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Lynde Langdon/WORLD

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N.C. Senate overrides veto of infant protections

RALEIGH, N.C.(BP) -- The North Carolina Senate voted with a two-thirds majority Tuesday (April 30) to override Gov. Roy Cooper's veto of the Born-Alive Abortion Survivor's Protection Act. The bill would create civil and criminal penalties for abortionists who fail to offer the same care to babies born alive after botched abortions as they would to other patients.

Supreme Court declines football coach’s appeal

WASHINGTON(BP) -- The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday (Jan. 22) declined the appeal of a former high school football coach who was fired for praying on the field after games. But the justices appeared to leave open several possible avenues for Coach Joe Kennedy to keep fighting for his First Amendment rights. Kennedy lost his coaching job at Bremerton High School in Washington state in 2015 after he disobeyed school officials who ordered him to end his longtime ritual of kneeling at the 50-yard line to pray at the end of games. Kennedy sued, saying the school had violated his right to free speech, but lower courts -- including the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals -- ruled against him. See related story.

Boy Scouts explore ‘all options’ amid financial woes

ASHEVILLE, N.C. (BP) -- The Boy Scouts of America said Wednesday (Dec. 12) it was exploring all options amid serious financial woes but would not confirm or deny it might apply for bankruptcy. The Wall Street Journal, citing anonymous sources, reported late Tuesday that the organization had hired a law firm to assist in a possible Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing. Chief Scout Executive Mike Surbaugh described the report as "news speculation" but said the group was "working with experts to explore all options available" in the face of declining membership and sex-abuse litigation.

50 years of movie ratings in the spotlight

ASHEVILLE, N.C. (BP) -- The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) last week celebrated the 50th birthday of the movie rating scale, which started as an attempt to ward off censors and became a part of the collective consciousness of U.S. moviegoers. The organization released survey results showing that 91 percent of American parents were familiar or very familiar with the G, PG, PG-13, R, and NC-17 classification system, and 95 percent thought it was helpful. "We could point to many factors behind the ratings' success," MPAA CEO Charles Rivkin wrote in an open letter. "But the clearest one of all comes directly from its founding mission: to maintain the trust and confidence of American parents."

Bert, Ernie and the culture wars

ASHEVILLE, N.C. (BP) -- Sesame Street producers tried to set the record straight last week, asserting that puppet characters Bert and Ernie are not a gay couple. For generations, smirking teens have suggested that the roommates were more than friends, and former Sesame Street writer Mark Saltzman seemed to confirm it in an interview posted Sept. 16 on the website Queerty. He said he always imagined Bert and Ernie as a romantically involved couple when he was writing scenes for them.