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Inflation occurs when the demand for goods and services exceeds the supply. The Federal Reserve’s solution is to reduce demand by forcing interest rates higher. The higher rates will reduce the demand for items which are typically financed, like cars and houses. And some of the workers who m…

For the next few weeks, Washington faces a brief, and important, window of opportunity. Suspended in time between an election that’s just over and another that’s already starting, the lame duck session of Congress has a critical question to answer.

Back when my wife and I moved to the country, many of our citified friends were alarmed. One well-meaning fellow even questioned if I’d be safe out in rural Perry County, Arkansas, given my political apostasy. (Trump won 75% of the 2020 vote there.)

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State AP Stories

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Two power substations in a North Carolina county were damaged by gunfire in what is being investigated as a criminal act. A spokesman for Duke Energy said at a news conference with local officials on Sunday that the damage caused the night before could take days to repair. Power was out for roughly 37,000 customers Sunday. In response, officials announced a state of emergency that included a curfew from 9 p.m. Sunday to 5 a.m. Monday. County schools will be closed Monday. Moore County Sheriff Ronnie Fields says authorities have not determined a motivation.

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The Supreme Court is about to confront a new elections case that could dramatically alter voting in 2024 and beyond. A Republican-led challenge is asking the justices for a novel ruling that could significantly increase the power of state lawmakers over elections for Congress and the presidency. The court is hearing arguments Wednesday in a case from highly competitive North Carolina, where Republican efforts to draw congressional districts heavily in their favor were blocked by a Democratic majority on the state Supreme Court. The question for the justices is whether the U.S. Constitution’s provision giving state legislatures the power to make the rules about the “times, places and manner” of congressional elections cuts state courts out of the process.

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The nation’s largest public utility is recommending replacing an aging coal burning power plant with natural gas, ignoring calls for the Tennessee Valley Authority to speed its transition to renewable energy. TVA on Friday announced the completion of its environmental impact statement for replacing the Cumberland Fossil Plant near Cumberland City, Tennessee. TVA says in a news release that solar and battery storage would be more costly and time-consuming than gas. The recommendation still needs the approval of TVA President and CEO Jeff Lyash. He has previously spoken in favor of gas. The announcement drew immediate backlash from groups that include the Center for Biological Diversity, which calls the plan “reckless.”

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Eight years into a U.S. program to control damage from feral pigs, the invasive animals are still a multibillion-dollar plague on farmers, wildlife and the environment. They've been wiped out in 11 of the 41 states where they were reported in 2014 or 2015. And there are fewer in parts of the other 30. But in spite of more than $100 million in federal money, officials estimate there are still 6 million to 9 million hogs gone wild nationwide and in three U.S. territories, doing at least $2.5 billion a year in U.S. damages. Estimates in 2014 were 5 million hogs and $1.5 billion in damages. Experts say the bigger figures are due to better estimates, not increases.

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Police in Raleigh, North Carolina, have released body camera video from a shootout with a 15-year-old boy suspected of fatally shooting five people and wounding two more. Police spent several hours searching for the armed suspect after the rampage seven weeks ago. The teen was ultimately found in a shed behind a residential property. The newly released video images show officers surrounding the structure. Multiple shots ring out from the building, and officers return fire. The video also shows Raleigh Police Officer Casey Clark being shot in the right knee and then dragged to safety behind another building.

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Since the recovery of sunken treasure began decades ago from an 1857 shipwreck off the coast of South Carolina, tens of millions of dollars worth of gold has been sold. But scientists, historians and collectors say that the real fortunes will begin to hit the auction block on Saturday in Reno. For the first time, hundreds of Gold Rush-era artifacts entombed in the S.S. Central America, known as the “Ship of Gold,” will go on public sale. A few of the items from the pre-Civil War steamship, which sank in a hurricane on its way from Panama to New York City, could fetch as much as $1 million.

North Carolina government is appealing a judge’s order that demands by certain dates many more community services for people with intellectual and development disabilities who otherwise live at institutions. Health and Human Services Secretary Kody Kinsley announced the formal challenge on Wednesday. He says his agency has grave concerns about some directives issued four weeks ago by Judge Allen Baddour. One in particular says new admissions to new admissions for people with such disabilities in state-run development centers, privately intermediate care facilities and certain adult care homes must end by January 2028. Kinsley says the decision could shutter small facilities and leave clients without accommodations.

National & World AP Stories

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — The image of a young Pelé celebrating goals and lifting trophies with Brazil’s national team appeared brightly on the shirts, flags and banners of Brazilian fans gathering before the Seleçao’s World Cup match against South Korea on Monday.

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KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Ukrainian officials reported a new barrage of Russian missile strikes across the country Monday, an attack that was anticipated as Russia seeks to disable Ukraine's energy supplies and infrastructure with the approach of winter.

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Sudan’s coup leaders and the main pro-democracy group have signed a deal to establish a civilian-led transitional government following the military takeover last year. But key players refused to participate, and no deadline was set for the transition to begin. The framework was signed Monday by Gen. Abdel-Fattah Burhan, Gen. Mohammed Hamdan Dagalo and the leaders of the Forces for the Declaration of Freedom and Change. It appears to offer only the broadest outlines for how the country will resume its progression to democracy. That process was upended in October 2021, when Burhan unseated the civilian half of Sudan’s ruling Sovereignty Council with Dagolo’s backing.

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Two power substations in a North Carolina county were damaged by gunfire in what is being investigated as a criminal act. A spokesman for Duke Energy said at a news conference with local officials Sunday that the damage caused the night before could take days to repair. Power was out for roughly 35,400 customers Monday morning, down by several thousand from the peak of the outages. In response, officials had announced a state of emergency that included a curfew from 9 p.m. Sunday to 5 a.m. Monday. County schools are closed Monday. Moore County Sheriff Ronnie Fields says authorities have not determined a motivation but it appeared gates were breached at both sites.

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U.S. futures dipped and oil prices rose after the European Union and the Group of Seven democracies agreed on a boycott of most Russian oil and committed to a price cap of $60 per barrel on Russian exports. Futures for the Dow Jones Industrials and the S&P 500 were each down about 0.4% before the bell Monday. It was unclear how much Russian oil the two sanctions measures might remove from the global market, tightening supply and driving up prices. U.S. benchmark crude oil picked up $2.17 to $82.15 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

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Qatar's strict rules regarding alcohol have drawn attention as it hosts the World Cup. Fans cannot buy beers at stadiums in the Muslim country, but they can in the fan zones. There are also hotel bars and night clubs serving alcoholic beverages. In addition, there’s a liquor store where non-Muslim residents and visitors can shop after applying for a government-issued license. Drinking alcohol is considered haram, or forbidden, in Islam.

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The World Cup knockout game between Spain and Morocco will bring millions of fans on both sides of the Strait of Gibraltar together around screens in bars and living rooms to see which country will keep alive its dream of soccer glory. But loyalties be blurred in Spain’s tiny North African territory of Ceuta where identities often mix in unpredictable ways. Sulaika Hosain is “100% Spanish” yet her sympathies will tilt toward Morocco come kickoff on Tuesday in Qatar. She says that "when Morocco plays, something moves inside me.”

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China is easing some of the world’s most stringent anti-COVID controls and authorities say new variants are weaker. But they have yet to say when they might end a "zero-COVID“ strategy that confines millions of people to their homes and set off protests and demands for President Xi Jinping to resign. Commuters in Beijing and at least 16 other cities are allowed to board buses and subways without a virus test in the previous 48 hours for the first time in months. The government announced plans to vaccinate millions of elderly people. That spurred hopes for quick reopening of the country. But health experts and economists warn it will be mid-2023 and possibly 2024 before “zero COVID” ends.