--Several thousand people joined forces for the sixth annual Historic Thousands on Jones Street rally, where a broad alliance cheered for a long list of causes, including more lenient immigration laws, increased education spending, protection of unions, reduction of the wealth gap, and resistance to the state's proposed amendment to ban same-sex marriage.
The overriding message of the rally, organized by state and national NAACP leaders, was that North Carolina's Republican-led legislature has infringed on the rights of underrepresented groups, from gay people to victims of racially tainted convictions. Read more here and click this for a photo gallery.
--If you want learn how to protect a bank, you ask a famous bank robber like Willie Sutton. If you want to know how to clean up Washington, you ask Jack Abramoff. Read Rob Christensen's column about Abramoff here.
--What can Charlotte expect to unfold on its uptown streets should thousands of protesters arrive for September's Democratic National Convention? The Observer reviewed what happened in four convention host cities since 2004. Before those events, organizers promised minimal disruptions, free expression and business-friendly climates. But in a number of ways, promises fell short of what actually happened. Read more here.