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Newcomers Club: The Newcomers Club of Greenville will meet at 11:30 a.m. Feb. 8 beginning with a social time and lunch at noon at the Greenville Country Club, 216 Country Club Lane. A fashion show will be presented by My Sister’s Closet. The cost will be $20 payable at the door. Reservations should be made on or before Sunday, Feb. 5.

The Pitt County Council on Aging announced the following classes and programs for February at the Pitt County Senior Wellness Center, 4551 County Home Road.

Local Events

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The East Carolina men’s basketball team found its way into the win column when it snapped a five-game losing skid with a home win over Tulsa on Tuesday. Now, the Pirates are looking to string together back-to-back wins for the first time since non-conference play began when they host Wichita…

Former East Carolina women’s basketball great Rosie Thompson was one of 15 individuals chosen earlier this week to be inducted into the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame as part of the 2023 class.

According to the latest-available set of comparable data, North Carolina ranks 33rd in the nation in “deaths of despair” — that is, in the combined rates of suicides, fatal drug overdoses, and alcohol-induced deaths. In 2020 our age-adjusted rate was 55.5 deaths of despair per 100,000 reside…

North Carolina Superintendent of Public Instruction Catherine Truitt seems more concerned with appeasing the Republican partisans who rule the state legislature than making sure every school child has access to a quality public education and their schools and teachers have the resources need…

Brett Kavanaugh was sworn in as a justice of the Supreme Court more than four years ago, on Oct. 6, 2018. His oath followed perhaps the ugliest Supreme Court Senate confirmation process in history — and that, given the previous examples of Robert Bork and Clarence Thomas, is saying something…

Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.) quickly became a global punchline when his multiple, contradictory misrepresentations of his background were revealed after he was elected in November. But there’s nothing funny about Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s refusal to call on Santos to resign, as a few other Rep…

When it comes to flavor, say yes to bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts. Chicken breasts often get a bad rap for their dryness and lack of flavor. Leaving the bones and skin on the breast helps to solve this problem.

Uncle Rich appreciated time. He would especially appreciate a completed time cycle. He collected stopwatches, he wrote music and he was a systems manager with IBM. In leisure and in business, these are the utensils of modern Eastern Standard time.

Q I had just started a new job when the pandemic happened. On top of the lockdowns and home-schooling our kids, I was diagnosed with IBS. My husband read there’s research that it’s caused by stress, and that makes a lot of sense to me. Can you please talk about that research?

State AP Stories

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As mass shootings are again drawing public attention, states across the U.S. seem to be deepening their political divide on gun policies. A series of recent mass shootings in California come after a third straight year in which U.S. states recorded more than 600 mass shootings involving at least four deaths or injuries. Democratic-led states that already have restrictive gun laws have responded to home-state tragedies by enacting or proposing even more limits on guns. Many states with Republican-led legislatures appear unlikely to adopt any new gun policies after last year's local mass shootings. They're pinning the problem on violent individuals, not their weapons.

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The families of five passengers killed in a plane crash off the North Carolina coast have settled wrongful death lawsuits for $15 million. Their attorneys told the court the companies that owned the plane and employed the pilot paid the money. The suits claimed the pilot failed to properly fly the single-engine plane in weather conditions with limited visibility. All eight people aboard died off the Outer Banks. The passengers included four teenagers and two adults, returning from a hunting trip. The founder of the company that owned the plane was killed, and his family wasn't involved in the lawsuits.

A man who caused evacuations and an hourslong standoff with police on Capitol Hill when he claimed he had a bomb in his pickup truck outside the Library of Congress has pleaded guilty to a charge of threatening to use an explosive. Floyd Ray Roseberry, of Grover, North Carolina, pleaded guilty to the felony charge in Washington federal court. He faces up to 10 years behind bars and is scheduled to be sentenced in June. An email seeking comment was sent to his attorney on Friday. Roseberry drove a black pickup truck onto the sidewalk outside the Library of Congress in August 2021 and began shouting to people in the street that he had a bomb.

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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.

National & World AP Stories

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Ukraine is pushing its Western allies to provide it with fighter jets. The move comes a week after winning pledges of sophisticated modern tanks to help Ukraine beat back Russia’s invasion force after almost a year of fighting. Ukraine’s defense minister was due in Paris on Tuesday where discussions about the possible delivery of fighter jets to Ukraine was expected to be on the agenda. After months of haggling, Ukrainian authorities last week persuaded Western allies to send the tanks. There was no indication that a decision on warplanes to Ukraine might come any time soon and no sign that Western countries have changed their earlier stance on the issue.

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Wall Street was down in premarket trading as a deluge of major corporate earnings poured in ahead of Wednesday’s Federal Reserve interest rate meeting. Futures for the Dow Jones industrials fell 0.4% before the bell Tuesday and futures for the S&P 500 were down 0.3%. Markets have been veering recently on worries that the economy and corporate profits may be set for a steep drop-off, along with competing hopes that cooling inflation will get the Federal Reserve to take it easier on interest rates. Exxon shares rose about 1% after the energy giant reported record annual profit but lower than expected fourth-quarter sales.

The closely watched $2.5 billion share sale launched by Asia’s richest man, Gautam Adani, has been fully subscribed, bucking expectations after a turbulent week in which the conglomerate’s shares plunged in a tussle with a U.S. short seller. Before trading closed on Tuesday, over 100% of shares in the Indian group’s flagship Adani Enterprises were subscribed, according to the Bombay Stock Exchange. While some Adani-linked shares went up, three were still down between 5% and 10%. The share sale success is seen as a crucial test of confidence for Adani, whose sprawling empire shed tens of billions of dollars within a week after Hindenburg Research accused the conglomerate of stock market manipulation and fraud. The Adani Group has rejected the accusations.

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Europe’s economy has scraped out meager gains at the end of last year as galloping inflation fed by high energy prices and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine deterred people from spending in shops and restaurants. The European Union statistics agency Eurostat reported Tuesday that economic output crept 0.1% higher in the last three months of 2022. That avoids an outright downturn as warmer-than-usual winter weather shelved fears of energy rationing in Europe. The countries that share the euro currency appear to have avoided the worst case scenario: running out of natural gas after Russia halted most supplies. But those prices are still elevated, hitting utility bills and leading companies to charge higher prices for goods and food.

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Cindy Williams, who played Shirley opposite Penny Marshall’s Laverne on the popular sitcom “Laverne & Shirley,” has died. Williams' family said in statement Monday that she died in Los Angeles Wednesday after a brief illness. She was 75. Williams credits included the films “American Graffiti" and “The Conversation.” But she was by far best known for playing the straitlaced Shirley Feeney on the ABC sitcom “Laverne & Shirley.” The show, a spinoff of “Happy Days” was one of the most popular shows on television in its prime. It ran from 1976 to 1983.

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China’s government has accused Washington of pursuing “technology hegemony” following news reports the United States might raise pressure on tech giant Huawei by blocking all access to American suppliers. The possible move was reported by Bloomberg News, The Financial Times and The Wall Street Journal. It would tighten restrictions imposed in 2019 that limit Huawei’s access to processor chips and other technology. The company, which makes network equipment and smartphones, was allowed to buy some less-advanced components. Huawei Technologies Ltd., China’s first global tech brand, is at the center of conflict between Washington and Beijing over technology and security. U.S. officials say Huawei is a security risk and might facilitate Chinese spying, an accusation the company denies.

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French labor leaders hope to bring more than 1 million demonstrators into the streets again in the latest clash of wills with the government over plans to push back France’s retirement age. For both sides, nationwide strikes and protests Tuesday are an important test. French President Emmanuel Macron’s government says it is determined to push through his election pledge to reform France’s retirement system. Labor unions and left-wing legislators are counting on protesters to turn out massively to strengthen their hand as they fight Macron’s plans. A first round of strikes and protests brought out between 1 million and 2 million demonstrators earlier this month. Labor unions are aiming to at least match or even better those numbers on Tuesday.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken is wrapping up a two-day visit to Israel and the occupied West Bank with renewed appeals for Israeli-Palestinian calm amid an alarming spike of violence. Blinken was meeting Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas in the West Bank town of Ramallah on Tuesday, a day after seeing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. After his meeting with the Israeli leader, Blinken stressed the importance the U.S. places on resolving the long-running conflict with a two-state solution. However, beyond urging a de-escalation of tensions Blinken offered no new U.S. initiative to do so and there were no signs of progress on even the modest goal of halting the latest wave of violence.