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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.

The National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution gave its Community Service Award to a Snow Hill man his ongoing efforts to preserve the heritage of the Tuscarora people.

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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Global shares are lower in muted trading as investors await decisions on interest rates and updates on corporate earnings reports from around the world. The Federal Reserve’s decision on interest rates, expected Wednesday, will provide insight into whether the U.S. central bank will further ease its aggressive stance on fighting inflation. In a positive sign, the IMF said the global outlook has grown slightly brighter as China eases its zero-COVID policies and economies show surprising resilience in the face of high inflation, elevated interest rates and Russia’s ongoing war against Ukraine. A survey showed Chinese factory activity rebounded in January, adding to signs the world’s second-largest economy might be recovering from its painful slump.

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Prosecutors are scheduled to file involuntary manslaughter charges in connection with the fatal shooting of a cinematographer by actor Alec Baldwin during a rehearsal on the set of a Western movie in 2021. Prosecutors say they will file in court and make public felony charges against Baldwin and weapons supervisor Hannah Gutierrez-Reed that could carry penalties of up to five years in prison. Prosecutors also said they will release a signed plea agreement with assistant director David Halls. Halls oversaw safety on the set. Baldwin has described the killing as a tragic accident and says he was told the gun was safe.

The possibility of providing Kyiv with fighter jets to help beat back Russia’s invasion forces risks the unity of Ukraine’s Western allies, amid fears of escalating the nearly year-long conflict and being drawn deeper into the war. Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov was due in Paris on Tuesday where the possible delivery of fighter jets to Ukraine was expected to be on the agenda of official talks. Kyiv officials have repeatedly urged allies to send jets they say are essential to challenge Russia’s air superiority. They could also provide cover for sophisticated tanks recently promised by Western countries.

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.

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Pope Francis is starting a six-day visit to Congo and South Sudan where he'll bring a message of peace to countries riven by poverty and conflict. Aid groups are hoping Francis’ trip will shine a spotlight on some of the world’s forgotten conflicts. But Francis’ trip will also bring him face-to-face with the future of the Catholic Church: Africa is one of the only places in the world where the Catholic flock is growing, in terms of practicing faithful as well as of fresh vocations to the priesthood and religious life. That makes his trip particularly important as Francis nears the 10-year-mark in his papacy.

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Pakistani officials say the death toll from a suicide bombing at a mosque in the northwestern city of Peshawar has risen to 88. Mohammad Asim, a government hospital spokesman, says more bodies were retrieved from the rubble of the mosque overnight and early on Tuesday, and several of those critically injured died in hospital. He says most of the victims were policemen who were praying when the bomber struck on Monday morning. The bombing also wounded more than 150 people. It was not clear how the bomber was able to slip into the walled compound in a high-security zone with other government buildings and reach the mosque. Also on Tuesday, mourners were burying some of the bombing victims.

Almost a decade after a tragedy that many thought would reshape the European Union's approach to migration, little of substance has changed. Attempts by people to enter the EU without authorization in 2022 hit a six-year high. More than 900,000 people applied for EU asylum, overloading national capacities. The 27 EU countries are unable to bridge differences over which members should manage migrant arrivals and whether others should be obliged to help. At a Feb. 9-10 summit, EU leaders will focus on beefing up Europe's borders and speedily expelling people not permitted to stay. Emphasis will be placed on a carrot-and-stick approach to persuade other countries to stop migrants leaving in the first place.