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Thousands of Americans in Puerto Rico are without power after Hurricane Fiona roared through last week. Idling off the island’s coast is a ship that reportedly carries 300,000 barrels of diesel fuel from Texas. Yet unloading that fuel is illegal without a Jones Act waiver, which the Biden Administration hasn’t granted.

Friday, September 30, 2022

Almost everything in Congress — access to contraception, lowering the cost of insulin, infrastructure — seems to be about politics. One might hope, though, that partisanship could be put aside for something as important as democracy.

Tuesday, September 27, 2022
Saturday, September 24, 2022
Friday, September 23, 2022
Thursday, September 22, 2022

When the Supreme Court overturned Roe vs. Wade in June, striking down a constitutionally guaranteed right to abortion and directing decisions on abortion to be made by the states, Republican lawmakers hailed that approach. But no one — neither abortion rights supporters nor abortion opponents — expected GOP members of Congress to stop the assault on reproductive rights, no matter what they said.

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Seven years ago, world leaders committed to a highly ambitious target: ending hunger by 2030. That goal is now more distant than ever. The United Nations estimates that the number of people in “hunger emergencies” — just one step away from famine — has jumped from 135 million in 2019 to 345 million. This week the UN humanitarian chief warned that famine is “at the door” in Somalia. Across the drought-ravaged Horn of Africa, 22 million are at risk of starvation. Almost a third of Pakistan is underwater, and as much as four-fifths of its livestock have died. In southern China, drought and a heatwave are putting crops at risk. These follow Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which affected supplies from two major exporters, and sent energy and fertilizer prices soaring.

Few diseases are as cruelly debilitating as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). But a Food and Drug Administration advisory committee this week gave patients a glimmer of hope by backing a new treatment that can slow their decline and provide precious more time to live.

Greater transparency in government dealings is almost always in the public’s interest. It provides us with more complete information on which to base our judgments — as we’re learning from every subsequent revelation emerging from the recent FBI search of Mar-a-Lago.

Fights about free speech can feel rhetorical until they are not. Here’s what censorship looks like in practice: A student newspaper and journalism program in Nebraska shuttered for writing about pride month. The state of Oklahoma seeking to revoke the teaching certificate of an English teacher who shared a QR code that directed students to the Brooklyn Public Library’s online collection of banned books. A newly elected district attorney in Tennessee musing openly about jailing teachers and librarians.

The American public overwhelmingly supports marriage equality. More than 70 percent believe same-sex marriage should be legal, according to Gallup, and a bipartisan bill codifying these protections easily passed the House, with support from 47 Republicans. So it’s disappointing the Respect for Marriage Act is facing inexplicable pushback in the Senate. We urge conscientious Republican senators to work across the aisle to pass a measure that is popular, common-sense and, above all, moral.

If the General Assembly passes legislation to expand Medicaid by the end of September, the state Department of Health and Human Services will, before the end of the year, get health care services to more than 600,000 North Carolinians who now lack access to critical basic medical care.

It’s been obvious for years that while Democrats claim to fear and loathe Donald Trump, they really can’t live without him. They need him around, they want him around, because they think he’s their ticket to remain in power.

Border Patrol agents are stopping unauthorized migrants coming from Mexico at record levels. Little wonder more than half of Americans now say an “invasion” is underway at the southern border, according to a recent NPR/Ipsos poll.

The harm and distress caused by floods in Pakistan are difficult — if not impossible — to quantify, as a crisis of vast proportions keeps unfolding. They have killed around 1,000 people so far this summer, with at least 119 losing their lives in one 24-hour period last week. The number of those who have lost their homes, or been evacuated, is in the millions, with 300,000 dwellings destroyed. More than 33 million people are affected — around one in seven of the population. The country’s climate change minister, Sherry Rehman, says the floods — caused by torrential monsoon rains and melting glaciers – are the worst in living memory. Around a third of Pakistan is under water. Vitally important agricultural land will take months to drain.

President Biden’s student-loan write-off is the gift that keeps on giving, unless you’re the sap who paid off her loan or didn’t go to college. Thanks to a little-known provision in the March 2021 COVID spending bill, student borrowers will get a hefty tax benefit on top of their $10,000 or $20,000 in canceled debt.

If there’s any finger-pointing to be done for North Carolina’s 13-year failure to expand Medicaid to more than 600,000 North Carolinians — it should be in the direction of the leaders of the North Carolina General Assembly. Anything else is a transparent effort to pass the buck. Senate leader Phil Berger and House Speaker Tim Moore, both Republicans, know it as does Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper.

The biggest campaign story last week wasn’t Mitch McConnell’s warning that Republicans might not retake the Senate in November. That’s been clear since the party nominated so many candidates whose main advantage was support from Donald Trump. The big story was that those candidates are now calling on McConnell to come to their rescue.