Harry Lynch, News & Observer

Barber: Supreme Court Delivered 'A Major Victory'

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday that two North Carolina Congressional districts are illegal because race factored too heavily in their drawing. The 5-3 ruling is the latest in a string of defeats for the Republican-controlled General Assembly. It comes just weeks after the court declined to hear an appeal of the state's invalidated voter ID law. The Reverend William Barber II is head of the state NAACP, which helped bring the lawsuit against the districts. He spoke with BPR's Jeremy Loeb...

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The State of Things

“The State of Things” covers diverse issues & topics in NC. Frank Stasio talks to authors, musicians, politicians, & citizens about subjects that matter to North Carolinians.

President Trump's full budget proposal for fiscal year 2018, to be released Tuesday, calls for a $9.2 billion, or 13.5 percent, spending cut to education. The cuts would be spread across K-12 and aid to higher education, according to documents released by the White House.

None of this can be finalized without Congress. And the political track record for Presidents who want to reduce education funding is not promising, even in a far less poisoned atmosphere than the one that hovers over Washington right now.

Student loans

The Trump administration says it can balance the federal budget within a decade. Its blueprint calls for significant cuts to social safety net programs and assumes more robust economic growth.

The administration plans to release what it calls a "Taxpayer First" budget on Tuesday.

"This is, I think, the first time in a long time that an administration has written a budget through the eyes of the people who are actually paying the taxes," White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney told reporters on Monday.

President Trump asked two top U.S. intelligence chiefs to push back against the FBI's investigation into possible collusion between Russia and his presidential campaign, the Washington Post reported Monday evening.

Updated at 4:30 a.m. ET

Police in Manchester, England, confirm 22 people dead at Manchester Arena following an explosion after a concert by Ariana Grande. Nearly 60 people have been injured.

Authorities say they believe one man detonated an improvised explosive device, and was killed in the explosion. Chief Constable Ian Hopkins of the Greater Manchester Police said in a news conference,

Updated at 10:08 p.m. ET.

The Office of Government Ethics has rejected a White House attempt to block the agency's compilation of federal ethics rules waivers granted to officials hired into the Trump administration from corporations and lobbying firms.

A Mississippi lawmaker apologized Monday for saying the Louisiana leaders who supported the recent removal of four Confederate monuments "should be LYNCHED!" Karl Oliver, a GOP state representative, had made the comment in a Facebook post this weekend.

Here is the original statement:

Attorney General Jeff Sessions is narrowing the scope of an executive order on so-called sanctuary cities.

A federal judge in California last month blocked a key part of that order, reasoning that the Trump administration had overstepped by threatening to yank federal money from those places.

Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly has extended for six months a program that has allowed tens of thousands of Haitians to remain in the U.S. following the 2010 earthquake in Haiti.

But Trump administration officials say they believe conditions are improving on the Caribbean island and that Haitians should make plans to return to their home country.

One in eight Americans — 42 million people — still struggles to get enough to eat. And while that number has been going down recently, hunger appears to be getting worse in some economically distressed areas, especially in rural communities.

Food banks that serve these areas are also feeling the squeeze, as surplus food supplies dwindle but the lines of people seeking help remain long.

Harry Lynch, News & Observer

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday that two North Carolina Congressional districts are illegal because race factored too heavily in their drawing.  The 5-3 ruling is the latest in a string of defeats for the Republican-controlled General Assembly.  It comes just weeks after the court declined to hear an appeal of the state's invalidated voter ID law.  The Reverend William Barber II is head of the state NAACP, which helped bring the lawsuit against the districts.  He spoke with BPR's Jeremy Loeb about the ruling.  

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Arts & Performance

WCQS

It's a bittersweet day here at Blue Ridge Public Radio.  Thirty one years ago this month, music director Dick Kowal hit the airwaves.   Today, he hosted his last show.   While it's  impossible to capture all of the amazing accomplishments of his talented career, we do have some highlights, and a few good stories.  BPR's Helen Chickering reports.

(Dick Kowal on the air)

“It’s about 6 minutes after 9, good morning.”

If you live in Western North Carolina, chances are, you know this voice.

(Dick Kowal on the air)

Dick Kowal knows a lot about music. He can draw you into a special moment of artistry by one of the world’s great orchestras during one of his broadcasts on WCQS Radio or informally connect with a talented local musician who’s about to perform live on Friday @ 2.

Asheville Community Theatre and Drama UNC-A will co-produce the swashbuckling prequel to Peter Pan, Peter and the Starcatcher, opening Thursday evening at the Carol Belk Theatre on the UNC-Asheville campus.  Cast members Chloe Zeitounian and Alex Daly spoke with Dick Kowal about the 2012 Broadway show.

The Asheville Symphony performs the finale to this week's Asheville Amadeus Festival in a Sunday afternoon concert at Thomas Wolfe Auditorium. The featured soloist is violinist Midori, who will perform Mendelssohn's e minor Violin Concerto. Also on the program, Mozart's Symphony No. 35,  Stravinsky's  "Dumbarton Oaks" concerto, and Faure's Pavanne featuring the Asheville Symphony Chamber Chorus.