World shares mixed…China denounces US tech bill
N. Carolina Senate considers banning Down syndrome abortions
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina state senators are expected to approve a measure Tuesday that would prohibit doctors from performing abortions if a woman is seeking it because of race, sex or a prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome. Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper is not expected to approve the bill. Republican lawmakers and anti-abortion advocates say the proposal ensures equality by protecting fetuses that could have disabilities when they are born. Abortion rights groups say it would interfere with a woman’s privacy, preventing them from having open conversations with their doctors and violating their constitutional rights.
NC Senate’s tax-cut plan gets initial approval by chamber
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – The tax-cut package endorsed by North Carolina Senate Republicans has received initial approval with the support of some Democrats. Eight Democrats joined all Republicans in voting for the measure Wednesday. The bill would reduce the individual income tax rate, increase the standard and per-child deductions and phase out the corporate income tax by 2028. And there would be $1 billion in federal aid for businesses and nonprofits that struggled during the pandemic. Some Democrats opposing the measure say it would still help out-of-state corporations and the highest wage earners. One more affirmative Senate vote is needed before the bill goes to the House.
Legislature nears delaying elections in some cities to 2022
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – The North Carolina legislature appears close to passing a bill that would see elections in three dozen municipalities this fall delayed until early 2022 due to redistricting delays. The House voted unanimously Wednesday for a bill that would apply to towns and cities with residents separated into wards or districts who elect specific council members. They won’t get the 2020 Census data in time to redraw boundaries. The municipalities would have elections next March, with more in April or May in some cities. The House bill also would permanently switch Raleigh’s elections to even-numbered years. The Senate already passed a version of the bill.
Cooper seeks to ignite NC wind projects, sets power goal
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Gov. Roy Cooper has unveiled more efforts to boost development of generating wind turbine energy off the North Carolina coast over the next two decades. The governor issued an executive order Wednesday setting electric production goals for 2030 and 2040 that if met would be the equivalent of powering over 2 million homes. He also directed the Commerce Department to create a task force that would seek to advance projects and boost their economic benefits. The state’s military affairs and environmental departments also have roles to play. Cooper says the wind power will help meet Clean Energy Plan targets of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
North Carolina city commits $2.1M for reparations
ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina city is committing $2.1 million toward funding reparations. The initiative began last summer when it joined a number of U.S. cities which have voted to address their histories of racism and discrimination. The Asheville Citizen Times reports the Asheville City Council approved a budget amendment on Tuesday to pull the money from city land purchased in the 1970s as part of the city’s urban renewal programs that tore apart Black communities. The City Council has previously said the reparations do not require direct payments but would mandate investments in areas where Black residents face disparities.
Bill moving up absentee deadline in NC clears Senate panel
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Mail-in absentee ballots in North Carolina would have to be received by the day of the election under a Republican-backed bill that has cleared a divided Senate committee. Current law says ballot envelopes must be postmarked by the election date and received within three days to be counted. A bill sponsor says setting the receipt deadline at 5 p.m. on Election Day or on the statewide primary election date will improve the public’s confidence in election results. But Democrats say that would cause many lawfully cast ballots to be tossed due to mail carrier delays and would cause voters to be confused about when they should mail in their ballot.
North Carolina man drowns trying to save daughter, friend
HOLDEN BEACH, N.C. (AP) – Police on the North Carolina coast say a man drowned after going into the Atlantic Ocean to try to save his daughter and another child from a rip current. News outlets report Holden Beach Police Chief Jeremy Dixon says 47-year-old Van Whitley of Mt. Gilead went into the water on Tuesday evening after his 11-year-old daughter and her friend were caught in a rip current. Dixon says the children were able to get out of the water, but Whitley began to struggle. The chief says emergency workers brought Whitley to shore, but were unable to resuscitate him.
TEEN HIT BY TRAIN
Police: Teen hit by train, killed
APEX, N.C. (AP) – Authorities say an 18-year-old woman was killed when she was hit by an Amtrak train while walking along the tracks. Apex police said in a news release that officers responding to an emergency call around 10 p.m. Tuesday found the woman from the Garner area dead. Wake County EMS District Chief Joe McLean tells WNCN-TV that the woman and a teenage boy were walking on the tracks when a Miami-bound Amtrak train struck the woman. McLean says the boy wasn’t hurt and none of the 122 passengers on board the train was injured. Amtrak police are also investigating the incident. Police say the spot where the woman was struck is not near a railroad crossing and not a place where people typically walk along the train tracks.