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Now that the Supreme Court has overturned Roe v. Wade, abortion could soon become illegal in half of the country. Or so Democrats warn. But it’s impossible to know how the debate will play out in many states. And a study this month by the Guttmacher Institute, which supports abortion rights, suggests that the practical consequences for abortion could be far less severe. Read more

There’s not much middle ground regarding the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision. I’ve listened to some praising our justices as well as others, usually louder, vilifying them. But after the rhetoric wanes a bit there’s one common ground on which most all can agree: elections matter. Read more

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State AP Stories

The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday agreed to hear a case that could dramatically change the way elections for Congress and the presidency are conducted by handing more power to state legislatures and blocking state courts from reviewing challenges to the procedures and results.

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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A federal appeals court on Wednesday threw out the 2020 conspiracy and bribery convictions of a major political donor in North Carolina and his associate, declaring that the trial judge erred in his jury instructions.

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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina Republican legislative leaders on Tuesday unveiled state budget adjustments for the coming year, proposing to spend or set aside billions in expected extra tax collections to raise worker pay, recruit companies, build more infrastructure and combat inflation.

National & World AP Stories

Inflation in countries using the euro set another eye-watering record, pushed higher by a huge increase in energy costs fueled partly by Russia’s war in Ukraine. Annual inflation in the eurozone’s 19 countries hit 8.6% in June, surging past the 8.1% recorded in May. That's according to the latest numbers published Friday by the European Union statistics agency, Eurostat. Inflation is at its highest level since recordkeeping for the euro began in 1997. Energy prices rocketed 41.9% and food prices were up 8.9%, both faster than the increases recorded in the previous month. Rising consumer prices are a problem worldwide, with the U.S. and Britain seeing inflation at 40-year highs.

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Chinese President Xi Jinping has defended his vision of the “one country, two systems” framework against accusations by the U.S., U.K. and others that Beijing has undermined the freedoms and autonomy promised to Hong Kong for 50 years. His presence in Hong Kong after not traveling during the coronavirus pandemic came as the city marked 25 years as a semi-autonomous Chinese region following its handover from Britain in 1997. Xi said the framework allowing Hong Kong to have its own laws and government was a good system that should be maintained. But he also said that Beijing had “comprehensive jurisdiction” and there would be no tolerance for foreign meddling in Hong Kong’s affairs.

Britain’s government is dealing with another boozy scandal after the deputy chief whip resigned from his post following a drunken incident this week. Prime Minister Boris Johnson faced calls on Friday to expel Chris Pincher from the Conservative Party. Pincher's role as deputy chief whip was to maintain discipline among Tory members of Parliament. His letter of resignation on Thursday added to the prime minister's recent troubles. Johnson last month survived a no-confidence vote triggered by investigations into parties held in government buildings when coronavirus lockdowns prohibited group gatherings. A Conservative lawmaker also resigned for watching pornography on his phone in the House of Commons, and the Tories lost two seats in special elections.

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Ukrainian authorities say Russian missile attacks on residential buildings in a coastal town near the port city of Odesa have killed at least 19 people, including two children. Video of the pre-dawn Friday attack showed the charred remains of buildings in the small town of Serhiivka, located about 50 kilometers (31 miles) southwest of Odesa. The Ukrainian president’s office said three X-22 missiles fired by Russian bombers struck an apartment building and two campsites. The assault came after Russian forces withdrew from a strategic Black Sea island on Thursday. Russia took control of Snake Island in the opening days of the war. Their withdrawal initially was seen as lessening the threat to the Odesa region.