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Original Commentary Progressive Voices Top Story

Trans Day of Visibility offers chance for community to stand in solidarity and support

Visibility within the transgender community is often a Catch-22, especially for trans people of color, or those living in rural, conservative areas. Hiding one’s identity can be a damaging experience and increase feelings of isolation, stigma and shame. But standing out as a trans person can make someone a target for discrimination or violence.

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Defending Democracy News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

Special report: The GOP’s national effort to make voting more difficult

As strategy shifts from election lawsuits to laws, voting rights advocates warn of Tennessee As Republican-led legislatures continue a systematic push to pass laws they say are aimed at ratcheting up election security, voting rights advocates in Tennessee worry the entire nation could soon look a lot like the Volunteer State where voter turnout and voter registration figures are among the lowest in the country.

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Environment News Top Story

Mystery deepens over origin of dangerous chemicals found at massive gasoline spill

Colonial Pipeline's own tests indicate high levels of PFAS that could be linked to clean-up efforts, but state regulators say they need more data Mysterious discrepancies in test results between Colonial Pipeline and the NC Department of Environmental Quality have raised questions about the origin of toxic perfluorinated compounds — PFAS — found in material used at a major gasoline spill in Huntersville.

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Top Story Weekly Briefing

Election fraud? Trans athletes? Term limits? Rudderless GOP flails wildly in search of issues

Say what you will about Donald Trump, but there was a cynical, P.T. Barnum-like genius to his brief and catastrophic run at the apex of American politics. The man obviously has no deeply held beliefs or political philosophy beyond a commitment to self-promotion and personal enrichment, but like so many other skilled con men throughout history, he could sell stuff – most notably lies and half-truths designed to manipulate audiences.

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News Top Story

Update from Virginia: Death penalty abolished, marijuana could be legal by summer

Editor's note: The chasm between the policies pursued by legislative leaders in North Carolina and Virginia continues to grow. The following stories by reporter Ned Oliver of the Virginia Mercury highlight that divergence on two high-profile issues involving racial inequities in the criminal justice system.

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News Top Story

Monday Numbers: A closer look at Gov. Cooper’s budget

Gov. Roy Cooper's $27 billion budget for the next two years touches every segment of state government, both the seen and the unseen. We notice if  there are too few nurses, counselors, psychologists and social workers in public schools ($80 million to increase the number); if there are inequities in the quality of public libraries ($1 million to standardize service); and if highway medians are overgrown or strewn with trash ($1 million for litter cleanup).

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News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

PW special report – The battle for Alamance part 2: The modern day struggle for political representation

Decades after the enactment of civil rights laws, people of color remain largely excluded from the county's political power structure To go to Alamance County is to step back in time, to the days of the Civil Rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s.   More than a half-century later, law enforcement officers pepper-sprayed and arrested anti-racist protesters.

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Original Commentary Progressive Voices Top Story

GOP senators push absentee ballot bill to address their top fear: Too many votes

With Republican lawmakers throughout the land making “election integrity” a favorite cause and rallying cry, it likely was just a matter of time before some of their North Carolina counterparts got on board. Lo and behold, along came the sterling piece of legislative statesmanship known as Senate Bill 326, filed on March 18 and entitled the "Election Integrity Act."

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Law and the Courts Top Story

Senate committee rehashes 2020 battles over election rules – here’s what happened and what they were debating

Republicans on the Senate Redistricting and Elections Committee questioned the legitimacy of rule changes enacted last year by the State Board of Elections in a contentious two-hour hearing Tuesday with the board's executive director Karen Brinson Bell. Sen. Paul Newton, a Cabarrus County Republican co-chairing the committee, described the board's settlement with voting rights groups, which resulted in a modified process of voting, as "secretly negotiated" and motivated by partisan advantage.

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News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

Bill seeks to prevent transgender women from competing on women’s athletic teams

A new bill introduced this week in the N.C. House would ban transgender women from competing on women’s athletic teams at public schools and universities, superseding policies that have existed in major sports organizations for at least a decade.

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COVID-19 Education News Top Story

Decision to reopen schools forces resignation of popular Durham teacher who’d been teaching from overseas

Supporters' pleas for school district to allow Jordan High chorus teacher to continue virtual instruction prove unsuccessful     Late last year, Corrine Huber gambled big when she decided to accompany her husband to Denmark for his work.  At the time, it seemed like a safe bet for the Durham Public Schools’ chorus teacher. The Board of Education had implemented remote learning for the rest of the school year.

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News Top Story

Durham’s McDougald Terrace disaster, one year later

A year ago, hundreds of families were evacuated from a Durham public housing community just as the pandemic hit. The crisis caused some lasting impacts. Freezing rain was coming down, and firefighters were going door to door telling residents of McDougald Terrace that they needed to pack some belongings and go to the office immediately. Carbon monoxide was leaking into the public housing complex in Durham, and they needed to get out.

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Original Commentary Top Story Weekly Briefing

Violence against AAPI community highlights five hard truths about racism and how we should respond

These are especially difficult times in the United States when it comes to matters of race and ethnicity. Thanks in part to former President Trump’s disgraceful and cynical tolerance and encouragement of white supremacists, race-based hate crimes have spiked in recent years. Attacks on Asian Americans and Pacific islanders in particular – like the horrific murders that rocked Atlanta last week – are up dramatically.

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COVID-19 News Top Story

Hunger soars in NC in the wake of the pandemic

Nonprofits, food banks expand, but still struggle to serve all the people who can't afford groceries  A crew of workers recently parceled flour, bags of broccoli, bottled water, bread, and other essentials into boxes, as vehicles lined up in the parking lot of a Durham apartment complex.

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News Top Story

Monday numbers: A sobering look at the hate crimes that have targeted Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders

Spat upon, assaulted, harassed: The pandemic helps spawn an epidemic of hatred and violence During the first nine months of pandemic, when former President Donald Trump chose to inaccurately call the coronavirus the "China virus," he fomented, if not tacitly sanctioned animosity and discrimination toward people of Asian descent.

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News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

PW special report – The battle for Alamance: A look at the past and present of one of North Carolina’s most divided counties

Part one: A troubled history of racism, violence and repression On a cold and drizzly February night in 1870 a mob of Klansmen came for Wyatt Outlaw, the first Black town commissioner of Graham. Wearing robes and hoods, and armed with torches, swords and pistols, some 20 men broke down the door of his home on Main Street.

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