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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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BERLIN (AP) — German officials say they expect more people to be detained in connection with an alleged far-right plan to topple the government that saw 25 people rounded up Wednesday, including a self-styled prince, a retired paratrooper and a judge.

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People across China are reacting with relief and caution to the dramatic government decision to loosen some of the world’s most severe COVID-19 restrictions. For the first time in months, Jenny Jian hit the gym in the southern metropolis of Guangzhou without being required to scan the “health code” on her smartphone. That's part of a nationwide system that tracks where hundreds of millions of people go. Elsewhere, virus tests no longer were required to enter many public places under changes announced Wednesday. They followed nationwide protests against restrictions that have confined millions of families to their homes. While it’s not clear if the new rules are a direct response to the protests, they address some of the most pressing issues that drove people on the streets.

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Hundreds of journalists and other employees at The New York Times began a 24-hour walkout Thursday, the first strike of its kind at the newspaper in more than 40 years. Newsroom employees and other members of The NewsGuild of New York say they are fed up with bargaining that has dragged on since their last contract expired in March 2021. The union announced last week that more than 1,100 employees would stage a 24-hour work stoppage starting at 12:01 a.m. Thursday unless a deal could be struck. A Times spokesperson said the paper has contingency plans to continue operating with minimal disruptions.

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CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Australia's government on Thursday said it was seeking assurances from Indonesia that the man convicted of making the bombs used in the 2002 Bali terrorist attacks would continue to be monitored after his release from prison.