Associated Press

The Associated Press is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering, supplying a steady stream of news to its members, international subscribers and commercial customers. AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, it's a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members.

Conservatives unhappy with the work of a civil rights center at the University of North Carolina say a ban on litigation is meant to spare legal clinics while applying only to academic centers.

Hikers trekking deep in the Pisgah National Forest are usually on the lookout for copperheads and black bears. But sometimes they are startled by a Big Bang of sorts, stumbling out of the woods and into a science fiction-like world of giant telescopes. But it's no illusion.

Democratic attorneys general in 18 states and the District of Columbia are suing Education Secretary Betsy DeVos over her decision to suspend rules meant to protect students from abuses by for-profit colleges.

Corey Lowenstein/News & Observer of Raleigh

 An Associated Press analysis shows North Carolina's congressional and state House districts are among the most Republican-skewed in the country despite voter preferences that are relatively evenly split.

The AP calculated the partisan advantage for North Carolina Republicans in the 2016 state and federal House races through a new statistical tool that's designed to detect cases in which a political party maintained or increased its grip on power through how it drew voting districts.

The Supreme Court has struck down a North Carolina law that bars convicted sex offenders from Facebook, Twitter and other popular social media sites.

Dozens of insurance companies say they're not obligated to help pay for Duke Energy Corp.'s multi-billion dollar coal ash cleanup because the nation's largest electric company long knew about but did nothing to reduce the threat of potentially toxic pollutants.

North Carolina officials are investigating whether Russian hackers targeted state or local elections staffers by posing as a voting software supplier.

State elections board director Kim Westbrook Strach said Tuesday the move follows a leaked classified intelligence report suggesting election-related hacking reached further into U.S. voting systems than previously known.

The Supreme Court has upheld a lower court ruling that struck down 28 state House and Senate districts in North Carolina because they violated the rights of black voters. But the justices rejected the court's order to redraw the districts and hold a special election.

The U.S. Supreme Court has told North Carolina's top court to reconsider a redistricting lawsuit filed by Democrats and allies after the nation's highest court struck down congressional districts as racial gerrymanders.

The latest on the North Carolina House rolling out more portions of its state budget proposal (all times local):

Updated 4:31 p.m., May 22, 2017

The Supreme Court struck down two congressional districts in North Carolina Monday because race played too large a role in their creation.

Senator Thom Tillis Twitter account

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican Sen. Thom Tillis of North Carolina collapsed during a Washington, D.C., race Wednesday morning and has been taken away by ambulance.

Tillis, 57, was seen on the ground being administered CPR by bystanders at about the two-mile mark in the three-mile race in Anacostia Park in the southeast part of the city.

Tillis at first appeared unconscious but was revived and breathing when taken away by ambulance from the ACLI Capital Challenge 3 Mile Team Race.

The NAACP leader who launched the "Moral Monday" movement in North Carolina won’t seek another term as state chapter president.

WUNC

Dozens of bills clear House or Senate as deadline nears

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The North Carolina General Assembly acted on scores of bills this week while heading toward a self-imposed deadline designed to weed out policy legislation that has little support.

The House approved nearly 50 bills during a two-day work week ending Thursday. The Senate approved several more. Committees from both chambers also met frequently, as ideas unrelated to taxes and spending that don't pass at least one chamber by April 27 are essentially dead until 2019.

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The NCAA has awarded men's basketball tournament games in 2020 and 2021 along with several other championship events to North Carolina after the state repealed elements of a law that limited protections for LGBT people and put it at risk of being passed over as a host for future events.

Pexels

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — One of North Carolina's leading Republican politicians says there will never be a hearing for proposed legislation aimed at countering the U.S. Supreme Court decision legalizing gay marriage.

House Speaker Tim Moore of Kings Mountain said in a statement Wednesday that the bill introduced this week won't be considered because the nation's highest court "has firmly ruled on the issue."

Jeremy Loeb/BPR

The General Assembly has passed legislation to reduce the number of North Carolina Court of Appeals judges from 15 to 12, sending the measure to the governor.

The House and Senate both gave their final approval to the Republican legislation on Tuesday.

The measure would phase out the three judgeships as vacancies arise through retirements or resignations. The proposal also would allow more matters be appealed directly to the state Supreme Court.

Jeremy Loeb/WCQS

Four North Carolina Republicans are taking a symbolic swipe at gay marriage, introducing a measure rejecting a U.S. Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex unions in every state.  Bryson City Republican Mike Clampitt is among them.

AP Exclusive: 'Bathroom Bill' to Cost North Carolina $3.76B

Mar 27, 2017

Despite Republican assurances that North Carolina's "bathroom bill" isn't hurting the economy, the law limiting LGBT protections will cost the state more than $3.76 billion in lost business over a dozen years, according to an Associated Press analysis.

 President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, secretly worked for a Russian billionaire to advance the interests of Russian President Vladimir Putin a decade ago and proposed an ambitious political strategy to undermine anti-Russian opposition across former Soviet republics, The Associated Press has learned. The work appears to contradict assertions by the Trump administration and Manafort himself that he never worked for Russian interests.

Office of the Governor

  RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper has taken his oath of office minutes after midnight Sunday to get an early start amid bitter partisan politics.

The Democrat was sworn in as the state's 75th governor nearly a week before his public inauguration ceremony. A small group of family, friends and colleagues joined him.

State Chief Justice Mark Martin administered the oath in the short ceremony not far from where revelers gathered in downtown Raleigh to celebrate the new year.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

SEVIERVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Authorities have charged two juveniles with starting an East Tennessee wildfire that killed 14 people and destroyed or damaged more than 1,700 buildings.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, local District Attorney General James Dunn and Great Smoky Mountains National Park announced charges at a news conference Wednesday.

3:55 p.m.

The rising Tar River is forcing the evacuation of Princeville, North Carolina, a town destroyed in flooding from Hurricane Floyd 17 years ago.

Edgecombe County announced on its Facebook page that a curfew will go into effect at 7 p.m. Sunday and they are bringing in buses to help get out the town's 2,000 residents.

The National Weather Service says the Tar River at nearby Tarboro is already nearly 6 feet above flood stage. It is forecast to crest Monday at nearly 36 feet, well into major flood stage but below the record 41.5-foot mark set in Floyd in 1999.

John Marshall Mantel AP Photo

In his years as a reality TV boss on "The Apprentice," Donald Trump repeatedly demeaned women with sexist language, according to show insiders who said he rated female contestants by the size of their breasts and talked about which ones he'd like to have sex with.

The Associated Press interviewed more than 20 people — former crew members, editors and contestants — who described crass behavior by Trump behind the scenes of the long-running hit show, in which aspiring capitalists were given tasks to perform as they competed for jobs working for him.

Little-known former Democratic state legislator Deborah Ross is counting on public anger over the GOP political takeover of North Carolina to help her upset two-term U.S. Senator Richard Burr, a victory that could also help hand control of the U.S. Senate back to Democrats.  Despite scant name recognition at the start of the election, Ross has pulled even with Burr in the polls in a state that is split almost evenly ideologically.

Jeremy Loeb/WCQS

About 60 investors representing $2.1 trillion in managed assets are joining the NCAA, entertainers and more than 200 businesses in calling for North Carolina to repeal its law limiting LGBT protections against discrimination.

Trillium Asset Management CEO Matt Patsky said at a news conference Monday that North Carolina appears headed for a "state-government-inflicted recession" while the economy of the rest of the country improves.

Trillium has more than $2 billion in assets under management.

Jeremy Loeb/WCQS

 The Southern Conference will make a faster decision on whether to pull championships out of North Carolina.

The NCAA announced earlier this week it will move championships out of North Carolina because of a state law that requires transgender people to use the bathroom that matches their birth certificate.

The Atlantic Coast Conference decided Wednesday to pull the football championship out of Charlotte this year for the same reason.

Southern Conference Commissioner John Iamarino told local media earlier the issue would be discussed in October.

McCrory: Chamber Helped Shape HB2

Sep 8, 2016
NBC News

North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory says business lobbyists helped shape a state law limiting protections for LGBT people but that also included employer-friendly provisions banning local minimum wage increases and making it harder for workers to sue for workplace discrimination.

McCrory's assertion contradicts statements by the head of the state's Chamber of Commerce and his aides, who have denied a role in shaping the legislation called House Bill 2.

Yahoo

In a rare policy address by a vice presidential nominee, Democrat Tim Kaine showcased his own foreign policy expertise Tuesday and painted Donald Trump as clueless and dangerous when it comes to world affairs.

"The prospect of the emotionally volatile, fact-challenged, self-obsessed and inexperienced Donald Trump as commander-in-chief scares me to death," Kaine said at a historic USO building in the swing state of North Carolina.

A spokeswoman at Fort Bragg says there have been five travel-related cases of the Zika virus confirmed since June at the North Carolina Army post.

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