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Froggs Friendraiser: The Friends of Greenville Greenways will hold their annual Friendraiser from 4-6 p.m. Saturday at Pitt Street Brewing Company, 630 S. Pitt St. The event will include chili and and cornbread and music by Nu Clear Twins. It free to attend and member get their first drink on Froggs.

Economic forecast: The Greenville-Pitt County Chamber of Commerce will host its 18th Annual Economic Forecast Luncheon at 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday at the Holiday Inn, 203 S.W. Greenville Blvd. Phillip Neuhart, director of market and economic research for First Citizens Bank will provide insight and analysis on the local, state and national economy in 2023. Visit greenvillenc.org/events/ by noon on Friday to register.

Local Events

Our senior senator, Thom Tillis, has a target on his back. Angry, disillusioned partisans are calling him a traitor, a betrayer. Curiously enough, those name callers aren’t Democrats, as might be expected, but Republicans — members of his own party!

Ideas that start on the progressive fringes have a way of becoming government policy these days, as President Biden’s $400 billion student loan cancellation shows. Lo, Democrats in Congress are now pressing the president to impose rent control nationwide.

There are many factors that go into building and sustaining a strong and healthy democracy: free, clean and transparently funded elections; inclusive suffrage; freedom of speech and association; an independent news media; predictable and reliable law enforcement; and an absence of widespread…

There are moderates in the suburbs — Democrats, Republicans and Independents — who want Washington spending kept in check. They tend to be liberal on social issues but pained over the extremes of the woke. They have respect for various sexual identities but little interest in learning new pr…

The Daily Reflector’s annual summer camps section is scheduled to be published on March 25. To have a camp listed, email the following information to Kim Grizzard at kgrizzard@reflector.com: camp name, along with a brief description, dates and times, location, cost, and age requirements for …

It takes a bitter green to tackle a cold day. Bitter winter chicories are a salad’s response to the season. Chicories are leafy “greens” that include the likes of radicchio and Treviso, endive and escarole, frisee and puntarelle — all of which are notably not-so-green, but rather streaked in…

The first time I went to Europe in 2014, I fell in love with not only the rich and incredible food but with the feel you get when you walk into a restaurant. The tables are close together, affording you a cozy, inviting and intimate feel. The idea is to feel like you are dining with friends.…

State AP Stories

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North Carolina Democrats have introduced legislation to codify abortion protections into state law as Republicans are discussing early prospects for further restrictions. Their legislation, filed Wednesday in both chambers, would prohibit the state from imposing barriers that might restrict a patient’s ability to choose whether to terminate a pregnancy before fetal viability, which typically falls between 24 and 28 weeks of pregnancy. Current state law bans nearly all abortions after 20 weeks, with narrow exceptions for urgent medical emergencies that do not include rape or incest. House Speaker Tim Moore told reporters he didn’t expect the Democrats’ bill to get considered.

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Supporters of abortion rights have filed separate lawsuits challenging abortion pill restrictions in North Carolina and West Virginia. The lawsuits were filed Wednesday. They are the opening salvo in what’s expected to a be a protracted legal battle over access to the medications. The lawsuits argue that state limits on the drugs run afoul of the federal authority of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The agency has approved the abortion pill as a safe and effective method for ending pregnancy. More than half of U.S. abortions are now done with pills rather than surgery.

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A lawyer representing the leaders of North Carolina’s state employee health plan has defended its exclusion of gender affirming treatments before a federal appeals court. State Treasurer Dale Folwell and the State Health Plan’s executive administrator are seeking to overturn a trial court order demanding that the plan pay for “medically necessary services,” including hormone therapy and some surgeries, for transgender employees and their children. Attorney John Knepper told a three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday that the plan routinely excludes some medically necessary procedures based on cost, but does not make any of those determinations based on sex or gender.

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The University of Wisconsin System has joined a number of universities across the country in banning the popular social media app TikTok on school devicies. UW System officials made the announcement Tuesday. A number of other universities have banned TikTok in recent weeks, including Auburn, Arkansas State and Oklahoma. Nearly half the states have banned the app on state-owned devices, including Wisconsin, North Carolina, Mississippi, Louisiana and South Dakota. Congress also recently banned TikTok from most U.S. government-issued devices over bipartisan concerns about security. TikTok is owned by ByteDance, a Chinese company that moved its headquarters to Singapore in 2020. Critics say the Chinese government could access user data.

North Carolina’s elected state auditor has apologized for leaving the scene of a Raleigh accident last month after she drove her state-issued vehicle into a parked car. Monday's statement by Democratic Auditor Beth Wood is her first comment about charges against her that were made public last week. Wood called her decision “a serious mistake” and says she will continue serving as auditor. Wood was first elected to the job in 2008. Raleigh police cited Wood for a misdemeanor hit-and-run and another traffic-related charge. Her court date is later this week. Wood says the collision happened after she left a holiday gathering Dec. 8.

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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says it will study whether to toughen regulation of large livestock farms that pollute waterways. The agency hasn't revised its rules dealing with the nation's largest hog, poultry and cattle operations since 2008. Farm manure and fertilizer runoff fouls lakes and streams. It's a leading cause of harmful algae blooms. EPA says it reconsidered its intention to leave existing rules in place after an environmental group filed a lawsuit. The agency says it will gather information on how bad the pollution is and what new methods might bring improvements.

Conservative political commentator Lynette Hardaway died earlier this month of a heart condition, according to a death certificate obtained by The Associated Press. Known by the moniker “Diamond” of the pro-Trump commentary duo Diamond and Silk, Hardaway, 51, died Jan. 8 of heart disease due to high blood pressure. The cause of Hardaway's death had become a topic of widespread speculation. A torrent of social media users suggested COVID-19 was to blame, while noting the sisters’ promotion of falsehoods about the virus. COVID-19 was not listed as a cause or contributing factor on Hardaway's death certificate.

National & World AP Stories

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Israel’s defense minister signaled Friday that the military would stop its airstrikes if Palestinian militant groups halted rocket attacks, a day after the deadliest Israeli raid in decades raised the prospect of a major flare-up in fighting. After a limited exchange of Palestinian rockets and Israeli airstrikes on Gaza overnight, residents of Jerusalem were on edge Friday morning. Israel’s defense minister instructed the military to prepare for new strikes in the Gaza Strip “if necessary.” The bombardments followed an Israeli raid in the flashpoint Jenin refugee camp, which turned into a gun battle that killed at least seven militants and a 61-year-old woman and sparked clashes elsewhere.

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Global shares have advanced, boosted by a rally on Wall Street following reports suggesting the economy and corporate profits may be doing better than feared. Markets remained closed in Shanghai for the Lunar New Year holidays. In Tokyo, data showed the core consumer price index was up 4.3%, slightly higher than expected and higher than the Bank of Japan’s target of 2%. Markets have veered up and down recently as worries about a severe recession and weaker profits battle against hopes that the U.S. economy can manage a soft landing and the U.S. Federal Reserve may ease up on interest rates.

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Survivors of Auschwitz-Birkenau are gathering to commemorate the 78th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi German death camp amid horror that yet another war has shattered peace in Europe. The site is located in the town of Oświęcim in southern Poland, which during World War II was under the occupation of German forces and became a place of systematic murder of Jews, Poles, Roma and others. In all, some 1.1 million people were killed there, most of them Jews, before it was liberated by Soviet troops on Jan. 27, 1945. Among those who are expected to attend commemorations on Friday is Doug Emhoff, the husband of U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris.

Tennis Australia says Novak Djokovic’s father has decided to stay away from the 21-time Grand Slam champion’s semifinal after getting embroiled in a flap involving spectators who brought banned Russian flags to Melbourne Park. Djokovic was scheduled to face Tommy Paul for a berth in the men’s singles final on Friday night. Tournament organizers said they have spoken with players and their teams about not engaging in any activity that causes distress or disruption. After Djokovic’s quarterfinal victory over Russian player Andrey Rublev on Wednesday, Djokovic's father was filmed standing with a group of people waving Russian flags outside Rod Laver Arena. Four people were kicked out of the tournament because of the flags and for threatening security guards that night.

Just before Nazi Germany invaded Hungary in March 1944, Jewish youth leaders in the eastern European country jumped into action: They formed an underground network that would save tens of thousands of fellow Jews from the gas chambers. This chapter of the Holocaust heroism is scarcely remembered in Israel. Nor is it part of the official curriculum in schools. But the few remaining members of Hungary’s Jewish underground want their story told and are dismayed at the prospect of being forgotten. Now in their 90s, they and their families are working to keep the memories of their mission alive. The efforts come as the world marks International Holocaust Remembrance Day on Friday.

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Hong Kong will ban CBD starting Wednesday, labeling it a “dangerous drug.” Cannabidiol, derived from the cannabis plant, was previously legal in Hong Kong, where bars and shops sold products containing it. But last year, Hong Kong authorities decided to prohibit its use. Customs authorities announced Friday that the ban would go into effect starting Feb. 1. CBD is one of many chemicals found in cannabis, a plant known more commonly as marijuana. Unlike its cousin THC, CBD doesn’t get users high. Supporters say CBD can treat a range of ailments. Others, including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, say there’s not enough evidence to confirm its safety as a supplement.

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The shooting that left four dead at a California mushroom farm on Monday was at least the second time an employee tried to kill a coworker on the property. Court documents and a case summary from the San Mateo County District Attorney’s Office show California Terra Garden manager Martin Medina was charged with attempted murder after he threatened to kill the other manager and then fired a gun into the man’s trailer. The bullet went through the trailer and into a neighboring one. Charging documents obtained by The Associated Press show the second trailer was home to Yetao Bing, who was killed in Monday's shooting.

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Gaza militants fired rockets and Israel carried out airstrikes as tensions soared following an Israeli raid in the occupied West Bank. The raid killed nine Palestinians, including at least seven militants and a 61-year-old woman. It was the deadliest single incursion in the territory in over two decades. The flare-up in violence poses an early test for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s far-right government and casts a shadow on U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s expected trip to the region next week. Palestinian militants fired five rockets at Israel, which carried out a series of airstrikes at what it said were militant targets. There were no immediate reports of casualties.