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In your Aug. 23rd edition, columnist Alexander Jones was at it again, making outlandish statements to fan the flames for pure political gain. Jones made comments like “our legacy of heinous racial oppression continues to reverberate” and “only Democrats can make things right and bring justic…

Many English expressions are derived from the Bible, such as “wolves in sheep’s clothing” from the Sermon on the Mount. The Bible became the source for many English language figures of speech because in the 18th and 19th centuries, it was the only book in many working-class homes. And even t…

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The Supreme Court’s June overrule of Roe v. Wade denies women the right to control their bodies. Those privacy rights are constitutionally guaranteed — to women and men — by the 14th Amendment, the same amendment that underpinned the Court’s original decision affirming women’s right to abortion.

Features

Across the state of North Carolina, fresh produce is grown and harvested throughout the year. Don’t forget that during the fall, there are still some delectable foods that can be purchased locally such as cabbage, sweet potatoes, greens, pumpkins, turnips and others.

State AP Stories

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Forty years after a predominantly Black community in Warren County, North Carolina, rallied against hosting a hazardous waste landfill, President Joe Biden’s top environment official has returned to what is widely considered the birthplace of the environmental justice movement to unveil a national office that will distribute $3 billion in block grants to underserved communities burdened by pollution. Joined by civil rights leaders and participants from the 1982 protests, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Michael Regan announced Saturday that he is dedicating a new senior level of leadership to the environmental justice movement they ignited. The new Office of Environmental Justice and External Civil Rights will merge three existing EPA programs.

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North Carolina Republican Senate candidate Ted Budd is leaning into his support for abortion restrictions and his allegiance to former President Donald Trump as Democrats fight for an elusive victory in the Southern swing state. Democratic optimism remains tempered given the state’s recent red tilt. But Democratic officials believe Budd's candidacy gives them a real chance at flipping a Senate seat — and the balance of power in Washington — this fall. Budd appeared alongside Trump at a rally in Wilmington Friday night, where the former president praised the candidate as “a conservative, America First all-star in Congress” and urged his supporters to turn out to vote.

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The White House is reaching out to local governments. It hosted officials from North Carolina on Thursday to highlight funding opportunities and hear firsthand how coronavirus relief, infrastructure dollars and other policies are faring in communities. A key message for the visit by North Carolina officials is the recovery in manufacturing. The event reflects new efforts to expand the use of the White House campus as pandemic restrictions have eased. But it’s also part of a larger effort to host municipal and county officials on a weekly basis from all 50 states. That outreach coincides with campaigning for November’s midterm elections as the White House tries to energize Democratic voters.

On the same day the Federal Reserve gave a sobering report on the U.S. economy’s trajectory, administration officials highlighted how they have kept some of the nation’s smallest businesses afloat through the pandemic. Roughly $8.28 billion has been disbursed to 162 community financial institutions across the country, through Treasury’s Emergency Capitol Investment Program, officials said Wednesday. Vice President Kamala Harris said that “There is almost $9 billion on the ground right now” for community banks and lenders. She was referring to pandemic relief funds dedicated to loans for minority-owned businesses and low-income individuals who generally have a hard time getting access to capital.

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North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper's budget director since he took office in early 2017 is retiring from the post. Cooper announced on Monday the upcoming departure of Charlie Perusse and that Kristin Walker will be his successor. Perusse served as budget director for two other Democratic governors in Mike Easley and Beverly Perdue from late 2008 to early 2011. His top job is carrying out the annual state budget of $27.9 billion and other spending directives approved by the legislature. The director also deals with revenue shortfalls and surpluses. Walker will become North Carolina’s first female budget director.

National & World AP Stories

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A young man shot a Russian military commander at close range at an enlistment office Monday. It was an unusually bold attack reflecting growing resistance to Russian President Vladimir Putin's efforts to mobilize hundreds of thousands of more men to wage war on Ukraine. The shooting comes after scattered arson attacks on enlistment offices and protests in Russian cities that resulted in at least 2,000 arrests. Russia is seeking to bolster its military as its Ukraine offensive has bogged down. Concerns are growing that Russia may escalate the conflict — including potentially using nuclear weapons. Votes were being held, meanwhile, in four occupied Ukraine regions about joining up with Russia. Britain's Foreign Secretary called the votes “sham referendums held at the barrel of a gun.”

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Russian President Vladimir Putin has granted Russian citizenship to Edward Snowden, a former contractor with the U.S. National Security Agency. He has been living in Russia since 2013 to escape prosecution in the U.S. after leaking classified documents detailing government surveillance programs. He was granted permanent residency in 2020. Snowden has said he made the disclosures because he believed the U.S. intelligence community had gone too far and wrongly infringed on civil liberties. Snowden, 39, is considered by supporters to be a whistleblower who wanted to protect American civil liberties,  He currently faces charges of unauthorized disclosure of U.S. national security and intelligence information that could result in decades in prison.

Chicago's police chief says a man used a fire escape  to infiltrate a  police facility where officers were undergoing a SWAT training exercise and grabbed at least two guns before he was shot and wounded by police. Police Superintendent David Brown said the suspect was taken to the hospital Monday with injuries not considered to be life-threatening. One officer was taken to the hospital with a sprained ankle. Brown said the suspect had asked where to go to retrieve personal property before entering the building in Homan Square by climbing a fire escape before entering the building through a door that was propped open. He was seen on video leaving the facility and then returning to infiltrate it.

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Hurricane Ian is nearing Cuba on a track to strike Florida as a Category 4 as early as Wednesday. One emergency management director says “this is not a drill.” Tampa and St. Petersburg are among the most likely targets for their first direct hit by a major hurricane in a century. Ian is already getting stronger and is forecast to move quickly over Cuba's western tip Monday. Then it will turn northward and slow down over warm Gulf of Mexico waters, conditions ripe for brewing the strongest hurricanes. Forecasters say the storm surge could reach 10 feet. Hundreds of thousands of people could face mandatory evacuation orders.

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Cameroonian Foreign Affairs Minister Lejeune Mbella Mbella says it’s more urgent than ever to finalize the rules for implementing the Paris climate agreement. And in particular he hopes that progress will be made on financial resources for developing countries combating the effects of climate change. COP27 is slated to take place at the end of the year in Egypt. He told the U.N. General Assembly that the meeting “will be of crucial importance in this regard.”

Stocks closed broadly lower Wall Street and the Dow Jones Industrial Average became the last of the major U.S. indexes to fall into what’s known as a bear market. The S&P 500 fell 1% Monday. The Nasdaq also fell. The losses were broad and included banks, health care companies and energy stocks. The British pound slumped to an all-time low against the dollar and investors continued to dump British government bonds in displeasure over a sweeping tax cut plan announced in London last week. Treasury yields continued to rise as the Federal Reserve and other global central banks step up their fight against inflation.

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Authorities say a gunman has killed 17 people and wounded 24 others in a school in central Russia. According to officials, 11 children were among those killed in the Monday morning shooting in School No. 88 in Izhevsk, a city 960 kilometers (600 miles) east of Moscow. The governor of the region said the gunman killed himself after the attack. Russia's Investigative Committee identified the gunman as 34-year-old Artyom Kazantsev, a graduate of the school, and the governor said he was a patient at a psychiatric facility. He used two non-lethal handguns adapted to fire real bullets. An investigation has been launched on multiple murder charges.

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Five days after President Vladimir Putin announced a partial mobilization to call up hundreds of thousands of reservists to fight in Ukraine, the move has triggered outraged protests across Russia, a fearful exodus of men of fighting age from the country, and acts of violence. There have been demonstrations — not just in the usual places like Moscow and St. Petersburg — but also in the remote far north province of Yakutia and in the poor, southern region of Dagestan. A gunman opened fire in an enlistment office in a Siberian city and gravely wounded the military commandant. One analyst says Putin is risking a lot because of the mobilization and is losing some support.