Nation and world news briefs

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‘I got a tree’: NAACP rips North Carolina county leader for lynching comment

RALEIGH, N.C. — A North Carolina county leader is under fire for making an online comment that suggested lynching.

In response to a Facebook post about a Black man charged with killing a 5-year-old white child, one Facebook user reportedly wrote: “I got a rope,” the Scotland County NAACP said Monday.

“I got a tree,” Tim Ivey, a Scotland County commissioner, responded, according to screenshots obtained by organization.

The NAACP chapter said it reported a “grievance” to Scotland County commissioners and urged Ivey to apologize.

“Of particular concern is Mr. Ivey’s implication that the accused person should not be tried and convicted; but rather, he should be sentenced to death without due process of law in much the same way that many people of color have been subjected to in our country,” the NAACP said in its letter to commissioners.

Darius Sessoms, 25, is accused of fatally shooting Cannon Hinnant in Wilson, a city roughly 50 miles east of Raleigh, on Aug. 9. The case drew national attention as social media erupted with racist comments. Sessoms’ mother said her son killed Cannon in “a drug-fueled haze,” The News & Observer reported.

“At the time the post was made, I had no idea of the race of the person that committed the crime,” Ivey said Wednesday in response to the NAACP. “My post was in response to the cold-blooded murder of an innocent child and the circumstances in which they occurred.”

In its letter to commissioners, the NAACP said Scotland County, southwest of Raleigh along the South Carolina border, “is comprised of people with a variety of ethnicities, religions, socioeconomic status, and customs. It is expected that his public comments would reflect the sentiments of everyone he was elected to represent.”

Ivey said he has made a similar post about the officer involved in the death of George Floyd and shared information about two other children who were killed, without receiving backlash.

“I stand behind my position, that all these murders should be dealt with equally and in the most heinous fashion as possible,” he wrote Wednesday on Facebook. “We must send a very loud message that it will no longer be tolerated.”

—The News & Observer (Raleigh, N.C.)


The Coast Guard brought $325 million of cocaine and marijuana into Port Everglades

MIAMI — About 11,500 pounds of cocaine and 17,000 pounds of marijuana were offloaded at Port Everglades Thursday morning from the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Hamilton, according to the Coast Guard’s Seventh District Southeast.

The drugs were seized from operations in the Eastern Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. The Coast Guard puts the value at $228 million, a wholesale number.

As for what that means on a Miami street in cash, 11,500 pounds is 5,227 kilograms. A DEA agent talking to the South Florida Sun Sentinel in 2017 put the per gram price at $50 to $80, which means a kilo goes for at least $50,000. That puts the cocaine’s Miami street value at, minimum, $261,350,000.

As for the marijuana, 609 contributors to says medium quality goes for $234.05 per ounce in Fort Lauderdale. The marijuana street value of $63,661,600 with the cocaine makes what was offloaded worth at least $325,011,500.

—Miami Herald


Minneapolis police investigating city’s 53rd homicide of the year, fourth this week

MINNEAPOLIS — A man shot on Minneapolis’ South Side early Thursday died at an area hospital a few hours later, as police launched a search for his killer, according to officials.

The shooting occurred under unknown circumstances in the 3500 block of S. Chicago Avenue, in the Central neighborhood. The location is several blocks north of where George Floyd was killed three months ago, but officials don’t believe that Thursday’s homicide had anything to do with the memorial site.

The victim’s identity hasn’t yet been released, but he is thought to be in his 20s.

Police were dispatched to the location about 4 a.m. Thursday after the area’s ShotSpotter network detected the sound of gunfire nearby, but officers didn’t immediately find a victim. Officers did see a vehicle speeding away from the scene, which was believed to be carrying the victim to an area hospital. He died there a few hours later, officials said.

No arrests had been announced as of Thursday afternoon.

The slaying, Minneapolis’ fourth homicide this week and the 53rd homicide overall this year, came after a night of unrest in other parts of the city because of a false report that police had shot a suspect in a separate homicide. A curfew was imposed, and The Minnesota National Guard was deployed along with state troopers.

—Star Tribune (Minneapolis)


Right-wing pundit Ann Coulter praises accused Kenosha killer: ‘I want him as my president’

With the country reeling from the Kenosha police shooting of Jacob Blake seven times in the back, controversial commentator Ann Coulter stood up in support of a white teenager who fatally shot two protesters.

“I want him as my president,” Coulter tweeted Wednesday in response to a fan account with a biography that refers to the pundit as “jaw-dropping gorgeous.”

Kyle Rittenhouse, 17, was arrested Wednesday and charged with first-degree intentional homicide for the deaths of two protesters, one 26 and the other 36, during anti-racism, anti-police brutality protests Tuesday night.

Video from Kenosha that night shows a man, believed to be Rittenhouse, running down a street carrying a long gun, then falling and beginning to shoot.

A third person was also injured in the gunfire.

While many were outraged by the killings, a few credited Rittenhouse as a “vigilante” protecting his community.

—New York Daily News