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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

For decades, conservative politicians had a free ride on the abortion issue. They could tell their “pro-life” base that they were doing all they could to ban the procedure — while not scaring the pro-choice majority. As long as Roe v. Wade protected the right to an abortion, the talk about outlawing it was just talk. Read more

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State AP Stories

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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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Shares have opened higher in Europe after a mixed day in Asia following an encouraging report about U.S. inflation. Tokyo's Nikkei 225 surged 2.6%, catching up on gains after being closed Thursday for a holiday. U.S. futures advanced and oil prices turned higher. The economy in the United Kingdom contracted slightly in the last quarter as consumers tightened their belts to cope with surging prices. Investors also were weighing the new data showing U.S. inflation at the wholesale level slowed more than economists had expected in July. That bolstered hopes that inflation may be close to a peak and that the Federal Reserve will be less aggressive about raising interest rates than feared.

South Korea’s president will formally pardon Samsung heir Lee Jae-yong, one year after he was released on parole from a prison sentence for bribing former President Park Geun-hye as part of the massive corruption scandal that toppled Park’s government. The Lotte Group chairman and two other top business leaders will be pardoned as well, extending South Korea's history of leniency toward convicted business tycoons and major white-collar crimes. They are among some 1,700 people President Yoon Suk Yeol will pardon on Monday, which is a national holiday celebrating Korea’s liberation from Japanese colonial rule at the end of World War II. Lee's pardon underscores Samsung’s huge influence over a country that relies on its technology exports.

One of the last working dairy farms on Ukrainian-controlled territory in the eastern Donbas region is doing everything it can to stay afloat in a place where neither workers nor animals are safe from war. Only around 200 head of cattle remain of the nearly 1,300 kept at the farm before Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24. Managers say the 8,000-acre (3,200-hectare) farm is producing two tons of milk a day compared to 11 tons daily before the war. Cultivating the wheat that also made up a significant proportion of the KramAgroSvit farm’s revenues comes with risks. A worker driving a combine harvester hit two land mines and is in critical condition.

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For most teenage girls in Afghanistan, it’s been a year since they set foot in a classroom. With no sign the ruling Taliban will allow them back to school, some are trying to find ways to keep education from stalling for a generation of young women. Underground schools in homes have arisen. Some parents are looking to leave the country to ensure their daughters receive a higher education. Taliban officials insist they will eventually reopen schools for girls above sixth grade. But so far, hardliners within the movement have thwarted it, despite international pressure.