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John Cleese
Courtesy of DPAC / DPAC

John Cleese is undoubtedly a comedy legend. Among his many credits: he is a founding-member of Monty Python, co-creator and star of the sitcom “Fawlty Towers,” and he wrote and co-starred in the film “A Fish Called Wanda.” Cleese recently toured the U.S. and Canada with his one man show “Last Time To See Me Before I Die.” 

Unaffiliated incumbent Nancy McFarlane has won a fourth term as mayor of North Carolina's capital city.
raleighnc.gov

Updated 8:51 a.m. November 11, 2017

In Raleigh, unaffiliated incumbent Nancy McFarlane won a fourth term as mayor of the state's capital city.

Deaths from drug overdose have surpassed homicides in North Carolina.
NC DHHS/FBI

Fayetteville is part of a nationwide project that is trying to compile information about the opioid crisis. 

The non-profit New America is working with about a dozen cities to create maps on opioid overdoses and how to prevent them.

Meg Kelly / NPR

Voters in Virginia and New Jersey are choosing new governors. Both races began with an emphasis on statewide issues such as property taxes and education policy.

Now, in the closing weeks of the campaigns, both have morphed into the latest test of President Trump's influence down the ballot. We're updating election results as they come in.

Khizr Khan, father of fallen US Army Capt. Humayun S. M. Khan speaks as his wife Ghazala listens during the final day of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia , Thursday, July 28, 2016.
J. Scott Applewhite / AP Photo

 Khizr Khan stepped onstage and into the public eye at the 2016 Democratic National Convention. He says he was compelled to talk after then candidate Donald Trump proposed a ban on Muslims entering the U.S. 

David Jay Photography

For many years U.S. Navy Officer Jerri Bell swallowed the story that when it came to military service, women were only involved in support roles. It was not until she started researching for a book on women’s military history that she realized the common narrative was false: women had been actively involved in combat since the American revolution. 

Courtesy of Gabrielle Calvocoressi

Poet Gabrielle Calvocoressi has become less and less comfortable viewing the world through the prisms of sex or gender. 

Annotation: Trump's Victory Speech One-Year On

Nov 7, 2017
Annette Elizabeth Allen for NPR

On the first anniversary of President Trump’s election, NPR is looking back at his victory speech.

a woman and child walking at the Duke University campus.
rmanoske / Flickr, Creative Commons, https://flic.kr/p/a8PTMJ

Duke University's endowment could take a hit if the Republican tax plan passes. The bill includes a new excise tax on universities whose endowment fund is valued more than $100,000 per student. That could amount to a $10 or $15 million annual tax for the university, according to Duke spokesman Michael Schoenfeld.

A vote here sign in Chapel Hill
Amy Townsend / WUNC

Voters everywhere from small towns to major cities across North Carolina will select their mayors, city council members, and other local positions on Election Day Tuesday.

An "explosive device" set off on the campus of University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill burned one person and set fire to a tree on November 2, 2017.
Matt Couch / WUNC

Updated 12:57 p.m. | November 6, 2017

The man accused of setting fire to an iconic poplar tree at UNC - Chapel Hill has been accused of six felony charges. 

Ron Stacker Thompson
Courtesy of UNC School of the Arts

Ron Stacker Thompson knew from a young age that he wanted to be a teacher. He grew up in Chicago, excelled in school, and loved his time in the classroom. He attended Illinois State University and went on to try his hand at teaching. But his work as a drama teacher quickly led to another career on stage.

Classroom
WUNC File Photo

The State Board of Education voted in its November meeting to close Heritage Collegiate Leadership Academy in Bertie County after a series of issues that the Charter School Advisory Board Chair Alex Quigley called, "a pattern of failure."

Model Anita Taylor walks down a runway wearing a desgign by Desiree Hedrick during a fashion show for the kickoff of the exhibit, Inspiring Beauty: 50 Years of Ebony Fashion, at the North Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh, N.C.
Ben McKeown / For WUNC

In the 1950s and 60s, images of African-American beauty and fashion models in mainstream media were almost non-existent in the United States.

The Old Well and flowers on the campus of UNC- Chapel Hill.
Brian Batista / For WUNC

Members of the UNC Board of Governors are split on whether or not to hire their own staff. A related motion failed in committee Thursday, but some members want the full board to weigh in.

exterior of the NC State Legislature
Jeff Tiberii / WUNC

This week in state politics, another development in the redistricting saga, and a congressional hearing on social media.

Andrew Harnik / AP Photo

Robert Mueller’s team handed down their first indictments this week in the ongoing investigation into possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russia. Former Trump campaign aides Paul Manafort and Rick Gates turned themselves into the FBI and pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Meanwhile Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives released their tax bill Thursday with hopes to pass it through before the end of year. And federal judges reviewing North Carolina’s legislative district maps have ordered an independent “special master” to draw new lines.

Pixelbay

With the advent of modern DNA tests, people can now find out their genetic makeup within days. For many the tests can help strengthen a sense of heritage and ancestry. But according to indigenous scholar Kim TallBear, a specialist in racial politics in science, the results of a DNA test do not give people a license to adopt or claim membership to a Native American community.

 

Soho Artists

Yasmin Levy is an acclaimed Israeli artist known for her twist on Sephardic songs. The musical tradition came from her father who recorded and preserved folk songs in Ladino, a Judeo-Spanish language that emerged in the territories of the ancient Ottoman Empire after Jews were exiled from Spain in 1492.

WUNCPolitics Podcast
WUNC

Democrat David Price has seen plenty during his 30 years in the U.S. House, from the impeachment of President Bill Clinton to the chaos of a Trump Administration.

Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, right, leaves the Fort Bragg courtroom facility as the judge deliberates in a sentencing hearing at Fort Bragg, N.C., Friday, Nov. 3, 2017. Bergdahl, who walked off his base in Afghanistan in 2009 and was held by the Taliban for f
Gerry Broome / AP

A military judge ruled Friday that Bowe Bergdahl should serve no prison time for endangering his comrades by walking off his Afghanistan post.

A drawing of plants under a microscope.
Julienne Alexander / Criminal

Botanists know all about plants, whether they're working in a forest or on a farm, but they can also identify plant matter after it's begun digesting. It turns out, that can be a pretty useful skill in solving murder cases. That's the topic on this week's Criminal podcast.

Prison Bars
Michael Coghlan / Flickr Creative Commons

Three weeks after the deadliest attempted prison breakout in North Carolina history, prison and law enforcement officials still can't quantify the scope of the violence that correctional officers at the understaffed prison had been confronting daily.

University of North Carolina system logo
University of North Carolina

Updated 10:38 a.m. | Nov. 3, 2017

The University of North Carolina Board of Governors is moving ahead with a controversial free speech policy for its sixteen college campuses. It calls for the discipline of students who 'substantially disrupt' others' first amendment rights.  

A pencil and a form on a table inside a public school in Durham.
Brian Batista / For WUNC

The State Board of Education has approved Southside Ashpole Elementary in Robeson County to be included in the state's new innovative school district. The initiative was created under state law to bring together low-performing schools and turn over their operations to charter school management companies.

rumolay / Flickr, Creative Commons, https://flic.kr/p/aDRzTA

The state Department of Health and Human Services is working with nonprofit organizations to expand adoption services for older children. 

Cape Fear River, NC, at Raven Rock Park
Blipperman / Wikimedia Commons

This week Brunswick County filed a lawsuit against Chemours and DuPont for their involvement in discharging the contaminant GenX into the Cape Fear River. The lawsuit is seeking to recover the costs to the county for investigating, managing, reducing and removing the chemical.

It is one of several lawsuits against Chemours and DuPont. Last week a Leland resident filed a class action lawsuit against the two companies after she discovered GenX in her water heater.

Senior Airman Brittain Crolley / U.S. Air Force

 

The U.S. Senate has backed away from a proposal to close military bases for now, but that is not stopping some communities from planning ahead for the next round of cuts.

In Goldsboro, organizations and civic leaders are teaming up with the Seymour Johnson Air Force Base to improve the base’s facilities and increase engagement with the community. The partnership is a part of strategy to improve relations with the military and bolster the efficiency of the base.
 

Ft Bragg Stories A mixed 'chalk' of U.S. and British paratroopers line up to board a C-130 transport plane for the main jump of the joint exercise.
Jay Price / North Carolina Public Radio - WUNC

North Carolina is home to the largest U.S. military installation in the world by population. It employs more than 50,000 military and close to 30,000 civilians and contributes tens of billions of dollars to the state’s economy.

Darrin Zammit Lupi

Photojournalist Darrin Zammit Lupi lived and worked in Malta but assumed he would need to travel to far-flung locations to witness the big stories of his time. Then the refugee crisis unfolded in his backyard with well over one million migrants crossing the Mediterranean Sea to escape violence and poverty. 

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