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Higher Ed News Top Story

PW special report: After conservative criticism, UNC backs down from offering acclaimed journalist tenured position

Journalism school will instead offer Nikole Hannah-Jones a fixed five-year contract In her career in journalism, Nikole Hannah-Jones has been awarded the Pulitzer Prize and a MacArthur Fellowship “Genius Grant.” But despite support from UNC-Chapel Hill faculty and its chancellor, she won’t be getting a tenure-track teaching position at her alma mater. At least not yet.

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Environment Top Story

Senator Brent Jackson walks back part of controversial Farm Act that would have shielded employers from retaliation claims

An overlooked section of the 2021 Farm Act, which is currently under consideration at the General Assembly, would have undercut North Carolina workers’ ability to sue their employers for retaliation, a potential benefit for Sen. Brent Jackson, a primary bill sponsor and previous subject of these complaints.

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Top Story Weekly Briefing

State House advances new and cynical effort to whitewash North Carolina’s troubled history

To those who ever harbored any doubts about how truly blatant and virulent the racism and white supremacy were that dominated North Carolina’s culture, law and politics well into the 20th Century, Pulitzer Prize winning author David Zucchino’s most recent book, Wilmington’s Lie: The Murderous Coup of 1898 and the Rise of White Supremacy is a “must read.” Here’s a way to get an inkling of just how grim the reality was that Zucchino describes in his painstaking account of the brutal insurrection that was perpetrated against the multi-racial government of what was, at the time, North Carolina’s largest city:

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Defending Democracy Law and the Courts Top Story

Bill seeks to increase penalties for “rioters,” but advocates worry about threat posed to free speech

Biracial.’ ‘Artist.’ ‘Supporter of social justice.’ Nic Cassette could think of many labels describing his identity. ‘Rioter,’ however, was never one of them. An Alamance County prosecutor, however, saw it differently. Cassette was among a group of demonstrators who were charged under the state's rioting statute after a succession of demonstrations in Graham. 

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Education News Top Story

Highlights and lowlights from the General Assembly as lawmakers pass 2021 “crossover deadline”

The state legislature marked “crossover” last week, the point at which most bills must pass at least one chamber to have a chance of becoming law this session.   House members had filed 969 bills by the end of last week, and senators had filed 721.  The House passed 351 bills by the crossover deadline, and the Senate passed 173. About two dozen have already become law.  

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Original Commentary Progressive Voices Top Story

I represented an innocent man on death row: Here’s why NC must end the death penalty

In September 2014, I was sitting with Henry McCollum at the moment a judge ordered his release from death row for a crime he did not commit. Many folks in the courtroom clapped in celebration. Others embraced out of relief. It had been 30 years since Henry and his brother Leon Brown--two innocent and intellectually disabled children--had been convicted and sentenced to death in Robeson County, North Carolina.

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Progressive Voices Top Story

New federal effort to aid homeless students must include college and university populations

CULLOWHEE – I was elated recently when I read an article by NC Policy Watch education reporter Greg Childress (“$23 million coming to NC to help public school students experiencing homelessness”) detailing U.S. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona’s efforts to support homeless students. The American Rescue Plan’s Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Homeless Children and Youth Fund will assist K-12 students who experience homelessness.

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Higher Ed News Top Story

UNC hire of acclaimed journalist sparks conservative ire

Groups with close ties to two Board of Governors members issue blistering attacks on Nikole Hannah-Jones When UNC-Chapel Hill announced the hiring of Nikole Hannah-Jones last month, it was cause for celebration among students, faculty and administration at the school.

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Defending Democracy News Top Story

Liz Cheney ousted from U.S. House GOP leadership for rejecting Trump’s “big lie”

NC's Foxx and Cawthorn help lead the charge in punishing congresswoman for speaking truths about the former president WASHINGTON—House Republicans voted Wednesday to remove U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney from her leadership position after her continued pushback against former President Donald Trump’s baseless claims of voter fraud in the presidential election.

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News Top Story

Law enforcement officials urge congressional action against rising numbers of ‘ghost guns’

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden has promised a crackdown on so-called “ghost guns,” and during a U.S. Senate hearing Tuesday, law enforcement officials from Pennsylvania and Maryland described how an exponential increase in those firearms — which are easily assembled from kits and not subject to federal gun laws — has expanded the workload of their agencies.

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Other Voices Progressive Voices Top Story

Special to PW: ALEC-inspired bill promoting more campaign finance secrecy should be rejected

Four out of five Americans, across the political spectrum, consistently support transparency when it comes to contributions to organizations that spend money on campaigns. Unfortunately, a growing number of states, now including North Carolina, are advancing so-called "donor privacy" bills to block public access to information about who is spending big money to secretly influence our vote and our government.

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Top Story Weekly Briefing

Echoes of Trumpism continue to dominate at the General Assembly

While his serial dishonesty and corruption, criminal negligence in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, and complicity in a failed coup d’état clearly combined to make Donald Trump one of the worst presidents in American history, one has to hand the former chief executive one thing:  the man continues to inspire slavish loyalty from his blinded followers.

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Original Commentary Progressive Voices Top Story

Nothing but racism explains Black women’s higher rate of horrible birth stories

Tatyana Ali, who starred as Ashley Banks on “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” from 1990 to 1996, entered Harvard the next year where she double majored in government and African-American studies. In 2016, Ali and her husband, an English professor at Stanford, welcomed their first child, but only after mother and baby were roughly treated by a hospital’s obstetrics team, she testified Thursday to the U.S. House Oversight and Reform Committee.

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News Top Story

Monday numbers: A closer look at North Carolina’s population growth 

After unveiling the official counts of state populations, the U.S. Census Bureau released a new round of county and metro-level population estimates for 2020 ahead of detailed counts of the 2020 Census later this fall.   The estimates are calculated by tracking births, deaths and migration on top of the 2010 Census count baseline. The figures serve as a reference point for how many people reside in each county. Although the statewide official count of 10,439,388 individuals fell short of the 10,600,823 estimate, they come pretty close.  

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News Top Story

Heartbreaking stories of Black maternal deaths, pregnancy complications, racism related at congressional hearing

WASHINGTON — When U.S. Rep. Cori Bush of Missouri was pregnant with her first child, Zion, she saw a sign in her doctor’s office encouraging her to speak up about anything unusual she was feeling. She did so, telling her physician that she was having severe pains, but her concerns were swiftly dismissed. The doctor told Bush, who is African American, that she was fine and sent her home — and one week later, Bush went into early labor.

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Other Voices Progressive Voices Top Story

Health care professionals condemn proposed abortion ban in open letter to legislative leaders

Scores of NC physicians, nurses, clinicians, and counselors say bill racing through state House would foster "environment of fear, stigma, and interrogation" Editor's note: Republicans in the North Carolina House and Senate are once again advancing legislation to restrict abortion access. As Policy Watch has reported here and here, two committees in the House of Representatives have already given approval to a proposal...

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