NC’s Madison Cawthorn calls for darker political group to defeat ‘weak’ Republicans
WASHINGTON — Two days after U.S. Rep. Madison Cawthorn lost his reelection campaign, the first-term North Carolina Republican called on a political movement to put a more vengeful former President Donald Trump back in power and seek revenge on his enemies.
“It’s time for the rise of the new right, it’s time for Dark MAGA to truly take command,” Cawthorn wrote on Instagram. “We have an enemy to defeat, but we will never be able to defeat them until we defeat the cowardly and weak member of our own party. Their days are numbered. We are coming.”
Twitter users describe “Dark MAGA” — a take on Trump’s Make America Great Again slogan — as group that believes there’s not a political solution beyond vengeance, Newsweek reported, and that the former president has been too kindhearted and forgiving to his political opponents. It also has ties to neo-Nazi and white supremacy, Business Insider reported.
Cawthorn lost Tuesday night to N.C. Sen. Chuck Edwards, who challenged him in the 11th Congressional District primary. Cawthorn conceded the election before the race was called and went silent on social media until Thursday afternoon.
—McClatchy Washington Bureau
Missouri school board to vote on banning another book for sexual content
ST. LOUIS — Months after causing a national uproar with its first book ban, the Wentzville School Board is expected to vote Thursday on a recommendation to yank another acclaimed book from school libraries.
The school district's review committee voted 5-4 to pull the comic memoir "Fun Home" by Alison Bechdel, citing graphic illustrations of sexual activity.
"I stand by my initial decision to purchase this title. … However, based on my professional opinion and 18 years as a teacher in the WSD, I would have chosen to remove this book from our collection had I read it myself," a committee member identified as the Liberty High School librarian commented in the recommendation. "I do not believe the pictures of sex are appropriate for our students."
"Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic" is the 2006 memoir of Bechdel's relationship with her father, who she learned was gay after coming out herself. The book was adapted to a Tony Award-winning musical and frequently lands on banned book lists.
The Library Journal recommends "Fun Home" for older teens, and the American Library Association calls it an “outstanding book for the college bound," the librarian said.
—St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Mysterious hepatitis cases in kids keep climbing as scientists search for a cause
MIAMI — No unusual cases of severe hepatitis among children have been confirmed in Florida despite a global rise in cases and an ongoing investigation into what’s causing the outbreak, which has affected more than 500 kids worldwide, including more than 150 in the United States.
Doctors and public health officials in South Florida and elsewhere have been on alert for unusual hepatitis cases without a known cause since an April 21 advisory from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notified them of a cluster of severe cases in Alabama among previously healthy children dating back to October.
Since then the global count, including retrospective cases that are not new, has grown to at least 500 children in 20 countries, including 180 pediatric patients in the United States over the past seven months, an increase of 71 cases over the number reported two weeks ago, the CDC said on Wednesday.
Jeremy Redfern, press secretary for the Florida Department of Health, said state officials have been on the lookout for potential cases but that none have been confirmed to date.
Biden weighs meeting Saudi crown prince in sign of thawing
WASHINGTON — U.S. President Joe Biden is weighing a meeting with Saudi Arabia’s Mohammed bin Salman as soon as next month, according to people familiar with the matter, after avoiding contact with the crown prince over the murder of columnist Jamal Khashoggi.
The move will mark a shift for Biden. Early in his presidency, the White House had said that Biden would deal only with Saudi Arabia’s official head of state, King Salman. An administration official, who asked not to be identified because of the sensitivity of the matter, said Biden may visit the Middle East for meetings with the Gulf Cooperation Council, a regional political and economic union, and noted that Saudi Arabia currently holds the presidency of the group.
The people familiar with the matter asked not to be identified because a meeting remains under discussion. CNN reported earlier that planning was underway for a meeting between Biden and MBS, as he is also known.
A spokeswoman for the White House National Security Council said they have no travel to announce at this time. Saudi Arabia’s Center for International Communication, and the Saudi Embassy in Washington, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.