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You’ve probably heard Republicans say the Inflation Reduction Act — the massive spending bill just passed by Senate Democrats — includes provisions to hire 87,000 new Internal Revenue Service agents. The number seems too big too believe. The IRS has just 93,654 employees, according to the Office of Personnel Management. Why would Congress, in one bill, increase the IRS workforce by something like 92%? It doesn’t seem possible. It certainly doesn’t seem wise. Read more

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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

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State AP Stories

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Police in eastern North Carolina say two customers at a two fast-food restaurant died when a vehicle crashed into the building. It happened Sunday morning at a Hardee's in Wilson, which is about 40 miles east of Raleigh. The sport utility vehicle struck 58-year-old Christopher Ruffin and 62-year-old Clay Ruffin, both of Wilson. One died at the scene, while the other died at a Greenville hospital. Police identified the driver as 78-year-old Jesse Lawrence of Wilson. He was treated at a hospital and released. Police say they don't believe the crash to be medical- or impairment-related, and no charges had been announced late Sunday afternoon.

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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.

National & World AP Stories

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The Taliban are marking a year since they seized the Afghan capital of Kabul. The rapid takeover triggered a hasty escape of the nation's Western-backed leaders, sent the economy into a tailspin and has fundamentally transformed the country. On Monday, bearded Taliban fighters staged small victory parades on foot, bicycles and motorcycles in the streets of the capital. One small group marched past the former U.S. Embassy, chanting “Long live Islam” and “Death to America.” A year after the dramatic day, much has changed in Afghanistan. The former insurgents struggle to govern and remain internationally isolated. The economic downturn has driven millions more Afghans into poverty and even hunger, as the flow of foreign aid slowed to a trickle.

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An Iranian government official has denied that Tehran was involved in the assault on author Salman Rushdie. However, the remarks on Monday by Nasser Kanaani, the spokesman of Iran’s Foreign Ministry, justified the stabbing in remarks that represented the Islamic Republic’s first public comments on the attack. The spokesman said that Iran does not “consider anyone deserving reproach, blame or even condemnation, except for (Rushdie) himself and his supporters." Iran has in the past denied carrying out other operations abroad targeting dissidents in the years since the country’s 1979 Islamic Revolution, despite prosecutors and Western governments attributing such attacks to Tehran.

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi pledged to raise millions out of poverty and turn India into a developed country in the next quarter-century as he marked 75 years since independence from British rule. Wearing a flowing, cream-colored turban printed with small stripes of orange, white and green, Modi addressed the country Monday from New Delhi, saying the world was looking toward India to help resolve global issues. U.S. President Joe Biden, in a statement celebrating Indian Independence Day, said the two countries are indispensable partners. Modi said billions of dollars were being invested in the country's future as a manufacturing hub. In his 80-minute speech, Modi made no reference to India’s tense ties with neighbors Pakistan and China, nor any steps to improve relations.

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World shares are mostly higher after China cut a key interest rate and Japan reported its economy expanded at a faster pace in the last quarter. U.S. futures edged lower Monday and oil prices fell more than $2. Paris, Frankfurt, Tokyo and Sydney advanced while Hong Kong and Shanghai fell. The People’s Bank of China cut its rate on a one-year loan to 2.75% from 2.85% and injected an extra 400 billion yuan ($60 billion) in lending markets after government data showed July factory output and retail sales weakened. Stocks closed higher Friday 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.