Iran’s hijab law under review; a suspicious power outage in North Carolina is under investigation; and Russia rejects the West’s oil price cap. These stories and more highlight the morning rundown for Monday, Dec. 5, 2022.
FBI investigate North Carolina power outages
Tens of thousands of residents in one North Carolina county are without power. According to officials, there was a series of “intentional” and “targeted” attacks on power facilities.
Deemed an act of violence, gunshots were fired at substations causing the blackout, turning the mass power outage into a criminal investigation.
Schools are closed this morning but shelters are open. And curfew in place as officials investigate for a motive.
Moore County Sheriff Ronnie Fields told reporters, “Folks, we’re living in some challenging times. Challenging times. I never thought in my 40 years in law enforcement we would be seeing things and dealing with folks and dealing with things that we’re dealing with.”
Russia rejects EU’s proposed price cap
Oil from Russia now has a price cap of $60 a barrel after a European Union vote on Friday. The EU, along with the G7 nations, is trying to limit and lower the revenue Russia makes off its crude oil. The U.S. expressed support for the price cap.
“It was never about not having any Russian oil on the market. It was about balancing supply demand. But also balancing the need to limit Mr. Putin’s ability to profit. And again, we think that $60 per barrel will do that. We’re supportive of that,” John Kirby, White House National Security Council spokesman, said.
Russia said they will not sell their oil that cheap. They said they are sticking to the market price and threatened to end exports completely to countries trying to cap how much Russia can sell its oil for.
Hijab law under review by Iranian government
Months of protests in Iran could be forcing slight movement from its government. Iran’s hijab law is reportedly under review, as officials meet to discuss its strict enforcement of Islamic law. They say results from their discussions will come within the next week or two.
There are conflicting reports over whether the Iranian government already dismantled its morality police force, which enforces its dress code. The attorney general there reportedly said it had been shut down. But other officials say those remarks have been misinterpreted.
North Korea fires 130 rounds near border
North Korea has fired 130 rounds of artillery directed toward the sea border between North and South Korea.
Some of the shells landed in the buffer space between the two nations, which is in violation to their 2018 agreement meant to reduce tensions.
The North said these were warning shots, after detecting the United States and the South are performing more military drills, which are expected to continue into Tuesday.
U.S. still actively engaged in Griner negotiations
Over the weekend, Secretary of State Antony Blinken offered an update on negotiation talks with Russia on the release of Brittney Griner and Paul Whelan.
“The proof will be in the pudding, we have to see if the engagements that we’ve had produce an actual result,” Blinken said. “The other side gets a vote in this. It’s not just what we want, it’s what they’re prepared to do. And this is something we’re working on almost every day.”
An original offer from the U.S. was put on the table in July. But a lot has changed since then.
Griner has been convicted in Russian court. Her appeal has been denied. And last month, she was sent to a penal colony, serving out her nine-year sentence of hard labor.
Graphic artist refuses business for gay couples
The Supreme Court will take up a case Monday that pits religious freedom against gay rights. A Christian graphic artist refuses to design wedding websites for gay couples. The designer says a ruling against her would force artists of all kinds to do work against their faith.
While the other side argues if the designer wins the case, it opens the door for a wide-range of businesses to discriminate.
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KARAH RUCKER: IRAN’S HIJAB LAW IS NOW UNDER REVIEW BY ITS GOVERNMENT. BUT FIRST THE F-B-I IS INVOLVED IN A SUSPICIOUS POWER OUTAGE IN NORTH CAROLINA. THIS IS YOUR MORNING UPDATE.
FBI INVESTIGATE NORTH CAROLINA POWER OUTAGES
TENS OF THOUSANDS OF RESIDENTS IN ONE NORTH CAROLINA COUNTY ARE WITHOUT POWER, AFTER A SERIES OF “INTENTIONAL” AND “TARGETED” ATTACKS ON POWER FACILITIES, ACCORDING TO OFFICIALS.
DEEMED “AN ACT OF VIOLENCE”, GUNSHOTS WERE FIRED AT SUBSTATIONS CAUSING THE BLACKOUT,
TURNING THE MASS POWER OUTAGE INTO A CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION.
SCHOOLS ARE CLOSED THIS MORNING, SHELTERS ARE OPEN, A CURFEW IN PLACE, AS OFFICIALS INVESTIGATE FOR A MOTIVE.
RONNIE FIELDS | MOORE COUNTY SHERIFF: “Folks, we’re living in some challenging times, challenging times that I never thought in my 40 years in law enforcement we would be seeing things and dealing with folks and dealing with things that we’re dealing with.”
RUSSIA REJECTS EU’S PROPOSED PRICE CAP
RUCKER: OIL FROM RUSSIA NOW HAS A PRICE CAP OF 60 DOLLARS A BARREL AFTER A EUROPEAN UNION VOTE ON FRIDAY.
THE E-U, ALONG WITH THE G-7 NATIONS, TRYING TO LIMIT AND LOWER THE REVENUE RUSSIA MAKES OFF OF IT’S CRUDE OIL.
THE U-S — EXPRESSING SUPPORT FOR THE PRICE CAP.
VOICE OF: John Kirby | White House National Security Council spokesman: “It was never about not having any Russian oil on the market. It was about balancing supply demand, but also balancing the need to limit Mr. Putin’s ability to profit. And again, we think that $60 per barrel will do that. We’re supportive of that.”
RUCKER: RUSSIA SAYS THEY’RE NOT GOING TO SELL THEIR OIL THAT CHEAP, SAYING THEY ARE STICKING TO THE MARKET PRICE, AND THREATENED TO END EXPORTS COMPLETELY TO COUNTRIES TRYING TO CAP HOW MUCH RUSSIA CAN SELL ITS OIL FOR.
HIJAB LAW UNDER REVIEW BY IRANIAN GOVERNMENT
MONTHS OF PROTESTS IN IRAN COULD BE FORCING SLIGHT MOVEMENT FROM ITS GOVERNMENT.
IRAN’S HIJAB LAW IS REPORTEDLY UNDER REVIEW, AS OFFICIALS MEET TO DISCUSS ITS STRICT ENFORCEMENT OF ISLAMIC LAW.
THEY SAY “RESULTS” FROM THEIR DISCUSSIONS WILL COME WITHIN THE NEXT WEEK OR TWO.
THERE ARE CONFLICTING REPORTS OVER WHETHER THE IRANIAN GOVERNMENT ALREADY DISMANTLED ITS MORALITY POLICE FORCE, WHICH ENFORCES ITS DRESS CODE.
THE ATTORNEY GENERAL THERE REPORTEDLY SAID IT HAD BEEN SHUT DOWN BUT OTHER OFFICIALS SAY THOSE REMARKS HAVE BEEN MIS-INTERPRETED.
NORTH KOREA FIRES 130 ROUNDS NEAR BORDER
NORTH KOREA HAS FIRED 130 ROUNDS OF ARTILLERY DIRECTED TOWARD THE SEA BORDER BETWEEN NORTH AND SOUTH KOREA.
SOME OF THE SHELLINGS LANDED IN THE BUFFER SPACE BETWEEN THE TWO NATIONS, WHICH IS IN VIOLATION TO THEIR 20-18 AGREEMENT MEANT TO REDUCE TENSIONS.
THE NORTH SAYS THESE ARE WARNING SHOTS, AFTER DETECTING THE UNITED STATES AND THE SOUTH ARE PERFORMING MORE MILITARY DRILLS, WHICH ARE EXPECTED TO CONTINUE INTO TUESDAY.
US STILL ACTIVELY ENGAGED IN GRINER NEGOTIATIONS
OVER THE WEEKEND, SECRETARY OF STATE ANTONY BLINKEN OFFERED AN UPDATE ON NEGOTIATION TALKS WITH RUSSIA ON THE RELEASE OF BRITNEY GRINER AND PAUL WHELAN.
ANTONY BLINKEN | SECRETARY OF STATE: “The proof will be in the pudding, we have to see if the engagements that we’ve had produce an actual result. The other side gets a vote in this. It’s not just what we want, it’s what they’re prepared to do and this is something we’re working on almost every day.”
AN ORIGINAL OFFER FROM THE U.S. WAS PUT ON THE TABLE IN JULY. BUT A LOT HAS CHANGED SINCE THEN.
GRINER HAS BEEN CONVICTED IN RUSSIAN COURT, HER APPEAL DENIED, AND LAST MONTH SHE WAS SENT TO A PENAL COLONY, SERVING OUT HER NINE YEAR SENTENCE OF HARD LABOR.
GRAPHIC ARTIST REFUSES BUSINESS FOR GAY COUPLES
HAPPENING LATER TODAY, THE SUPREME COURT WILL TAKE UP A CASE THAT PINS RELIGIOUS FREEDOM AGAINST GAY RIGHTS. A CHRISTIAN GRAPHIC ARTIST REFUSES TO DESIGN WEDDING WEBSITES FOR GAY COUPLES.
THE DESIGNER SAYS A RULING AGAINST HER WOULD FORCE ARTISTS OF ALL KINDS TO DO WORK AGAINST THEIR FAITH.
WHILE THE OTHER SIDE ARGUES IF THE DESIGNER WINS THE CASE, IT OPENS THE DOOR FOR A WIDE-RANGE OF BUSINESSES TO DISCRIMINATE.