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In a perfect world — or even a really good one — there’s no doubt that the debt ceiling agreement President Biden struck with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy over the weekend would be a frustration and a disappointment. The agreement will inflict all manner of painful cuts to core public structures and services that are both essential to the nation’s wellbeing and eminently affordable for a country as large and wealthy as the United States. Americans have right to expect much, much better. Read moreRob Schofield: Biden makes best of impossible situation again

We can tell a lot about a presidential candidate from the company he keeps, and Elon Musk’s presence spoke volumes on Twitter hosting Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. Musk owns Twitter, plus he is a billionaire many times over. A boost from a rich guy who owns a media platform gives DeSantis a leg up in the Republican primary contests. Read moreDouglas Cohn and Eleanor Clift: Political climate requires remembering the U.S.S. Maine

State AP Stories

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Toyota will invest another $2.1 billion in an electric and hybrid vehicle battery factory that’s under construction near Greensboro, North Carolina. The plant will supply batteries to Toyota’s huge complex in Georgetown, Kentucky, which will build Toyota’s first U.S.-made electric vehicle, a new SUV with three rows of seats. The plans announced Wednesday won’t immediately create any more jobs at either factory.  Toyota plans to have 2,100 employees at the battery factory. The investment will prepare infrastructure to expand for growth. Production is to start in 2025. It brings the total investment to $5.9 billion. The huge Kentucky complex now employs 9,500 people.  The company says jobs will shift to the new electric vehicle when production starts in 2025.

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The North Carolina General Assembly’s chief advocate for legalizing medical marijuana in the state has revealed how he smoked pot over 20 years ago to withstand intense chemotherapy during his fight with cancer. Sen. Bill Rabon of Brunswick County has previously described himself as a colon cancer survivor. But he had been reticent on details like whether he used marijuana until pitching his legislation on Tuesday to the House Health Committee. The measure passed the Senate three months ago. Rabon recalled how a physician told him to obtain marijuana when he sought a more aggressive form of treatment. Medical pot opponents say marijuana may cause harm to patients.

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As the Supreme Court decides the fate of affirmative action, most people in the U.S. say the court should allow consideration of race as part of the admissions process. Yet few believe students’ race should play a significant role in those decisions. A poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research finds 63% say the Supreme Court should not stop colleges from considering race or ethnicity in their admission systems. The poll shows little divide along political or racial lines. People are more likely to say grades and standardized test scores should be significant factors. Lawsuits are challenging admissions systems at Harvard and the University of North Carolina.

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Two North Carolina state House Republicans have lost their caucus leadership positions following recent comments directed at Democratic colleagues questioning their religion and educational attainment. A top House GOP leader announced on Thursday that Reps. Keith Kidwell and Jeff McNeely, who are both white, are no longer deputy majority whips after their resignations were sought by other GOP leaders. The Democrats who were the subject of the comments are both Black. McNeely took criticism during debate last week on legislation to expand the state’s private-school voucher system when he asked a question about a colleague's time at Harvard University. A television station reported that Kidwell disparaged a colleague's religion as she debated a bill restricting abortion.

National & World AP Stories

A woman taking a Memorial Day weekend stroll on a California beach found something unusual sticking out of the sand: a tooth from an ancient mastodon. Jennifer Schuh found the foot-long tooth on Friday on Rio Del Mar State Beach on California’s central coast. But Schuh wasn’t sure what she had found so she posted photos on Facebook, hoping someone could identify the strange object. Wayne Thompson of the Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History determined it was a mastodon tooth and went to the beach but couldn't find it. On Tuesday, Jim Smith of Aptos heard about the missing tooth. He told the museum he had picked it up while jogging and has donated it to the museum.

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The Associated Press has obtained more than 4,000 pages of documents related to Jeffrey Epstein’s jail suicide from the federal Bureau of Prisons under the Freedom of Information Act. They include a detailed psychological reconstruction of the events leading to Epstein’s suicide, as well as his health history, internal agency reports, emails and memos and other records. The documents obtained Thursday provide the most complete accounting of Epstein’s detention and death, and its chaotic aftermath. The records help to dispel the many conspiracy theories surrounding Epstein’s suicide, underscoring how fundamental failings at the Bureau of Prisons — including severe staffing shortages and employees cutting corners — contributed to Epstein’s death.

A federal judge has ruled that a lawsuit brought by young Oregon-based climate activists can proceed to trial. The Thursday ruling comes years after the plaintiffs first filed their lawsuit attempting to hold the nation’s leadership accountable for its role in climate change. U.S. District Court Judge Ann Aiken has ruled that the plaintiffs can amend their case and go to trial. The long-awaited ruling puts the young plaintiffs back on track for a trial. U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts canceled a previous trial days before it was to begin in 2018.