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The value of looking backward

An honest assessment of the disastrous U.S. experience in Afghanistan leads to some hard truths and painful lessons Former President Obama famously expressed his belief about the “war on terror” that “we need to look forward as opposed to looking backward.”

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Education Higher Ed Top Story

New fee hike spurs UNC-Chapel Hill students to seek more and better mental health, public safety services

Student leaders at UNC-Chapel Hill are asking that money from a recently increased security fee go toward student priorities, including additional mental health services on campus, hiring gender violence service coordinators and improving safe nighttime transit on campus.

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Law and the Courts Top Story

Ambitious criminal justice reform agenda spurred by George Floyd murder makes little headway in NC

The murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis in May of 2020 and the demonstrations that ensued in scores of communities helped spur efforts across the nation during the months that followed to reassess systems of policing and criminal justice. North Carolina State Sen. Mujtaba Mohammed, D-Mecklenburg, says the Floyd murder illustrated an injustice in policing that is both “frightening” to a lot of people in the country and badly in need of attention...

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Two conflicts of interest on the NC Supreme Court that should not be swept under the rug

There is, of course, nothing new about the idea that blood runs thick in politics. The list of prominent American political figures and families who have championed and facilitated the political careers of children, spouses, siblings, nieces, nephews, in-laws, and the like is a long one. The current North Carolina political scene is peppered with examples – from former Lt. Governor Dan Forest...

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Environment News Top Story

Political struggle over tax break for inherited farmland roils congressional budget reconciliation bill

WASHINGTON—Agricultural groups and farm-state lawmakers notched a significant win when U.S. House Democrats chose not to touch a big tax break for inherited property, avoiding for now a confrontation. But opponents remain wary that the idea could come back at any time as Democrats shape their massive $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation package, and search for ways to help pay for the most significant expansion of the social safety net since the New Deal.

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Defending Democracy Law and the Courts News Top Story

Monday numbers: a closer look at the election turnout rates of white and Black voters

As U.S. Senate Democrats united behind a bill dubbed the "Freedom to Vote Act" that would expand voter registration, promote nonpartisan redistricting and designate Election Day a federal holiday, experts at the Brennan Center for Justice have identified gaps in voter turnout that warrant stronger protection for non-white voters.

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Environment News Top Story

State Fair exploits legal loopholes to clear-cut 19 acres of forest for a parking lot

There was scant transparency and public engagement for the $30 million land deal, which impinges on Raleigh's Westover-Mt. Vernon neighborhood.

The surveyors’ flags were the first warning. The whine of chainsaws was the second.

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COVID-19 Original Commentary Progressive Voices Top Story

Wake Forest prof: the links between politics, science denial and the pandemic

Vaccine refusal is a major reason COVID-19 infections continue to surge in the U.S. Safe and effective vaccines have been available for months, but as of mid-September 2021, only 65% of eligible American adults are fully vaccinated. In many areas, a majority of eligible adults haven’t taken advantage of the opportunity to get vaccinated. In the U.S., polling on intent to get vaccinated shows a massive political divide.

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Progressive Voices Top Story

Some specifics are new, but the tactics and objectives underlying the new Texas abortion law are quite familiar

Abortion is a common and normal part of the range of reproductive healthcare services that people have been using for centuries, and the people who access that care are our family members, friends, neighbors, colleagues, and co-workers. The recent passage of the Texas anti-abortion law SB 8, like all restrictions, will not stop people from seeking abortions... ...

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COVID-19 Education Top Story

Cawthorn, conservatives urge Johnston County school board to end mask mandate

With nearly 200 active COVID cases among students and staff, board will revisit mask mandate Monday

U.S. Rep. Madison Cawthorn was more than 300 miles from his congressional district on Tuesday, arriving in Smithfield to ostensibly speak against the school district's mask mandate.

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News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

The expanded federal child tax credit is helping families. Congress is debating its future.

Like millions of women, Sarah Anderson saw her income drop during the pandemic when her two part-time jobs ended and caring for her four children and supervising online school consumed her days.   The federal child tax credit helped fill the gap left by that lost income. Parents started receiving monthly payments of $250 to $300 for each child on July 15 and will do so through December.

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Education News Top Story

U.S. House committees advance ambitious education and climate initiatives

Proposals would fund universal pre-K and free community college, hasten shift to renewable energy WASHINGTON—Two important U.S. House committees advanced ambitious plans to address national education needs and the global climate emergency late last week.

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Original Commentary Top Story Weekly Briefing

Dire school bus driver shortage is emblematic of the GOP-authored crisis in our public schools

Zac Campbell paused suddenly and took a minute to gather himself, while colleagues shuffled toward him to touch his back in support. The emotion that can sometimes accompany the act of baring one’s soul in front of a phalanx of TV cameras, photographers, and notepad-bearing journalists on a controversial matter of public policy had briefly caught up with the veteran Wake County school bus driver.

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Progressive Voices Top Story

As judicial-legislative collision looms, path forward in providing NC students with a constitutional education is clear

A momentous clash between North Carolina’s General Assembly and the state’s judicial system looks to be coming to a head. At stake is the ability of the state’s public schools to meet the needs of all students – specifically, those students who live in communities where the proper financing of schools can be an overwhelming challenge.

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Defending Democracy Law and the Courts News Top Story

Monday numbers: A closer look at mass incarceration in NC, and the implications for redistricting

Last week, the Prison Policy Initiative published a report – "States of Incarceration: The Global Context 2021" – which compared the incarceration rate of each state in the U.S. to other countries' rates. The research think tank used U.S. and United Nations crime and incarceration data (including figures from the Census Bureau, Bureau of Justice Statistics and the FBI Uniform Crime Reporting program) to illustrate a stark contrast between America and other countries.

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COVID-19 News Top Story

COVID-19 vaccines or weekly tests to be mandated for millions of U.S. workers

President Biden unveils new plan to speed mass vaccination, strengthen school safety, aid states in need WASHINGTON — More than 80 million employees of private businesses in the U.S. will be required to get vaccinated against COVID-19 or undergo weekly testing as part of the Biden administration’s latest strategy for combating the still-surging coronavirus pandemic.

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