News Minute: Here is the latest North Carolina news from The Associated Press -

News Minute: Here is the latest North Carolina news from The Associated Press

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NEW YORK (AP) - A federal judge has imposed a $1.3 billion civil penalty against Charlotte-based Bank of America for its role in selling risky mortgages to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that were advertised as safe investments. A spokesman for Bank of America says the bank is exploring its legal options after the judge's decision, including a possible appeal.

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - Legislative budget-writers toiled into the night hours Wednesday to finalize an annual spending plan for North Carolina government. Senate leader Phil Berger says lawmakers - even when the budget is behind them - may return in less than two weeks rather than shut down for the year.

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - The state Senate has signed off on a bill changing regulations for farms across North Carolina. The Senate voted Wednesday to agree to a bill that would shield the Department of Environment and Natural Resources from disclosing complaints and investigations on farms.

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) - Three North Carolina players have left the program and the status of a fourth is in doubt. Team spokesman Kevin Best said Wednesday that senior defensive tackle Shawn Underwood, redshirt freshman defensive tackle Gregg Webb and sophomore linebacker Clint Heaven are no longer on the team.

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