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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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At a time when democracy has withered in Haiti and gang violence has spiraled out of control, armed men like Jimmy Cherizier – known by the nickname Barbecue - have filled the power vacuum left by a crumbling government. The U.N. estimated in December that gangs controlled 60% of Haiti’s capital, but nowadays most on the streets of Port-au-Prince say that number is closer to 100%. While gangs profit from the chaos, at least 155,000 people have been forced to flee the violence.

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Pope Francis has started 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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PESHAWAR, Pakistan (AP) — Pakistani authorities scrambled on Tuesday to determine how a suicide bomber was able to carry out one of the country’s deadliest militant attacks in years, unleashing an explosion in a crowded mosque inside a highly secured police compound in the city of Peshawar. …

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Donna Kelce is going to have to pull out her custom jersey — the one with Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce’s front stitched to Philadelphia Eagles center Jason Kelce’s back — one more time this season. For the first time in Super Bowl history, a pair of siblings will square off on the NFL’s biggest stage. Kelce helped the Chiefs return to their third championship game in four seasons on Sunday night when they beat the Bengals for the AFC title. Jason has the Eagles back for the second time in six years after their NFC title win over the 49ers.

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Ukraine has won support from Baltic nations and Poland for its weekslong quest to obtain Western fighter jets. That ambition follows pledges by some larger nations last week to send Kyiv sophisticated modern tanks to help it beat back Russia’s invasion force after almost a year of fighting. Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Reinsalu urged “all Western community countries” to speed up military help for Kyiv, including fighter jets. Poland, Slovakia and the Baltic countries on NATO’s eastern flank feel especially threatened by Russia. Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov held talks with his French counterpart, saying they did not discuss specific fighter jets but did talk about aviation “platforms” to help Ukraine’s ground-to-air defense.

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The U.S. Justice Department has requested documents from Tesla Inc. related to its Autopilot and “Full Self-Driving” features, according to a regulatory filing. The electric vehicle maker cautioned that if the government decides to pursue an enforcement action, it could possibly have a material adverse impact on its business. Despite their names, Tesla still says on its website that the cars can’t drive themselves. Teslas using “Full Self-Driving” can navigate roads in many cases, but experts say the system can make mistakes, which even CEO Elon Musk acknowledges. A message was left Tuesday seeking comment from the Justice Department.

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Stocks are ticking higher on Wall Street. The S&P 500 was 0.5% higher Tuesday ahead of what many investors hope will be one of the Federal Reserve’s last economy-shaking hikes to interest rates for a while. Markets got a boost after a report showed that growth for U.S. workers’ pay and benefits slowed during the end of 2022. While that’s frustrating for people trying to keep up with soaring prices at the register, markets see it as an encouraging sign of easing pressure on inflation. The Fed is set to announce its latest rate hike on Wednesday.

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MEXICO CITY (AP) — At least three times a week, Mexico City bus driver Nicolás Cuatencos stops by a stand selling tamales to pick up a “guajolota,” or “turkey.” It's a corn husk-wrapped corn dough and salsa delicacy slid into crusty bun, and it's been his weakness since childhood.