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Fifteen Republicans in the Senate and 14 in the House joined with congressional Democrats last week to break more than 25 years of inaction on gun safety. That these Republicans, many of whom had ratings of A or A-plus from the National Rifle Association, defied the gun lobby with their support of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act suggests they saw the political peril in doing nothing about the gun violence gripping the country.  Read more

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For President Donald Trump and his allies, Shaye Moss and her mother, Ruby Freeman, were easy targets. They are Black women. That made it oh-so-simple for Trumpists to paint the mother and daughter, who served as Fulton County, Georgia, poll workers, as lawless and fraudulent schemers. Read more

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With America facing deepening ideological divisions and an erosion of confidence in their institutions, last thing that anyone needs right now is the revival by one of those institutions of the highly controversial and divisive abortion debate that was settled half a century ago. Read more

A dream so long enjoyed cannot cease without hardship. But the psychological pain of diminishing hope seems to weigh heavily on the minds of North Carolina’s political Right. For the myriad operatives of our state’s organized right wing movement, the rising likelihood of Medicaid expansion is causing something akin to panic. For those who have long taken pride in obstinate rejectionism, an existential crisis is setting in at the prospect of making healthcare more affordable to the needy. Read more

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State AP Stories

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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.

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PHOENIX (AP) — The skies over a scattering of Western U.S. cities will stay dark for the third consecutive Fourth of July as some major fireworks displays are canceled again this year — some over wildfire concerns amid dry weather and others because of enduring pandemic-related staffing and …

National & World AP Stories

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MADRID (AP) — NATO declared Russia the “most significant and direct threat” to its members’ peace and security, as the military alliance met Wednesday to confront what NATO’s chief called the biggest security crisis since World War II.

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ROME (AP) — U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi met with Pope Francis on Wednesday and received Communion during a papal Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica, witnesses said, despite her position in support of abortion rights.

PARIS (AP) — Over the course of an extraordinary nine-month trial, the lone survivor of the Islamic State extremist team that attacked Paris in 2015 has proclaimed his radicalism, wept, apologized to victims and pleaded with judges to forgive his “mistakes.”