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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

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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.

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.

National & World AP Stories

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South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said the deaths of 21 teenagers in a nightclub tragedy is a crime and South African officials must increase steps to prevent alcohol from being illegally sold to youths. Ramaphosa spoke to more than a thousand mourners at the funeral in East London for the young people who died at a tavern nearly two weeks ago. It’s still not known what caused the deaths of the young people, one just 13 years old, whose bodies were found in the Enyobeni tavern. Officials said they were under South Africa's legal drinking age of 18. Pathologists are studying the cause of death from blood samples.

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Stocks are inching higher at the open on Wall Street Wednesday, tracking markets in Europe. The S&P 500 is up 0.4% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 0.2%. The Nasdaq composite is up 0.3%. Traders are focused on risks from inflation to oil prices, including central banks' moves on interest rates, political developments in Britain and worries over COVID-19. The euro is at a 20-year low to the dollar on worries over disruptions to energy supplies. Amazon is down 1.3% amid news that Britain’s competition watchdog is investigating possible unfair trading practices.

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MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A sex trafficking victim accused of killing a man who allegedly trafficked her can argue at trial that she was justified in killing him, Wisconsin’s Supreme Court ruled Wednesday in a decision that could help define the limits of legal immunity for trafficking victims na…

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A defiant British Prime Minister Boris Johnson battled to stay in power after his government was rocked by the resignation of two top ministers and a slew of more junior officials. Johnson is known for his uncanny ability to wiggle out of tight spots, but a series of accusations of misdeeds have pushed him to the brink. Some of his fellow Conservative lawmakers now worry that the leader renowned for his affability could be a liability in elections. Many are also are concerned about the ability of a weakened Johnson to govern. At the weekly Prime Minister’s Questions session in Parliament on Wednesday, members on the opposition Labour Party shouted “Go! Go!’’ Members of his own Conservative Party also challenged the leader.