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North Carolina endured the wrath of yet another powerful hurricane last week. And while it comes as little solace to those who lost homes, businesses or, in a few tragic cases, loved ones, on the whole, the situation could have been much, much worse. One need only glance at the devastation that Ian inflicted on southwestern Florida to be reminded of what these storms can dish out and how fortunate we were in comparison. Read more

No, polio is not a threat to the vast majority of Americans. That’s because the vast majority has received a very effective polio vaccine. And that’s also why public officials should stop turning a concern centered on a few under-vaxxed communities into everyone’s problem. Read more

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State AP Stories

President Joe Biden is working to create a manufacturing revival. He's even helping to put factory jobs in Republican territory under the belief it can help restore faith in U.S. democracy. The latest development came Tuesday, when chipmaker Micron announced an investment of up to $100 billion over the next 20-plus years to build a plant in upstate New York that could create 9,000 factory jobs. It’s a commitment made in a GOP congressional district that Biden and the company credited to the recently enacted $280 billion CHIPS and Science Act. Biden's goal is to keep opening new factories in states where Democrats’ footholds are shaky at best.

In Georgia’s pivotal U.S. Senate race, Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock and his Republican challenger, Herschel Walker, have each sought to cast the other as an abortion extremist. At the same time, they deflect questions about the details of their own positions on the issue. The sidestepping reflects the sensitivity of abortion politics in a post-Roe v. Wade America, where the procedure is open to regulation by state governments and, potentially, by Congress. But Walker’s strategy may not work much longer after The Daily Beast reported Monday that he paid for a girlfriend’s 2009 abortion — a blatant contradiction of his claims that there’s “no excuse” for a procedure he characterizes as “killing.” Walker called the report a lie.

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Advocates say schools increasingly are removing children with disabilities from the classroom because of behavior issues related to their disability but not recording the actions as suspension. The practice is known as informal removal, which advocates say amounts to a form of off-the-books, de facto denial of education that evades accountability. Because the removals aren’t recorded, there’s no way to quantify how often they happen. But the assistant secretary for the Education Department's Office for Civil Rights, Catherine E. Lhamon, says the practice has "taken hold in a way that is dangerous for students and needs to be addressed.”

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A Delaware judge says cigarette manufacturer ITG Brands assumed liability for tobacco settlement payments to the state of Florida when it acquired four brands from Reynolds American in 2015. Vice Chancellor Lori Will also said in Friday's ruling that ITG must compensate Reynolds American for losses due to that assumed liability. Reynolds sold the Kool, Winston, Salem and Maverick brands to ITG in 2014 to gain federal regulators' approval of Reynolds’ acquisition of Lorillard Inc. Before the sale closed, Reynolds American affiliate R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. was making payments under a preexisting settlement agreement with Florida for reimbursement of smoking-related health care costs.

National & World AP Stories

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Stocks fell on Wall Street as the broader market continued pulling back from a surge earlier in the week. The S&P 500 fell 0.7% in afternoon trading on Thursday. The benchmark index is still on track for a solid weekly gain. The Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Nasdaq also fell. Investors reviewed more employment data and considered how it might influence the Federal Reserve's effort to fight inflation with higher interest rates. The U.S. government reported that applications for unemployment benefits rose last week. It will release its monthly report on the job market on Friday.

Oil cartel OPEC and its allies are cutting production. And that means oil prices are likely going up. The OPEC+ alliance says they're trying to support prices against future sagging demand from an uncertain and slowing global economy. Saudi Arabia's energy minister says the alliance is bringing stability to the oil market. Yet high oil prices are contributing to fears of a slowdown and have been criticized by Washington. Meanwhile, supply could take another hit as the U.S. and allies try to impose a price cap on Russian oil to reduce the money flowing into Moscow’s war chest after it invaded Ukraine.

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Russian missile attacks have hit apartment buildings in the southern Ukrainian city of Zaporizhzhia, killing three people and wounding at least 12. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskky called the attacks “absolute evil.” The head of the U.N.’s nuclear watchdog is expected to visit Kyiv this week to discuss the nuclear power plant in the same region. Ukrainian forces say they have retaken 400 square kilometers (154 square miles) of territory, including 29 settlements, in the Kherson region this month. Kherson is one of four regions Russia has illegally annexed. Elsewhere, several hundred Ukrainians trying to flee Russian-occupied areas reportedly disappeared Wednesday near the Russian-Estonian border. They were taken away on Russian trucks to an unknown destination.

WAHPETON, N.D. (AP) — When North Dakota State College of Science suffered a heartbreaking loss in early September — foiled at the goal line as time expired in a jolt to their national championship ambitions — it was a backup defensive lineman who stepped forward with a pep talk to lift the l…