview of the situation here. FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe will take over for Comey until a new director is appointed by President Trump and confirmed by the Senate. There have been seven full-time directors of the Bureau since 1935; this is only the second time that a director has been fired. Keep reading for more news.
The Charleston Post and Courier reports that Michael Slager, a former North Charleston police officer who shot and killed Walter Scott in 2015, pleaded guilty this week to a federal criminal charge of deprivation of rights under the color of law. The incident involving Slager and Scott was captured on video which appeared to show Slager shooting at Scott’s back after a scuffle. As the News Roundup previously noted, a homicide case against Slager ended in a mistrial late last year. As part of the plea deal, other state and federal charges pending against Slager will be dismissed. Keep reading for more news.
There was tragic news from Bertie Correctional Institution this week where Sergeant Meggan Lee Callahan died Wednesday evening after being attacked by an inmate. Craig Wissink, who is serving a life sentence for murder, is suspected of killing Callahan, according to this report from the Charlotte Observer. State facilities have been directed to fly North Carolina flags at half-staff until sunset today in tribute to Callahan.
A shocking murder transfixed the nation this week and led to a multi-state manhunt that ended Tuesday with the perpetrator’s suicide. In Cleveland on Sunday, Steve W. Stephens posted a video to Facebook where he shoots and kills Robert Godwin Sr., a stranger to Stephens seemingly targeted at random. The News Hour has an overview of the story here. After a two-day manhunt, a McDonalds employee in Pennsylvania recognized Stephens and called police. Following a brief chase ended by a PIT maneuver, Stephens killed himself. Keep reading for more news.
The News & Observer reports that the General Assembly has passed a bill that reduces the number of judges on the North Carolina Court of Appeals from fifteen to twelve. The bill is controversial – supporters say that fewer judges are needed because the workload of the Court of Appeals has declined over the past decade while opponents say that the intent of the bill is to limit Governor Roy Cooper’s ability to replace judges who are approaching mandatory retirement. The legislation is House Bill 239, which Jeff mentioned a few weeks ago in a post about the court’s caseload.
This is the last post of the week as the SOG is closed tomorrow for a holiday, keep reading for more news.
Arkansas is preparing to execute eight death row prisoners over the course of eleven days later this month in an effort to carry out death sentences before one of the drugs the state uses for lethal injection expires. NPR has an overview of the situation here. The plan, which involves executing two prisoners a day, is being criticized on various grounds including that it diminishes the significance of the punishment, risks botched executions, exposes prison staff to significant stress, and leaves insufficient time for clemency appeals. Keep reading for more news.
The Associated Press reports that North Carolina has become the first state in the nation to require all attorneys, regardless of practice area, to reveal any credible evidence or information that creates a reasonable likelihood that a person convicted of a crime is innocent. The disclosure requirement was adopted earlier this month as Rule of Professional Conduct 8.6 – “Information About a Possible Wrongful Conviction.” Keep reading for more news.
A deadly terrorist attack outside the British Parliament in London is dominating international headlines this week. As the New York Times reports, a British-born man, Khalid Masood, has been identified as the perpetrator and the Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the attack. Three people were killed, including a Utah man, when Masood drove a vehicle into pedestrians on Westminster Bridge and then fatally stabbed a police constable. Masood was shot and killed by police. Keep reading for more news.