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Biden says getting vaccinated ‘gigantically important’

By ALEXANDRA JAFFE and AAMER MADHANI President Joe Biden expressed pointed frustration over the slowing COVID-19 vaccination rate in the U.S. and pleaded that it’s “gigantically important” for Americans to step up and get inoculated against the virus as it surges once again. Biden, speaking Wednesday night at a televised town hall in Cincinnati, said the public health crisis has turned largely into a plight of the unvaccinated as the spread of the delta

Jeff Bezos blasts into space on own rocket: ‘Best day ever!’

By MARCIA DUNN Oliver Daemen, from left, Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon and space tourism company Blue Origin, Wally Funk and Bezos' brother Mark pose for photos in front of the Blue Origin New Shepard rocket, derby, after their launch from the spaceport near Van Horn, Texas, Tuesday, July 20, 2021. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez) Jeff Bezos blasted into space Tuesday on his rocket company’s first flight with people on board,

US life expectancy in 2020 saw biggest drop since WWII

By MIKE STOBBE NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. life expectancy fell by a year and a half in 2020, the largest one-year decline since World War II, public health officials said Wednesday. The decrease for both Black Americans and Hispanic Americans was even worse: three years. The drop spelled out by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is due mainly to the COVID-19 pandemic, which health officials said is

Senate leader expects SC redistricting to finish by October

The process to draw new districts for South Carolina House and Senate seats as well as the U.S. House kicked off Tuesday with senators hopeful the whirlwind of map drawing, negotiations, public hearings and final vote will take less than four months. The Senate’s redistricting subcommittee agreed Tuesday at its first meeting to hold 10 public hearings across the state starting next week and ending before the final U.S. census

NIL era brings cautious optimism to college-town businesses

By AARON BEARD Bret Oliverio poses at his Sup Dogs restaurant in Chapel Hill, N.C., Thursday, July 15, 2021. Oliverio wants to pursue deals with college athletes to endorse his restaurant specializing in hot dogs and burgers along the main Franklin Street drag steps from the University of North Carolina. Like other small-business owners in college towns, he has to sort out what that entails with athletes free to profit

Some North Carolina hospitals dangerously low on blood

Leaders of the agencies that provide blood to some North Carolina hospitals say the easing of the coronavirus pandemic has created potentially dangerous shortages.  As people get out and about more, injuries from car crashes and other traumas are increasing, and the backlog of surgical procedures delayed by the pandemic have driven up demand for blood and platelets, The News & Observer of Raleigh reported. Meanwhile, fewer organizations are hosting blood drives

That was fleeting: Twitter kills off ephemeral messages

By BARBARA ORTUTAY Twitter is disappearing its disappearing tweets, called fleets, after they didn’t catch on.  The company began testing tweets that vanish after 24 hours last March in Brazil. Fleets were designed to allay the concerns of new users who might be turned off by the public and permanent nature of normal tweets. “However, we haven’t seen an increase in the amount of new people joining the conversation with Fleets like

Three arrested in nearly year-old North Carolina murder case

Three North Carolina men have been arrested in connection with a nearly year-old murder case, police in North Carolina said.  New Bern police, with help from the U.S. Marshals Carolinas Fugitive Task Force, arrested Jarvis Everett, Jamelle Everett and Tarvis Everett over two days last week, news outlets reported. Each man is 25 years old and are from Greenville. They’re accused in the August 2020 murder of 29-year-old Matthew Small

Cuban leaders beef up police patrols after rare protests

By ANDREA RODRIGUEZ Police stand guard near the National Capitol building in Havana, Cuba, Monday, July 12, 2021, the day after protests against food shortages and high prices amid the coronavirus crisis. (AP Photo/Ismael Francisco) HAVANA (AP) — Cuban police are out in force on the country’s streets as the president is accusing Cuban Americans of using social media to spur a rare outpouring of weekend protests over high prices

Black Lives Matter mural defaced in North Carolina town

ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. (AP) — A Black Lives Matter mural drawn in honor of a North Carolina man shot and killed by sheriff’s deputies was damaged one day after it was unveiled, and police are investigating the incident.  A video posted to Facebook on Sunday by Glenda Thomas showed that skid marks were left on the mural in Elizabeth City, news outlets reported Monday. Artist Michael Little painted the mural