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Just days after declaring pregnancy a sacrament, the Supreme Court announced a bold ruling in favor of performative Christianity. Never mind this tiresome business about no establishment of religion; the holy Republican majority in their priestly robes have liberated the nation’s public school football coaches to get on with the serious business of saving souls. Read more

National polls show former President Donald Trump with a commanding lead over all other Republicans for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination. The group includes Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who is in a distant second place but is widely seen as the new front-runner should Trump decide not to run. Read more

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State AP Stories

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Tropical Storm Colin has brought rain and winds to parts of North and South Carolina, though the storm has weakened and conditions are expected to improve by Monday's July Fourth celebrations. Separately, the center of Tropical Storm Bonnie rolled into the Pacific on Saturday after a rapid march across Central America, where it caused flooding, downed trees and forced thousands of people to evacuate in Nicaragua and Costa Rica. Forecasters say Bonnie is likely to become a hurricane by Monday off the southern coast of Mexico, but it is unlikely to make a direct hit on land.

North Carolina's Democratic attorney general has not yet indicated whether he will ask a court to lift the injunction on a state law banning abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. Attorney General Josh Stein told Republican lawmakers on Friday that his department’s attorneys are reviewing the litigation that led a federal court to strike down the 20-week ban. His letter responds to GOP demands that he take immediate action in the wake of last week's U.S. Supreme Court ruling that overturned abortion protections. Senate leader Phil Berger and House Speaker Tim Moore warned last week Stein's inaction would lead them to get involved.

National & World AP Stories

The advice of a friend to stay near the door of a semi-trailer may have saved Yenifer Yulisa Cardona Tomás from the deadly end that 53 other migrants met when the truck was abandoned on the outskirts of San Antonio. It was already hot on June 27 when the 20-year-old from Guatemala’s capital stepped out of the warehouse on the Texas side of the Mexico border where she had been waiting and climbed into the back of the trailer. Cardona Tomás was near the door hours later when she lost consciousness. She awakened in a San Antonio hospital.

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Highland Park’s police chief said the 22-year-old man identified as a person of interest in the shooting that killed at least six people, wounded at least 30 and send hundreds of people fleeing from an Independence Day parade in suburban Chicago has been taken into custody. Police earlier Monday said Robert E. Crimo III should be considered armed and dangerous. The city's police chief says he was pulled over by an officer on Monday evening after a brief pursuit. Lake County Major Crime Task Force spokesman Christopher Covelli said at a news conference that the gunman used a high-powered rifle that was recovered at the scene.

Independence Day celebrations in the United States have been rattled by a shooting that left at least six people dead at a parade in Illinois. The shooting further rocked a nation already awash in turmoil over high court rulings on abortion and guns as well as hearings on the Jan. 6 insurrection. Police say at least two dozen other people were wounded in the attack in the Chicago suburb of Highland Park. Authorities asked residents to seek shelter while they search for the suspect. News of yet another mass shooting came as the nation tried to find cause to celebrate its founding and the bonds that still hold it together.

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Brittney Griner made an appeal to President Joe Biden in a letter passed on to the White House through her representatives saying she feared she may never return home and asking that he not “forget about me and the other American Detainees.” Griner's agent says the letter was delivered on Monday. The Phoenix Mercury All-Star and two-time Olympic gold medalist is in the midst of a trial in Russia that began last week after she was arrested on Feb. 17 on charges of possessing cannabis oil while returning to play for her Russian team. The trial will resume Thursday.