Judicial Redistricting Hits Another Roadblock

It appears that judicial redistricting is again stalled in the North Carolina General Assembly. That comes after a recent show of confidence from leading state Republicans that the issue might pick up momentum.

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It appears that judicial redistricting is again stalled in the North Carolina General Assembly. That comes after a recent show of confidence from leading state Republicans that the issue might pick up momentum.

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Strikes Down Voting Map

9 hours ago

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court struck down the state's congressional district map today, saying it "clearly, plainly and palpably" violates the state Constitution.

The justices ruled 4-3 just days after hearing oral arguments in the case.

Duke Energy has proposed a new solar rebate program for homeowners and small businesses in North Carolina - something required as part of the state's new renewable energy law that took effect Jan. 1. 

NPR's Visuals Team, specifically the Video team, had a formidable showing at the White House News Photographers Association's "2018 Eyes of History: Multimedia Contest" over the weekend. According to the association's website, "The Eyes of History contests are held annually to select the best in visual journalism across still, video, and multimedia disciplines."

The NPR Visuals team racked up a total of 12 awards across the nine categories.

Three key board members at USA Gymnastics have resigned, the organization said Monday. The moves indicate continued tumult at the sport's governing body as the sentencing hearing continues for former team doctor Larry Nassar, who has admitted to the sexual assault of minors under his care.

BEN GRAUMANN, EQUALITY NC

The Joint Select Committee on Judicial Reform and Redistricting met again Monday to discuss changes to the courts.  Possible changes include redistricting for judges and a "merit-selection" process that could bypass voters altogether.  Democrats argue Republicans are trying to rig the courts in their favor after seeing a number of decisions go against them.  Republicans say the changes are long overdue.  

BPR recorded the meeting in full.  

Isaac Harrel

There are t-shirts and bumper stickers, and no doubt city politicians have run on the campaign slogan -- Keep Asheville Weird.

“Asheville walks that fine line of being proud to be weird, but some people are also like ‘But I don’t want weird,’ you know?” said Jocelyn Reese, talking about the city’s annual bow to unabashed weirdness called the Asheville Fringe Arts Festival. Reese and her partner Jim Julien are co-directors.

In the depths of World War II, Swedish authorities decided their citizens needed to know what to do if the fighting finally arrived on their doorstep. Though they maintained neutrality, it was hard to believe they could continue to do so — especially as, one by one, their Nordic neighbors got caught in the tides of violence.

So they decided on a handy pamphlet, delivered to households across Sweden. Roughly translated to "If War Comes," the pamphlets offered tips for how to interpret sirens and what to take along in the case of evacuation.

The Trump administration has been aggressively deporting foreign nationals home around the globe, from Somalia to Slovakia. Though Mexicans, Central Americans and Haitians make up 9 out of 10 people removed from the United States, year-end figures analyzed by NPR show that deportations to the rest of the world have jumped 24 percent.

It has been called a "criminal cabal" rife with corruption. It's been said that its leaders need to be taken out in "handcuffs." And its reputation, one high-placed official has charged, is "in tatters."

The FBI has come under criticism before, but the ongoing barrage of allegations has left its current and former officials shaken. It also has fueled concerns that the bureau's reputation with the public could begin to crumble.

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Arts & Performance

Isaac Harrel

There are t-shirts and bumper stickers, and no doubt city politicians have run on the campaign slogan -- Keep Asheville Weird.

“Asheville walks that fine line of being proud to be weird, but some people are also like ‘But I don’t want weird,’ you know?” said Jocelyn Reese, talking about the city’s annual bow to unabashed weirdness called the Asheville Fringe Arts Festival. Reese and her partner Jim Julien are co-directors.

There are likely enough singer-songwriters in Asheville to fill every coffeeshop and street corner in the city. But amid the region’s bluegrass, Americana and jam music, there’s a new effort to turn people onto the Asheville’s indie rock and punk scene.

 

Matt Peiken | BPR News

Every other Thursday during the school year, a dozen or so teenagers of color meet in a repurposed classroom at Asheville’s Arthur Edington Center.

Matt Peiken | BPR News

In 1967, school board members from a Brooklyn neighborhood were headed to England. They wanted to study how administrators there handled segregation and racial representation in the classroom.