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Chapel Hill Council Suspends Religious/Political Bus Ads

Chapel Hill town officials have suspended the policy that determines which advertisements are placed on transit buses.

The town's council voted 6-to-1 not to accept any new ads until confusion about the policy is cleared up. Mayor Mark Kleinschmidt said the policy that is being used is not the one council members adopted last year. The intended policy would ban most religious- and politically-themed advertising. The suspension allows ads currently running to finish their contracts. That includes an ad from the Church of Reconciliation. It calls for an end to US military aid to Israel. That prompted a response from the New York-based American Freedom Defense Initiative. Its ad labels opponents of Israel as "savages". AFDI's leaders said they would consider suing the town if the organization's ad is refused. The town will discuss the policy again next month.

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