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There are a few things this week worth mentioning, none more so than Jeff Charles having broadcast his 1,000th ECU basketball game the other day.

Opinion

I’ve never worked in a bank where I was in charge of the money but I’m pretty sure that someone can account for every dollar at every bank. I’ve also never been in charge of a military armory, but I’m sure someone there is accountable for every weapon and its location. I think that many jobs…

Ideas that start on the progressive fringes have a way of becoming government policy these days, as President Biden’s $400 billion student loan cancellation shows. Lo, Democrats in Congress are now pressing the president to impose rent control nationwide.

Our senior senator, Thom Tillis, has a target on his back. Angry, disillusioned partisans are calling him a traitor, a betrayer. Curiously enough, those name callers aren’t Democrats, as might be expected, but Republicans — members of his own party!

Features

State AP Stories

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The families of five passengers killed in a plane crash off the North Carolina coast have settled wrongful death lawsuits for $15 million. Their attorneys told the court the companies that owned the plane and employed the pilot paid the money. The suits claimed the pilot failed to properly fly the single-engine plane in weather conditions with limited visibility. All eight people aboard died off the Outer Banks. The passengers included four teenagers and two adults, returning from a hunting trip. The founder of the company that owned the plane was killed, and his family wasn't involved in the lawsuits.

A man who caused evacuations and an hourslong standoff with police on Capitol Hill when he claimed he had a bomb in his pickup truck outside the Library of Congress has pleaded guilty to a charge of threatening to use an explosive. Floyd Ray Roseberry, of Grover, North Carolina, pleaded guilty to the felony charge in Washington federal court. He faces up to 10 years behind bars and is scheduled to be sentenced in June. An email seeking comment was sent to his attorney on Friday. Roseberry drove a black pickup truck onto the sidewalk outside the Library of Congress in August 2021 and began shouting to people in the street that he had a bomb.

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North Carolina Democrats have introduced legislation to codify abortion protections into state law as Republicans are discussing early prospects for further restrictions. Their legislation, filed Wednesday in both chambers, would prohibit the state from imposing barriers that might restrict a patient’s ability to choose whether to terminate a pregnancy before fetal viability, which typically falls between 24 and 28 weeks of pregnancy. Current state law bans nearly all abortions after 20 weeks, with narrow exceptions for urgent medical emergencies that do not include rape or incest. House Speaker Tim Moore told reporters he didn’t expect the Democrats’ bill to get considered.

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Supporters of abortion rights have filed separate lawsuits challenging abortion pill restrictions in North Carolina and West Virginia. The lawsuits were filed Wednesday. They are the opening salvo in what’s expected to a be a protracted legal battle over access to the medications. The lawsuits argue that state limits on the drugs run afoul of the federal authority of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The agency has approved the abortion pill as a safe and effective method for ending pregnancy. More than half of U.S. abortions are now done with pills rather than surgery.

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The University of Wisconsin System has joined a number of universities across the country in banning the popular social media app TikTok on school devicies. UW System officials made the announcement Tuesday. A number of other universities have banned TikTok in recent weeks, including Auburn, Arkansas State and Oklahoma. Nearly half the states have banned the app on state-owned devices, including Wisconsin, North Carolina, Mississippi, Louisiana and South Dakota. Congress also recently banned TikTok from most U.S. government-issued devices over bipartisan concerns about security. TikTok is owned by ByteDance, a Chinese company that moved its headquarters to Singapore in 2020. Critics say the Chinese government could access user data.

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North Carolina’s elected state auditor has apologized for leaving the scene of a Raleigh accident last month after she drove her state-issued vehicle into a parked car. Monday's statement by Democratic Auditor Beth Wood is her first comment about charges against her that were made public last week. Wood called her decision “a serious mistake” and says she will continue serving as auditor. Wood was first elected to the job in 2008. Raleigh police cited Wood for a misdemeanor hit-and-run and another traffic-related charge. Her court date is later this week. Wood says the collision happened after she left a holiday gathering Dec. 8.

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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says it will study whether to toughen regulation of large livestock farms that pollute waterways. The agency hasn't revised its rules dealing with the nation's largest hog, poultry and cattle operations since 2008. Farm manure and fertilizer runoff fouls lakes and streams. It's a leading cause of harmful algae blooms. EPA says it reconsidered its intention to leave existing rules in place after an environmental group filed a lawsuit. The agency says it will gather information on how bad the pollution is and what new methods might bring improvements.

Conservative political commentator Lynette Hardaway died earlier this month of a heart condition, according to a death certificate obtained by The Associated Press. Known by the moniker “Diamond” of the pro-Trump commentary duo Diamond and Silk, Hardaway, 51, died Jan. 8 of heart disease due to high blood pressure. The cause of Hardaway's death had become a topic of widespread speculation. A torrent of social media users suggested COVID-19 was to blame, while noting the sisters’ promotion of falsehoods about the virus. COVID-19 was not listed as a cause or contributing factor on Hardaway's death certificate.

National & World AP Stories

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Video showing five Memphis officers beating a Black man has been made public. The release comes one day after the officers were charged with murder in the death of Tyre Nichols. The footage shows the Black officers savagely beating the 29-year-old FedEx worker for three minutes in an assault that the Nichols family’s legal team likened to the infamous 1991 police beating of Los Angeles motorist Rodney King.

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Officials say a Palestinian gunman killed seven people and wounded three others near a synagogue in east Jerusalem in the deadliest attack on Israelis in years. The gunman was killed by police. The attack came a day after Israeli troops killed nine Palestinians during a raid at a refugee camp in the West Bank. The latest attack took place as worshippers were celebrating the Jewish Sabbath and set off public celebrations in both the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip. The burst of violence poses an early challenge for Israel’s new government and casts a cloud over an upcoming visit by Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

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The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration last year quietly ousted its former top official in Mexico over improper contact with lawyers for narcotraffickers. Nicholas Palmeri’s socializing and vacationing with Miami drug lawyers, detailed in confidential records obtained by the Associated Press, brought his ultimate downfall after just 14 months at the helm. But colleagues told the AP there were plenty of other red flags, including lax handling of the coronavirus pandemic that resulted in two sickened agents having to be airlifted out of the country. A separate internal probe found Palmeri used drug-fighting funds for inappropriate purposes, including to pay for his own birthday party.

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Newly released video shows the husband of former U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi struggling for control of a hammer with his assailant during an attack in the couple’s San Francisco home last year. The footage was released Friday after a coalition of news agencies, including The Associated Press, sought access to evidence prosecutors played in court during a preliminary hearing last month. The San Francisco District Attorney’s Office had refused to make it available to journalists. The evidence includes portions of Paul Pelosi’s 911 call, as well as images from Capitol police surveillance cameras, a body camera worn by one of the responding police officers and a recording from the suspect's police interview. David DePape has pleaded not guilty in separate state and federal cases.

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Tyre Nichols was killed by police in Memphis after they pulled him over Jan. 7. Video of the incident is to be released to the public on Friday. Family and friends remember Nichols as a generous, lovable man who worked hard to be a good father to his 4-year-old son. He was passionate about photography. He was an avid skateboarder and hailed from Sacramento, California. He got stuck in Memphis during the pandemic, but didn't mind because he was with his mother. They were close, and she says she's still in shock he won't walk through her door anymore. Family lawyers and officials say the video will show a savage attack.

The national president of the Fraternal Order of Police has issued a scathing statement over the actions of five former Memphis police officers involved in the arrest of Tyre Nichols. Patrick Yoes says the officers’ encounter with Nichols “does not constitute legitimate police work or a traffic stop gone wrong.” Instead, Yoes called it a “criminal assault under the pretext of law.” Nichols died three days after a Jan. 7 confrontation with the officers during a traffic stop.

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Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt tells reporters he is baffled over how $12.7 million of his money has gone missing from a local private investment firm that authorities are investigating as part of a massive fraud. Bolt also said Friday that he has fired his business manager. The retired star athlete laughed when asked if he was “broke." He says he isn't but that the missing money was for his future. He notes he has three children and supports his parents. Bolt’s attorneys have said the athlete’s account with Kingston-based Stocks and Securities Limited dwindled from nearly $12.8 million to some $12,000. They had threatened to take action on Friday.

Brazil’s federal police have searched the home of a nephew of former President Jair Bolsonaro in connection with the Jan. 8 storming of government buildings in the capital by far-right protesters. Police said Leonardo Rodrigues de Jesus, known by Bolsonaro supporters as Leo Índio, was one of the targets of a series of raids that led to 11 arrests in different states. It was the first time a member of Bolsonaro’s family has been included in the investigations of the uprising in Brasilia, which underlined the political polarization in Brazil. Police say those under investigation could be tried for crimes against democracy and criminal association.