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That Kansas voted to protect abortion rights guaranteed in its state constitution didn’t surprise me, although I certainly never expected a landslide. The original Jayhawkers, after all, waged a guerilla war to prevent Missourians from bringing slavery into the Kansas territory — a violent dress rehearsal for the Civil War. A good deal of the state’s well-known conservatism is grounded in stiff-necked independence. Read more

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State AP Stories

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Authorities in North Carolina are trying to determine who fired the shots that killed a sheriff's deputy along a dark highway late Thursday night. Wake County Sheriff Gerald Baker said early Friday that the deputy was fatally wounded after 11 p.m. Thursday. Sheriff’s spokesperson Eric Curry says it happened on a dark section of road adjacent to open land about a quarter mile from a gas station. He says they're trying to learn why the deputy stopped there as they search for “the perpetrator or perpetrators.” Several sheriff’s deputies have been shot recently in North Carolina, including Wayne County Sheriff's Sgt. Matthew Fishman, who was killed last week.

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The campaign committee of North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein plans to ask a federal court to block enforcement of a state law looming in a probe of a TV ad aired against Stein's election rival in 2020. The state law makes it illegal to knowingly circulate false reports to damage a candidate’s election chances. Stein beat Republican Jim O'Neill that November. A Stein committee attorney filed the notice Wednesday, after a judge refused to stop a district attorney from potentially using the law to prosecute anyone over the disputed 2020 campaign ad. No one's been charged. Stein's committee argues the law is overly broad and chills political speech.

The North Carolina attorney general’s office is asking a federal court not to restore the state's 20-week abortion ban after the judge suggested his previous injunction “may now be contrary to law.” The attorney general’s office argued in a brief filed late Monday that reinstating restrictions in the aftermath of the June U.S. Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade would create “significant risk of public confusion” about the availability and legality of abortion services in North Carolina. Staff attorneys in Stein’s office filed the brief without the attorney general’s involvement.

National & World AP Stories

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Salman Rushdie remained hospitalized Saturday after suffering serious injuries in a stabbing attack as he was about to speak in western New York. Rushdie's agent says the 75-year-old suffered a damaged liver, severed nerves in an arm and an eye he was likely to lose. He was also on a ventilator. Rushdie's novel “The Satanic Verses” drew death threats from Iran’s leader in the 1980s. Police arrested the man who attacked the writer and identified him as 24-year-old Hadi Matar of Fairview, New Jersey. Matar's lawyer declined to comment. Police said the motive for the Friday attack was still unclear.

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Ukrainian officials say Russia’s military have shelled residential areas across Ukraine while their own fighters damaged the last working bridge over a river in occupied southern Ukraine, hurting Russia's ability to resupply its military. The mayor of the city of Kramatorsk said a Russian rocket attack killed three people and wounded 13 others Friday night. Kramatorsk is the eastern headquarters for Ukraine's military. The Russian Defense Ministry, meanwhile, claimed Saturday its forces had taken control of a village on the outskirts of the city of Donetsk, the provincial capital that pro-Moscow separatists have claimed since 2014. Russian troops also launched hundreds of shells at Ukraine's northern regions of Kharkiv and Sumy, setting wheat fields on fire.

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R. Kelly’s federal trial that starts Monday in Chicago is in many ways a do-over of his child pornography trial in 2008 in state court. At that trial 14 years ago, jurors acquitted the singer on charges that he produced a video of himself having sex with a girl no older than 14. But a big difference between that trial and the one starting in a federal courthouse in Chicago is that prosecutors say the female in the video will testify this time. Among the charges Kelly faces is that he rigged the 2008 trial by paying off and threatening the girl to ensure she didn't testify. The woman is now in her 30s. Four other accusers are also slated to testify.

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A major economic bill headed to the president has “game-changing” incentives for the nuclear energy industry, experts say, and those tax credits are even more substantial if a facility is sited in a community with a coal plant that's closing. Among the many things the transformative bill could do, nuclear energy experts say, is spur more nuclear reactor projects like one Bill Gates is planning in Kemmerer, Wyoming. Companies designing and building the next generation of nuclear reactors could pick one of two new tax credits available to carbon-free electricity generators. Both include a 10-percentage point bonus for facilities sited in fossil fuel communities.