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USA birthday: Winterville Market on the Square will host a Happy Birthday USA Cookout from 4-7 p.m. Thursday at 252 Main St., Winterville. The event will include free hot dogs and snacks, inflatable attractions, live music and craft vendors. Visit www.facebook.com/WintervilleMarket


Local Events

D.H. Conley’s Caleb Dudley was one of five finalists announced on Wednesday for the National Football Foundation’s Bill Dooley Scholar-Athlete Award.

BYH, in a society that has you counting your money, pounds, calories and steps, be a rebel and count your blessings.

Recently we learned that our own Bobby Burns, along with Gov. Roy Cooper and Dr. Fauci tested positive for COVID-19. I was so sorry to hear the news but relieved they reported being fully vaccinated and weren’t hospitalized.

The Supreme Court set off political fireworks this year with divided opinions on gun rights, abortion, religious liberty and more. So it’s worth highlighting the Court’s unanimous June decision that reinforces a core tenet of the U.S. legal system (Ruan v. U.S.).

BYH to the radical left protesting the Supreme Court decision on abortion. Why they are so upset is very simple. With the issue being up to the states, the left now has to depend on the voters to pass their agenda, which will be a real problem.

A salad that calls itself a substantial meal is not a floppy affair. Greens are certainly welcome but a main-course salad is more than lettuce. The key to a satisfying salad is to add ingredients that contribute heft and texture — to create a dish that is filling, yet light, and that won’t l…

East Carolina University School of Music will host the 25th annual ECU Summer Guitar Festival this week. The event, scheduled for Thursday through Sunday, is returning after a two-year hiatus due to COVID-19.

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State AP Stories

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper signed an executive order shielding out-of-state abortion patients from extradition and prohibiting state agencies under his control from assisting other states’ prosecutions of abortion patients who travel for the procedure. Cooper joined a growing number of Democratic governors seeking to offer sanctuary in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court decision overturning abortion protections. In announcing the executive order, Cooper said he would use his authority over extradition warrants to shield abortion providers and their patients from states with more restrictive polices that could seek to punish residents who cross state lines for the procedure.

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Tropical Storm Colin has brought rain and winds to parts of North and South Carolina, though the storm has weakened and conditions are expected to improve by Monday's July Fourth celebrations. Separately, the center of Tropical Storm Bonnie rolled into the Pacific on Saturday after a rapid march across Central America, where it caused flooding, downed trees and forced thousands of people to evacuate in Nicaragua and Costa Rica. Forecasters say Bonnie is likely to become a hurricane by Monday off the southern coast of Mexico, but it is unlikely to make a direct hit on land.

North Carolina's Democratic attorney general has not yet indicated whether he will ask a court to lift the injunction on a state law banning abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. Attorney General Josh Stein told Republican lawmakers on Friday that his department’s attorneys are reviewing the litigation that led a federal court to strike down the 20-week ban. His letter responds to GOP demands that he take immediate action in the wake of last week's U.S. Supreme Court ruling that overturned abortion protections. Senate leader Phil Berger and House Speaker Tim Moore warned last week Stein's inaction would lead them to get involved.

The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday agreed to hear a case that could dramatically change the way elections for Congress and the presidency are conducted by handing more power to state legislatures and blocking state courts from reviewing challenges to the procedures and results.

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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A federal appeals court on Wednesday threw out the 2020 conspiracy and bribery convictions of a major political donor in North Carolina and his associate, declaring that the trial judge erred in his jury instructions.

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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina Republican legislative leaders on Tuesday unveiled state budget adjustments for the coming year, proposing to spend or set aside billions in expected extra tax collections to raise worker pay, recruit companies, build more infrastructure and combat inflation.

National & World AP Stories

President Biden's climate agenda has been stymied by Congress and the Supreme Court. But one thing the president doesn't like is actually causing emissions of heat-trapping gases to drop: high gas prices. Even as gas prices finally slip below $5 a gallon, many people are cutting back on driving just a bit. But not everyone can. Federal data shows that June gas sales are 5% below the same time in 2019 and spring miles driven are down 6%. Experts say high gas prices hurt people's pocketbooks and Biden politically but do nibble at the climate problem.

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British Prime Minister Boris Johnson resigned as leader of the Conservative Party on Thursday, giving in to irresistible pressure as a three-year-term that began with a bold vow to “get Brexit done” and a huge election win ended in scandal and division, much of it of his own making. Months of defiance ended almost with a shrug as Johnson stood in Downing Street conceded that his party wanted him gone -- “Them’s the breaks,” he said. The messiest of prime ministers did not leave cleanly. Johnson insisted he would remain in office as prime minister until the party chooses his successor, but many in the party want him gone before then, and his government has been shredded by scores of resignations.

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Stocks are rising at the start of trading on Wall Street Thursday. The S&P 500 is up 0.8% and on pace for a rare winning week. Companies that benefit most from a healthy economy led the way, including raw-material producers. Energy stocks were doing the best after oil prices recovered some of their big losses from earlier in the week. The bond market is still signaling worries about a potential recession, and a report showed more workers filed for unemployment benefits than expected. The yield on the two-year Treasury is above the 10-year yield, a relatively rare thing seen by some investors as an ominous sign.

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Boris Johnson has stepped down as Conservative Party leader. But the scandal-tarnished politician remains Britain’s prime minister for now. Johnson’s resignation Thursday sparks a party contest to replace him as leader. All Conservative lawmakers are eligible to run and party officials could open the nominations within hours. Party lawmakers will vote to in a series of elimination rounds until two candidates are left. The winner will then be decided by all members of the Conservative Party nationwide. The winner will become both Conservative leader and prime minister. Johnson says he intends to stay in office until that happens. But many in the party say he must leave sooner because he no longer has the authority to govern.

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Foreign analysts say Russia may be temporarily easing its offensive in Ukraine as it attempts to reconstitute its forces for a renewed assault. A Washington-based think tank said Russian forces made no territorial gains in Ukraine “for the first time in 133 days of war.” The Institute for the Study of War suggested Moscow might be taking an “operational pause” that does not entail “the complete cessation of active hostilities.” Shelling continued in Ukraine’s east, where at least nine civilians were killed and six wounded in 24 hours. Further fighting was reported off the country's Black Sea coast.

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Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin is about to learn his sentence for federal civil rights violations in the killing of George Floyd. A plea deal is in place that will extend his time behind bars while shifting him to possibly more favorable conditions in a federal prison. It calls for 20 to 25 years in prison. But the final decision Thursday is up to U.S. District Judge Paul Magnuson. Prosecutors last month asked for the full 25 on the grounds that Chauvin’s actions were cold-blooded and needless. The defense has asked for 20 years, saying Chauvin has accepted responsibility for what he did.

Officials say a Pakistani man who became the youngest climber of one of the world's highest mountains is safe after going missing during his latest expedition. Officials said on Thursday that Shehroze Kashif, who last year scaled K2 at age 19, and Pakistani Fazal Ali went missing earlier this week after scaling Nanga Parbat mountain. That prompted the country’s military to launch a search for them. The military also said it sent helicopters to pluck the climbers but the bad weather was an obstacle to reaching them. The mountaineers are now trying to come down on their own from Nanga Parbat, known as “Killer Mountain” because of its dangerous conditions.

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Jailed American basketball star Brittney Griner has returned to a Russian court to face her trial on drug charges. Griner’s trial began last week amid a growing chorus of calls for Washington to do more to secure her release nearly five months after her arrest. But a senior Russian diplomat warned Thursday that warned that U.S. criticism of how Russia’s handling the case wouldn’t help her release prospects. Griner was detained at a Moscow airport after vape canisters with cannabis oil allegedly were found in her luggage. She faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted of large-scale drugs transportation. The trial was adjourned after its start last week because two witnesses did not appear. The proceedings could last months.