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Brett Kavanaugh was sworn in as a justice of the Supreme Court more than four years ago, on Oct. 6, 2018. His oath followed perhaps the ugliest Supreme Court Senate confirmation process in history — and that, given the previous examples of Robert Bork and Clarence Thomas, is saying something. But when it was all over, Kavanaugh settled in to the court, where he has, by all accounts, performed admirably ever since. Read moreByron York: There's a never-ending war on Brett Kavanaugh

State AP Stories

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As mass shootings are again drawing public attention, states across the U.S. seem to be deepening their political divide on gun policies. A series of recent mass shootings in California come after a third straight year in which U.S. states recorded more than 600 mass shootings involving at least four deaths or injuries. Democratic-led states that already have restrictive gun laws have responded to home-state tragedies by enacting or proposing even more limits on guns. Many states with Republican-led legislatures appear unlikely to adopt any new gun policies after last year's local mass shootings. They're pinning the problem on violent individuals, not their weapons.

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The families of five passengers killed in a plane crash off the North Carolina coast have settled wrongful death lawsuits for $15 million. Their attorneys told the court the companies that owned the plane and employed the pilot paid the money. The suits claimed the pilot failed to properly fly the single-engine plane in weather conditions with limited visibility. All eight people aboard died off the Outer Banks. The passengers included four teenagers and two adults, returning from a hunting trip. The founder of the company that owned the plane was killed, and his family wasn't involved in the lawsuits.

A man who caused evacuations and an hourslong standoff with police on Capitol Hill when he claimed he had a bomb in his pickup truck outside the Library of Congress has pleaded guilty to a charge of threatening to use an explosive. Floyd Ray Roseberry, of Grover, North Carolina, pleaded guilty to the felony charge in Washington federal court. He faces up to 10 years behind bars and is scheduled to be sentenced in June. An email seeking comment was sent to his attorney on Friday. Roseberry drove a black pickup truck onto the sidewalk outside the Library of Congress in August 2021 and began shouting to people in the street that he had a bomb.

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North Carolina Democrats have introduced legislation to codify abortion protections into state law as Republicans are discussing early prospects for further restrictions. Their legislation, filed Wednesday in both chambers, would prohibit the state from imposing barriers that might restrict a patient’s ability to choose whether to terminate a pregnancy before fetal viability, which typically falls between 24 and 28 weeks of pregnancy. Current state law bans nearly all abortions after 20 weeks, with narrow exceptions for urgent medical emergencies that do not include rape or incest. House Speaker Tim Moore told reporters he didn’t expect the Democrats’ bill to get considered.

National & World AP Stories

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Israel's new government is moving quickly to repeal a tax on single-use plastic goods like cups, plates and cutlery. These items have become the latest weapons in a culture war between the country's secular majority and the smaller but politically powerful religious minority. The former government passed a tax on plastic goods in 2021 in what it said was a move to protect the environment. But ultra-Orthodox Jews, who have large families and use paper goods for convenience, accused the government of targeting them. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Cabinet, which relies heavily on ultra-Orthodox support, took a key step on Sunday toward repealing the tax. Green activists fear this could lead to other steps harmful to the environment.

Nissan and Renault have agreed to make their mutual cross-shareholdings equal at 15%, ironing out a source of conflict in the Japan-French auto alliance. Renault Group will transfer 28.4% of the Nissan shares it owns to a French trust, making its ownership level with Nissan Motor Co.'s stake in the French automaker. The companies said in a statement that voting rights would be “neutralized” for most decisions. The move had been anticipated. The Nissan-Renault alliance began in 1999, at a time when the Japanese automaker was in tough financial straits. The disparity was a cause of friction, especially after Nissan became far more profitable than Renault.

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Russia’s embassy in North Korea says the country has eased stringent epidemic controls in capital Pyongyang that were placed during the past five days to slow the spread of respiratory illnesses. North Korea has not officially acknowledged a lockdown in Pyongyang or a re-emergence of COVID-19 after leader Kim Jong Un declared a widely disputed victory over the coronavirus in August. But the Russian embassy’s Facebook posts have provided rare glimpses into the secretive country’s infectious disease controls. The embassy posted a notice Monday issued by North Korea’s Foreign Ministry informing foreign diplomats that the “special anti-epidemic period” imposed in Pyongyang since Wednesday was lifted as of Monday.

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Shares are trading mixed in Asia after Wall Street benchmarks closed higher on Friday, capping a third week of gains out of the last four. Tokyo and Shanghai rose while Hong Kong, Seoul and Sydney fell. Taiwan's benchmark jumped 3.8%. The S&P 500 rose 0.2% Friday and the Nasdaq composite climbed 0.9%. The Dow ended up about 0.1%. Attention is turning to Wednesday's decision by the Federal Reserve on interest rates. A report Friday showed that U.S. inflation is continuing to cool, raising hopes for a smaller increase that's less painful than last year's aggressive hikes.