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In a world seemingly filled with disappointment at times, I will often go to the sports section of the newspaper to rejoice in the accomplishments of others and enjoy some positive news. If you do the same I want to apologize in advance, this isn’t our week.

Opinion

The Federal Reserve raised interest rates by three-quarters of a percentage point in order to battle inflation, even as the economy has begun to slow. This follows a quarter-point move in March, another half a point in May, and three-quarters of a point in June. The Fed also signaled in its post-meeting statement that more rate increases are to come, probably in September, saying that it “anticipates that ongoing increases in the target range will be appropriate.”

You have probably heard about the sideshow put on by Alabama prison officials just before a scheduled execution late last month: A female reporter was hounded and humiliated over her skirt and her shoes. But you may have heard less about the main event, the execution, which was carried out despite pleas for mercy from the family of the victim.

Eighty-three is a pretty impressive number. That’s the percentage of Americans who favor empowering the federal government to negotiate prices with drugmakers. Even 7 of 10 Republicans agree, according to polling from KFF, a respected source of health news and statistics.

Features

The College of The Albemarle Board of Trustees will meet in Room 208 of Building AE at COA-Elizabeth City, today at 5:30 p.m. Prior to the meeting, the board’s Building and Grounds Committee will meet in the president’s boardroom, Room 100, in Building A, at 4 p.m.

Brigadier Gen. Billy Mitchell fought between the world wars to update our military through the use of aircraft. The First World War was “the war to end all wars,” and this new technology of planes felt like a luxury in a day so impressed with new guns and bombs.

I could easily imagine myself in this new Brad Pitt movie called “Bullet Train.” I’ve ridden the Shinkansen, the high-speed railway from Kyoto to Tokyo that’s featured in the movie. It was quite a trip, clipping along at close to 200 mph.

State AP Stories

North Carolina Democrats have asked a state court to overturn an elections board vote granting the Green Party official recognition despite allegations of fraud. Democrats have been accused by the Green Party of meddling in its petitioning process to qualify candidates for the November ballot. The lawsuit, filed Wednesday in Wake County Superior Court, precedes the first hearing next Monday in a Green Party lawsuit against the North Carolina State Board of Elections, when the newly certified party will fight for an extension to a statutory deadline preventing its candidates from appearing on the ballot.

North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein is pushing back against Republican General Assembly leaders’ allegations that he neglected his duty to defend state law by refusing to seek enforcement of a blocked 20-week abortion ban after the fall of Roe v. Wade. Attorneys for Senate leader Phil Berger and House Speaker Tim Moore filed a brief last week asking U.S. District Judge William Osteen to lift an injunction on a 1973 state law banning nearly all abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy.  Stein, an abortion rights supporter, says he will continue to recuse himself from the case, drawing criticisms from Republicans who say he is refusing to do his job.

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The remains of two children killed in the 1985 bombing of a Philadelphia home used as the headquarters of a Black radical group have been returned to their brother. Lionell Dotson told reporters Wednesday that the remains of 14-year-old Katricia and 12-year-old Zanetta Dotson will be cremated and taken to North Carolina to be buried. Dotson told WCAU-TV it was a “momentous occasion.” He said he could finally give his relatives “a resting place permanently." They were among five children killed when police bombed the MOVE organization’s headquarters and caused a fire that spread to more than 60 row homes.

A top official says the Justice Department has charged five people for making threats of violence against election workers amid a rising wave of harassment and intimidation tied to the 2020 presidential election. Assistant Attorney General Kenneth Polite tells a Senate committee that one charge has led to a conviction so far through a task force launched last year as reports of threats to election officials, workers and volunteers raised concerns about safety and the security of future elections. threatening messages directed at election workers since launching a task force a year ago. Overall, the department has investigated more than 1,000 harassing and threatening messages directed at election workers.

The North Carolina Court of Appeals has ruled that Gov. Roy Cooper’s secretary of health and human services is not immune from a lawsuit over the administration’s restrictions on large gatherings in the early months of the coronavirus pandemic. The Department of Health and Human Services temporarily shut down Ace Speedway in June 2020 after it repeatedly defied Cooper’s executive order limiting outdoor crowds to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. The racetrack filed counterclaims that August, alleging the department unlawfully singled out the business and violated its employees’ constitutional right to earn a living. The court unanimously voted  Tuesday to uphold a January 2021 trial court ruling denying a DHHS motion to dismiss Ace Speedway’s claims.

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Officials say a single-engine plane made an emergency landing on a North Carolina highway, but no injuries were reported. News outlets report that the Washington County Sheriff’s Office says the plane had a problem and landed on Highway 64 west of Creswell on Monday. Lt. Charles Arnold says the pilot heading from Dare County to Plymouth experienced a loss of power and when he set the Piper Turbo Arrow down without landing gear, it skidded across the highway. Arnold says the pilot was, “The calmest I’ve ever seen,” after such an emergency. The Federal Aviation Administration was called in to investigate.

National & World AP Stories

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Stocks are closing flat on Wall Street as investors prepare for a busy week of updates on inflation. The S&P 500 gave up early gains and closed down 0.1% Monday, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average edged higher and the Nasdaq fell slightly. Small-company stocks outpaced the broader market in a sign of investors' confidence in the economy. Retailers and communications stocks were among the biggest winners. Clean energy companies, including First Solar, rose following Senate approval of Democrats’ big election-year economic package. The government will release its July reports for consumer prices and wholesale prices later this week.

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Authorities have identified the fourth victim in a series of killings of Muslim men in New Mexico’s largest city as the deaths sent ripples of fear throughout the Islamic community nationwide. Law enforcement is also seeking help to find a vehicle believed to be connected to the Albuquerque slayings where the common elements were the victims’ race and religion, officials said. The latest killing occurred Friday night in Albuquerque, and ambush shootings killed three other Muslim men over the past nine months. Police are trying to determine if the slayings are linked. Police said the same vehicle is suspected of being used in all four homicides.

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The white father and son convicted of murder in Ahmaud Arbery’s fatal shooting after they chased the Black man through a Georgia neighborhood have been sentenced to life in prison for committing a federal hate crime. A U.S. District Court judge sentenced Travis McMichael and his father Greg McMichael on Monday in Brunswick. Both were previously sentenced to life without parole in a state court for Arbery’s murder. The McMichaels armed themselves with guns and used a pickup truck to chase Arbery after he ran past their home on Feb. 23, 2020. Neighbor William “Roddie” Bryan, who joined the pursuit and recorded the shooting, had a sentencing hearing scheduled later Monday.

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A deadly fire that began at a large oil storage facility in western Cuba has spread after flames enveloped a third tank that firefighters had tried to cool as they struggle to fight the massive blaze. At least one person has died and 125 are injured, with another 14 reported missing ever since lighting struck one of the facility’s eight tanks on Friday night. A second tank caught fire on Saturday, triggering several explosions at the facility, which plays a key part in Cuba’s electric system. Matanzas Gov. Mario Sabines said Monday that the blaze of the second tank compromised the third one.

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Russia and Ukraine are trading accusations that each side is shelling Europe’s biggest nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine. Russia claimed that Ukrainian shelling caused a power surge and fire and forced staff to lower output from two reactors. Ukraine has blamed Russian troops for storing weapons there and launching attacks. Nuclear experts have warned that fighting around the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power station is fraught with danger. The Ukrainians are urging the United Nations to send a delegation to the nuclear plant to ensure its safety. On the front lines, the fighting continued as the United States pledged another $1 billion in new military aid for Ukraine. Ukraine said the Russians had shelled seven regions in the last day, killing five people.

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China says it is extending threatening military exercises surrounding Taiwan that have disrupted shipping and air traffic and substantially raised concerns about the potential for conflict. Military leaders say the exercises will include anti-submarine drills, apparently targeting U.S. support for Taiwan in the event of a potential Chinese invasion. China has said the exercises involving missile strikes, warplanes and ship movements crossing the midline of the Taiwan Strait are a response to U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to the self-ruled island last week. China has ignored calls to calm the tensions, and there was no immediate indication when it would end what amounts to a blockade.

Mexico will attempt to send an aquatic drone into a collapsed coal mine where 10 miners have been trapped since last week. Laura Velázquez, national Civil Defense coordinator, said Monday that images from the drone could help authorities decide whether to send in divers without putting them at risk. She also said that 25 pumps were working to remove water from the flooded shafts. Water that was once 111 feet (34 meters) deep was now between 55 and 78 feet (17 and 26 meters) deep. The mine in Sabinas, Coahuila about 70 miles southwest of Eagle Pass, Texas, collapsed last Wednesday with 15 miners inside.

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A new study finds climate hazards aggravate 58% of known infection diseases in people. Monday's study shows how widespread the influence of extreme weather such as flooding, heat waves and drought is on human illnesses. The study looks at cases that already happened. Researchers calculate 286 unique sicknesses connected to what they call climate hazards. And of those illnesses, extreme weather made it worse in 223 maladies. The study doesn't do the calculations to formally attribute the diseases to climate change. But several scientists call it a terrifying illustration of climate change's effect on human health.