Tom Gjelten

Gov Pat McCrory speaks to reporters about the state's HB2 lawsuit
Jorge Valencia / WUNC

DOJ sues North Carolina after state's lawsuit on House Bill 2

North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory has sued the U.S. government and the Justice Department, asking federal courts to clarify a controversial new state law that limits transgender access to bathrooms. The Justice Department in turn filed its own lawsuit against the state, saying the law restricting use of public restrooms by transgender people constitutes a pattern of discrimination on the basis of sex and gender identity.
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North Carolina Sues DOJ Over LGBT Law; DOJ Sues Back

Updated at 6:20 p.m. ETAfter North Carolina's governor filed a lawsuit asking federal courts to keep in place a controversial law that places limits on transgender access to bathrooms, the U.S. Justice Department responded with a lawsuit of its own."We are filing a federal civil rights lawsuit against the state of North Carolina, Gov. Pat McCrory, the North Carolina Department of Public Safety and the University of North Carolina," Attorney General Loretta Lynch said in a press conference...
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Krispy Kreme, JAB Holding Company
Leoneda Inge

A German conglomerate is buying Winston-Salem-based Krispy Kreme Doughnuts in a billion dollar deal that will take the company private.

JAB Holding Company is buying Krispy Kreme for about $1.35 billion. Several experts say it’s a sweet deal. The German conglomerate is paying $21 a share, a 25% premium over what Krispy Kreme was worth at market close on Friday.

State Officials To Scrap SolarBee Project On Jordan Lake

May 6, 2016
A SolarBee
Medora Corporation

The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality announced it will halt the SolarBee pilot project, saying the floating mixers are not improving water quality in Jordan Lake.

Launched two years ago, the SolarBee project was intended to prevent the growth of algae in the lake. But state officials say there’s been no significant improvement in water quality.

Environmental advocates agree.

In North Carolina, Musicians Face Off Against HB2

May 6, 2016

On a recent Monday night in Carrboro, N.C., local music venue Cat's Cradle is packed. The room has the makings of most clubs: a stage, a soundboard, a bar and a merch stand, but taped above the gender plaques on the bathroom doors are signs that read, in uppercase, rainbow-colored letters, "We are an inclusive venue. No proof required." Signs like these can be found by bathrooms or in storefronts of local businesses across the region.

Speaker of the House Tim Moore and Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger on the first day of this year's legislative session.
Jessica Jones

On this episode of the WUNCPolitics podcast, we discuss what Republican leaders in the state are saying about the U.S. Department of Justice's letter to Governor McCrory this week, telling him if HB2 was enforced the feds would consider it a violation of Title VII and Title IX of the Civil rights Act - and how the state could lose billions of dollars in federal money.

Image of Ken Rudin, the Political Junkie
kenrudinpolitics.com

The U.S. Department of Justice says North Carolina's House Bill 2 violates the Civil Rights Act. It's the latest in the fallout from HB2 and could threaten billions of dollars in federal education funds.

Meanwhile, two different polls find conflicting results in North Carolinians' support of the law. And Donald Trump is assured the Republican nomination for president.

Political analysts are speculating about who might be Trump's running mate, and whether the establishment wing of the GOP will stand behind Trump in November. 

An image of Terence Blanchard
Henry Adebonojo

Jazz trumpet player and composer Terence Blanchard has worn many hats. As a kid growing up in New Orleans, he played alongside childhood friend Wynton Marsalis. In the 1980s he performed alongside jazz great Art Blakey, and in the 1990s, Blanchard began scoring films for director Spike Lee. Today he continues to develop his jazz style with his band The E-Collective.

An image of jazz vocalist Charenee Wade
Charenee Wade

Jazz vocalist Charenee Wade began singing when she was 12 years old living in Brooklyn. She was inspired by artists like Sarah Vaughn and Christian McBride.

Her latest album is a collection of covers from Gil Scott-Heron and Brian Jackson called “Offering: The Music of Gil Scott-Heron and Brian Jackson.” 

Songs In The Key Of Animals album cover
Merge Records

Charlotte native Benji Hughes has a fun, funky new album from Merge Records called Songs in the Key of Animals.

An image of artwork for the Criminal Podcast
Julienne Alexander / Criminal

This week's episode of Criminal examines the legal battles of a man who made it his mission to give the middle finger to every law enforcement officer he saw. Robert Ekas's story raises questions of  how "flipping the bird" fits into free speech. Criminal is a podcast recorded at WUNC and hosted by Phoebe Judge.

Photo: Gov. Pat McCrory at a question-and-answer session with the NC Chamber
Jorge Valencia

North Carolina Republican leaders in the General Assembly are refusing to back down from the controversial House Bill 2 after the U.S. Department of Justice told the state this week that it is in violation of federal anti-discrimination protections.

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On The State of Things

Play Ball! Meet The Durham Bulls

Most kids who grow up playing catch in the backyard dream about making it to the major leagues one day. For minor league baseball players, they are one step away to that dream. The Durham Bulls are one of the more well-known minor league teams thanks to the classic movie "Bull Durham."For the team's players, life on the diamond includes regimented routines, long stints on the road and a chance to make it to the professional level.Host Frank Stasio talks with Mark Sappington, pitcher for the...
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WUNC Podcast: Stories With A Heartbeat

Stories With A Heartbeat Podcast Now Available On iTunes & More

First three episodes now available on iTunes, Google Play, NPR, or your podcast platform of choice.

8 Great Bands Play On The Lawn

WUNC's Free Series Of Concerts Are Back For Thursday Evenings At American Tobacco In Durham

Education Stories

Fayetteville math teacher Kenneth Williams creates a life-sized right triangle in his classroom.
Jess Clark

The North Carolina Department of Instruction wants the state to maintain the new high school math sequence that some teachers and parents dislike.

DPI's proposed revisions to the state's academic standards would keep integrated math in place, but would revise many of the standards for clarity and move some standards into different grades.

John King
U.S. Department of Education / Flickr Creative Commons

U.S. Secretary of Education John King spoke out against North Carolina's controversial new law limiting bathroom access in public schools.

At a conference for education writers in Boston, King called the law known as HB 2 and a similar law in Mississippi "hateful," and said lawmakers should repeal it.

Teacher, school, hallway
Jess Clark

Reductions in state funding have forced school districts across the state to cut millions from their budgets. Durham Public Schools is planning to cut more than 90 positions at the end of the month. But parents, employees and activists are questioning the district’s decision to cut employees closer to the classroom, while leaving in place administrative positions.

More Education News

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Back Porch Music ON The Lawn Returns!

8 Great Bands Play On The Lawn

WUNC's Free Series Of Concerts Are Back For Thursday Evenings At American Tobacco In Durham

Tom Gjelten covers issues of religion, faith, and belief for NPR News, a beat that encompasses such areas as the changing religious landscape in America, the formation of personal identity, the role of religion in politics, and social and cultural conflict arising from religious differences. His reporting draws on his many years covering national and international news from posts in Washington and around the world.

In 1986, Gjelten became one of NPR's pioneer foreign correspondents, posted first in Latin America and then in Central Europe. In the years that followed, he covered the wars in Central America, social and political strife in South America, the first Gulf War, the wars in the former Yugoslavia, and the transitions to democracy in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union.

Gjelten's latest book is A Nation of Nations: A Great American Immigration Story, published in 2015. His reporting from Sarajevo from 1992 to 1994 was the basis for his book Sarajevo Daily: A City and Its Newspaper Under Siege (HarperCollins), praised by the New York Times as "a chilling portrayal of a city's slow murder." He is also the author of Professionalism in War Reporting: A Correspondent's View (Carnegie Corporation) and a contributor to Crimes of War: What the Public Should Know (W. W. Norton).

After returning from his overseas assignments, Gjelten covered U.S. diplomacy and military affairs, first from the State Department and then from the Pentagon. He was reporting live from the Pentagon at the moment it was hit on September 11, 2001, and he was NPR's lead Pentagon reporter during the early war in Afghanistan and the invasion of Iraq. Gjelten has also reported extensively from Cuba in recent years. His 2008 book, Bacardi and the Long Fight for Cuba: The Biography of a Cause (Viking), is a unique history of modern Cuba, told through the life and times of the Bacardi rum family. The New York Times selected it as a "Notable Nonfiction Book," and the Washington Post, Kansas City Star, and San Francisco Chronicle all listed it among their "Best Books of 2008." His new book, A Nation of Nations: A Great American Immigration Story (Simon & Schuster), recounts the impact on America of the 1965 Immigration Act, which officially opened the country's doors to immigrants of color.

Since joining NPR in 1982 as labor and education reporter, Gjelten has won numerous awards for his work, including two Overseas Press Club Awards, a George Polk Award, and a Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, a regular panelist on the PBS program "Washington Week," and a member of the editorial board at World Affairs Journal. A graduate of the University of Minnesota, he began his professional career as a public school teacher and freelance writer.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Latino Catholics now have a saint of their own thanks to Pope Francis. Junipero Serra was a missionary who brought Christianity to the native populations in what is now California.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

Pope Francis arrives in Washington, D.C., this afternoon for his first trip to the U.S. Here's a look at some of the key moments to watch during the leader of the Roman Catholic Church's six-day visit.

Tuesday: The President Greets The Pope

Nearly a century ago, immigrants from Germany and Ireland founded St. Helena Church in a working-class neighborhood in north Philadelphia.

Immigrants, and their children, still fill the pews at St. Helena's — but the vast majority of them are now from Vietnam, Latin America, the Philippines and Africa. Weekly masses are conducted in Spanish and Vietnamese as well as English. The senior priest, the Rev. Joseph Trinh, is himself a Vietnamese refugee. One of his associate priests is from Haiti, and another is from Ecuador.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Many ministers do their best to stay away from politics when they preach, but hundreds of conservative pastors around the country are so upset about what they see as a moral crisis in government that they are preparing to run for public office themselves, with the goal of bringing "biblical values" to the political arena.

The initiative is led by David Lane, a born-again Christian and self-described "political operative" who has organized four large-scale training sessions in which evangelical pastors are tutored in the practical aspects of running a political campaign.

If a Muslim woman may wear a headscarf at work, as the U.S. Supreme Court has now affirmed, perhaps a Sikh man should be able to wear a turban while serving in the U.S. military.

As a 12-year-old Catholic boy growing up in England, Michael Fitzgerald decided he wanted to be a missionary in Africa. Eight years later, he was studying theology and learning Arabic in Tunisia.

He went on to devote his priestly ministry to the promotion of interfaith understanding between Muslims and Christians, and became one of the top Roman Catholic experts on Islam. He has served as the archbishop of Tunisia, the papal nuncio — effectively a Vatican ambassador — in Cairo, and the Vatican's delegate to the Arab League.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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