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There were 21 murders in North Charleston in the first half of 2017 after 33 all last year, putting the city on pace for a record year. Twelve of the deaths remain unsolved. Mayor Keith Summey has asked the community to help stop gun crime, particularly among young people. Source: P&C

Responding to reports that President Donald Trump discussed forming a cybersecurity task force with Russian President Vladimir Putin after receiving assurances that his government didn’t meddle in the 2016 elections, U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham said on Meet the Press that “not the dumbest idea I’ve ever heard, but it’s pretty close.” Source: P&C, MTP

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In the wake of last week’s prison escape, which was reportedly aided by a contraband cell phone smuggled into a state maximum security prison, Gov. Henry McMaster is pushing for federal authorities to clear the way for states to take steps to block cell signals in prisons. Source: AP, P&C

McMaster and Catherine Templeton have released their Q2 fundraising numbers for the 2018 gubernatorial campaign and it’s McMaster that has the edge over his GOP challenger. Source: The State

Members of the state ‘Secessionist Party’ were at the Statehouse this morning to raise the Confederate flag temporarily in front of the capitol, near where the flag flew before being taken down after the race-motivated mass shooting at Mother Emanuel. Source: P&C

There was a lot of bluster from both political parties last week when the state Republican Party chairman said he’d send available voter data to a Trump administration initiative after the state denied the request, but that data has been available to political parties and candidates for years. Source: Greenville News, P&C