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"Arrests at the southern border will set new records this year," Joe Walsh reports at Forbes. "Border Patrol apprehended 1.998 million people at the U.S.-Mexico border from October to August, already blowing past the 1.659 million arrested in all of fiscal year 2021, which was the agency’s busiest year on record."

Georgia Meloni’s right-wing populist coalition just defeated the establishment in Italian parliamentary elections, despite European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen’s comment a few days ago suggesting that the European Union has “tools” to deal with those who don’t fall in line with the agenda of unelected authoritarian bureaucrats like her.

Ken Burns’ new documentary explores the relationship between “The U.S. and the Holocaust” in a 9-part series that hits close to home. Street thugs, false claims of victimhood by a group persecuting others, the turn away from democracy, the use of media to perpetuate lies, and the slow and me…

Features

Across the state of North Carolina, fresh produce is grown and harvested throughout the year. Don’t forget that during the fall, there are still some delectable foods that can be purchased locally such as cabbage, sweet potatoes, greens, pumpkins, turnips and others.

You have heard that it was said, "You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for H…

State AP Stories

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President Joe Biden says “our entire country hurts” along with the people of Florida after Hurricane Ian flooded communities, knocked out power and forced people into shelters. Biden said Thursday that he would visit Florida and meet with Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis when “conditions allow.” The president said he would also visit Puerto Rico, a U.S. territory that was slammed by Hurricane Fiona. Biden spoke at the Washington headquarters of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, where he was briefed on federal response efforts. He says that “we know many families are hurting" and that "our entire country hurts with them.”

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The head of a national group working to elect women who support abortion rights is backing efforts in North Carolina. EMILY’s List President Laphonza Butler spoke at a Raleigh news conference on Tuesday with Gov. Roy Cooper and state legislative candidates. She also planned to visit college campuses with Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Cheri Beasley. An arm of EMILY's List already spent $2.7 million on pro-Beasley ads. Butler says General Assembly races will determine whether abortion restrictions that Republicans are likely to seek can be vetoed by Cooper. Republicans could earn veto-proof majorities if they win two more Senate seats and three more House seats.

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Leaders of College Park Baptist Church in Greensboro, North Carolina, thought it was odd when the Southern Baptist Convention recently sent queries about the congregation's LGBTQ-affirming ministry. The church itself had voted to leave the conservative denomination 23 years ago. But it was still on the SBC rolls until last week. That's when the convention's Executive Committee voted to cut ties because of the congregation's “affirmation ... of homosexual behavior.” The Rev. Michael Usey of College Park said the congregation was ousted for the right reason. Said Usey, “It’s good when people reject you because they understand clearly who you are."

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Experts say the U.S. Supreme Court’s June ruling overturning Roe v. Wade appears to be sending more teens to their doctors in search of birth control, including long-acting reversible forms like intrauterine devices and implants. Waits for appointments are growing in some areas, Planned Parenthood is getting a flood of questions and doctors report demand even among teens who aren’t sexually active. Some patients are especially fearful because some of the new abortion laws don’t include exceptions for sexual assault. Dr. Peggy Stager said dedicated spots for insertion of the Nexplanon implant are consistently filled at her Ohio practice and requests for contraceptive refills have increased 30% to 40% since the Court's June ruling.

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Four people have pleaded guilty to misdemeanors for their roles in absentee ballot fraud in rural North Carolina during the 2016 and 2018 elections. These convictions Monday stemmed from an investigation that in part resulted in a do-over congressional election. The defendants were associated with Leslie McCrae Dowless, a political operative in Bladen County whom authorities called the ringleader of the ballot scheme. Dowless died this year before his case went to trial. The State Board of Elections has ordered a new election for the 2018 9th Congressional District because of all the fraud allegations. Cases against six other defendants are pending.

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Forty years after a predominantly Black community in Warren County, North Carolina, rallied against hosting a hazardous waste landfill, President Joe Biden’s top environment official has returned to what is widely considered the birthplace of the environmental justice movement to unveil a national office that will distribute $3 billion in block grants to underserved communities burdened by pollution. Joined by civil rights leaders and participants from the 1982 protests, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Michael Regan announced Saturday that he is dedicating a new senior level of leadership to the environmental justice movement they ignited. The new Office of Environmental Justice and External Civil Rights will merge three existing EPA programs.

National & World AP Stories

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President Joe Biden says “our entire country hurts” along with the people of Florida after Hurricane Ian flooded communities, knocked out power and forced people into shelters. Biden said Thursday that he would visit Florida and meet with Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis when “conditions allow.” The president said he would also visit Puerto Rico, a U.S. territory that was slammed by Hurricane Fiona. Biden spoke at the Washington headquarters of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, where he was briefed on federal response efforts. He says that “we know many families are hurting" and that "our entire country hurts with them.”

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Rescue crews are wading through water and using boats to rescue Florida residents stranded in the wake of Hurricane Ian. The Orange County fire department posted photos Thursday of crews in a flooded neighborhood in the Orlando area. Gov. Ron DeSantis said the U.S. Coast Guard began rescue operations hours before daybreak. At least one person in Florida was confirmed dead on the state's eastern coast. Flooding rains continued falling even after Ian was downgraded to a tropical storm. It's center finished crossing the Florida peninsula Thursday and emerged in the Atlantic Ocean. Forecasters predicted it would return to hurricane strength and turn north toward South Carolina.

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Russia is planning to annex more of Ukraine on Friday. The move represents an escalation of the seven-month war expected to isolate the Kremlin furter, draw it more international punishment and bring extra support to Ukraine. An annexation ceremony is planned in the Kremlin. The annexation would come just days after voters supposedly approved Moscow-managed “referendums” that Ukrainian and Western officials have denounced as illegal, forced and rigged. In an apparent response, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called an emergency meeting Friday of his National Security and Defense Council.

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The Vatican says it imposed disciplinary sanctions on Nobel Peace Prize-winning Bishop Carlos Ximenes Belo following allegations that he sexually abused boys in East Timor in the 1990s. The Vatican spokesman said the office that handles sex abuse cases received allegations “concerning the bishop’s behavior” in 2019 and within a year had imposed the sanctions. They include limitations on Belo’s movements and exercise of ministry, and prohibit him from having voluntary contact with minors or contact with East Timor. The statement says the measures were “modified and reinforced” in November 2021. Belo is a revered East Timor independence hero, and the Catholic Church wields enormous influence in the Southeast Asian nation.

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Thousands of people were evacuated from nursing homes and hospitals across Florida on Thursday even as winds and water from Hurricane Ian began receding. Hundreds of those evacuations were taking place across the hard-hit Fort Myers region, where damage cut off potable water to at least nine hospitals. One area hospital began assessing the full damage from ferocious winds that tore away parts of its roof and swamped its emergency room. Other health care systems in Ian’s path, from the state’s Gulf coast to the Atlantic, were also moving patients because of flood waters.

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Stocks are back to falling on Wall Street as worries about a possible recession and rising bond yields put the squeeze back on markets. The S&P 500 was 2.1% lower in midday trading Thursday and dropped to its lowest level since late 2020 earlier in the morning. The washout has the index on track to erase its big rally from a day before. For markets to really turn higher, analysts say investors will need to see a break from the high inflation that’s swept the world. That hasn’t arrived yet, and even more data arrived Thursday showing the opposite.

A cousin of Mahsa Amini recounts the family's frantic search to win her release after the young woman was arrested by Iran's morality police. Amini's death in custody has sparked a stunning wave of protests across Iran, with women removing headscarves. The cousin, Irfan Mortezai, says the family is proud that Amini has become a symbol of resistance, but they are lying low out of worries over Iranian security agents. Mortezai spoke to The Associated Press from northern Iraq, where he fled in 2020. He recalls the day when he got a message from Amini's brother that she had been arrested, and he joined their frantic calls trying to track her down.

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DOLLOW, Somalia (AP) — Blindness heightens the remaining senses. The thud of a toppling camel is more jarring, the feel of tightening skin more acute, the smell of death thicker after weeks and months and then years without the rain that’s needed to survive.