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At least 26 trans people have been killed in the U.S. this year. This is who they are.

As of July 31, at least 26 trans people have been killed in the U.S. this year, and a majority of them were people of color. The violence each of them endured is horrific and should not happen to anybody, especially those who are merely trying to be who they are.

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Defending Democracy News Top Story

New report says poor and low-income Americans can change the nation’s political landscape

Voters from low-income backgrounds are consistently less likely to vote in national elections compared to those with higher incomes, a new study shows — a potential harbinger as the 2020 presidential election looms in swing states such as North Carolina. Why don’t low-income voters go to the polls? In 2016, when Donald Trump won the presidency, “The most common reason that low-income individuals did not vote in 2016 was...

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Environment Top Story

BREAKING: DEQ denies key permits for MVP Southgate natural gas pipeline

Division of Water Resources cites doubts about MVP Mainline project, says construction in NC could cause "unnecessary water quality impacts" Another natural gas pipeline in North Carolina has been derailed, at least temporarily, as the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality has denied a water quality permit for the MVP Southgate project that would route through Rockingham and Alamance counties.

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Trump administration imposes big hike in immigration fees

Critics say hikes could have 'devastating impact,' serve as 'another form of voter suppression’ The Trump administration has nearly doubled the cost of applying to become a U.S. citizen, a development immigration advocates are likening to “another form of voter suppression.”

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Defending Democracy News Top Story

Monday numbers: A closer look at how NC is responding to the 2020 census

While COVID-19 has cancelled a lot of things this year, it hasn’t cancelled the 2020 Census. The problem, however, is that more than four out of ten North Carolina households have yet to fill out their forms. They are not being counted.

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Education Top Story

NC may turn to low-performing virtual charters in response to demand for online education

Last year, after four consecutive years of poor academic performance, state lawmakers rewarded North Carolina’s virtual charter school pilot program with an extension that allows its two schools to operate through the 2022-23 school year.  The pilot program created in 2015 was supposed to end after the 2018-19 school year. But lawmakers apparently saw something promising in N.C. Cyber Academy (NCCA) and N.C. Virtual Academy (NCVA) not reflected in their academic performances.

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COVID-19 Higher Ed Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

UNC-Chapel Hill leaders come under fire at emergency faculty meeting

Chancellor's failure to share health department reopening recommendations called a "breach of trust" The Orange County Health Director has urged the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to move to online education for the fall semester and keep on-campus housing to an absolute minimum as the COVID-19 pandemic in the county worsens. The campus will be doing neither of those things, Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz said Wednesday.

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COVID-19 News Top Story

Republican senator presses reluctant GOP leadership for billions in state, local aid in next relief deal

Burr and Tillis apparently still sticking with McConnell WASHINGTON – GOP Sen. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana is making a strong push to rescue ailing state and local governments in a fifth coronavirus relief bill — but his party’s leaders are resisting as they debate the contours of the next package. The freshman senator is pressing Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) for $500 billion in assistance and urging the nation’s mayors to lobby for aid to cities and states.

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Higher Ed Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

UNC’s ‘worst-case scenario’ plans could be just the beginning

Enrollment drops. Employee furloughs and layoffs. Faculty cuts. Shuttered athletic programs. UNC System schools could see all of these things, according to a new report on campus plans to deal with the financial fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic. And experts say this could be just the beginning.

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Education Top Story

Monday numbers: the shocking number of students and teachers who can’t get online

Millions of children will begin the new school year learning from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  The pivot to remote learning for U.S. schools has exposed a troubling digital divide between children from low-income families, mostly Black and Latinx students, and their peers from wealthier zip codes. > ...

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News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

Special report: The national crisis in unemployment insurance

Balky technology, expiring benefits worry workers, state leaders. Congress is continuing to squabble over whether to extend a federal supplement to unemployment insurance and if they do, by how much. But as they argue over whether to continue the supplement at $600 a week or some fraction of that, out-of-work Americans are left to worry whether they can survive on state benefits that often are a small part of their normal pay — pay that for many was inadequate in the first place.

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Environment Top Story

Along now-defunct Atlantic Coast Pipeline route, landowners are left in the lurch

Environmental destruction, property entanglements will take years to address

Behind a black wooden farm gate, near Wade in Cumberland County, used to lie a meadow. Serene, tree-lined, it was a spot of utopia where Donovan McLaurin had planned to build a small house for himself.

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Photo from flickr user familymwr (https://www.flickr.com/photos/familymwr/6277787834/), (CC BY 2.0, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/)
News Top Story

PW special update: The crisis in child care

U.S. House votes for big funding boost as two new reports document the problem in NC [Editor's note: One of the many preexisting structural problems in American society exposed and exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic is the inadequacy of the nation's child care system. For several years now, analysts and and advocates have advanced report after report documenting the fact that the nation's system for providing early childhood education is underfunded, inadequate and fragile. Today, however, with the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to rage, many believe the system could, effectively, be on the verge of collapse.

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COVID-19 Education Top Story

Reopening public schools: A look inside one district’s decision-making process

On July 16, the Onslow County Board of Education weighed one of the biggest decisions it had ever faced. Should it bring nearly 27,000 students back to 39 school buildings for in-person instruction in the middle of the deadly COVID-19 pandemic that’s killed more than 1,800 people in North Carolina? ...

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News Top Story

Monday numbers: A reminder of some basic facts about Medicaid on its 55th anniversary

This week marks the 55th anniversary of one the most successful human service programs in U.S. history: Medicaid. Signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson on July 30, 1965, Medicaid has provided hundreds of millions of American with access to health insurance and, often, life-saving health care that they would otherwise have not enjoyed because of their limited incomes.

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COVID-19 Education Top Story

Controversy follows receipt of Paycheck Protection Program funds by public charter schools

At least 50 North Carolina charter schools took money from the federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), created to help small businesses and nonprofits stay afloat during the COVID-19 pandemic. Because some charter schools also received COVID-19 relief money through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, critics have accused them of inappropriate “double-dipping.”

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