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State AP Stories

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Leaders of College Park Baptist Church in Greensboro, North Carolina, thought it was odd when the Southern Baptist Convention recently sent queries about the congregation's LGBTQ-affirming ministry. The church itself had voted to leave the conservative denomination 23 years ago. But it was still on the SBC rolls until last week. That's when the convention's Executive Committee voted to cut ties because of the congregation's “affirmation ... of homosexual behavior.” The Rev. Michael Usey of College Park said the congregation was ousted for the right reason. Said Usey, “It’s good when people reject you because they understand clearly who you are."

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Experts say the U.S. Supreme Court’s June ruling overturning Roe v. Wade appears to be sending more teens to their doctors in search of birth control, including long-acting reversible forms like intrauterine devices and implants. Waits for appointments are growing in some areas, Planned Parenthood is getting a flood of questions and doctors report demand even among teens who aren’t sexually active. Some patients are especially fearful because some of the new abortion laws don’t include exceptions for sexual assault. Dr. Peggy Stager said dedicated spots for insertion of the Nexplanon implant are consistently filled at her Ohio practice and requests for contraceptive refills have increased 30% to 40% since the Court's June ruling.

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Four people have pleaded guilty to misdemeanors for their roles in absentee ballot fraud in rural North Carolina during the 2016 and 2018 elections. These convictions Monday stemmed from an investigation that in part resulted in a do-over congressional election. The defendants were associated with Leslie McCrae Dowless, a political operative in Bladen County whom authorities called the ringleader of the ballot scheme. Dowless died this year before his case went to trial. The State Board of Elections has ordered a new election for the 2018 9th Congressional District because of all the fraud allegations. Cases against six other defendants are pending.

National & World AP Stories

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Explosions rattled the Baltic Sea before unusual leaks were discovered on two natural gas pipelines running underwater from Russia to Germany. Some European leaders and experts are pointing to possible sabotage during an energy standoff with Russia provoked by the war in Ukraine. The leaks on the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipeline overshadowed the inauguration Tuesday of a long-awaited pipeline that will bring Norwegian gas to Poland. The Polish prime minister called the events “an act of sabotage,” while his Danish counterpart said she couldn't rule it out. The Nord Stream pipelines aren't bringing gas to Europe amid an energy standoff with Russia but are still filled with gas.

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The mother of a woman with cerebral palsy and intellectual disabilities is suing the Philadelphia care home where her daughter lived for 40 years. Cheryl Yewdall died five days after she was found face down with a large paper towel or disinfecting wipe in her windpipe. No one has been charged, but a new wrongful death lawsuit filed on behalf of Yewdall's mother casts suspicion on an unidentified staff member at the Merakey Woodhaven care home. Christine Civatte says she trusted the facility to safeguard her 50-year-old daughter. Merakey calls Yewdall’s death “a serious and tragic incident” but is denying responsibility.

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Stocks gave up early gains and turned lower on Wall Street as markets stagger amid recession worries. The volatile trading on Tuesday comes a day after a broad sell-off sent the Dow Jones Industrial Average into a bear market, joining other major U.S. indexes. The S&P 500, the Dow and the Nasdaq fell. Energy stocks gained ground along with rising oil prices. With just a few days left in September, stocks are heading for another losing month as markets fear that the higher interest rates being used to fight inflation could help knock the economy into a recession.

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DALLAS (AP) — Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton ran out of his house and jumped into a truck driven by his wife, a state senator, to avoid being served a subpoena to testify Tuesday in an abortion access case, according to court documents.