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Sen. Thom Tillis and Rep. Ted Budd recently sent a letter to North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein, asking Stein to protect crisis pregnancy centers across the state from the “attacks” they have begun to experience since Roe v. Wade was overturned. Read more

My mother remembers polio. Growing up in rural Alabama, she knew people who were afflicted with it and crippled by it. Her generation had no qualms about rushing out to receive the life-saving vaccines or having their children stand in long lines to wait for a nurse to stick them in the arm with a scary-looking needle. I remember the needle. Read more

As kids across the U.S. head back to school, they face a new year of politisation. And the results for American society in general are devastating. The most recent U.S. government assessment, not even a quarter of graduating grade 12 students are considered proficient in math or science, and a dismal 12 percent of students are competent in U.S. history. Read more

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State AP Stories

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A man who fatally stabbed a real estate agent inside a model home in suburban Dallas faces execution, more than 16 years after the slaying. Kosoul Chanthakoummane is scheduled to receive a lethal injection Wednesday evening at the state penitentiary in Huntsville. He was a North Carolina parolee in July 2006 when he killed 40-year-old Sarah Walker, who was found stabbed more than 30 times in a model home in McKinney, about 30 miles north of Dallas. Prosecutors say he beat and stabbed Walker before stealing her Rolex watch and a silver ring. Chanthakoummane says he's innocent. His attorneys have been challenging the DNA evidence. If executed, Chanthakoummane would be the second inmate put to death in Texas in 2022.

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A $100,000 reward is being offered in the case of a North Carolina sheriff’s deputy found fatally shot along a dark stretch of road last week. “Horrified” by a string of shootings that have injured and killed several deputies in the state in recent weeks, on Monday the North Carolina Sheriffs’ Association announced the reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or people responsible for the killing of Wake County Sheriff’s Deputy Ned Byrd. Authorities say they're trying to learn why Byrd stopped there. The sheriff's office says there’s still an active investigation that now includes the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation, FBI and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

North Carolina’s state of emergency for COVID-19 is officially ending more than two years after Gov. Roy Cooper issued his first order. Cooper signed an executive order Monday terminating the emergency at the end of the day. He already announced last month it would end now because the state budget law contained health care provisions that would allow his administration to keep responding robustly to the virus. Cooper's initial order was signed on March 10, 2020. Republican legislators complained about his powers under the orders. A 2021 law will give the Council of State and the General Assembly more say-so about long-term emergencies.

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ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) — The “Wellness District” is a place where customer service means taking care of the customer from the inside out. The North Asheville neighborhood is flush with businesses promoting healthy lifestyles all within walking distance of each other.

National & World AP Stories

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A spate of explosions and fires has turned Russian-occupied Crimea from a secure rear base into a new battleground in the war, demonstrating both the Russians’ vulnerability and the Ukrainians’ capacity to strike deep behind enemy lines. Nine Russian warplanes were reported destroyed at an air base in Crimea last week, and an ammunition depot on the peninsula blew up Tuesday. Ukrainian authorities have stopped short of publicly claiming responsibility, but President Volodymyr Zelenskyy alluded to Ukrainian attacks behind enemy lines after the latest blasts, which Russia blamed on “sabotage.” Russia seized the Crimean Peninsula from Ukraine in 2014 and has used it to stage attack on the country in the war that began Feb. 24.

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Stocks are moving broadly lower on Wall Street, led by drops in big technology companies and erasing the S&P 500′s gains for the week. The S&P 500 slipped 1.1% Wednesday, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Nasdaq also fell. Small-company stocks fell more than the rest of the market. Wall Street was absorbing a mix of retail updates that showed inflation pressure continues to affect businesses and consumers, but also shows that spending remains strong. Target fell after reporting a plunge in profits. The government reported that retail sales were flat in July.

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A prosecutor told jurors Wednesday during opening statements in R. Kelly’s trial-fixing and child pornography case that the federal trial in Chicago is about the R&B singer’s “dark” and “hidden” side. U.S. Assistant Attorney  Jason Julien said much of the world knew Kelly by his hit song “I Believe I Can Fly.” Julien said that was “Kelly’s public side.” He went on to add that "Kelly had another side … a hidden side, a dark side.” Kelly is accused of enticing of minors for sex, producing child pornography and rigging his 2008 pornography trial at which he was acquitted.

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This year’s back-to-school season will restore a degree of pre-pandemic normalcy. But many of COVID-19's lasting impacts remain a troubling reality for schools. Among them: student mental health reached crisis levels last year. The pressure on schools to figure out solutions has never been greater. Districts across the country are using federal pandemic money to hire more mental health specialists, rolling out new coping tools and expanding curriculum that prioritizes emotional health.