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ROME (AP) — Former premier Silvio Berlusconi on Saturday bowed out of Italy's presidential election set for next week, claiming he had the votes to win but the country could ill-afford political divisions during the pandemic.

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PHOENIX (AP) — U.S. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema is growing increasingly isolated from some of her party’s most influential officials and donors after playing a key role in scuttling voting rights legislation that many consider essential to preserving democracy.

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ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New Yorkers can again choose to vote by absentee rather than face the risk of catching COVID-19 at polling sites through the rest of 2022 under a bill that Gov. Kathy Hochul signed Friday.

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LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Indicted U.S. Rep. Jeff Fortenberry's political fortunes took a major hit Friday when two of Nebraska's most prominent Republicans withdrew their longtime support for him and endorsed a state lawmaker who hopes to unseat the nine-term congressman in the GOP primary.

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TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas lawmakers were thinking of homeowners facing down burglars and people attacked on the street when they wrote a “stand your ground” law more than a decade ago allowing use of deadly force in self defense. They didn't envision it applying to police officers, jail guards or government employees.

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BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — Starbucks workers at a store in Buffalo, New York, voted to unionize on Thursday, the latest sign that the labor movement is stirring after decades of decline.

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JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — Alaska Republican Gov. Mike Dunleavy said he doesn't see his acceptance of former President Donald Trump's endorsement as hurting his relationship with the state's senior U.S. senator, Republican Lisa Murkowski, who voted to convict Trump at his impeachment trial last year and whose reelection bid Trump has vowed to fight.

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Two California counties violated the Constitution's right to keep and bear arms when they shut down gun and ammunition stores in 2020 as nonessential businesses during the coronavirus pandemic, a federal appeals court ruled Thursday.

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As the NAACP turns 113, look for its voice to grow louder on issues like climate change, the student debt crisis and the ongoing response to the coronavirus pandemic — while keeping voting rights and criminal justice reform at the forefront of its priorities.

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Republican-led Tennessee Senate's ethics committee on Thursday recommended removing a Democratic senator from office because of her recent wire fraud conviction, pressing ahead over her objections that she had short notice of the hearing and is still awaiting sentencing.

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MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Wisconsin Assembly approved a package of Republican-authored bills on Thursday that would dramatically expand gun rights in the state, moving forward with the proposals even though Democratic Gov. Tony Evers will almost certainly veto them.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A year after dropping charges against an activist who exposed what many viewed as the inhumane killing of hundreds of pigs at two Iowa pork plants, prosecutors have dropped a second case against him.

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SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Accusing the United States of hostility and threats, North Korea on Thursday said it will consider restarting “all temporally-suspended activities” it had paused during its diplomacy with the Trump administration, in an apparent threat to resume testing of nuclear explosives and long-range missiles.

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