Law

The Trump Administration says it will soon place a federal ban on bump stocks, the gun attachments that allow semi-automatic rifles to fire faster. Ten states banned the plastic device after it was used by a gunman in Las Vegas to shoot and kill 58 people in 2017.

Without any enhancement, semi-automatic rifles fire one bullet per trigger pull. Bump stocks harness the gun’s recoil to speed up the rate of fire, allowing the gun to pump out bullets faster.

FILE - In a Tuesday June 6, 2017 file photo, hydrologist William K. Jones, walks up a mountain near the route of the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline in Bolar, Va. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission released its final environmental impact statement.
Steve Helber, File / AP

A permit for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline to cross two national forests, including parts of the Appalachian Trail, was thrown out Thursday by a federal appeals court that harshly criticized regulators for approving the proposal.

photo of the Cherokee County Detention Center
Frank Taylor/Carolina Public Press

A former Cherokee County Detention Center officer has been indicted on assault charges after allegedly kicking an inmate in the face. This is one of a growing number of complaints against authorities at that detention center.

photo of Mayor Nancy Vaughn at table talking to people.
Jordan Green/Triad City Beat

The death of Marcus Deon Smith was declared a homicide by the state medical examiner’s office. Within hours of this news, a Guilford County superior court judge authorized the release of the camera footage from the incident, which shows Smith wandering in the street and behaving erratically and Greensboro police placing him in a controversial restraint many compare to “hog-tying.”

Photo of Protester with NC Stop Torture Now
Courtesy of NC Stop Torture Now / CC

A new in-depth report confirms that a North Carolina-based company “played an absolutely central role in the CIA’s torture program.” After an 18-month investigation, the North Carolina Commission of Inquiry on Torture identified 49 people who were taken on so-called “torture flights” by North Carolina-based aviation company Aero Contractors, Ltd., a private aviation company operating out of Johnston County. 

Protestors surround a car
Alerta Migratoria NC

A man who was seeking sanctuary in a church in Durham was tackled and detained by  Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents at a routine immigration appointment last week. Samuel Oliver-Bruno arrived at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) office in Morrisville, North Carolina when plainclothes ICE agents got to him. 

Iris Schaen, center, holds a sign as she listens to speakers during an interfaith vigil against anti-semitism and hate at the Holocaust Memorial, Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2018, in Miami Beach.
Wilfredo Lee / AP

Hate crimes across North Carolina have been increasing in recent years.

From 2016 to 2017, the number of hate crimes committed in the state jumped 12 percent to 166.

Picture of gavel
Flickr.com

NAACP officials are calling on senators to vote against President Trump's nomination of Thomas Farr for a U.S. District Court seat serving eastern North Carolina, ahead of an expected Senate vote on the nomination.

A picture of a jail cell
ALEXVAN / PIXABAY

North Carolina's Supreme Court is re-evaluating whether forcing sex offenders to be perpetually tracked by GPS-linked devices, sometimes for the rest of their lives, is justified or a Constitution-violating unreasonable search.

Former guards from the Cherokee County Detention Center alleged a pattern of inmate abuse and improper conduct in a recent investigative report from Carolina Public Press.

A red wolf
Joan Lopez via Flickr/Creative Commons

A federal judge says federal authorities are violating endangered species protections with their plan to shrink the territory of the only wild population of red wolves, a move that would hasten the animal's demise.

When Congress passed the 1968 Gun Control Act, it was one of the first attempts by the federal government to address who was too dangerous to buy a firearm. In the 50 years since, our understanding of mental illness has become more nuanced, while federal regulations largely have not.

After a gunman opened fire at a synagogue in Pittsburgh on Saturday, killing at least 11 and wounding others in what federal prosecutors are calling a hate crime, faith leaders around the country are re-examining security tactics while trying to ensure their religious institutions remain accessible community centers.

A U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) arrest.
Wikimedia Commons

In North Carolina some voters are weighing in on an issue that has a big impact on immigrant families. The 287(g) program allows local law enforcement officials to partner with immigration agents. Six counties in North Carolina currently have 287(g) agreements: Cabarrus, Gaston, Henderson, Mecklenburg, Nash and Wake. The program has become a hot topic in several of North Carolina’s County Sheriff’s races.

Gretchen Engel, executive director of the Center for Death Penalty Litigation, sits in her Durham office and looks through mandalas and other pictures colored by death row inmate James Davis.
Rebecca Martinez / WUNC

At the Center for Death Penalty Litigation, the filing cabinets in the corner office are adorned with pictures of vibrant mandalas. The intricate geometric patterns were colored in by James Davis. The artist received a Purple Heart for his service during the Vietnam War. Davis reportedly suffers from PTSD and other mental illness. In 1995, Davis murdered three people, and has been on death row ever since. He's an old man now.

Ana Nuñez
Courtesy of Ana Nuñez / Fay and Grafton

Ana Nuñez was nine years old before she ever stepped foot inside a grocery store or tasted an apple. Nuñez grew up in Cuba with intermittent access to food and medicine and abundant electricity shortages. In 1991 her father defected to the United States, and a couple years later the family followed.

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Sept. 27, 2018.
Win McNamee / Pool Photo via AP

Senator Susan Collins (R-ME), is speaking on the floor of the US Senate today.

She's talking about her position on the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.

Criminal: 100 Episodes!

Oct 5, 2018
Criminal 100th Episode graphic
Julienne Alexander / Criminal

Criminal podcast host Phobe Judge and WUNC's Eric Hodge looked back at 100 episodes and three years of Criminal, the podcast produced at WUNC, during Morning Edition.

The 100th episode of Criminal starts with the strange case of D.B. Cooper and picks up with a crime inspired by the man who disappeared by jumping from an inflight plane.

Hanily Sam / Flickr Creative Commons

Panhandling has been a hot political topic in the city of Greensboro this year. 

Elizabeth Allen for NPR

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh is set to face a second round of questions from the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday.

He's expected to be questioned about his views on previous Supreme Court cases, as well as a range of policy issues. Kavanaugh is also likely to be questioned about his work on Ken Starr's independent counsel investigation of former President Bill Clinton, and his time working in the White House under former President George W. Bush.

The hearing is expected to begin at 9:30 a.m. ET.

Gina Hawkins made history last summer when she became the first woman and first African-American police chief of Fayetteville. She is now one of six African-American women at the helm of police departments around the state. But when Hawkins took the job, she had no idea it would garner so much national attention, including an interview on NBC’s “Megyn Kelly Today.”

Gabriella Bulgarelli / WUNC

Inmates around the country are on strike demanding improved prison conditions, better pay and increased rehabilitation services. The National Prison Strike started Tuesday, and is set to end on Sunday, Sept. 9.  

A trio of North Carolina judges in Raleigh, N.C., listen Wednesday, Aug. 15, 2018, as attorneys argue whether proposed amendments to the North Carolina constitution were worded to be misleading and mask the goal of Republican legislators to reduce Democra
Emery P. Dalesio / AP

A panel of judges was asked Wednesday to decide whether North Carolina's Republican-dominated legislature is trying to fool voters by calling for constitutional changes without explaining the effect would be to strip more power from Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper.

A screengrab of a video showing the Wrightsville Beach Fire Department use a drone for a simulated beach rescue.
Courtesy of Wrightsville Beach Fire Department

The Wrightsville Beach Fire Department is experimenting with drones to help lifeguards with water rescues.

The department is testing equipment that allows drones to carry a lightweight inflatable buoy to swimmers who might be in distress, according to Wrightsville Beach firefighter Sam Proffitt. He said the drone can quickly fly a few hundred yards and drop the device.

A woman's hands on a tablet in front of a computer.
Pexels / Pixabay

A North Carolina woman was stalked and harassed on social media for months, and police said they could not do anything to help her. 

HSUS
HSUS

Last week a federal jury awarded more than $470 million to six neighbors of a hog farm operation in Pender County, North Carolina following a nuisance lawsuit. The neighbors said the farm produced smells, noise, flies and pests. 

Ballot Box
Wikipedia

Updated 9:15 a.m. | Aug. 8, 2018

A state judge declined Tuesday to give immediate relief to Gov. Roy Cooper and interest groups who want proposed constitutional amendments off fall ballots because they argue referendum language written by Republican lawmakers is false and misleading.

Courtesy Jesse Hamilton McCoy II

Jesse Hamilton McCoy II was raised by a single mother in low-income neighborhoods in Vance and Durham Counties. Growing up in the late 1980s and 1990s, he witnessed the drug epidemic firsthand and remembers not being able to trust some adults in the community because of their addiction. 

A hog farm in Lyons, Georgia.
Jeff Vanuga, USDA NRCS

A federal jury decided Friday that the world's largest pork producer should pay $473.5 million to neighbors of three North Carolina industrial-scale hog farms for unreasonable nuisances they suffered from odors, flies and rumbling trucks.

Anton Moussaev, center, stands with family and friends after his naturalization ceremony in 2017.
Courtey of Anton Moussaev

It's Anton Moussaev's birthday. Well, he was born in the Soviet Union in March 37 years ago, but he officially became an American on July 4, 2017 at a naturalization ceremony at Old Salem. So, he said that's his "second birthday."

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