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WASHINGTON — Former President Donald Trump said in a lengthy statement Monday that the FBI was conducting a search of his Mar-a-Lago estate and asserted that agents had broken open a safe. A person familiar with the matter said the action was related to a probe of whether Trump had taken cla…


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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

One of my favorite Biblical passages is Deuteronomy 20:16-18, in which Moses commands the Israelites to storm into neighboring gentile towns and put a stop to all abortions therein — after a fashion. It doesn't get more pro-life than that.

Because I am an inveterate optimist who likes to think the best of other folks, I’m going to assume for the sake of the following argument that North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper and former governors Jim Hunt, Mike Easley, and Bev Perdue sometimes sign documents they’ve not closely read.

Various top rankings for North Carolina’s business climates have predictably — and once again — been the cause of partisan tug-of-wars in our state. When the state scores highly under one party’s control, the ruling crowd trumpets vindication and the out-party waxes dismissive. But the truth is that North Carolina typically does well in these rankings, and neither party is being entirely honest when they marshal our success as a talking point.

COVID-19 scuttled President Biden’s trip last month to Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, where he planned to unveil a $37-billion public safety program centered on federal funding for 100,000 new police officers in local law enforcement departments around the nation.

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.”

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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Voting is underway in Kenya's unusual presidential election. A longtime opposition leader who is backed by the outgoing president faces the deputy president who styles himself as the outsider. East Africa’s economic hub could see a presidential runoff for the first time. Economic issues could be more important than the ethnic tensions that have marked past votes with sometimes deadly results. The top candidates are Raila Odinga who has vied for the presidency for a quarter-century and Deputy President William Ruto who stresses his journey from a humble childhood to appeal to millions of struggling Kenyans long accustomed to political dynasties.

Asian shares are mostly declining amid a global fall in technology shares, including Japan’s SoftBank, which just reported hefty losses caused by the market downturn. Such worries are coming on top of concerns about inflation and what central banks might do. Shares fell in Tokyo and Hong Kong but rose in other regional markets. U.S. futures edged higher while oil prices fell. Analysts say regional tensions also remain a risk after the recent visit of U.S. House Speak Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan. Technology stocks were the biggest drag on Wall Street, where the benchmark S&P 500 edged 0.1% lower.

Tens of thousands of Lebanese public sector workers are on strike for a sixth week as they struggle to cope with the country's crippling economic crisis, further eroding what's left of the country's state institutions. One of the strike leaders says the value of wages has plummeted by over 90% while food, gasoline and medicine prices are skyrocketing. But the Lebanese government says it cannot afford a salary increase and has offered temporary cash bonuses instead, which most striking workers have so far rejected. The crisis pulled three-quarters of the population into poverty in less than three years, but the government has dragged its feet in implementing key reforms to unlock an IMF bailout program and revive the economy.

Some of the heaviest rain in decades have swamped South Korea’s capital region, turning streets into car-clogged rivers and sending floods cascading into subway stations. At least eight people were killed — some by drowning in their homes — and more rain was forecast. Deserted cars and buses were scattered across streets as workers cleared debris and blocked off broken roads. Landslide warnings were issued in nearly 50 cities and towns. More than 17 inches of rain were measured in the hardest-hit Seoul district. Four to 14 inches could fall Tuesday. North Korea also warned of heavy rain and urged action to prevent flooding in the capital.

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Taiwan’s foreign minister says China aims to control the East and South China Seas via the Taiwan Strait, describing a greater ambition to upend the Asia-Pacific status quo and prevent nations from aiding the self-governing island. Foreign Minister Joseph Wu spoke Tuesday as Taiwan began live-fire military drills in response to ongoing Chinese exercises. China says its drills were prompted by U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's visit, but Wu said that was a pretext. He said China aims to upend the status quo and annex Taiwan. Since Thursday, China has sent military ships and planes across the midline in the Taiwan Strait and launched missiles into waters surrounding the island. Beijing hasn't said when the exercises will end.

After the disruption of online learning, first-year college students are arriving arrive on U.S. campuses unprepared for the demands of college-level work, experts say. Colleges from New Jersey to California have expanded summer bridge programs aiming to get students up to speed in math and English before they arrive this fall. Experts say it's clear remote instruction caused learning setbacks, most sharply among Black and Hispanic students. The stakes are high: Research shows that students who start college a step behind are less likely to graduate.

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The killings of four Muslim men in Albuquerque, New Mexico, are sending fear through Muslim communities across the U.S. First was the death of a Muslim man from Afghanistan late last year. Then came two more slayings in the last two weeks — men from Pakistan who attended the same mosque. Those deaths were followed Friday by the city’s fourth homicide of a Muslim man in nine months. Now police are racing to find the killer or killers responsible. Authorities on Monday identified the latest victim as they sought help searching for a vehicle believed to be connected to the attacks.

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The birds no longer sing. The cows die. And if the people in this northern Myanmar forest complain, they too face the threat of death from militias. This forest is the source of key metallic elements known as rare earths, often called the vitamins of the modern world. Rare earths turn up in everything from hard drives to elevators, and are vital to the fast-growing field of green energy. But an AP investigation found their cost is environmental destruction, the theft of land and the funneling of money to brutal militias. The AP tied rare earths from Myanmar to the supply chains of 78 companies. Nearly all who responded said they took environmental protection and human rights seriously.