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North Carolina Judge Blocks Attempt To Strip Governor Of Some Powers

Roy CooperA North Carolina judge is temporarily blocking a law that would have limited the power of the state's incoming governor. Democratic Governor-elect Roy Cooper defeated incumbent Republican Pat McCrory in November, in a tight race.

After the election, the Republican controlled Legislature passed two laws to limit the governor's power, in what Democrats called a "power grab." As we reported earlier this month, the law put on hold Friday would remove the State Board of Elections from the governor's control by reducing the number of members on the board from five — three of whom could be from the governor's party — to four members, evenly split between the parties.


100,000 in Maine without power after winter storm plows through

Nor'easter hits New EnglandMore than 100,000 people across New England, many in Maine, woke up without power Friday after a winter storm pummeled the region with high wind and heavy snow.

The Northeast experienced strong wind and snowfall at rates up to 4 to 6 inches per hour at times, making for blizzard-like conditions overnight Thursday and Friday morning, reported. Some areas east of Portland reported receiving more than 2 feet of snow.


Utah AG says he’ll sue Obama over national monument

Bears Ears MonumentAll of Utah’s statewide leaders and congressional delegation oppose the Bears Ears monument, saying it unnecessarily restricts land uses like fossil fuel production. They want Congress to enact less restrictive protections for the land.

Obama said in creating the 1.35 million-acre monument that it is necessary to protect sacred American Indian sites, among other assets.


Barack Obama Names Two New National Monuments

Obama names two national monumentsThe White House designated two new national monuments on Wednesday, one in Utah and the other in Nevada, that will protect important Native American cultural sites and continue the president’s legacy of environmental stewardship far beyond the end of his term.

The Bears Ears National Monument will cover more than 1.35 million acres in southern Utah, including ancestral land important to dozens of tribes. It will be co-managed with a coalition of five Native American tribes ― a conservation first. The Gold Butte National Monument will protect about 300,000 acres of desert in Nevada.


Debbie Reynolds, ‘Singin’ in the Rain’ Star and Carrie Fisher’s Mother, Dies at 84

Debbie ReynoldsDebbie Reynolds, the Oscar-nominated singer-actress who was the mother of late actress Carrie Fisher, has died at Cedars-Sinai hospital. She was 84.

“She wanted to be with Carrie,” her son Todd Fisher told Variety.

She was taken to the hospital from Carrie Fisher’s Beverly Hills house Wednesday after suffering a stroke, the day after her daughter Carrie Fisher died.

The vivacious blonde, who had a close but sometimes tempestuous relationship with her daughter, was one of MGM’s principal stars of the 1950s and ’60s in such films as the 1952 classic “Singin’ in the Rain” and 1964’s “The Unsinkable Molly Brown,” for which she received an Oscar nomination as best actress.


More than one-third of schoolchildren are homeless in shadow of Silicon Valley

Homelessness in Silicon ValleyEvery night for the past year or so, Adriana and Omar Chavez have slept in an RV parked in East Palo Alto, a downtrodden community in Silicon Valley.

On a recent morning before sunrise, they emerged on to the empty street. Omar showed his phone to his wife: 7.07am. “Shall I wake up the girls?” he said, his breath visible in the freezing air.

He headed inside to rouse their three daughters, huddled together in the low-ceilinged bed just above the driver’s cab, and ready them for school.


Five regulations that could come in Obama's final days

Obama may place regulations before end of termThe Obama administration appears committed to finishing as much of its regulatory agenda as possible before leaving office.  Republican lawmakers have warned the administration against issuing any “midnight” regulations in the waning days, saying they would be overturned.

Yet the Environmental Protection Agency on Dec. 19 defied those warnings, issuing a controversial coal mining regulation that sets new requirements for companies when testing and maintaining streams damaged by mining.

President-elect Donald Trump has already pledged to repeal the rule.


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