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Nothing that Elon Musk is doing in the wake of his takeover of Twitter should be considered controversial. The fact that the world’s richest person and self-described “free speech absolutist” is currently taking endless flack for attempting to limit online censorship and gatekeeping in the interests of widening public debate is a testament to the fact that the prominent social media platform had become a gatekeeper for the Western establishment status quo and the primarily left-leaning ideals that they relentlessly champion. Read moreRachel Marsden: Musk’s anti-censorship makes him enemy number one

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State AP Stories

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One of the world's most ruthless pirates hid in plain sight in the American colonies, according to new evidence. A historian and metal detectorist in Rhode Island says that he’s unearthed 26 silver coins with Arabic inscriptions that notorious English pirate Henry Every once seized from an armed Indian ship. The 1695 heist made Every the target of the first worldwide manhunt. Detectorists say that before he fled to the Bahamas and then vanished, Every first hid out in New England.

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Duke Energy says it has completed repairs on substation equipment damaged in shootings over the weekend and restored power thousands of customers who lost electricity in a central North Carolina county.  All but a handful of households in Moore County had regained power as of 5 p.m. Wednesday, according to Duke Energy’s outage map. A peak of more than 45,000 customers lost power over the weekend. Authorities have said the outages began shortly after 7 p.m. Saturday night after one or more people drove up to two substations, breached the gates and opened fire on them. Police have not released a motive.

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The Supreme Court seems skeptical of making a broad ruling that would leave state legislatures virtually unchecked when making rules for elections for Congress and the presidency. In nearly three hours of arguments Wednesday, liberal and conservative justices appeared to take issue with the main thrust of a challenge asking them to essentially eliminate the power of state courts to strike down legislature-drawn, gerrymandered congressional districts on grounds that they violate state constitutions. But it was harder to see exactly where the court would land. A trio of conservative justices who probably control the outcome, Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett, seemed open to simply limiting state court power in some circumstances.

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Duke Energy says it expects to be able to restore power by Wednesday night to a county where electric substations were attacked by gunfire. Duke Energy spokesman Jeff Brooks said the company expects to have power back Wednesday just before midnight in Moore County. The company had previously estimated it would be restored Thursday morning. About 35,000 Duke energy customers were still without power Tuesday, down from more than 45,000 at the height of the outage Saturday. Authorities have said the outages began shortly after 7 p.m. Saturday night after one or more people drove up to two substations, breached the gates and opened fire on them.

National & World AP Stories

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Britain’s monarchy is bracing for more bombshells to be lobbed over the palace gates as Netflix releases the first three episodes of a new series. The show “Harry & Meghan” promises to tell the “full truth” about Prince Harry and his wife Meghan’s estrangement from the royal family. The series debuts Thursday. It has been promoted with two dramatically edited trailers that hint at racism and a “war against Meghan.” The series is the couple’s latest effort to tell the world why they walked away from royal life and moved to Southern California almost three years ago.

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This year, heavy rains inundated Nigeria and neighboring countries, causing flooding the region hasn’t seen in at least a decade. Hundreds have died. When the floodwaters reached Aisha Ali’s hut in northeastern Nigeria, she packed some belongings and set off on foot with her eight youngest children. Like many in their remote village, the family was used to frequent floods. But this time, they knew it was different. Ali and the kids tried to journey to safety, navigating narrow roads full of water, with some pockets much deeper than others. Not all the family would make it. Their story shows the struggle playing out regionwide as people deal with floods made worse over time in large part because of climate change.

A day after China announced the rollback of some of its most stringent COVID-19 restrictions, people across the country are greeting the news with a measure of relief but also caution, as many wait to see how the new approach will be implemented. Online, government ministries and hospitals are already switching their messaging about how to deal with COVID-19 at home if one gets sick. Beijing resident Yang Guangwei, 65, said: “All the policies are there, but when it gets to the local level, when it gets to the sub-district level, your neighborhood, it’s a complete mess."

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The banking sector in Lebanon has been struggling since the country’s economic meltdown began in October 2019. It was once a symbol of success in Lebanon, attracting investments and deposits from around the world, but has suffered losses worth tens of billions of dollars, laid off hundreds of employees and closed dozens of branches. Most depositors have lost access to their savings after the country’s lenders for years took risky investments by buying Lebanese treasury bills. Restructuring the banking sector is one of key demands of the International Monetary Fund to help start getting the small nation out of its crisis.