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Confederate flag. Photo: Craig F. Walker/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

A statue in Pittsboro, North Carolina, of a Confederate soldier was removed this week from where it stood in front of the city's courthouse for 112 years, Raleigh's News & Observer reports.

Why it matters: The private monument, owned by the United Daughters of Confederacy, caused a contentious divide over the past few years between those who protested its existence and those who wanted it left alone.

"The last several months have been a painful time for Chatham County. We've experienced high emotions, division and even violence which have impacted residents, businesses and the overall feel of our community."
— Mike Dasher, chairman of the Chatham County Board of Commissioners, in a press release

The big picture: Many Confederate statues have been taken down nationwide.

  • Crews worked to "safely and respectfully dismantle" the statue in Pittsboro, which will be in the Winnie Davis Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy's possession until further decisions are made on where to put it.
  • Chatham County has a lengthy history of racism and violence, including the lynchings of at least six black people in the 19th and early 20th centuries, per the Chatham News and Record.

Yes, but: 65% of North Carolina residents say Confederate monuments should remain, according to a statewide survey from Elon University released on Wednesday.

Go deeper: Dozens of Confederate statues have been removed since the last "Unite the Right" rally

Go deeper

1 hour ago - World

Scoop: Iran preparing to enrich weapons-grade uranium, Israel warns U.S.

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi holds a press conference. Photo: Presidency of Iran handout via Getty

Israel has shared intelligence over the past two weeks with the U.S. and several European allies suggesting that Iran is taking technical steps to prepare to enrich uranium to 90% purity — the level needed to produce a nuclear weapon, two U.S. sources briefed on the issue tell me.

Why it matters: Enriching to 90% would bring Iran closer than ever to the nuclear threshold. The Israeli warnings come as nuclear talks resume in Vienna, with Iran returning to the negotiating table on Monday after a five-month hiatus.

Biden: Fight against Omicron won't include "shutdowns or lockdowns"

Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden on Monday said that the new coronavirus variant, Omicron, is "a cause for concern, not a cause for panic."

Driving the news: Biden said later this week the administration will be releasing a strategy on how "we're going to fight COVID this winter. Not with shutdowns or lockdowns, but with more widespread vaccinations, boosters, testing and more."

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Health: WHO says Omicron poses "very high" risk — Fauci says Omicron variant will "inevitably" be found in U.S. — U.S. restricts air travel from 8 countries over Omicron concerns.
  2. Politics: Biden says fight against Omicron won't include "shutdowns or lockdowns."
  3. States: New York declares state of emergency amid concerns over Omicron.
  4. World: Omicron adds urgency to vaccinating worldWHO warns against travel bans on southern African countries — First North American Omicron cases identified in Canada.
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.

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