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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

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper signed an executive order shielding out-of-state abortion patients from extradition and prohibiting state agencies under his control from assisting other states’ prosecutions of abortion patients who travel for the procedure. Cooper joined a growing number of Democratic governors seeking to offer sanctuary in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court decision overturning abortion protections. In announcing the executive order, Cooper said he would use his authority over extradition warrants to shield abortion providers and their patients from states with more restrictive polices that could seek to punish residents who cross state lines for the procedure.

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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.

National & World AP Stories

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The man charged with killing seven people at an Independence Day parade confessed to police that he unleashed a hail of bullets from a rooftop in suburban Chicago and then fled to the Madison, Wisconsin, area, where he contemplated shooting up an event there. That's according to authorities who spoke Wednesday. Robert Crimo III turned back to Illinois, where he was later arrested after deciding he was not prepared to pull off a shooting in Wisconsin. An Illinois judge ordered Crimo to be held without bail. A prosecutor said police found the shells of 83 bullets and three ammunition magazines on the rooftop that he fired from.

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The U.S. Supreme Court's landmark abortion ruling overturning Roe v. Wade is prompting efforts in liberal states to protect providers and patients who have traveled for a legal procedure. Governors in at least a dozen states have taken action this year by refusing to cooperate with other states' law enforcement actions regarding abortion. They're also looking for ways to protect their residents from lawsuits that could arise from providing abortions to people from states where they're banned or severely restricted. Some progressive cities in conservative states are also considering telling law enforcement to make abortion-related crimes their lowest priority.

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Mississippi’s only abortion clinic has been buzzing with activity in the chaotic days since the U.S. Supreme Court upended abortion rights nationwide. The case originated in Mississippi with the bright pink medical facility called Jackson Women's Health Organization. Physicians there have been trying to see as many patients as possible before the facility, best known as the Pink House, permanently closes its doors at the end of business Wednesday. Clashes have intensified between anti-abortion protesters and volunteers who escort patients into the clinic. Unless there’s an intervention by the state’s conservative Supreme Court, Mississippi will enact a law Thursday to ban most abortions.

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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.