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Business After Hours: The Greenville Pitt County Chamber of Commerce will hold its Business After Hours membership networking event 5:30-7 p.m. on Thursday at 5th Street Hardware Restaurant & Taproom, 120 W. Fifth St. Visit a chamber member business and network with other business leaders out of the office and off the clock while enjoying great food and beverages. Register at greenvillenc.org/events. Contact Aileen Peacock or call (252) 752-4101, ext. 2223.

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…

Even as Black History Month begins, the war on teaching Black history has opened a new front in Florida. That state’s governor, the shamelessly ambitious Ron DeSantis, has banned a proposed high school Advanced Placement (AP) course in African American studies.

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…

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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North Carolina civil rights advocates have denounced a House rule change that could allow Republicans to override vetoes on contentious bills with little notice, saying it subverts democracy and the will of voters. Republicans pushed through temporary operating rules this month that omitted a longstanding requirement that chamber leaders give at least two days’ notice before holding an override vote. The move could allow Republicans to override Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper’s vetoes while Democrats are absent, even momentarily. Calling the change “a shameful power grab meant to thwart the will of the people,” Jillian Riley of Planned Parenthood South Atlantic said it undermines the functionality of the General Assembly.

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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.

National & World AP Stories

The prospects for peace in Myanmar, much less a return to democracy, seem dimmer than ever two years after the army seized power from the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi. On Wednesday, legions of opponents of military rule heeded a call by protest organizers to stay home in what they're calling a  “silent strike” to show their strength and solidarity. Small peaceful protests are an almost-daily occurrence throughout the country. But experts say that violence, especially in the countryside, has reached the level of civil war on the anniversary of the Feb. 1, 2021, seizure of power by the army. At the same time, the grassroots movement opposing military rule has defied expectations by largely holding off the ruling generals.

The Pakistani city of Peshawar was once known as “the city of flowers” but has borne the brunt of rising militancy in the region for the past decades. Now it's reeling after one of Pakistan’s most devastating militant attacks in years, in which a suicide bomber hit a mosque, killing  at least 100 people and wounding 225, mostly police. Analysts say the carnage is the legacy of decades of flawed policies by Pakistan and the United States. In the 1980s, the city became the center of the U.S. and Pakistani program to back the mujahedeen fighting the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, creating a legacy of radicalism and violence that continues until today,

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Mourners are paying respects to Cardinal George Pell in a Sydney cathedral before the funeral of the polarizing church leader who was once the most senior Catholic convicted of sex abuse. Pell spent more than a year in prison before his convictions were overturned in 2020. He died at age 81 in January from heart complications after hip surgery. Pell will lie in St. Mary’s Cathedral until he is interred at the cathedral crypt after a funeral Mass on Thursday. Police dropped an attempt to stop a protest of his funeral after a compromise was reached with protesters over the location.

It's been more than 375 years since Alse Young became the first person on record to be executed in the American colonies for witchcraft. Now, Connecticut lawmakers are considering exonerating her, as well as 10 others who were executed and dozens more who were accused of having ties to Satan. Young was killed in 1647, decades before the infamous Salem witch trials in Massachusetts. While there have been exoneration efforts in the past, lawmakers are optimistic it will happen this year. That's because amateur historians, researchers and descendants of the accused witches and their accusers from across the U.S. are urging Connecticut officials to officially acknowledge this dark period of the state’s colonial history.

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The long-running dispute over the West Bank Bedouin community of Khan al-Ahmar has resurfaced this week as a focus of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Four years ago, Israel's Supreme Court ordered the evacuation of the entire village, saying it was built illegally on state land. Now Israel’s new far-right ministers are pushing the government to fulfill its long-stalled commitment. They vow to expand Israeli presence in what is known as Area C, the 60% of the occupied West Bank over which the Israeli military has full control. Palestinians seek that land for a future state. For Palestinians, Khan al-Ahmar is emblematic of the latest stage of the conflict, as Palestinians struggle for Israeli permission to build.

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Prosecutors have linked Alec Baldwin to an expansive list of alleged failures in firearms safety in a filing of a felony involuntary manslaughter charge against the actor in the fatal shooting of a cinematographer on a New Mexico movie set. A Santa Fe district attorney announced the charges Tuesday. Halyna Hutchins died shortly after being wounded during rehearsals at a ranch on the outskirts of Santa Fe on Oct. 21, 2021. Baldwin was pointing a pistol at Hutchins when the gun went off, killing her and wounding the director, Joel Souza. Film-set weapons supervisor Hannah Gutierrez-Reed also faces involuntary manslaughter charges.

The family of Tyre Nichols plans to lay him to rest on Wednesday, three weeks after he was beaten to death by Memphis police after a traffic stop. In those three weeks, five officers have been fired and charged with murder, and their specialized unit was disbanded. Two more officers have been suspended. Two Memphis Fire Department emergency medical workers and a lieutenant were also fired. And more discipline could be coming. But Wednesday will be about Nichols, a 29-year-old skateboarder, father, and amateur photographer who worked at FedEx, made friends during morning stops at Starbucks, and always greeted his mother and step-father with a sunny, “Hello, parents!”

Asian stock markets are higher after Wall Street rose ahead of what traders hope will be the last Federal Reserve interest rate hike for some time. Shanghai and Hong Kong declined. Tokyo rose. Oil prices gained. Traders assume the Fed will announce a rate hike of 0.25 percentage points but hope that will be the last for some time after U.S. wage growth slowed in late 2022. They worry U.S. and European rate hikes to cool inflation might tip the global economy into recession. Wall Street’s benchmark S&P 500 index gained after traders took the wage data as a sign the U.S. central bank might think its efforts to slow economic activity are taking effect.