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The New York Times put it starkly. A recent poll with Siena College shows Democrats “faring far worse than they have in the past with Hispanic voters.” Only 56% say they’ll back Democratic candidates this fall, with Republicans getting 32%. Just two years ago, President Biden received 63% of the Latino vote, and in 2016, Hillary Clinton polled 71%. Read more

Much of the nation’s political and commentary class had a near-nervous breakdown when 48 Venezuelans who had crossed illegally into the United States arrived at the Martha’s Vineyard Airport, not far from the summer homes of some of the country’s wealthiest and best-connected people. When they realized what had happened, many Democrats and allied voices in the media expressed white-hot anger at Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who arranged the migrants’ trip. Meanwhile, Vineyard residents volunteered to feed and care for the migrants for 24 hours, after which the National Guard whisked them off the exclusive island. Read more

The Washington Post surveyed 19 of the most competitive election races in the country this year asking candidates, “Will you accept the results of your election?” All 19 Democrats, including North Carolina Senate candidate Cheri Beasley, answered “yes.” Twelve of their opponents either refused to agree or declined to respond, including North Carolina Senate candidate Ted Budd. Read more

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State AP Stories

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Forty years after a predominantly Black community in Warren County, North Carolina, rallied against hosting a hazardous waste landfill, President Joe Biden’s top environment official has returned to what is widely considered the birthplace of the environmental justice movement to unveil a national office that will distribute $3 billion in block grants to underserved communities burdened by pollution. Joined by civil rights leaders and participants from the 1982 protests, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Michael Regan announced Saturday that he is dedicating a new senior level of leadership to the environmental justice movement they ignited. The new Office of Environmental Justice and External Civil Rights will merge three existing EPA programs.

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North Carolina Republican Senate candidate Ted Budd is leaning into his support for abortion restrictions and his allegiance to former President Donald Trump as Democrats fight for an elusive victory in the Southern swing state. Democratic optimism remains tempered given the state’s recent red tilt. But Democratic officials believe Budd's candidacy gives them a real chance at flipping a Senate seat — and the balance of power in Washington — this fall. Budd appeared alongside Trump at a rally in Wilmington Friday night, where the former president praised the candidate as “a conservative, America First all-star in Congress” and urged his supporters to turn out to vote.

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The White House is reaching out to local governments. It hosted officials from North Carolina on Thursday to highlight funding opportunities and hear firsthand how coronavirus relief, infrastructure dollars and other policies are faring in communities. A key message for the visit by North Carolina officials is the recovery in manufacturing. The event reflects new efforts to expand the use of the White House campus as pandemic restrictions have eased. But it’s also part of a larger effort to host municipal and county officials on a weekly basis from all 50 states. That outreach coincides with campaigning for November’s midterm elections as the White House tries to energize Democratic voters.

National & World AP Stories

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Saudi Arabia appears to be leaving behind the stream of negative coverage the killing of Jamal Khashoggi elicited since 2018. Once again enthusiastically welcomed back into polite and powerful society, it is no longer as frowned upon to seek their investments and accept their favor. Saudi Arabia’s busy week of triumphs included brokering a prisoner swap between Ukraine and Russia, holding a highbrow summit on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly, marking the country’s national day, hosting the German chancellor and discussing energy supply with top White House officials. The pivot is drawing focus back to the crown prince’s ambitious re-branding of Saudi Arabia and its place in the world.

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Fiona washed houses into the sea, tore the roofs off others and knocked out power to the vast majority of two Canadian provinces as it made landfall as a big, powerful post-tropical cyclone Saturday. Fiona transformed from a hurricane into a post-tropical storm late Friday, but it still had hurricane-strength winds and brought drenching rains and huge waves as it hit Nova Scotia. There was no confirmation of fatalities or injuries. Ocean waves pounded the town of  Channel-Port Aux Basques on the southern coast of Newfoundland, where entire structures were washed into the sea. Fiona has weakened to tropical storm strength as it moves across the Gulf of St. Lawrence

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Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister says the world needs more fossil fuel investments. It's a message at odds with the United Nations’ own panel of scientists and researchers. Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan made his comments at the U.N. General Assembly. The U.N. panel says there should not be new investments in fossil fuel infrastructure and that the fuels, which are mostly responsible for climate change, must phase out over time. The kingdom has committed to carbon neutrality by 2060, but insists that the energy transitions must be gradual.

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Two U.S. military veterans who disappeared three months ago while fighting with Ukrainian forces have arrived in their home state of Alabama. The men were greeted Saturday by hugs and cheers at the airport in Birmingham, Alabama. Alex Drueke, and Andy Huynh had gone missing June 9 in northeastern Ukraine near the Russian border. The Alabama residents were released by Russian-backed separatists as part of a recent prisoner exchange mediated by Saudi Arabia. Also freed were five British nationals and three others — from Morocco, Sweden and Croatia. Smiling but looking tired, the two were pulled into long emotional hugs by family members before being taken to a waiting car.