NC Education Board Wants Schools Reopened By End Of March

Top North Carolina education officials on Thursday called for all of the state's 115 school districts to make available at least partial in-person instruction by the end of the month to any of the system's 1.5 million students who want it.

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As we mark the one year anniversary of the pandemic in North Carolina, BPR is launching a new series of oral histories from Appalachia. It’s a partnership with Foxfire Museum to gather and share how COVID-19 has shaped us. We start with Rabun County middle school teachers John and Alicia Kilby, interviewed by their former student Zain Harding.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Hiring picked up steam in February as a winter wave of coronavirus infections eased and consumers spent more freely.

U.S. employers added 379,000 jobs in February, while the unemployment rate dipped to 6.2%.

IRBIL, Iraq — Pope Francis has touched down in Iraq for the first-ever papal visit to the predominantly Muslim country, beginning a four-day visit in Baghdad, where yellow and white Vatican flags and likenesses of the pontiff flutter above hastily weeded traffic circles.

Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi welcomed Francis at Baghdad International Airport. He was greeted with fanfare as he stepped onto the red carpet, and then by a choir as he entered the airport.

The Biden Administration's reversal of the program known as "Remain in Mexico" does not mean that everyone affected by it gets automatically let into the United States.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Darren Linvill thought he was prepared for 2020 and the firehose of false information that would come flooding down on the United States during an election year in which the country was bitterly divided.

Linvill is a researcher at Clemson University in South Carolina and he tracks disinformation networks associated with Russia.

BEIJING, China — China's legislature is debating draft guidelines that would drastically overhaul Hong Kong's electoral system to give Beijing near total control over the region's election outcomes.

While Beijing has not publicized the details of the proposals, it has outlined broad changes that would effectively allow Beijing to vet candidates for Hong Kong's legislative council and pack an election committee which chooses the region's chief executive.

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Arts & Performance

"Hindsight 2020"

Every college student has experienced academic and social turmoil over the past year. Few have had the encouragement, as Tristan Rice has, to put it into song.

 

Rice and a couple dozen other UNC-Asheville students answered an open call in the fall to write music, poetry and plays, make dances and create digital art inspired by the past year of the pandemic and social justice movements.

 

Stephanie Hickling-Beckman, the founder of Asheville’s Different Strokes Performing Arts Collective, rehearsed and coached the students, whose work comes together in “Hindsight 2020,” a variety show streaming over video March 5-6 through the university’s theater department.

Bars in North Carolina  welcomed back customers indoors over the weekend after almost a year of outdoor only cocktail service.  On Friday, the Governor Roy Cooper’s new executive order took effect, allowing indoor service at bars with 30% capacity,  lifting the 10 p.m. curfew and  easing capacity restrictions for a number of businesses and venues.  During Wednesday’s briefing the governor stressed that the new order was part of his continued “dimmer switch approach”  noting that key indicators used to guide decisions throughout pandemic show state’s trends are moving in the right direction.  On the same day the order went into effect, the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned that the country’s recent progress in slowing the coronavirus spread may be "stalling" as highly infectious new variants become more predominant.     BPR’s Helen Chickering discussed the new order and variants with NC Health News Editor Rose Hoban.

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