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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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Author Salman Rushdie has been taken off a ventilator and is able to talk, a day after being stabbed as he prepared to give a lecture. Rushdie's agent confirmed information contained in a tweet by another author Saturday. Earlier in the day, the man accused in the attack in upstate New York pleaded not guilty to attempted murder and assault charges. A judge ordered Hadi Matar held without bail after the district attorney told her Matar took steps to purposely put himself in position to harm Rushdie. Rushdie, the renowned author of “The Satanic Verses” remains hospitalized with serious injuries.

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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.

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Ukrainian officials say Russia’s military shelled residential areas across Ukraine. They also say their own fighters have damaged the last working bridge over a river in occupied southern Ukraine, hurting Russia's ability to resupply its military. The mayor of the eastern city of Kramatorsk said a Russian rocket attack killed three people and wounded 13 others Friday night. Further west, a governor reported more Russian shelling of a city not far from Europe’s largest nuclear power plant. Ukrainian military intelligence alleged that Russian troops have shelled the nuclear plant. The Russian Defense Ministry, meanwhile, claimed Saturday its forces had taken control of a village on the outskirts of the eastern city of Donetsk.

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Three day-old lion cubs were on display in a cardboard box at a Gaza City zoo, a rare joyous sight for children and adults alike. The cubs were born just days after Israeli aircraft pounded the territory and Gaza militants fired hundreds of rockets at Israel. A veterinarian at the zoo said Saturday that he felt lucky the birth was successful despite the deafening sound of constant explosions during three days of fighting. Shocks from war aren’t the only threat to animals. A number of animals in makeshift zoos in impoverished, blockaded Gaza have starved to death or were killed in the conflict between Israel and Gaza militants.