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Just days after declaring pregnancy a sacrament, the Supreme Court announced a bold ruling in favor of performative Christianity. Never mind this tiresome business about no establishment of religion; the holy Republican majority in their priestly robes have liberated the nation’s public school football coaches to get on with the serious business of saving souls. Read more

National polls show former President Donald Trump with a commanding lead over all other Republicans for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination. The group includes Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who is in a distant second place but is widely seen as the new front-runner should Trump decide not to run. Read more

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State AP Stories

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.

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.

National & World AP Stories

The latest in a litany of horrors in Ukraine came this week as Russian firepower rained down on civilians in a busy shopping mall far from the front lines of a war in its fifth month. The timing of the attack was not likely a coincidence. While much of the attritional war in Ukraine’s east is hidden from sight, the brutality of Russian missile strikes on a mall in the central city of Kremenchuk and on residential buildings in the capital of Kyiv unfolded in full view of the world. The timing of both attacks appeared to be juxtaposed with three summits in Europe where Western leaders emphasized their support for Ukraine.

The Texas Supreme Court has blocked a lower court order that had given some abortion clinics confidence to resume performing abortions. The order handed down Friday night by the state’s highest court comes just days after some abortion providers rushed to resume services. An lower court order issued this week by a Houston judge had reassured some doctors they could temporarily resume abortions up to six weeks into pregnancy. Before that, doctors across Texas had stopped performing abortions in the state after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade and ended the constitutional right to abortion.

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The Texas Supreme Court has blocked a lower court order that had given some abortion clinics confidence to resume performing abortions. The order handed down Friday night by the state’s highest court comes just days after some abortion providers rushed to resume services. An lower court order issued this week by a Houston judge had reassured some doctors they could temporarily resume abortions up to six weeks into pregnancy. Before that, doctors across Texas had stopped performing abortions in the state after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade and ended the constitutional right to abortion.

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New York’s legislature has approved a sweeping overhaul of the state’s handgun licensing rules, seeking to preserve some limits after the Supreme Court said people have a right to carry a handgun for personal protection. Gov. Kathy Hochul signed the measure into law after it passed both chambers by wide margins. The law is almost sure to draw more legal challenges from gun-rights advocates who said the state is still putting too many restrictions on who can get a gun and where they can carry it. Backers said the new law will strike the right balance between complying with the Supreme Court’s ruling and trying to ensure that weapons stay out of the hands of criminals.