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Congress Health News Top Story

Twenty states, D.C. join in opposing Texas lawsuit on emergency abortion care

North Carolina's Josh Stein is among the signatories WASHINGTON — Attorneys general from 20 states and the District of Columbia filed a brief in federal court on Tuesday, challenging Texas’ assertion that states shouldn’t have to comply with a federal law that protects doctors who end a pregnancy to save the patient’s life.  The brief argues the judge in the case shouldn’t grant Texas’ request for preliminary injunctive relief...

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Health News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

Fentanyl in NC: An epidemic within the opioid epidemic

A year ago this month, Barb Walsh was enjoying a feeling of pride for which every parent longs. Sophia, the second of her four daughters, had come through the COVID-19 pandemic, graduating from Appalachian State University’s business school in 2020 and getting a good job with Milwaukee Tool. Driven, competitive and self-sufficient, Sophia was never the sort of kid her mother had to worry about.

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News Top Story

Monday numbers: A closer look at social capital

For years it’s been clear one of the keys to economic, social success and even health outcomes in America is the old real estate mantra: location, location, location. Studies have long shown children raised in areas with higher incomes, better funded schools and less violence tend to have better adult outcomes. This month a new study  published in the journal Nature uses data from tens of billions of Facebook connections to examine three factors that seem to be drivers of that success -- economic connectedness, cohesiveness and civic engagement.

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Congress News Top Story

With “go everywhere” strategy, Beasley breaks with Democratic playbook for statewide races

In her attempt to break the Democratic Party’s streak of losses in U.S. Senate races, Cheri Beasley has billed herself as a different kind of Democrat. Over the past year, perhaps the most convincing case for that has been the stops on her itineraries.

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Congress Health News Top Story

Biden signs landmark bill aiding veterans exposed to burn pits overseas

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden signed legislation into law Wednesday that will provide health care and benefits to veterans exposed to burn pits in Afghanistan and Iraq, achieving a long-term, personal goal. “I was in and out of Iraq over 20 times,” Biden said of prior trips to the war zone he took as both a U.S. senator and as vice president.

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Environment Top Story

Moving the misery around: EPA approves plan to truck contaminated soil from one Black community to another

Contaminated soil from a Superfund site in Navassa will be shipped to one of three landfills outside Brunswick County, likely moving toxic pollution from one non-white or low-income community to another.  The proposed cleanup plan, approved by the EPA in late May, highlights the environmental injustices that occur when counties, regulators and polluters offload their problems to communities of color.

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Health News Top Story

Monday numbers: As U.S. states struggle with post-Roe abortion laws, a look at public opinion around the globe

A lot has happened since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in late June, eliminating the constitutional right to abortion. Republican-led states have made moves to revive previous abortion restrictions or enact new and sweeping ones. Democratic-led states have rushed to enshrine the right in state law.

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News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

PW special report: NC treasurer’s love for cash in the pension fund hobbled returns during the stock market boom  

State Treasurer Dale Folwell refers to himself as the “Keeper of the Public Purse.” And since he was elected to the job that includes managing pension funds for state and local government employees, Folwell has been stuffing that purse with cash.  Under Folwell’s direction, the pension fund holds more of its money in cash than the department’s own guidelines direct and has considerably higher cash holdings than similar public pension funds. North Carolina’s pension fund is among the 10 largest public pensions in the country. None of the other nine hold close to as great a proportion of their assets in cash as North Carolina does, according to their most recent financial reports.  

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Health News Top Story

The monkeypox outbreak: Where things stand in NC, what you should know

With the monkeypox outbreak spreading across the country, North Carolina has reported more than 70 cases of the virus so far, according to data compiled by the state Department of Health and Human Services. Nearly half of the cases have been in Mecklenburg County.

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Congress Defending Democracy News Top Story

Members of U.S. Senate committee consider bipartisan changes to Electoral Count Act

Proposal seeks to prevent repeat of confusion from January 2021 surrounding Vice President's role and duties WASHINGTON — Lawmakers and legal experts at a U.S. Senate hearing on Wednesday outlined the need to pass legislation clarifying an archaic election law so that the peaceful transfer of presidential power is ensured. The Electoral Count Reform and Presidential Transition Improvement Act, a bipartisan bill being pushed by 16 senators...

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Health News Top Story

A community ravaged by opioids looks to heal with settlement funds

On Tuesday morning, Wake County held its first community meeting on how it will spend its share of a historic $26 billion National Opioid Settlement – more than $35 million over the next 18 years. But before the crowd of nearly 200 talked about solutions, Megan Peevey took them on a guided tour of the dark corners of opioid addiction most North Carolinians are lucky to never to see for themselves.

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Education News Top Story

State education leaders advance new and controversial teacher compensation proposal

Superintendent Catherine Truitt denies plan would introduce "merit pay," but critics strongly disagree With just a few weeks left before the start of a new school year, districts are scrambling to fill teaching vacancies. North Carolina educators, and those in other states, are leaving the profession in large numbers on the heels of a traumatic COVID-19 pandemic that at its worst led to school closures, remote learning, and unprecedented stress and burnout for teachers.

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Environment News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

ReBuild NC spent $10.6 million to house Hurricane Matthew survivors who have languished in motels — some for years

ReBuild NC has spent $10.64 million on motels, moving and storage unit expenses in three years for displaced Hurricane Matthew survivors, as construction and administrative delays have kept people from returning to their homes. The figures were included in Temporary Relocation Assistance (TRA) data provided by ReBuild NC, also known as the NC Office of Recovery and Resiliency.

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Health News Top Story

Monday numbers: A closer look at the scourge of opioid abuse, and your chance to shape where recovery resources go

It has been a year since a coalition of state attorneys general first announced the National Opioid Settlement. That historic $26 billion agreement with three major pharmaceutical distributors (Cardinal, McKesson, and AmerisourceBergen) and manufacturer Johnson & Johnson is intended to help communities dramatically harmed by the opioid epidemic.

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Defending Democracy Law and the Courts News Top Story

Disenfranchised no more, ‘Second Chance voters’ can register and cast ballots — for now

Allowing those on probation and parole to vote marks the largest expansion of voting rights in North Carolina since the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Daquan Peters didn’t waste any time registering to vote on Wednesday. He hadn’t been fast enough last year, during a 10-day window between court proceedings where people like him, those who were home after spending time imprisoned for a felony but still on probation or parole, were briefly re-enfranchised.

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Congress News Top Story

Gun company CEOs tell Congress they’re not to blame for mass shootings

Industry sales and profits have skyrocketed as number of mass shootings has spiked WASHINGTON — The CEOs of major gun manufacturing companies told a U.S. House panel on Wednesday that their production of AR-15-style guns did not contribute to recent mass shootings that left 29 people dead, and that the killings were due to the actions of individual shooters.

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