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RALEIGH — Legislation that would end the North Carolina High School Athletic Association’s century-long role overseeing state interscholastic sports cleared a Senate committee Wednesday, despite calls by some to keep the nonprofit in charge, with adjustments.

Opinion

The richest man on Earth briefly lost that title Tuesday morning, but only because for a few floaty minutes he was no longer on Earth. Jeff Bezos has spent two decades using his Amazon wealth to underwrite a rocket venture, Blue Origin. On Tuesday the company launched its first manned flight to space, with Bezos strapped on board the capsule.

As the last presidential election approached, one could sense that something was wrong with the polls. The race felt tighter than the polls indicated, and specifically, Joe Biden’s solid lead in the polls felt less solid than the surveys suggested. As they had in 2016, pollsters appeared on their way to underestimating the vote for Donald Trump. That did not mean Trump was actually leading the race, or that he would win — and in the end, he did not — but that the contest was closer than the polls said.

An old spiritual, “Mary Don’t You Weep,” has the following lyrics: “God gave Noah the rainbow sign, no more water but the fire next time.” The line is taken to mean that unrepentant humankind would not be destroyed again by flooding but rather by fire. These days, though, twin catastrophes seem in a race to determine which can bring about the end first.

For years, North Carolina conservatives and progressives argued incessantly about the effects of the state’s rightward turn. Conservatives said lower taxes and less regulation tend to boost entrepreneurship, job creation, and economic growth. Rejecting that position, progressives argued that spending more money on education and other public programs and making greater use of health, safety, and labor regulations would have net-positive results for the economy.

In the Book of Matthew, Jesus is asked: “Master, which is the great commandment in the law?” He answers: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.” But the second admonition, Jesus adds, “is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”

Perhaps you recall the eminent “Judge Starr” of Republican legend and song, a pious Christian avatar of justice and sexual propriety. Back when he was dutifully investigating President Bill Clinton’s sex life — “our job is to do our job,” he’d tell TV crews staking out his suburban driveway, a soft-handed househusband obediently taking out the trash — Kenneth Starr posed as a man of firm moral views and unimpeachable integrity.

Features

State AP Stories

BELMONT, N.C. (AP) — Brenda Williams remembers moving into the House of Mercy in Belmont nearly nine years ago and immediately wanting to leave. She had lived in her own apartment in Gastonia for 11 years and was used to the life she had there.

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The North Carolina Healthcare Association announced on Thursday that several of the state's largest hospital systems will require employees to get a COVID-19 vaccine in order to continue working at their facilities.

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As a $26 billion settlement over the toll of opioids looms, some public health experts are citing the 1998 agreement with tobacco companies as a cautionary tale of runaway government spending and missed opportunities for saving more lives.

National & World AP Stories

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TOKYO (AP) — The Refugee Olympic Team was created by the International Olympic Committee for the 2016 Olympics to allow athletes to keep competing even if they have been forced to leave their home countries. It had 10 athletes at the Rio de Janeiro Games and is set to include 29 athletes thi…

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BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraq’s prime minister says his country no longer requires American combat troops to fight the Islamic State group, but a formal time frame for their redeployment will depend on the outcome of talks with U.S. officials this week.

Online Features