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FRANKFURT, Germany — The OPEC+ alliance of oil-exporting countries decided Wednesday to sharply cut production to prop up sagging oil prices, a move analysts said could deal the struggling global economy another blow and raise pump prices for U.S. drivers just ahead of key national elections.

Chow Down: The Farmville Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center will host the Chow Down for the Chamber fundraiser for breakfast, lunch and dinner on Friday. Restaurants in town will donate a percentage of sales to the chamber to encourage people to go out to eat. 

Local Events

Russell Reeves and his partner, Ray Novicki of Southern Pines, tied for ninth place in the 11th Carolinas Super Senior Four-Ball tournament at Walnut Creek Country Club in Goldsboro last week.

Wake up Greenville! The N.C. Department of Transportation has started “Operation Crash Reduction” to crack down on speeders in the state. Does information like this even reach our city government or do they just ignore it? I think we all know the answer. Give us candidates in the next electi…

I believe in climate change. It always has. I have yet to find someone to explain how mankind caused the Ice Age and Great Flood. However, we should be good stewards of Mother Earth.

No, polio is not a threat to the vast majority of Americans. That’s because the vast majority has received a very effective polio vaccine. And that’s also why public officials should stop turning a concern centered on a few under-vaxxed communities into everyone’s problem.

North Carolina endured the wrath of yet another powerful hurricane last week. And while it comes as little solace to those who lost homes, businesses or, in a few tragic cases, loved ones, on the whole, the situation could have been much, much worse. One need only glance at the devastation t…

Bless our hearts. I see from the state election judicial guide that judges for the state Supreme and Appeals Court seats are running by party. Seems that Democrat judges vote the party line same as Democrat politicians. If the voters want their decisions upheld, it is time to get rid of prog…

Most people in North Carolina fill in the name of your state), if asked politely, would probably not be able to tell you the name of a field botanist in their area. Now, there are quite a number of different kinds of people who study plants, whether trained formally in an academic setting or…

Don’t underestimate the lentil. These tiny, pebble-like legumes may be a tad frumpy in appearance, but any perceived drabness or lumpiness shouldn’t deter you from eating them. Lentils are rich in plant-based protein and fiber and are an excellent source of B vitamins, magnesium and potassiu…

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State AP Stories

President Joe Biden is working to create a manufacturing revival. He's even helping to put factory jobs in Republican territory under the belief it can help restore faith in U.S. democracy. The latest development came Tuesday, when chipmaker Micron announced an investment of up to $100 billion over the next 20-plus years to build a plant in upstate New York that could create 9,000 factory jobs. It’s a commitment made in a GOP congressional district that Biden and the company credited to the recently enacted $280 billion CHIPS and Science Act. Biden's goal is to keep opening new factories in states where Democrats’ footholds are shaky at best.

In Georgia’s pivotal U.S. Senate race, Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock and his Republican challenger, Herschel Walker, have each sought to cast the other as an abortion extremist. At the same time, they deflect questions about the details of their own positions on the issue. The sidestepping reflects the sensitivity of abortion politics in a post-Roe v. Wade America, where the procedure is open to regulation by state governments and, potentially, by Congress. But Walker’s strategy may not work much longer after The Daily Beast reported Monday that he paid for a girlfriend’s 2009 abortion — a blatant contradiction of his claims that there’s “no excuse” for a procedure he characterizes as “killing.” Walker called the report a lie.

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Advocates say schools increasingly are removing children with disabilities from the classroom because of behavior issues related to their disability but not recording the actions as suspension. The practice is known as informal removal, which advocates say amounts to a form of off-the-books, de facto denial of education that evades accountability. Because the removals aren’t recorded, there’s no way to quantify how often they happen. But the assistant secretary for the Education Department's Office for Civil Rights, Catherine E. Lhamon, says the practice has "taken hold in a way that is dangerous for students and needs to be addressed.”

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A Delaware judge says cigarette manufacturer ITG Brands assumed liability for tobacco settlement payments to the state of Florida when it acquired four brands from Reynolds American in 2015. Vice Chancellor Lori Will also said in Friday's ruling that ITG must compensate Reynolds American for losses due to that assumed liability. Reynolds sold the Kool, Winston, Salem and Maverick brands to ITG in 2014 to gain federal regulators' approval of Reynolds’ acquisition of Lorillard Inc. Before the sale closed, Reynolds American affiliate R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. was making payments under a preexisting settlement agreement with Florida for reimbursement of smoking-related health care costs.

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North Carolina’s State Board of Elections is directing county election officials not to engage in signature matching when reviewing absentee ballot envelopes this fall after a judge rejected the GOP appeal of a state board ruling prohibiting the practice. According to a directive sent to county election directors from the board’s legal counsel Paul Cox, the judge’s ruling maintains the status quo outlined in state law. Superior Court Judge Stephan Futrell ruled from the bench Monday afternoon, denying the party’s motion for a temporary restraining order and preventing the use of signature matching in the 2022 general election, state board spokesperson Pat Gannon said.

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Emergency responders are seeking to evacuate residents from the largest barrier island off Florida's Gulf Coast, and survivors there spoke of the terror of riding out Hurricane Ian in flooded homes and howling winds. A volunteer group, Medic Corps, was flying residents off Pine island by helicopter on Saturday. The bridge to Pine Island was heavily damaged by the hurricane, leaving it reachable only by boat or air. Some residents said they hadn’t seen anyone from outside the island for days and spoke of being trapped in flooded homes as boats and other debris crashed around their houses in the storm surge. Some feared they wouldn't make it.

Local election officials across the United States are bracing for a wave of confrontations on Election Day in November. Emboldened Republican poll watchers, including many who embrace former President Donald Trump’s falsehoods about the 2020 election, are expected to flood election offices and polling places. The Republican Party and conservative activists have been holding poll watcher training sessions, but in many states they've barred the media from observing those sessions. Some Republican-led states passed laws after the 2020 election that require local election offices to allow poll watchers and give them expanded access to observe and challenge ballots.

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The remnants of Hurricane Ian have downed trees and power lines across North Carolina, and at least four storm-related fatalities.. The Johnston County Sheriff's Office says a woman found her husband dead early Saturday morning after he went to check on a generator running in their garage overnight. North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper's office says there were also two storm-related traffic fatalities in Johnston County on Friday, and a drowning in Martin County. Damage reports across the state were less severe than in South Carolina and Florida. But over 90,000 people statewide were without power Saturday afternoon. That was down from over 330,000 earlier in the day.

National & World AP Stories

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Stocks fell on Wall Street as the broader market continued pulling back from a sharp surge earlier in the week. The S&P 500 fell 0.7% in morning trading on Thursday. The benchmark index is still on track for a solid weekly gain. The Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Nasdaq also fell. Investors reviewed more employment data and considered how it might influence the Federal Reserve's effort to fight inflation with higher interest rates. The U.S. government reported that applications for unemployment benefits rose last week. It will release its monthly report on the job market on Friday.

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A former policeman facing a drug charge burst into a day care center in northeastern Thailand, killing dozens of preschoolers and teachers before shooting more people as he fled. It was the deadliest rampage in the nation’s history. The assailant was fired from the force earlier this year. He took his own life after killing his wife and child at home. A witness said staff at the day care locked the door when they saw the assailant approaching with a gun, but he shot his way in. Police said least 37 people were killed in the attack in one of the poorest parts of Thailand.

Homelessness is expected to be up when the federal government releases results from an annual count in coming months, the first full tally since the coronavirus pandemic began. Experts say with the end of pandemic relief measures that kept many people housed, the crisis is deepening. But the story is not uniform across the U.S. In two high-rent state capitals, the numbers have been moving in opposite directions. In Boston, where there's been improvement, officials credit a strategy of targeting housing to people who have long been on the streets. In Sacramento, California, people are becoming homeless faster than they can be housed.

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Protests in Iran over the death of a 22-year-old woman detained by the country’s morality police have stretched into a third week. That's despite authorities disrupting the internet, deploying riot troops and attacking perceived enemies abroad. The spontaneous demonstrations over the death of Mahsa Amini persist and keep changing, with even high schoolers in one case chasing away a hard-liner and famous politicians. Their longevity and metamorphosis pose a new threat to Tehran, one unseen since the 2009 Green Movement protests brought millions to the street. Whether they'll continue as long as those demonstrations over a decade ago remains unclear.

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Even as the Kremlin moved to absorb parts of Ukraine in a sharp escalation of the conflict, the Russian military suffered new defeats that highlighted its deep problems on the battlefield and opened rifts at the top of the Russian government. The setbacks have badly dented the image of a powerful Russian military and added to the tensions surrounding an ill-planned military mobilization. They have also fueled fighting among Kremlin insiders and left Russian President Vladimir Putin increasingly cornered.

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This year’s Nobel Prize in literature has been awarded to French author Annie Ernaux. The Swedish Academy said Ernaux, 82, was recognized for “the courage and clinical acuity” of her writing. Ernaux's more than 20 books, most of them very short, chronicle events in her life and the lives of those around her in Normandy in northwest France. They present uncompromising portraits of sexual encounters, abortion, illness and the deaths of her parents. The Nobel literature chairman said “she writes about things that no one else writes about." Ernaux is just the 17th woman among the 119 Nobel literature laureates.  She is one of France’s most-honored authors and a prominent feminist voice. The 2022 Nobel Peace Prize will be announced on Friday.

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NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — Babies in Ethiopia's embattled Tigray region are dying in their first month of life at four times the rate before the war cut off access to most medical care for over 5 million people, according to the most sweeping study yet of how mothers and children are suffering.

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Bodies are floating amid splintered wreckage in the water off two Greek islands as the death toll from the sinking of two migrant boats in Greek waters has risen to 22, with many still missing. Residents of the island of Kythira pulled shipwrecked migrants to safety up steep cliffs in dramatic rescues after their sailboat broke up on the rocks surrounding the island. Hundreds of miles east, the coast guard on the island of Lesbos said 16 young women, a man and a boy died when their dinghy went down. The deadly incidents further stoked tension between neighbors Greece and Turkey, which are locked in a heated dispute over migration and maritime boundaries.