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No. No one planted the various top secret and/or classified documents in the University of Pennsylvania office of President Joe Biden or in Biden’s locked garage where he also keeps his Corvette. And no one planted the documents inside his Delaware home either. An overly zealot Black Democrat congressman recently put forth this inaccurate conspiracy theory. Read moreGary Franks: Biden’s got a classified documents problem

This awful story won’t generate the weeks’ worth of headlines prompted by the 6-year-old who shot his teacher, but it should: A 14-year-old Texas girl has been charged with murder for shooting an 11-year-old boy. She was firing at another 14-year-old girl, with whom she had been arguing. She missed, hitting the boy, according to Dallas police. Read moreCynthia Tucker: Gun lobby grows bolder even as violence escalates

State AP Stories

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North Carolina Democrats have introduced legislation to codify abortion protections into state law as Republicans are discussing early prospects for further restrictions. Their legislation, filed Wednesday in both chambers, would prohibit the state from imposing barriers that might restrict a patient’s ability to choose whether to terminate a pregnancy before fetal viability, which typically falls between 24 and 28 weeks of pregnancy. Current state law bans nearly all abortions after 20 weeks, with narrow exceptions for urgent medical emergencies that do not include rape or incest. House Speaker Tim Moore told reporters he didn’t expect the Democrats’ bill to get considered.

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Supporters of abortion rights have filed separate lawsuits challenging abortion pill restrictions in North Carolina and West Virginia. The lawsuits were filed Wednesday. They are the opening salvo in what’s expected to a be a protracted legal battle over access to the medications. The lawsuits argue that state limits on the drugs run afoul of the federal authority of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The agency has approved the abortion pill as a safe and effective method for ending pregnancy. More than half of U.S. abortions are now done with pills rather than surgery.

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A lawyer representing the leaders of North Carolina’s state employee health plan has defended its exclusion of gender affirming treatments before a federal appeals court. State Treasurer Dale Folwell and the State Health Plan’s executive administrator are seeking to overturn a trial court order demanding that the plan pay for “medically necessary services,” including hormone therapy and some surgeries, for transgender employees and their children. Attorney John Knepper told a three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday that the plan routinely excludes some medically necessary procedures based on cost, but does not make any of those determinations based on sex or gender.

National & World AP Stories

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The first officer to arrive after Alex Murdaugh called 911 and reported his wife and son were shot noted the the attorney was upset but that he had no tears in his eyes. Colleton County Sgt. Daniel Greene’s body camera footage was shown Thursday during the first day of testimony in Murdaugh’s double murder trial. Murdaugh’s lawyer questioned Greene at length on what he did at the crime scene, suggesting officers disturbed potential evidence by walking around in the dark without flashlights, failing to look for shoe prints or tire tracks, and standing near the bodies. Murdaugh rocked back and forth with his head down as gruesome footage was shown.

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Ukrainian authorities say Russia has fired more missiles and self-exploding drones at nearly a dozen Ukrainian provinces, causing the first war-related death in Kyiv this year and killing at least 11 people overall. The attacks came a day after Germany and the United States announced they would send advanced battle tanks to Ukraine. The spokesperson for Ukraine’s State Emergency Service announced the casualty toll. The mayor of Kyiv said earlier that one person was killed in the capital, the city’s first attack-related death of the year. Authorities say three other people died in a strike on an energy facility in Zaporizhzhia province. The attacks adhered to Russia’s recent pattern of launching widespread infrastructure strikes about every two weeks.

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Stocks climbed Thursday to send Wall Street to its highest level in nearly eight weeks following reports suggesting the economy and corporate profits may be doing better than feared. The S&P 500 rose 1.1% Thursday after briefly dipping lower in late morning trading. More swings may still be ahead, as Wall Street digests a growing torrent of earnings and economic reports. Thursday's headliner showed the economy held up better through the last three months of 2022 than expected. Reports from Tesla and others helped build optimism a day after worries flared following forecasts from Microsoft widely seen as discouraging.

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An Islamic extremist who killed eight people with a speeding truck in a 2017 rampage on a popular New York City bike path has been convicted of federal charges and could face the death penalty. Jurors found Sayfullo Saipov guilty on Thursday. Prosecutors say the Halloween attack was inspired by his reverence for the Islamic State group. The jury announced its verdict in a Manhattan courtroom just a few blocks from where Saipov’s attack ended. The jury will return to court no earlier than Feb. 6 to hear more evidence to help decide whether Saipov should be executed or spend the rest of his life in prison.