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The two most common themes of MAGA sorehead emails I received last year were the inevitability of an anti-Biden landslide in 2022, and the certainty of Hillary Clinton’s prosecution by “independent counsel” John Durham, supposedly for falsifying evidence against Donald Trump during the “Russia, Russia, Russia hoax,” as Trump styles it. Read moreGene Lyons: GOP can't stop failing with conspiracy investigations

State AP Stories

Former longtime North Carolina state Sen. Jerry Tillman has died at age 82. A funeral home confirmed Monday that Tillman died Saturday at a Greensboro health facility from natural causes. The Randolph County Republican was a retired public schoolteacher, administrator and coach first elected to the Senate in 2002. He served as a Senate majority whip, education budget writer and finance committee co-chair after Republicans took over the Senate. Tillman often pressed for legislation that promoted school choice and tax relief. He retired in mid-2020. A funeral is set for later this month in Archdale.

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Republican lawmakers are accusing China of deliberately surveilling sensitive U.S. military sites with a suspected spy balloon. And they say the Biden administration has given Beijing an intelligence opening by not downing the balloon during its high-altitude drift through American airspace. Democrats are defending Biden and they note that there were similar incursions while Donald Trump was president. A missile from an F-22 fighter jet downed the balloon on Saturday off the South Carolina coast. A U.S. official tells The Associated Press that those involved in the recovery of the balloon are planning to take it to the FBI lab in Quantico, Virginia, for further analysis.

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Amid high egg prices, social media users are claiming that common chicken feed products are preventing their own hens from laying eggs. Some have gone a step further to suggest that feed producers intentionally made their products deficient to stop backyard egg production and force consumers to buy eggs at inflated prices. But experts say high egg prices are caused by bird flu and inflation. And while feed quality can affect egg production, there are more mundane explanations for backyard flock owners’ reported low egg yields, including environmental reasons like cold weather or insufficient light, rather than a broad conspiracy.

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China is threatening what it calls “further actions” after an American fighter jet shot down a suspected spy balloon off the East Coast of the United States on Saturday. The U.S. says the massive balloon was a surveillance craft that spent days crossing over sensitive military sites in North America. The White House says President Joe Biden approved the downing, and followed the advice of military officials by waiting to bring down the craft over water rather than risk debris falling on populated areas. But China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs insists again that the craft was civilian and its flight an accident. It is criticizing the U.S. for what it terms “an obvious overreaction and a serious violation of international practice.”

National & World AP Stories

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NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are opening mostly lower on Wall Street, but gains in some tech stocks were pushing the Nasdaq barely higher. The S&P 500 index fell 0.2% in the early going Tuesday and the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.4%. A solid gain in Microsoft nudged the Nasdaq up 0.1%.…

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The 65th Grammys were back in full swing Sunday. Once again, Beyoncé was in the running for the top honor, and once again, the show ended with someone else winning album of the year. This year was widely seen as a chance for the Grammys to honor the superstar with a marquee award, especially on a night where she could have (and did) become its most decorated artist. Instead, Harry Styles won, and a line from his acceptance speech sparked criticism. Styles remarked that moments like that didn't happen to people like him very often, but some viewed the comment as white privilege. Beyoncé, they noted, had lost the honor four times already to white artists.

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Someone in Washington state overcame steep odds to win a $754.6 million Powerball jackpot. The winning numbers Monday night were 05, 11, 22, 23, 69 and the Powerball 07. Lottery officials said in a statement early Tuesday that a single ticket matched all six numbers and that ticket sales pushed the jackpot higher than an earlier $747 million estimate. The full jackpot is for a winner opting for an annuity distributed in one immediate but partial payout followed by additional payments over 29 years that increase by 5% annually. The winner also can opt for a one-time cash payment of $407.2 million. Powerball says both prizes are the amounts before taxes. The jackpot was the ninth-largest in U.S. history.

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Ukrainian officials say Russian shelling has hit more civilian targets ahead of what Kyiv authorities suspect is an impending new offensive by Moscow around the anniversary of its invasion. Regional Ukrainian emergency services said a hospital in a northeastern town of caught fire late Monday as a result of Russian shelling. Emergency crews evacuated eight civilians from the site before putting out the fire, which caused no casualties. The town is in the Kharkiv region that was occupied by Russia after its invasion almost a year ago and subsequently retaken by Ukraine during a late summer counteroffensive. Authorities in eastern Ukraine's Donetsk and Luhansk provinces reported Russian troop buildups in recent days.