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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

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

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

Wisconsin's Supreme Court is set to decide whether a sex trafficking victim accused of homicide can argue at trial that she was justified in killing the man who trafficked her. The ruling Wednesday could help define the extent of immunity for trafficking victims nationwide. Prosecutors allege Chrystul Kizer shot Randall Volar at his Kenosha home in 2018. She was 17 at the time. She contends Volar was trafficking her for sex and wants to argue that she's immune from prosecution under a state law that absolves trafficking victims of any offenses resulting from being trafficked. Prosecutors counter that immunity can't possibly extend to homicide.

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GALLE, Sri Lanka (AP) — The sport of cricket has become a welcome distraction for Sri Lankans looking for a break from the effects of the economic crisis in the country — long lines to buy fuel and cooking gas and school and work disrupted because there is little access to public transport.

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The man accused of opening fire at an Independence Day parade in suburban Chicago legally bought five weapons, including two high-powered rifles. Authorities said Tuesday that the purchases were allowed even though police were called to his home twice in 2019 for threats of violence and suicide. The suspect was charged with seven counts of murder. Lake County State’s Attorney Eric Rinehart promised that dozens more charges would be sought and that the man could receive a mandatory life sentence without the possibility of parole. The assailant sprayed more than 70 rounds from a rooftop into a crowd in Highland Park, an affluent community of about 30,000 on the Lake Michigan shore.

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For many people, the mass shooting that killed at least seven people and injured 30 others in a Chicago suburb on July 4 was yet another reminder that any place, any event in the U.S. can turn dangerous or deadly. Highland Park is one of the country’s safest towns, and July 4th parades among the most American of celebrations. Even before Monday’s killings, some people already were on edge, questioning whether to venture into large gatherings, looking over their shoulders during even the most run-of-the-mill activities, from grocery shopping to going to school or catching a movie.