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The news of Mr. Donald Trump’s intention to run for president in 2024 came as no surprise. Mr. Trump has a large ego and the campaign crowds will give his campaign a large boost. He won in 2016 because of the Electoral College and became a one-term president.

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Do you remember back in the day when recruiting high school teenagers was the best way for college coaches to get good football players? That was so pre-pandemic.

Opinion

One of the most hopeful developments to occur in decades with respect to the public services, systems, and structures provided and maintained by the state of North Carolina was the recent seminal state Supreme Court ruling in the landmark Leandro education funding case.

Most of a North Carolina community found itself in the dark Saturday night after someone ripped away a gate and riddled a pair of unmanned Duke Energy substations with bullets.

The richest man in the world, Elon Musk, just spent $44 billion to expose the corrupt dealings of big tech and the media. Musk clearly saw how censorship had been deployed as a one-way operation against conservatives. Something every critical thinking person already knew but of course, colum…

“A Massive Fraud of this type and magnitude,” former US president Donald Trump wrote on his pet social media platform, Truth Social, “allows for the termination of all rules, regulations, and articles, even those found in the Constitution.” In reference, of course, to his fantasy that the 2020 presidential election was “stolen” from him.

Nothing that Elon Musk is doing in the wake of his takeover of Twitter should be considered controversial. The fact that the world’s richest person and self-described “free speech absolutist” is currently taking endless flack for attempting to limit online censorship and gatekeeping in the interests of widening public debate is a testament to the fact that the prominent social media platform had become a gatekeeper for the Western establishment status quo and the primarily left-leaning ideals that they relentlessly champion.

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One of the world's most ruthless pirates hid in plain sight in the American colonies, according to new evidence. A historian and metal detectorist in Rhode Island says that he’s unearthed 26 silver coins with Arabic inscriptions that notorious English pirate Henry Every once seized from an armed Indian ship. The 1695 heist made Every the target of the first worldwide manhunt. Detectorists say that before he fled to the Bahamas and then vanished, Every first hid out in New England.

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Duke Energy says it has completed repairs on substation equipment damaged in shootings over the weekend and restored power thousands of customers who lost electricity in a central North Carolina county.  All but a handful of households in Moore County had regained power as of 5 p.m. Wednesday, according to Duke Energy’s outage map. A peak of more than 45,000 customers lost power over the weekend. Authorities have said the outages began shortly after 7 p.m. Saturday night after one or more people drove up to two substations, breached the gates and opened fire on them. Police have not released a motive.

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The Supreme Court seems skeptical of making a broad ruling that would leave state legislatures virtually unchecked when making rules for elections for Congress and the presidency. In nearly three hours of arguments Wednesday, liberal and conservative justices appeared to take issue with the main thrust of a challenge asking them to essentially eliminate the power of state courts to strike down legislature-drawn, gerrymandered congressional districts on grounds that they violate state constitutions. But it was harder to see exactly where the court would land. A trio of conservative justices who probably control the outcome, Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett, seemed open to simply limiting state court power in some circumstances.

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Duke Energy says it expects to be able to restore power by Wednesday night to a county where electric substations were attacked by gunfire. Duke Energy spokesman Jeff Brooks said the company expects to have power back Wednesday just before midnight in Moore County. The company had previously estimated it would be restored Thursday morning. About 35,000 Duke energy customers were still without power Tuesday, down from more than 45,000 at the height of the outage Saturday. Authorities have said the outages began shortly after 7 p.m. Saturday night after one or more people drove up to two substations, breached the gates and opened fire on them.

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Two North Carolina Democratic government lawyers have argued on competing sides at an appeals court in a case over whether the Wake County district attorney can prosecute Attorney General Josh Stein or others for a 2020 campaign commercial. Private attorneys for Stein and Wake District Attorney Lorrin Freeman met Tuesday before a three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. At issue is a state law that makes certain political speech a crime. Stein's campaign ad criticized his then-Republican challenger for AG over untested rape kits. Stein and his allies say the 1931 law is unconstitutional and want the judges to block its enforcement.

A U.S. Supreme Court case involving North Carolina's congressional districts could have ramifications for the way voting districts are drawn in other states. At issue in Wednesday's arguments is whether state courts can strike down U.S. House maps passed by state lawmakers for violating state constitutions. North Carolina's Republican legislative leaders are asserting an “independent state legislature” theory — claiming the U.S. Constitution gives no role to state courts in federal election disputes. The outcome could affect similar lawsuits pending in state courts in Kentucky, New Mexico and Utah. It also could have implications in New York and Ohio, where state courts previously struck down U.S. House districts.

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Two power substations in a North Carolina county were damaged by gunfire in what is being investigated as a criminal act. A spokesman for Duke Energy said at a news conference with local officials on Sunday that the damage caused the night before could take days to repair. Power was out for roughly 37,000 customers Sunday. In response, officials announced a state of emergency that included a curfew from 9 p.m. Sunday to 5 a.m. Monday. County schools will be closed Monday. Moore County Sheriff Ronnie Fields says authorities have not determined a motivation.

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The Supreme Court is about to confront a new elections case that could dramatically alter voting in 2024 and beyond. A Republican-led challenge is asking the justices for a novel ruling that could significantly increase the power of state lawmakers over elections for Congress and the presidency. The court is hearing arguments Wednesday in a case from highly competitive North Carolina, where Republican efforts to draw congressional districts heavily in their favor were blocked by a Democratic majority on the state Supreme Court. The question for the justices is whether the U.S. Constitution’s provision giving state legislatures the power to make the rules about the “times, places and manner” of congressional elections cuts state courts out of the process.

National & World AP Stories

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Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan, offered a sweeping indictment of Britain’s media and the racism they believe has fueled coverage of their relationship in a Netflix documentary series that promises to tell the “full story” of the couple’s estrangement from the royal family. Netflix released the first three episodes of the series on Thursday. Relying on interviews with the couple, as well as their friends and experts on race and the media, the episodes dissect the close relationship between tabloid newspapers and the royal family while discussing the history of racism in the British Empire and how it continues to pervade society.

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Wall Street pointed modestly higher in premarket trading  ahead of employment and inflation data that may offer hints about how aggressive the Federal Reserve’s next move will be in its battle against inflation. Futures for the Dow inched up 0.2% and futures for the S&P 500 rose 0.3% before the bell. The U.S. will release data on weekly unemployment claims on Thursday. The jobs market has been a strong area of an otherwise uneven economy, making it more difficult for the Fed to tame inflation. Oil prices rose Thursday after hitting lows for the year this week.

The European Union’s top court says Google has to delete search results about people in Europe if they can prove that the information is clearly wrong. Europeans have the right to ask search engines to delete links to outdated or embarrassing information about themselves, even if it is true, under a principle known as “right to be forgotten.” Two people asked Google to remove search results based on their names that linked to articles they said made false claims. Google refused because it didn’t know whether the articles were accurate or not. The European Court of Justice said Thursday that it disagreed. Google says it's worked to balance “people’s rights of access to information and privacy."

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BERLIN (AP) — German officials say they expect more people to be detained in connection with an alleged far-right plan to topple the government that saw 25 people rounded up Wednesday, including a self-styled prince, a retired paratrooper and a judge.

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People across China are reacting with relief and caution to the dramatic government decision to loosen some of the world’s most severe COVID-19 restrictions. For the first time in months, Jenny Jian hit the gym in the southern metropolis of Guangzhou without being required to scan the “health code” on her smartphone. That's part of a nationwide system that tracks where hundreds of millions of people go. Elsewhere, virus tests no longer were required to enter many public places under changes announced Wednesday. They followed nationwide protests against restrictions that have confined millions of families to their homes. While it’s not clear if the new rules are a direct response to the protests, they address some of the most pressing issues that drove people on the streets.

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Hundreds of journalists and other employees at The New York Times began a 24-hour walkout Thursday, the first strike of its kind at the newspaper in more than 40 years. Newsroom employees and other members of The NewsGuild of New York say they are fed up with bargaining that has dragged on since their last contract expired in March 2021. The union announced last week that more than 1,100 employees would stage a 24-hour work stoppage starting at 12:01 a.m. Thursday unless a deal could be struck. A Times spokesperson said the paper has contingency plans to continue operating with minimal disruptions.