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That Kansas voted to protect abortion rights guaranteed in its state constitution didn’t surprise me, although I certainly never expected a landslide. The original Jayhawkers, after all, waged a guerilla war to prevent Missourians from bringing slavery into the Kansas territory — a violent dress rehearsal for the Civil War. A good deal of the state’s well-known conservatism is grounded in stiff-necked independence. Read more

China, economically ascendant, has become increasingly assertive in pressing its economic, political and territorial claims. The United States, which long treated the country as something of a charity case, now regards it as a rival and, increasingly, as a threat. While some tension is inevitable, the rhetoric in both nations has taken a bellicose turn. There is little trust or cooperation even on issues of clear mutual interest, like combating the COVID-19 pandemic or addressing climate change. Read more

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State AP Stories

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Authorities in North Carolina are trying to determine who fired the shots that killed a sheriff's deputy along a dark highway late Thursday night. Wake County Sheriff Gerald Baker said early Friday that the deputy was fatally wounded after 11 p.m. Thursday. Sheriff’s spokesperson Eric Curry says it happened on a dark section of road adjacent to open land about a quarter mile from a gas station. He says they're trying to learn why the deputy stopped there as they search for “the perpetrator or perpetrators.” Several sheriff’s deputies have been shot recently in North Carolina, including Wayne County Sheriff's Sgt. Matthew Fishman, who was killed last week.

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The campaign committee of North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein plans to ask a federal court to block enforcement of a state law looming in a probe of a TV ad aired against Stein's election rival in 2020. The state law makes it illegal to knowingly circulate false reports to damage a candidate’s election chances. Stein beat Republican Jim O'Neill that November. A Stein committee attorney filed the notice Wednesday, after a judge refused to stop a district attorney from potentially using the law to prosecute anyone over the disputed 2020 campaign ad. No one's been charged. Stein's committee argues the law is overly broad and chills political speech.

The North Carolina attorney general’s office is asking a federal court not to restore the state's 20-week abortion ban after the judge suggested his previous injunction “may now be contrary to law.” The attorney general’s office argued in a brief filed late Monday that reinstating restrictions in the aftermath of the June U.S. Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade would create “significant risk of public confusion” about the availability and legality of abortion services in North Carolina. Staff attorneys in Stein’s office filed the brief without the attorney general’s involvement.

National & World AP Stories

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Salman Rushdie, the author whose novel “The Satanic Verses” drew death threats from Iran in the 1980s, has been attacked and apparently stabbed in the neck by a man who rushed the stage as he was about to give a lecture in western New York. A bloodied Rushdie, who is 75, was flown to a hospital. His condition was not immediately known. An Associated Press reporter witnessed a man confront Rushdie on stage at the Chautauqua Institution and punch or stab him 10 to 15 times as he was being introduced. The author was pushed or fell to the floor, and the man was arrested. Authorities did not immediately identify the attacker or offer any information on his motive.

Stocks are closing higher on Wall Street, giving the S&P 500 its first 4-week winning streak since November. The benchmark index gained 1.7% Friday, and other indexes also rose. Technology stocks drove much the broad rally. Inflation cooled more than expected last month, sending stocks higher. Investors see a greater chance inflation may have peaked, allowing the Federal Reserve to be less aggressive with its rate hikes than it has been this year. Crude oil prices fell, while bond yields were mixed.

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California Gov. Gavin Newsom is proposing to extend the life of the state’s last operating nuclear power plant by at least five to 10 years to maintain reliable power supplies in the climate change era. A draft bill obtained Friday by The Associated Press said the plan would allow the plant to continue operating beyond a scheduled closing by 2025. The draft proposal also includes a possible loan for operator Pacific Gas & Electric for up to $1.4 billion. The proposal was confirmed by Newsom spokesman Anthony York. The draft was obtained ahead of a California Energy Commission meeting on the state’s energy needs.