Draconian hedge fund makes move to purchase McClatchy

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Putting the Raleigh N&O and Char-O in a precarious position:

The refinancing of the company made Chatham — the principal owner of American Media Inc., the publisher of the National Enquirer supermarket tabloid — the largest debt holder in McClatchy.

Enter Alden Global Capital, a New York hedge fund that has become a major force in the newspaper business. In a surprise move on Wednesday, Alden filed an emergency motion in a U.S. Bankruptcy Court asking Judge Michael E. Wiles to stop Chatham from attempting to buy McClatchy through a credit bid, a transaction that would allow it to put the company debt it had assumed toward the purchase price.

Full disclosure: I don't know diddly about how bankruptcy courts operate, and I hope I never become learned on the subject. But I also believe in "learning from the mistakes of others," and Alden should be the last company allowed to control NC's flagship newspapers:

Thursday News: Quit wasting time

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VETO OVERRIDE VOTES FAIL IN BOTH HOUSE AND SENATE: In yet another attempt to scale back North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper’s coronavirus executive order that has kept some businesses shuttered, the General Assembly voted on two bills Wednesday to open gyms and skating rinks in the state. Both votes, one in the state House and one in the state Senate, failed to override Cooper’s vetoes of the bills. The House also voted on whether to override Cooper’s veto of two other bills. One would allow those with concealed carry permits to carry guns in private schools where people meet for worship. The other would have prevented the governor or local governments from prohibiting fireworks displays and parades to celebrate the Fourth of July. The House failed to override Cooper’s veto of either.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article244077992.html

Business vs. health professionals: Kenan-Flagler steps in (it)

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Pushing for trade-offs that would cost lives:

The economic costs of the lockdown in North Carolina is hurting younger and middle-aged people harder, according to research released by the Kenan Institute on Tuesday.

It’s one of several findings coming out of a new framework devised by the Instiitute that aims to provide a cost-benefit analysis of reopening the economy amid COVID-19. The dashboard aims aggregates real-time, non-standard economic and public health data, highlighting the difficult tradeoffs between the virus and lockdown costs in a bid shape public policy.

I must admit to a healthy dose of skepticism after Kenan professor Michael Jacobs started stinking up the op-ed pages a few years ago, but it looks like that skepticism was warranted. Instead of just sticking to the business side, misleading health information is also on this "dashboard":

Wednesday News: Gridlock

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GENERAL ASSEMBLY CAN'T AGREE ON SIMPLE PANDEMIC ISSUES: The House and the Senate remain divided over whether to extend the exemption to a state law against wearing masks in public past an Aug. 1 deadline so people can continue covering their faces during the coronavirus pandemic. There's also some concern over a proposal backed by the North Carolina Retail Merchants Association that would allow businesses to meet their obligation to enforce Gov. Roy Cooper's statewide mask requirement simply by posting a sign in their front windows. Lawmakers also are split on whether to give school districts the flexibility to start off the new school year with remote learning. Many are implementing plans to rotate groups of students through both in-person and remote instruction to limit the number of students at school at a given time, but state law currently says no remote learning is allowed during the first week of class.
https://www.wral.com/tuesday-wrap-mask-debate-school-restart-concerns-bowling-alley-win/19178978/

Tuesday News: Poison pill

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GOVERNOR VETOES BILL THAT WOULD BLOCK TRANSPARENCY OF POLICE KILLINGS: “Senate Bill 168 includes a provision to change the handling of public records by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner which could have the unintended consequence of limiting transparency in death investigations,” Cooper said in Monday’s release about the veto. “While I believe neither the Department of Health and Human Services, which proposed it, nor the General Assembly, which unanimously passed it, had any ill intent, the concerns that have since been raised make it clear this provision should not become law.” Dozens of protesters have camped outside the governor’s mansion since last Monday, to call on Cooper to veto SB 168. They have expressed concerns that limiting public access to the death records could hide actions that happen in police custody. Some have said the lack of transparency would only serve to increase police distrust.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article244026502.html

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