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Ohio’s voters will decide Tuesday whether to make their state constitution harder to amend, as a highly charged special election that has direct bearing on a November ballot question over abortion rights comes to a close. If Issue 1 passes, the threshold for voters being able to change the state constitution would rise from a simple majority to 60%. That would make it difficult, if not impossible, for the fall proposal to succeed, based on polling figures. Voters in several states, even deeply conservative ones, have affirmed abortion rights since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade last year, though usually with less than 60% of the vote.

The Washington area on Monday braced for potentially destructive storms, including tornadoes, hail and lightning, as officials warned residents to prepare for the worst. Rain began falling in the Washington shortly after 5 p.m., a precursor to the severe weather and mass power outages that were predicted. The storms' spread was massive, with tornado watches being posted from Tennessee to New York. But the National Weather Service said the area of greatest concern centered in the Washington-Baltimore region. Thousands of federal workers in Washington were sent home early. FlightAware said more than 1,300 U.S. flights were canceled and thousands more delayed.

Donald Trump’s legal team is urging the judge overseeing the election conspiracy case against the former president to reject prosecutors’ proposed protective order concerning evidence in the case, describing it as overly broad. Lawyers for the early 2024 Republican presidential primary front-runner said Monday that the judge should impose a more limited protective order that would prevent the defense team from publicly disclosing only materials deemed “sensitive,” such as grand jury witness testimony. The defense filing was in response to a request Friday from special counsel Jack Smith’s team for a protective order restricting the public disclosure of evidence in the case.

A federal judge has tossed out former President Donald Trump’s countersuit against the writer who won a sex abuse lawsuit against him. The judge ruled Monday that Trump can’t claim that E. Jean Carroll defamed him by continuing to say she was not only sexually abused but raped. She won a $5 million judgment against him in May and is pursuing her own defamation suit suit against him. Trump's attorney says he'll appeal the dismissal of his counterclaim. In this spring’s trial, a civil court jury concluded that Trump sexually abused Carroll in 1996 but rejected her claim that he raped her. The Associated Press generally does not name people who allege they have been sexually assaulted unless they come forward publicly, as Carroll has done.

President Joe Biden says he can relate to Dusty Baker, the oldest manager to win the World Series. Baker was 73 when he guided the Houston Astros to the title last year. The team celebrated at the White House on Monday. Biden says people counted Baker out and said he was past his prime. Biden says he knows something about that. Biden was the oldest president ever elected, at age 77. Baker has been around the game for decades, winning a World Series as a player with the Los Angeles Dodgers. He finally got his first title as a manager in his 25th season.

President Joe Biden is setting out on a Western swing aimed at showcasing his work on conservation, clean energy and veterans' benefits. The Democrat is seeking to draw an implicit contrast between his administration’s accomplishments and former President Donald Trump’s legal troubles. Biden leaves on Monday for a three-night trip to Arizona, New Mexico and Utah. In Arizona, Biden is expected to announce a new national monument to protect land and limit uranium mining. The president will talk about clean energy in New Mexico and veterans' benefits in Utah. Biden also will hold two fundraisers for his reelection campaign. Trump is the leading Republican candidate despite facing three indictments.

Coco Gauff has signaled that she is ready to contend for the title at the U.S. Open starting later this month by winning the hard-court tournament in Washington. And more important than earning a trophy was the way she did it: by listening to two new voices on her team and making quick improvements. Gauff won the DC Open on Sunday with the help of some key advice from full-time coach Pere Riba and consultant Brad Gilbert. One was to take more time between points. Another was to adjust her footwork on her forehand, a shot she knows every opponent has been targeting.

Republican presidential candidate Ron DeSantis says his rival Donald Trump lost the 2020 election. The acknowledgement aired in an NBC News interview on Monday after years of equivocating answers from the Florida governor about the legitimacy of the last presidential election. DeSantis' assertion that “Of course he lost" and “Joe Biden's the president” came after years of lies by Trump and his allies that the election was stolen through mass voter fraud. Federal and state election officials and Trump’s own attorney general said there was no credible evidence the election’s outcome was affected by fraud. The former president’s allegations were also roundly rejected by courts, including judges he appointed.

Democrats in Minnesota and Michigan who won full control of their state government have used their new power to enact sweeping policy changes that have been stalled for years. Michigan and Minnesota Democrats won full control of their state governments last year and have already been able to pass gun safety packages, expanded voting rights, free meals for all students, and increased protections for abortion rights and LGBTQ+ people. The swift legislative action is being viewed as a potential roadmap for other states who may soon gain similar power. Democrats are hoping for similar election gains in 2024 in Pennsylvania, Arizona and New Hampshire.

Washington has never been a particularly friendly place for Donald Trump. And after pleading not guilty to federal charges that he had tried to overturn the 2020 presidential election, Trump was quick to show that the feeling was mutual. He told reporters he was “very sad” to see “the filth and the decay and all of the broken buildings” during his drive through the nation's capital to the federal courthouse. D.C. defenders feel that Trump has always had a personal issue with the district. And heavily Democratic Washington — while generally cool to all Republican presidents — was distinctly hostile to the Trump administration. Now Trump's team argues he can't receive a fair trial there.

An Associated Press analysis of campaign finance data shows that supporters and opponents of a proposed constitutional amendment change in Ohio are largely funded by out-of-state donors, despite repeated messaging about the need to get such interests out of Ohio politics. National money, celebrities and influence are fueling much of the last-ditch campaigning and misinformation about the measure, known as Issue 1, on Tuesday’s ballot. It would raise the threshold to pass amendments to the Ohio Constitution from a simple majority to 60%. If voters approve Issue 1, it would make it more difficult for an abortion rights amendment on the November ballot to succeed.

Republican candidates for president are trying to present themselves as Donald Trump alternatives without acknowledging the GOP frontrunner and the new federal criminal charges against him. Over the course of two hours, seven GOP hopefuls took their turn on stage in front of about 800 party activists in the leadoff caucus state. They were all invited to speak at Iowa Rep. Ashley Hinson’s fundraising barbecue at a Cedar Rapids racetrack. But in their pitches to challenge Trump for the 2024 nomination, it was as if his indictment Tuesday on federal charges accusing him of working to overturn the 2020 election results had never happened, even from the candidate who has suggested the former president quit the race.

Donald Trump's defense attorney says the former president never asked Mike Pence to overturn the 2020 election. Speaking on Sunday morning news shows, attorney John Lauro said Trump only asked Pence to “pause” the certification to allow time to investigate concerns about election irregularities. Pence flatly denied that account, saying Trump wanted him to overturn the voters' will, something he said he knew to be unconstitutional and un-American. Trump was indicted last week on charges of plotting to overturn the 2020 election. He has pleaded not guilty. Trump's baseless allegations about election tampering in 2020 have been rejected by numerous courts.

Vivek Ramaswamy, the 37-year-old biotech entrepreneur, is hovering among the top contenders as a Republican presidential candidate while being open about his Hindu faith. He has been drawing attention as he likens Hindu teachings to Judeo-Christian values. Some conservative Christians have opposed him because of his faith. And some Hindu Americans are concerned about his stance against abortion, open borders, affirmative action and LGBTQ rights. But they also acknowledge that he has broken important ground in U.S. politics by running confidently as an Indian American and an observant Hindu.

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Staff at Women’s Health Center of West Virginia know what it’s like to provide controversial health services government officials have sought to restrict. The Charleston clinic was the state’s only abortion provider for years before the state Legislature banned abortion last year. Now it’s trying to open a syringe service program for drug users, which is another contentious health service that has been regulated by Republican lawmakers in the deep red state. The proposal comes as clinics nationwide are pivoting or expanding services post-Roe, often to other hard-to-access care for marginalized communities they say face stigma and barriers similar to abortion patients.

U.S. Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell received a rousing welcome from the party faithful Saturday at a high-profile home-state political gathering amid renewed scrutiny of his health. The 81-year-old lawmaker had frozen up midsentence during a recent Capitol Hill news conference. McConnell opened his breakfast speech before the annual picnic in Mayfield that is the traditional jumping off point for the fall campaign season by saying, “This is my 28th Fancy Farm, and I want to assure you it’s not my last.” It was his only reference to his health. McConnell arrived to a prolonged standing ovation and promoted the candidacy of a protege running for governor this year.

State legislatures across the country are rushing to get a handle on fast-evolving artificial intelligence. Many are focusing first on their own state governments before imposing restrictions on the private sector. Legislators are seeking ways to protect constituents from discrimination and other harms while not hindering cutting-edge advancements in medicine, science, business, education and more. Connecticut plans to inventory all of its government systems using AI and regularly check to see if they're discriminatory. Legislatures in Texas, North Dakota, West Virginia and Puerto Rico have created advisory bodies to study and monitor AI systems their agencies are using.

The Justice Department is facing the biggest test in its history in the prosecution of former President Donald Trump. It is navigating unprecedented conditions in American democracy while trying to fight back against relentless attacks on its own credibility and that of the U.S. election system. The success or failure of the case has the potential to shape the credibility of the Justice Department. Try as Attorney General Merrick Garland might, there is no escaping the politics of the moment when the Justice Department of a president who is running for reelection is indicting his chief political rival, the frontrunner for the Republican nomination.

This week's charges against former President Donald Trump for trying to remain in power despite losing the 2020 election have highlighted a new worry about American democracy — increasing calls by Trump and his allies for more control of federal prosecutions. Several legal experts are calling it perhaps the most troubling threat to the country’s democratic institutions should Trump, or another Republican, win the White House next year. Trump and other conservatives have argued that such a takeover is overdue, especially because they see the prosecutions against him as the 2024 presidential campaign is heating up as nakedly political.

On the battlefields of Ukraine, the fog of war plagues soldiers. A related issue afflicts those who are far from the fighting but avid to learn developments in the vast war. Disinformation, misinformation and absent information all cloud civilians’ understanding. Officials from each side denounce devious plots being prepared by the enemy, which never materialize. They claim victories that can’t be confirmed and stay quiet about defeats. None of this is unique to the Russia-Ukraine conflict. But Europe’s largest land war in decades is taking place in a superheated information space. Modern communications technology tends to multiply the confusion because deceptions and falsehoods reach audiences instantly.

Law professor and civil rights scholar Charles J. Ogletree Jr. has died after a lengthy battle with Alzheimer's. He was 70. Ogletree had a distinguished career at Harvard Law School. His death Friday was confirmed by the dean of the school in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Ogletree taught Barack and Michelle Obama there. His list of legal clients over the years ranged from the late rapper Tupac Shakur to Anita Hill when she accused Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment. Dean John F. Manning said Friday that Ogletree was a tireless advocate for civil rights, equality, human dignity and social justice.

Federal health officials have approved the first pill to specifically treat depression after childbirth. Postpartum depression affects thousands of new mothers in the U.S. each year. The Food and Drug Administration approved the drug, called Zurzuvae, for adults experiencing severe depression related to childbirth or pregnancy. It's taken once a day for 14 days. The new pill from Sage Therapeutics works similarly to an older drug that is also approved for postpartum depression. But that drug must be infused in a medical facility. The FDA approved the new drug based on study results showing it improved depression symptoms in as little as three days. Side effects include drowsiness and dizziness.

The job market has cooled over the summer. But it’s still strong enough to defy predictions that higher interest rates would tip the United States into recession. U.S. employers added 187,000 jobs last month, fewer than expected, as the higher interest rates continued to weigh on the economy. But the unemployment rate dipped to 3.5% in a sign that the job market remains resilient. Hiring was up from 185,000 in June, a figure that the Labor Department revised down from an originally reported 209,000. Economists had expected to see 200,000 new jobs in July.

As Donald Trump was being arraigned in Washington on yet another round of criminal charges, his running mate-turned-rival Mike Pence moved to capitalize on the news, unveiling merchandise that quoted from the indictment. “Too Honest” the shirts and hats read — a reference to Trump's response when Pence rebuffed his efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election. Pence’s decision to seize on the words marks a notable change in tone for a usually cautious candidate who has so far struggled to break through in a primary dominated by his former boss. Pence has moved to criticize Trump more aggressively, casting himself as the person who stood up to Trump, averting catastrophe.

Republicans in Ohio have set in motion a summer special election over a measure that would make it harder for voters to pass future constitutional amendments. The Legislature acted in the spring to put the question on the August ballot and so far the election is driving off-the-charts early turnout before Tuesday’s final day of voting. And helping to generate the high interest is a November ballot measure that would enshrine in Ohio's Constitution the right to an abortion. Early turnout on the summer ballot measure, known as Issue 1, has been so heavy that some election offices are straining to manage the load and are trying to recruit additional poll workers.

The battle over abortion rights looms over an Ohio ballot measure being voted on statewide Tuesday. “Issue 1” would raise the threshold needed to amend the state’s constitution from a simple majority of state voters to 60%. Although the text of the proposal does not address abortion, the issue is a proxy for the nationwide debate over reproductive rights since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. State officials announced in July that a separate ballot measure to establish “a fundamental right to reproductive freedom” in the state constitution had qualified for November's ballot. At issue is whether that proposed amendment would require a simple majority or the 60% threshold for passage.

It was a routine part of a federal court hearing: The defendant was told not to discuss the case with any witnesses without lawyers present. But there’s nothing routine about this case. The defendant is Donald Trump, accused of orchestrating a conspiracy to overturn the results of the 2020 election. The potential witness pool is vast and includes members of the former president’s inner circle deeply involved in his reelection campaign, including some currently on his payroll. His lies about the election — which form the basis of the charges — are repeated in nearly every speech he gives.

President Joe Biden has his zingers (“This is not your father’s Republican Party”). He’s got patriotism (“This is the United States of America, dammit”). He’s got a geometry-based explanation on how grow to the economy (“from the bottom up and the middle out”). Move over, Beyonce and Taylor Swift. Biden has his own greatest hits and he keeps them on repeat. If you’ve heard one of the president’s recent speeches, you’ve basically heard them all — and you’re sure to keep hearing the same refrains in the year-plus leading up to Election Day 2024. The repetition is a strategic choice.

An appeals court is allowing a rule restricting asylum at the southern border to stay in place in a major win for the Biden administration. The court decided Thursday to grant the administration’s request to keep its policy in place while a longer legal battle plays out over the rule’s legality. The new rule makes it extremely difficult to be granted asylum unless a migrant first seeks protection in a country they’re traveling through or applies online. It was put in place back in May when the U.S. ended a different policy linked to the pandemic that also limited asylum. Rights groups sued over the new rule, saying it endangered migrants.

House Republicans are releasing new information about the business dealings of President Joe Biden's son, Hunter Biden. Republicans on Thursday released the transcript of an interview with Devon Archer, who was Hunter Biden's business partner. The Republicans released the transcript as they focused their attention on Biden’s family rather than Donald Trump’s appearance in court Thursday on federal charges. Archer testified about how Joe Biden’s youngest son used his relationship with his father, who was then vice president, to gin up business. But pressed repeatedly by Democrats, Archer offered no tangible evidence that Joe Biden's role in his son’s work was more than saying hello during daily calls.

Donald Trump has pleaded not guilty to trying to overturn the results of his 2020 presidential election loss, answering for the first time to federal charges that accuse him of orchestrating a brazen and ultimately failed attempt to block the peaceful transfer of presidential power. Trump appeared before a magistrate judge in Washington’s federal courthouse two days after being indicted on four felony counts by Justice Department special counsel Jack Smith. The charges accuse him of trying to subvert the will of voters and undo his election loss in the days before Jan. 6, 2021, when supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol in a violent and bloody clash with law enforcement.

Trump's plane has landed in the Washington area before he heads to the courthouse to surrender to authorities and face a judge on federal charges alleging a plot to overturn his 2020 presidential election loss. Trump is expected to make his initial appearance before a magistrate judge on Thursday two days after being charged in the case brought by special counsel Jack Smith.  Trump has denied all charges. Before taking off, Trump took to social media to again criticize the case as politically motivated and repeat his baseless claim that the 2020 election was “crooked.”

Tennessee Reps. Justin Pearson and Justin Jones are hoping to once again reclaim their legislative seats after being expelled for their involvement in a gun control protest on the House floor. The young Black lawmakers known as members of the “Tennessee Three” were reinstated by local officials, but only on an interim basis. To fully take back their positions, they must now advance in a special election Thursday. Both easily cleared their June primary elections, and now face general election opponents in Democrat-led districts. Jones is up against Republican candidate Laura Nelson for the Nashville district. Meanwhile, Pearson, from Memphis, faces independent candidate Jeff Johnston.

Embattled Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is set to appear in a Houston courtroom to discuss his nearly decade-long delayed trial on securities fraud charges. Thursday's court hearing comes as Paxton awaits the start of a separate impeachment trial. It’s unclear if any decision will be made during the court hearing on when Paxton might finally go to trial on felony charges of defrauding investors in a tech startup. He was indicted in 2015. One of Paxton’s lawyers declined to comment on what might be discussed at what's expected to be a relatively short hearing but says Paxton will be appearing.

Congress responded to the fiery train derailment in eastern Ohio earlier this year with bipartisan alarm at railroad crashes causing potential disasters. Yet six months after life was upended in East Palestine, lawmakers are deadlocked on new safety regulations. A bipartisan group of lawmakers is pushing for new safety regulations on railroads. But they have met hesitance from top GOP leaders in Congress, as well as the railroad industry. Longtime East Palestine resident Jami Wallace says lawmakers would be “fools” if they don't seize the example of her hometown's suffering to pass reforms.

The 2024 election will determine whether Donald Trump returns to the White House. It could also decide whether he might face time behind bars. Trump has now been indicted three times, the latest over his efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election. The deeply personal stakes for Trump add to what is already an election unlike any other in modern history. And they ensure his campaign and legal issues are now intertwined, dominating his campaign message and his stump speeches, sucking up resources and dictating his schedule as he prepares to juggle campaign events with court appearances in at least three different jurisdictions

Mike Pence fought the Department of Justice in court to try to avoid testifying against his former boss. But in a new federal indictment unsealed Tuesday, the former vice president plays a central role in the latest criminal charges against Donald Trump. The 45-page indictment is informed, in part, by contemporaneous notes that Pence kept of their conversations in the days leading up to the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. On Wednesday, Pence said that Trump had demanded he choose the former president over the Constitution and stop Congress from certifying Trump's loss to Joe Biden.

The leader of West Virginia’s shrinking Democratic minority is stepping down. Minority Leader Doug Skaff Jr. will end his tenure on Aug. 8. He will remain in his seat for now as a Democratic lawmaker representing Kanawha County. Skaff assumed his position as minority leader in 2020. His current term expires in 2024. Cabell County Democrat Del. Sean Hornbuckle will assume the role of minority leader. In a statement, Skaff expressed gratefulness for his time at the helm of the state’s House delegation, but said he “feels it is time to turn the leadership over to someone else.” He called Hornbuckle “a strong leader, delegate and friend.”

Some Republican presidential candidates haven’t met polling and fundraising thresholds for the first 2024 debate, and now requirements for making it to the second debate will be even higher. A person familiar with the qualifications for the Sept. 27 debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library told The Associated Press on Wednesday candidates seeking to get to the second debate will need at least 3% in two national polls or will need 3% in one national poll as well as two polls from four of the early-voting states: Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina. The candidates must have at least 50,000 unique donors, up from 40,000 for the first debate, Aug. 23 in Milwaukee.

The Democrat trying to unseat Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves is pushing hard to tie the Republican incumbent to tens of millions of dollars in welfare misspending that happened while Reeves was lieutenant governor. But the Reeves campaign says challenger Brandon Presley is engaging in false and “nonsensical” attacks. Former Mississippi Department of Human Services director John Davis and others have pleaded guilty to criminal charges related to misusing money that was supposed to help poor people. Presley's new commercial says $1.3 million went to a “personal trainer" for Reeves. The governor's campaign says Reeves took part in group fitness classes — not one-on-one sessions.

The role fake electors played in Donald Trump’s desperate effort to cling to power after his 2020 election loss is at the center of a four-count indictment against the ex-president. The indictment detailed Tuesday that when Trump could not persuade state officials to illegally swing the election in his favor, he and his Republican allies began recruiting a slate of fake electors in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, New Mexico, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin to sign certificates falsely stating he, not Democrat Joe Biden, had won their states. Those certificates were ultimately ignored by lawmakers. But prosecutors say it was part of “a corrupt plan" by Trump and his allies to subvert the results of the election.

The indictment of Donald Trump on Tuesday marks the first time that the former president has been formally held accountable for his efforts to overturn his 2020 election defeat. And it adds new details to what was already known about his actions, and those of his key allies, in the weeks leading up to the violent Jan. 6, 2021 insurrection. It describes how Trump repeatedly told supporters and others that he had won the election, despite knowing that was false, and how he tried to persuade state officials, his own vice president and finally Congress to overturn the legitimate results.

Donald Trump has been indicted on felony charges for working to overturn the results of the 2020 election in the run-up to the violent riot by his supporters at the U.S. Capitol. The Justice Department's four-count indictment Tuesday accuses the former president of assaulting the underpinnings of democracy in a frantic but ultimately failed effort to cling to power. Special counsel Jack Smith says the Capitol attack “was fueled by lies, lies by the defendant targeted at obstructing a bedrock function of the U.S. government: the nation’s process of collecting counting and certifying the results of the presidential election.” Trump is due in court Thursday.

Fitch Ratings has downgraded the U.S. credit rating, citing an expected increase in government debt over the next three years and a “steady deterioration in standards of governance” over the past two decades. Fitch says the worsening political polarization around spending and tax policy are key reasons for the downgrade. It said U.S. governance has declined relative to other highly rated countries and cited “repeated debt limit standoffs and last-minute resolutions.” The rating was cut one notch to to AA+ from AAA, the highest possible rating. The new rating is still well into investment grade.

A federal appeals court says a Biden administration rule aimed at curbing the use of stabilizing braces on handguns is unlikely to survive a legal challenge. The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel extended an injunction Tuesday allowing a gun dealer and others challenging the rule to continue selling, buying and owning the devices. Stabilizing braces attach to the back of a handgun, lengthening it while strapping to the arm. Advocates say the attachments make handguns more accurate and safer. Gun safety groups say they can be used to lengthen a concealable handgun and make it more lethal.

Donald Trump has now been indicted for the third time. The former president was charged Tuesday in Washington over his efforts to overturn his defeat in the 2020 election. Special counsel Jack Smith, who indicted Trump in the election case, has also charged Trump in federal court in Florida accusing him of the illegal retention of top secret documents. In New York, Trump faces criminal charges in a hush money case and a civil trial over his business practices. And in Georgia, a county district attorney is expected to announce charging decisions this month over efforts by Trump and his allies to overturn his 2020 election loss in the state. Trump has denied wrongdoing.

Former President Donald Trump has been charged by the Justice Department on four counts, including conspiracy to defraud the United States, for his efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election. The indictment filed Tuesday night is the third criminal case filed against the former president and current frontrunner in the 2024 GOP presidential race. The 45-page indictment said Trump after his 2020 loss was “determined to remain in power” and perpetrated conspiracies that targeted a “bedrock function of the United States federal government: the nation’s process of collecting, counting and certifying the results of the presidential election.”

A nonprofit organization that researches links between social media, hate and extremism has been sued by X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter. The Center for Countering Digital Hate regularly publishes studies looking at hate speech and misinformation on sites like X, Facebook and TikTok. The lawsuit, filed Monday, alleges that the center's researchers improperly accessed internal company data, and claims the nonprofit is funded by foreign governments. The center denies that allegation and says platform owner, Elon Musk, is using the lawsuit to silence critics of his leadership. Musk purchased Twitter last year and last month renamed the platform X.

Jill Biden says exercise helps her find “inner strength.” The first lady attends spin classes when she's on the road. She rides a bicycle near her Delaware beach home. She jogs on the White House driveway. Biden also takes barre classes and rides a Peloton bike. Biden says she wakes up at 5:45 a.m. most days to fit exercise into her schedule. The 72-year-old first lady discusses her fitness routine in an interview with Women's Health magazine. Biden likes to eat fish and vegetables. She takes lunch with her when she's teaching her English and writing classes at a Virginia community college.

Texas A&M University marked its hiring of Kathleen McElroy with great fanfare — balloons, a banner and a signing ceremony. But the celebration around McElroy, a Black journalist who spent decades at The New York Times and was known for promoting diversity in the workplace, did not last. Backlash from diversity opponents unraveled her tenure offer in a matter of days and ultimately led to the resignation of the school’s president. While a looming ban on diversity, equity and inclusion efforts in Texas higher education shouldn’t apply to academics or admissions, students and professors worry the botched hiring is a harbinger of things to come.

A longtime Mar-a-Lago staffer who spent years fetching luxury cars for club members is the latest person to be ensnared in Donald Trump’s ballooning legal troubles. Carlos De Oliveira appeared in court Monday to face charges connected to what prosecutors allege was a scheme directed by the former president and current GOP frontrunner to try to erase security footage after it was subpoenaed by a grand jury. De Oliveira is also charged with lying to investigators. De Oliveira is now the second little-known Trump employee charged in connection to his alleged hoarding of classified documents at his Palm Beach, Florida, club. His case highlights the collateral damage of Trump’s mounting legal woes.

Hunter Biden’s former business partner has testified to Congress that President Joe Biden was never directly involved in their financial dealings, even though Hunter would often put his famous father on speakerphone to impress clients and business associates. The Republican-led House Oversight Committee conducted a more than five-hour interview Monday with Devon Archer. It was part of the panel's expanding congressional inquiry into the Biden family businesses as the GOP explores a potential impeachment inquiry into the president. New York Rep. Dan Goldman, who was representing Democrats inside the room, told reporters afterward that Archer testified that Hunter sold the “illusion of access.”

Republican presidential hopeful Ron DeSantis is taking aim at China with a 10-point economic plan he's calling a “Declaration of Economic Independence.” The Florida governor unveiled his plan Monday at a warehouse in New Hampshire. He promised to boost the economy and fight for the middle class, in part by wresting control from China. His plan calls for ending China's preferential trade status, banning imports of goods made from stolen intellectual property and preventing companies from sharing critical technologies with China. It's the third major policy proposal put forth by DeSantis, whose campaign has struggled in recent weeks.

Former President Donald Trump’s mounting legal woes are growing more expensive, leading his campaign to request a refund from a supportive super PAC and launch a new legal defense fund to help cover costs. His political action committee, Save America, is expected to disclose Monday that it spent more than $40 million on legal fees during the first half of the year for costs related to defending the former president, his aides and other allies. That's according to a person familiar with the filing who spoke on the condition of anonymity before the deadline. The number was first reported by The Washington Post.

As Democratic presidential primary candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. challenges President Joe Biden, the stories he tells on the campaign trail about himself, his life’s work and what he stands for are often the opposite of what his record shows. Kennedy rose to prominence during the coronavirus pandemic because of his strident opposition to vaccines, but he insists he’s not anti-vaccine. Kennedy has associated with influential people on the far right — including Tucker Carlson, Steve Bannon and Michael Flynn — to raise his profile. Yet, he portrays himself as a true Democrat inheriting the mantle of the Kennedy family.

As Democratic presidential primary candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. challenges President Joe Biden, the stories he tells on the campaign trail about himself, his life’s work and what he stands for are often the opposite of what his record shows. Kennedy rose to prominence during the coronavirus pandemic because of his strident opposition to vaccines, but he insists he’s not anti-vaccine. Kennedy has associated with influential people on the far right — including Tucker Carlson, Steve Bannon and Michael Flynn — to raise his profile. Yet, he portrays himself as a true Democrat inheriting the mantle of the Kennedy family.

A Georgia prosecutor is expected to seek a grand jury indictment in the coming weeks in her investigation into efforts by Donald Trump and his allies to overturn the former president’s 2020 election loss. Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis began investigating more than two years ago, shortly after a recording was released of a January 2021 phone call Trump made to Georgia’s secretary of state. Willis has strongly hinted that any indictment would come between July 31 and August 18.

An employee of Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate is expected to make his first court appearance on charges accusing him of scheming with the former president to hide security footage from investigators probing Trump’s hoarding of classified documents. Carlos De Oliveira is due in Miami federal court on Monday after being added last week to the indictment with Trump and the former president’s valet, Walt Nauta. The federal case alleges a plot to hide top-secret records at Trump’s Florida estate and thwart government efforts to retrieve them. Trump has pleaded not guilty to dozens of felony counts in the case brought by special counsel Jack Smith.

Denmark’s foreign minister says the government will seek to make it illegal to desecrate the Quran or other holy books in front of foreign embassies. Foreign Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen said Sunday in an interview that burning holy scriptures “only serves the purpose of creating division in a world that actually needs unity.” He says the government is determined to find “a legal tool” to prohibit such acts without compromising freedom of expression, but he acknowledged that would not be easy. A recent string of public Quran desecrations by a handful of anti-Islam activists in Denmark and neighboring Sweden have sparked angry demonstrations in Muslim countries. Sweden's prime minister announced Sunday that his country is analyzing the legal situation involving Quran burnings.

As climate change fans hotter and longer heat waves, breaking record temperatures and leaving dozens dead, the poorest Americans suffer the hottest days with the fewest defenses. Air conditioning, once a luxury, is now a matter of survival. When dangerously high temperatures engulfed Phoenix, almost all of those who died indoors didn’t have air conditioning. As cities like Denver, Portland and Seattle, which are accustomed to cooler summers, and other cities nationwide face a new barrage of heat, low-income households, renters and people of color are far more likely to suffer the sweltering heat without cooling.

Joe Biden is already the oldest sitting president in American history at age 80. If he were to win reelection, he'd be 86 by the end of his second term. To win in 2024, he'll need young voters to back him as solidly as those under 30 did in 2020. In that race against Donald Trump, 61% of them supported Biden, according to AP VoteCast. The Biden campaign and the Democratic Party see young voters as critical to the 2024 coalition, even as Republicans hope to make inroads with them. Biden frequently tries to defuse the age issue by joking about it. But a big question is whether his age could be a deciding election factor.

A proposal by the mayor of Anchorage, Alaska, to fly homeless people to warmer climates or other Alaska cities underscores the homeless crisis affecting the state's largest city, and the very unique dangers faced by the unsheltered in an extreme environment. A record eight people died of exposure last winter and the situation could be much worse this year. The 500-bed shelter in a sports arena won’t open after neighbors' complaints. Bickering between the city’s liberal assembly and its conservative mayor has complicated the search for a solution as winter approaches. More than 40% of Anchorage's homeless are Indigenous people.

At a moment of growing legal peril, Donald Trump on Saturday ramped up his calls for his GOP rivals to drop out of the 2024 presidential race. At a rally in Pennsylvania, he also threatened to primary Republican members of Congress who fail to focus on investigating Democratic President Joe Biden and urged them to halt Ukrainian military aid unless the White House cooperates with investigations into Biden and his family. The comments came two days after federal prosecutors unveiled new criminal charges against the former president and GOP frontrunner as part of the case that accuses him of illegally hoarding classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago club.

Veteran law enforcer Pamela Smith is taking over as police chief in the nation's capital at a precarious time. Violent crime is rising sharply, fueled by more homicides and carjackings. The District of Columbia’s mayor, Muriel Bowser, and the D.C. Council have, at times, been at odds about crime legislation. On Capitol Hill, the Republican-led House has begun citing the city’s crime statistics while aggressively reviewing local public safety laws. Law enforcement and government officials repeatedly point out that overall crime numbers in Washington have stayed relatively stable. But the crimes that have increased the most — murders and carjackings — are the ones most likely to damage public confidence.

New allegations in the classified documents case against former President Donald Trump deepen his legal jeopardy as he braces for possible additional indictments related to efforts to overturn the 2020 election. The latest criminal charges unsealed Thursday allege a more central role for the former president than previously known in a cover-up that prosecutors say was meant to prevent them from recovering top-secret documents he took with him after he left the White House. Experts say the new allegations strengthen special counsel Jack Smith’s already powerful case against Trump while undercutting potential defenses floated by the former president. Trump has denied any wrongdoing.

Community organizations are gearing up for what they expect will be a worsening onslaught of disinformation targeting voters of color as the 2024 election approaches. They say the tailored campaigns challenge assumptions of what kinds of voters are susceptible to election conspiracies and distrust in voting systems. For example, immigrants from authoritarian regimes in countries like Venezuela or who have lived through the Chinese Cultural Revolution may be vulnerable to misinformation that claims politicians want to turn the U.S. into a Socialist state. Disinformation efforts often hinge on topics most important to each community, taking advantage of very real fears and past trauma.

Lawmakers broke for their August recess this week with many worried about whether they can avoid a partial government shutdown upon their return. Congress will have until Oct. 1, the start of the new fiscal year, to pass the spending bills needed to fund government agencies next year or a stopgap measure that keeps agencies running temporarily. It won’t be easy. Democratic Sen. Chris Coons of Delaware is worried about the road ahead, saying “we’re going to scare the hell out of the American people before we get this done." House Speaker Kevin McCarthy says he's confident "we can get this all done” by the end of September.

Donald Trump has asked a federal appeals court to reverse a federal judge’s decision to keep his hush-money criminal case in a New York state court that the former president claims is “very unfair” to him. Trump’s lawyers filed a notice of appeal Friday with the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan after U.S. District Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein last week rejected his bid to move the case to federal court. U.S. law allows criminal prosecutions to be moved from state to federal court if they involve actions taken by federal government officials as part of their official duties, but Hellerstein ruled that the hush-money case involved a personal matter, not presidential duties.

President Joe Biden used his trip to a textile plant in Maine on Friday to boast about cooling inflation and to make a crack at Republicans who have floated an impeachment inquiry into him. He told the crowd at Auburn Manufacturing Inc. that “maybe they’ll decide to impeach me because it’s coming down,” referring to the rate of inflation. Earlier this week, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy made his most direct remarks yet that GOP lawmakers could launch an impeachment inquiry into Biden over unproven claims of financial misconduct. Friday was the latest event promoting the president's economic agenda, which the White House calls “Bidenomics.”

U.S. Sen. Tim Scott is criticizing fellow Republican presidential candidate and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis for supporting standards requiring teachers to instruct middle school students that slaves developed skills that “could be applied for their personal benefit.” The South Carolina senator suggests DeSantis might “regret” supporting the Florida curriculum. The Senate’s sole Black Republican spoke to reporters Thursday after a town hall in Iowa. Scott said he'd hope every person in the U.S. “and certainly running for president” would recognize slavery was "devastating." DeSantis in turn defended the standards Friday and accused Republicans in Washington of accepting "lies that are perpetrated by the left.”

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell has repeatedly said he is “fine” since he froze up midsentence during a press conference on Wednesday. And now his office is trying to tamp down speculation that he might not fill out his term as leader because of recent health issues. In a statement, his office said that McConnell appreciates the continued support of his colleagues and “plans to serve his full term in the job they overwhelmingly elected him to do.” The statement was first reported by Politico. It comes after McConnell has suffered health problems in recent months. He is 81.

Donald Trump has been indicted on three additional charges in a case that accuses him of illegally possessing classified documents. These new allegations, in a case stemming from a 2022 raid at his Florida estate, add fresh detail to the criminal case initially issued last month. The former president faces three new charges in a superseding indictment issued by federal prosecutors on Thursday. Trump is newly accused of asking a staffer at his Mar-a-Lago club to delete camera footage at his Florida estate in an effort to obstruct the federal investigation into his possession of classified documents. The employee is also now charged in the case.

House Democrats are demanding the release of a transcript from a new FBI witness, saying it contradicts Republicans’ claims in the vast congressional inquiry into President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter. Rep. Jamie Raskin, the top Democrat on House Oversight Committee, sent a letter Friday to committee chair James Comer, R-Ky., asking him to produce the transcribed interview that took place this month with an FBI agent who worked on the federal investigation into the younger Biden’s taxes and foreign business dealings. Republicans responded that the transcript was going through the “normal review process” and would be released after the fact.

A measure of consumer prices that is closely monitored by the Federal Reserve fell last month to its lowest level since March 2021, the latest sign that inflation in the United States is steadily cooling from its once-painful highs. Prices rose just 3% in June from 12 months earlier, down from a 3.8% annual increase in May, though still above the Fed’s 2% inflation target. On a monthly basis, prices rose 0.2% from May to June, up from 0.1% the previous month.