LAND HAS BEEN PURCHASED FOR RALEIGH SOCCER STADIUM AND OTHER DEVELOPMENT: The purchase of the first tract of land is split across both sides of the I-40 beltline next to South Saunders Street and was bought from the North Carolina Equipment Company for $11 million. The second site at the intersection of I-40 and South Wilmington Street was bought for $8.6 million from Elite Waste Services, a Raleigh waste company. The remaining 44.5 acres of land for the proposed stadium to the right of South Saunders Street and Penmarc Drive will be purchased next year from seller Alice Penny, Redmond said. An outdoor 20,000-seat stadium surrounded by high-rises and other private development is envisioned for the future. Developers want the stadium to hold other athletic, musical and community events beside NCFC and NC Courage matches. Downtown South has been described by Malik as another “North Hills,” referencing the project’s proposed office, retail, hotel and apartment space. The proposal consists of 1.6 million square feet of office space, 1,200 hotel rooms, 1,750 apartments and 125,00 square feet of retail.
NC REPUBLICANS WHINE ABOUT BLOCK TO VOTER ID LAW: "To issue an injunction against one of the nation’s most lenient voter ID laws – which 34 states already have – without providing an opinion is an outrageous affront to due process, the rights of North Carolina voters and the rule of law," Moore said in an emailed statement. Other legislative Republicans struck a similar chord, calling on Stein or the elections board to fight the injunction. House Rules Chairman David Lewis said in a text that the General Assembly will also "explore additional options to ensure that the people's vote for voter ID is respected." The announcement means the court gave weight to arguments made by several NAACP branches pressing the case and arguing that a voter ID law the General Assembly passed in 2018 is discriminatory, much like a version passed in 2013 and later struck down by the courts. Unlike the 2013 law, the 2018 version followed a constitutional amendment that North Carolina voters approved, adding a voter ID requirement to the state constitution. Lawmakers then passed more detailed rules, over Gov. Roy Cooper's veto, to implement that requirement.
AFTER FIGHTING INJUSTICE FOR DECADES, JOHN LEWIS VOWS TO FIGHT PANCREATIC CANCER ALSO: Civil rights icon and US Democratic Rep. John Lewis of Georgia has been diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer, his office announced Sunday. Lewis, 79, will undergo treatment for it, his office said. "I have been in some kind of fight -- for freedom, equality, basic human rights -- for nearly my entire life. I have never faced a fight quite like the one I have now," Lewis said in a statement. "This month in a routine medical visit, and subsequent tests, doctors discovered Stage IV pancreatic cancer. This diagnosis has been reconfirmed," he said. "While I am clear-eyed about the prognosis, doctors have told me that recent medical advances have made this type of caner treatable in many cases, that treatment options are no longer as debilitating as they once were, and that I have a fighting chance," he added.
HUGE SPIKE IN ANTISEMITIC ATTACKS LEAVES AMERICAN JEWS FEELING VULNERABLE: Hours after a knife-wielding man barged into a Hanukkah party in a New York suburb, stabbing five people, top officials condemned the crime as part of a disturbing trend. New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo called it "domestic terrorism," linking it to the recent spate of violence against Jewish people in New York. Anti-Semitic attacks are on the rise around the country, leaving members of the Jewish community feeling frightened and unsafe. In New York City, anti-Semitic crimes have jumped 21 percent in the past year. According to the Anti-Defamation League, there were 1,879 incidents of anti-Semitism in the United States in 2018, including more than 1,000 instances of harassment. On Dec. 23, a 28-year-old man punched and kicked a 65-year-old in midtown Manhattan while yelling anti-Semitic slurs, police said. Steven Jorge was charged with assault in the second degree as a hate crime. On Thursday, an Orthodox woman was walking with her 3-year-old son in Gravesend, a neighborhood in Brooklyn, when she was approached from behind by Ayana Logan, officials said. Logan, 42, whacked the 34-year-old mother in the head, officials say, and delivered an ominous message: “You f---ing Jew. Your end is coming to you.” She was arraigned on charges of assault as a hate crime, menacing as a hate crime and endangering the welfare of a child.
TALIBAN AGREES TO 10-DAY CEASE-FIRE TO PURSUE PEACE TALKS WITH U.S.: The Taliban’s ruling council agreed Sunday to a temporary cease-fire in Afghanistan, providing a window in which a peace agreement with the United States can be signed, officials from the insurgent group said. They didn’t say when it would begin. A cease-fire had been demanded by Washington before any peace agreement could be signed. A peace deal would allow the U.S. to bring home its troops from Afghanistan and end its 18-year military engagement there, America’s longest. There was no immediate response from Washington. The U.S. wants any deal to include a promise from the Taliban that Afghanistan would not be used as a base by terrorist groups. The U.S. currently has an estimated 12,000 troops in Afghanistan. The Taliban chief must approve the cease-fire decision but that was expected. The duration of the cease-fire was not specified but it was suggested it would last for 10 days. It was also not specified when the cease-fire would begin.