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Did our leaders even bother to think through all of the potential unintended consequences of picking a fight with Russia over Ukraine? And before anyone says that this is strictly between Ukraine and Russia, the New York Times dispelled that notion, pointing out that the CIA is on the ground inside the country along with allied special operations forces, organizing weapons deliveries from western countries and training Ukrainian fighters. Read more

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As I always imagined it, the ascension of the first Black woman to the U.S. Supreme Court would signal an era of progress, a time of triumph for Americans who believe in the beloved community of which Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. spoke. I was well off the mark. This is no era of progress, no trumpet sound for celebration. Read more

The contest for U.S. Senate in North Carolina features a stark contrast in personalities. In temperament, background and ideological intensity, Cheri Beasley and Ted Budd, each their respective party’s standard-bearer, are dramatically different people with different ideas. Their respective profiles reveal much about what each party values in 2022. And this gaping divide will play out in the race to win suburban votes. Read more

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State AP Stories

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Tropical Storm Colin has brought rain and winds to parts of North and South Carolina, though the storm has weakened and conditions are expected to improve by Monday's July Fourth celebrations. Separately, the center of Tropical Storm Bonnie rolled into the Pacific on Saturday after a rapid march across Central America, where it caused flooding, downed trees and forced thousands of people to evacuate in Nicaragua and Costa Rica. Forecasters say Bonnie is likely to become a hurricane by Monday off the southern coast of Mexico, but it is unlikely to make a direct hit on land.

North Carolina's Democratic attorney general has not yet indicated whether he will ask a court to lift the injunction on a state law banning abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. Attorney General Josh Stein told Republican lawmakers on Friday that his department’s attorneys are reviewing the litigation that led a federal court to strike down the 20-week ban. His letter responds to GOP demands that he take immediate action in the wake of last week's U.S. Supreme Court ruling that overturned abortion protections. Senate leader Phil Berger and House Speaker Tim Moore warned last week Stein's inaction would lead them to get involved.

National & World AP Stories

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In the midst of the chaos of a Chicago-area parade massacre, a woman walked up to Greg Ring and handed him a 2-year-old boy, covered in blood. Ring took the child, who was crying for his mom and dad, to a fire station, where he was asked to keep him, while authorities tried to deal with the shooter. The family drove to Ring’s in-laws' home, where the boy sat with Ring’s 4-year-old, watching a Mickey Mouse show. It wasn’t until later they were able to identify him and reunite him with his grandparents. Aiden McCarthy’s parents, Kevin and Irina, both died in the shooting, which killed seven people and wounded more than two dozen others.

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KRAMATORSK, Ukraine (AP) — Russian shelling killed at least eight civilians in eastern Ukraine over the past 24 hours and wounded 25 more, Ukrainian officials said Wednesday. Pro-Russia separatists said attacks by Ukrainian forces killed four civilians.

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Jurors have found a 32-year-old man guilty of first-degree murder for the 2019 fatal shooting of rapper Nipsey Hussle. The Los Angeles County jury reached its verdict in the trial of Eric R. Holder Jr. on Wednesday. The verdict brings an end to a legal saga that has lasted more than three years and a trial that was often delayed because of the pandemic. Holder and Hussle had known each other for years when a chance meeting outside the Grammy-winning rapper’s Los Angeles clothing store led to the shooting, and Hussle's death. Holder could get life in prison when he’s sentenced on Sept. 15.

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European Union lawmakers have voted to include natural gas and nuclear in the bloc’s list of sustainable activities. The European Commission earlier this year made the controversial proposal as part of its plans for building a climate-friendly future, dividing member countries and drawing outcry from environmentalists over what they criticize as “greenwashing.” EU legislators rejected an objection to the proposal in a 328-278 vote on Wednesday. The green labeling system from the European Commission defines what qualifies as an investment in sustainable energy.