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National News

Jimmy Carter to celebrate 98 with family, friends, baseball

ATLANTA (AP) — Jimmy Carter, already the longest-living U.S. president in history, will celebrate his 98th birthday Saturday with family and friends in Plains, the tiny Georgia town where he and his wife, 95-year-old Rosalynn, were born in the years between World War I and the Great ...

Annual hot air balloon festival draws global audience to US

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Hundreds of hot air balloons are scheduled to lift off Saturday morning, marking the start of an annual fiesta that has drawn pilots and spectators from across the globe to New Mexico's high desert for 50 years now. As one of the most photographed events in the ...

Dysfunction in Texas AG’s office as Paxton seeks third term

GATESVILLE, Texas (AP) — Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton's staff this month quietly dropped a series of human trafficking and child sexual assault cases after losing track of one of the victims, a stumble in open court emblematic of broader dysfunction inside one of America's most prominent ...

New murder charge for North Dakota man who ran over teen

A North Dakota man accused in the fatal hit-and-run of a teenager after a small-town street dance is now charged with murder, after prosecutors say he intentionally ran over the 18-year-old, according to upgraded charges made public Friday. Shannon Brandt, 41, was initially charged with ...

GOP pursues court order over rejected signature check motion

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — One week before North Carolina election officials begin processing by-mail ballots in the closely watched Southern swing state, the GOP is pursuing its latest legal challenge to the electoral procedures established by the Democrat-led State Board of Elections. The North ...

Huge Arizona school voucher plan in effect after foes fail

PHOENIX (AP) — All Arizona parents now can use state tax money to send their children to private or religious schools or pay homeschooling costs after an effort by public school advocates to block a massive expansion of the state's private school voucher law failed to collect enough ...

McMaster pauses campaign events as Hurricane Ian hits SC

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster has temporarily suspended campaign activities as he leads the state's response to Hurricane Ian. McMaster's campaign told The Associated Press that the Republican incumbent would cancel a fundraiser scheduled for Friday night in ...

Louisiana man admits kidnapping and plan to dismember gays

LAFAYETTE, La. (AP) — A 21-year-old Louisiana man has pleaded guilty to the grisly kidnapping of a teen he met through a dating app for gay and bisexual men, and his sworn statement says he planned to kill and dismember gays until he was caught or killed. Federal prosecutors agreed to drop ...

Illinois’ governor race echoes U.S. abortion, crime debates

CHICAGO (AP) — Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker warned that his Republican opponent is a far-right politician who would take the state backward while state Sen. Darren Bailey asked voters to consider whether the Democratic incumbent's first term has improved their lives as the two candidates met ...

Sailor acquitted of setting fire that destroyed massive ship

SAN DIEGO (AP) — A military judge on Friday acquitted a sailor of arson in a fire that destroyed the USS Bonhomme Richard, a blow to the Navy as it faces allegations of improper training and maintenance of the $1.2 billion amphibious assault ship. Ryan Sawyer Mays, 21, deeply exhaled when ...

Amid rising seas, island nations push for legal protections

APIA, Samoa (AP) — When and if an island nation fully submerges due to rising seas, what happens to the nationalities of its citizens? This and other related questions are being considered by island nations advocating for changes to international law as climate change threatens their ...

New law aims to make California haven for transgender youth

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A new law aims to stop other states from punishing children who come to California for transgender surgeries and other gender-affirming care, a move that will intensify conflicts between Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom and other Republican governors amid the country's ...

Jill Biden: GOP leaders underestimate the power of women

WASHINGTON (AP) — Jill Biden told a Democratic women's group Friday that Republicans underestimated the power of women but that, together, they will "make sure that they never make that mistake again." The first lady said that when "extremists attack rights that a vast majority of Americans ...

Newsom vetoes bill extending reparations committee deadline

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California Gov. Gavin Newsom vetoed a bill Thursday night that would have granted more time for a first-in-the-nation African American reparations committee to complete its work after the former assemblymember who authored legislation creating the committee asked the ...

1st debate highlights stakes in New Mexico race for governor

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A former television meteorologist is making his case to replace the Democratic governor of New Mexico, as the candidates prepare for a live-broadcast debate on Friday night. Republican nominee for governor Mark Ronchetti is campaigning on a law-and-order platform with ...

Justice Jackson says she has ‘a seat at the table’

WASHINGTON (AP) — Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson said Friday she has "a seat at the table now and I'm ready to work," leaning into her history-making role as the first Black woman on the Supreme Court. Jackson spoke at the Library of Congress several hours after she made her first appearance ...

Medical marijuana committee reports support in Kentucky

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — An advisory committee set up this year by Gov. Andy Beshear reported that many Kentucky adults favor legalizing medical marijuana, Beshear's office said Friday. The Democratic governor formed the Medical Cannabis Advisory Committee after a bill to legalize medical ...

Newsom has mixed verdict on California criminal justice laws

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California Gov. Gavin Newsom delivered a mixed verdict on more than three dozen criminal justice laws before his bill-signing deadline Friday, approving measures to seal criminal records and free dying inmates but denying bids to restrict solitary confinement and ...

Biden uses $130M in frozen Egypt aid to help Pacific Islands

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration will pay for $130 million in new climate initiatives for Pacific Island nations by reallocating money that had originally been earmarked for military assistance for Egypt but withheld because of concerns over human rights abuses. The State ...