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Updated: 17 min 38 sec ago

Day 4 of the Trump presidency: CDC suddenly cancels climate change summit

Mon, 01/23/2017 - 17:00

Just three weeks before a major conference on climate change and public health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention abruptly canceled the event without explanation. The three-day event was scheduled for Feb. 14-16 in Atlanta, and had involved months of preparation and had solicited research papers, according to E&E News, a trade publication focusing on ...

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After McCrory street-shaming, ACLU slams legislative call to shield politicians from heckling

Mon, 01/23/2017 - 15:44

Officials with the ACLU of N.C. are taking aim at a Republican state lawmaker’s blistering response to this weekend’s scathing street-shaming of former Gov. Pat McCrory. In the video, McCrory, along with conservative Fox commentator Lou Dobbs, is pursued down a Washington, D.C., alleyway by a band of protesters, some of whom shout, “Shame on ...

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NC Statewide Day of Action for Climate Change – find an event tonight

Mon, 01/23/2017 - 15:04

Nine cities are holding events this evening for today’s Statewide Day of Action for Climate Change. The events are part of a nationwide People’s Climate Movement. Looking for an event near you? Here they are – courtesy of N.C. Warn: Asheville Folks in Asheville will be holding a “Gathering for Climate Justice: Cultivating Resiliency.” The ...

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Human Rights Campaign releases legislative preview detailing what’s at stake for LGBTQ communities

Mon, 01/23/2017 - 12:30

The Human Rights Campaign, the largest national LGBTQ civil rights organization released a new report today previewing battles against anti-LGBTQ state legislation expected in the year ahead. It points to North Carolina as an example of what economic and political consequences such legislation as House Bill 2 can have and examines whether other states will take heed. There ...

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Trump picks attorney who defended HB2, GOP redistricting to enforce civil rights

Mon, 01/23/2017 - 11:22

President Donald Trump has chosen John M. Gore, a partner at the law firm Jones Day, to assume the top civil-rights-enforcement position in the Department of Justice. Gore will become deputy assistant attorney general to the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice. As New York Magazine points out, Gore does boast some expertise in ...

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Could you lead the EPA better than Scott Pruitt? Take the quiz and find out!

Mon, 01/23/2017 - 09:30

Last week, Scott Pruitt, President Donald Trump’s nominee to lead the Environmental Protection Agency, testified before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. Currently the attorney general for the State of Oklahoma, Pruitt has sued the EPA at least 14 times for what he calls “federal overreach” in the agency’s regulations over clean air and water. ...

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The best opinion of the weekend on the ACA, HB2, green energy and Trump

Mon, 01/23/2017 - 06:28

There were lots of good editorial page entries in the major North Carolina papers in recent days. Here are five that deserve your attention: #1 – The Charlotte Observer does a great job of laying out how remarkably successful the Affordable Care Act has actually been in curing much of what ailed the American health ...

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The week’s Top Five on NC Policy Watch

Fri, 01/20/2017 - 14:46

1. Hopeful signs for the path forward Trump lights a fire under the American progressive movement; you can keep up and help Well, this is it. The week that a sizable majority of Americans have been dreading is here and, come Friday at high noon, a morally bankrupt and utterly unqualified snake oil salesman will ...

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NC Policy Collaboratory: Solid science, but legislature’s timeline rushes process

Fri, 01/20/2017 - 13:26

The NC Policy Collaboratory has an enviable challenge, but a challenge nonetheless: How to spend more than $200,000 in a hurry. Only six months old, the environmental think tank at UNC is charged with funding and sponsoring research related to natural resources and the economy, then delivering those findings to the General Assembly. In turn, the legislature will, well, we ...

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GOP committee kills Virginia bathroom bill similar to House Bill 2

Fri, 01/20/2017 - 11:30

A GOP-led committee in Virginia killed a bathroom bill yesterday that was comparable to House Bill 2, according to a report in the Daily Press of Newport News, Va. The bill was apparently dispatched without debate and with only one vote for saving it. Similar to HB2, the legislation would have prohibited transgender individuals from using restrooms ...

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Attempted giveaway puts exclamation point on Pat McCrory’s pathetic departure

Fri, 01/20/2017 - 10:24

Has anyone checked to see if there are any missing towels or dishes from the Governor’s Mansion? Given the latest revelation about the last minute efforts of former Governor Pat McCrory to bestow $166,000 in publicly-funded parting gifts on some of his cronies during his final hours in office, it seems as if it might ...

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NC Court of Appeals: Charter school operator can’t sue former superintendent for libel

Fri, 01/20/2017 - 09:30

The North Carolina Court of Appeals ruled earlier this week that charter school operator Baker Mitchell Jr. cannot sue former Brunswick County superintendent Edward Pruden for libel. Mitchell is a founder of Charter Day School in Leland and his company Roger Bacon Academies receives millions in public dollars to run four charter schools in the Wilmington area. ...

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Not headed to DC? Women’s Marches abound across North Carolina this weekend

Fri, 01/20/2017 - 07:00

No doubt the largest demonstration surrounding the Trump inauguration this weekend will be in our nation’s capital, but thousands of women will be gathering across our state to lead what organizers are describing as “a loving, beautiful and creative resistance to the backwards policies proposed by the incoming administration.” Here’s a listing of some of ...

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Gov. Cooper names Susi Hamilton, Reid Wilson to lead Department of Natural and Cultural Resources

Thu, 01/19/2017 - 15:34

State Rep. Susi Hamilton, a four-term House member from Wilmington, is Gov. Roy Cooper’s pick for Secretary of Natural and Cultural Resources. Reid Wilson, executive director of Conservation Trust for North Carolina, is the department’s chief deputy, a new position. In a prepared statement, Dan Crawford, director of governmental relations with the NC League of Conservation ...

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No action from U.S. Supreme Court today on whether it will take redistricting case requiring special elections

Thu, 01/19/2017 - 15:13

The U.S. Supreme Court took no action today on the North Carolina redistricting case for which it recently agreed to put the special elections a lower court ordered on hold. Justices met for a conference to review cases it could take up, including the state’s appeal in North Carolina v. Covington, in which the U.S. 4th Circuit Court ...

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Greensboro arrests highlight ongoing struggle over police transparency

Thu, 01/19/2017 - 14:32

The arrest of seven protesters at Greensboro’s city hall Wednesday is the latest incident in an ongoing struggle police transparency in North Carolina. From the story in Greensboro’s News & Record: GSO Operation Transparency has been demanding since mid-December all written and electronic correspondence connected to the violent arrest of Dejuan Yourse on June 17, ...

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Medicaid lawsuit dates set; GOP health care proposal postponed

Thu, 01/19/2017 - 13:00

If there is a court hearing in the Medicaid expansion lawsuit, it will be next Friday, Jan. 27, in New Bern, according to an order entered by U.S. District Court Judge Louise Wood Flanagan. All parties involved in the lawsuit were set to have a teleconference tomorrow, but it was canceled after an agreed upon schedule ...

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A play-by-play on Betsy DeVos’ remarkable, combative confirmation as education secretary

Thu, 01/19/2017 - 12:22

The Senate confirmation hearings for President-elect Trump’s cabinet nominees have been, for lack of a better word, wild. No doubt the same applies to Trump’s nominee to lead the nation’s public schools—controversial Michigan school choice champion Betsy DeVos. Those listening in on this week’s often combative back-and-forth between Democrats and DeVos heard more than a ...

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Just when conservatives thought the fallout from HB2 couldn’t get any worse…

Thu, 01/19/2017 - 08:55

At some point, you’ve got to think that Phil Berger, Tim Moore and their fellow conservative authors of HB2 will be saying to themselves, “What in the heck have we done and why? No matter how much the religious right fawns over us, this simply has not been worth it.” Let’s hope both men moved ...

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