Associated Press

Lawsuit: Effects of ‘Bathroom Bill’ Linger in North Carolina

The law that replaced North Carolina’s notorious “bathroom bill” sports a new look but maintains LGBT discrimination and prevents transgender people from using restrooms matching their gender identity, according to a lawsuit Friday. The lawsuit renews a high-profile legal battle that has thrust North Carolina into the center of the national debate over LGBT rights. The state took the “bathroom bill” off the books in late March after a yearlong backlash that hurt North Carolina’s reputation and caused businesses and sports leagues to back out of lucrative events and projects. But lawyers from the American Civil Liberties Union and...

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North Carolina Court: New Elections Board Can Stay Vacant

North Carolina’s highest court says a revamped state elections board that also oversees ethics and lobbying controversies can stay in limbo for now, a holding pattern that could last months. The state Supreme Court on Thursday said Gov. Roy Cooper isn’t required to appoint members of the new state elections and ethics enforcement board created by Republican legislators. That means the board created last month would be unable to make decisions or settle disputes until after the Supreme Court hears from lawyers on Aug. 28. GOP lawmakers have tried pressuring Cooper to appoint four Republican and four Democratic members....

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Legislative Leaders End Lawsuit Over Cooper’s Medicaid Hopes

North Carolina Republican legislative leaders are stopping their lawsuit to block efforts by new Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper to expand Medicaid before President Barack Obama left office. House Speaker Tim Moore and Senate leader Phil Berger filed their dismissal notice Thursday in U.S. District Court. They said in a news release the lawsuit is now unnecessary because Cooper never submitted formal paperwork for expansion through the federal health care overhaul law. The January lawsuit argued Cooper couldn’t seek expansion without formal legislative approval. Soon after, a federal judge temporarily blocked any action by health regulators. Cooper announced during his...

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North Carolina Governor Opposes Offshore Drilling

North Carolina Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper says he’s opposed to drilling for natural gas and oil off the Atlantic coast, saying it’s not worth the risk of harming the state’s pristine beaches and tourism economy. Cooper made the announcement Thursday at a state park in Carteret County. His viewpoint runs counter to those of North Carolina state Republican leaders, including former Gov. Pat McCrory, and President Donald Trump. The Trump administration is rewriting a five-year drilling plan that would open portions of the Atlantic now off-limits to drilling and has asked permission for companies to use seismic air guns...

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Democrats: Cooper Raises $1M-Plus for Legislative Campaign

North Carolina Democrats say they’re getting organized around their goal of retaking the Republican-controlled legislature thanks to the person who’d benefit the most — Gov. Roy Cooper. Cooper and the state Democratic Party announced Tuesday a new initiative already started to get back a majority in the House and Senate by the close of the 2020 elections. The party said Cooper already has raised more than $1 million for the “Break the Majority” effort, and party Chair Wayne Goodwin says the goal is for millions more. Exactly when the initiative will be first tested is unclear. A federal court...

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Family: Hagan Out of Georgia Hospital, Recovery Remains Slow

Former North Carolina Sen. Kay Hagan has entered the next step in her recovery from brain inflammation caused by a virus spread by ticks from animals to humans. Hagan’s family says she was discharged earlier this month from an Atlanta rehabilitation hospital she first entered in January. A family email sent to well-wishers says she’s now receiving therapy at an outpatient facility nearby. The email says her recovery is going slowly but there’s improvement each week. The family says she is using a walker and her speech is limited but that she understands what’s being said to her. Several...

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NC Governor Promises Dems Win Would Lessen Gerrymandering

North Carolina’s governor promises Democrats would give up the right to draw political districts that help their candidates and hamper Republicans if they regain legislative power. Multiple media organizations report Gov. Roy Cooper made the promise to end gerrymandering during the state Democratic Party’s annual gathering Saturday in Raleigh. Cooper says if Democrats win General Assembly majorities in 2020 they’ll transfer to an independent, nonpartisan commission the power to shape districts for seats in the legislature and Congress. The legislature redraws election districts every decade after the national census. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled more than two dozen legislative...

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19 AGs, Including NC, Sue DeVos for Delaying For-Profit College Rules

Democratic attorneys general in 18 states and the District of Columbia are suing Education Secretary Betsy DeVos over her decision to suspend rules meant to protect students from abuses by for-profit colleges. The lawsuit was filed Thursday in federal court in Washington and demands implementation of borrower defense to repayment rules. The rules aim to make schools financially responsible for fraud and forbid them from forcing students to resolve complaints outside court. They were created under President Barack Obama’s administration and were to take effect July 1. On June 14, DeVos announced the rules would be delayed and rewritten,...

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Infosys Plans 2,000 New Tech Jobs in North Carolina by 2021

India-based information technology outsourcing company Infosys plans to hire 2,000 workers within four years in North Carolina, the second of four planned expansion sites in the U.S. intended to create 10,000 jobs. The company said Thursday it plans to hire the first 500 North Carolina workers within two years. Infosys said in May it would also hire 2,000 new workers by the end of 2021 in the Indianapolis area, home turf of former Indiana governor and current Vice President Mike Pence. President Donald Trump has blasted an American visa program that tech companies have heavily relied upon to temporarily...

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Georgia Bishop Chosen to Lead in Eastern North Carolina

An auxiliary bishop in Georgia has been chosen to lead Roman Catholics in eastern North Carolina. Local media outlets reported that Pope Francis has selected Bishop Luis Rafael Zarama of Atlanta to take over as the new bishop of the Diocese of Raleigh. The 58-year-old Zarama is from Colombia and will become the sixth bishop of the Diocese of Raleigh. Zarama is to be installed at the new Holy Name of Jesus Cathedral on Aug. 29. The vacancy in Raleigh was created last year when Pope Francis appointed Bishop Michael Burbidge as the bishop of the Diocese of Arlington,...

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