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Alaska Supreme Court ruling keeps Sweeney off House ballot

The Alaska Supreme Court has upheld a lower court’s ruling that will keep Republican Tara Sweeney off the ballot for the August special election in Alaska’s U.S. House race. In a brief written order Saturday, the high court said it affirmed the decision of the Alaska Superior Court, which upheld the Alaska Division of Elections director's decision to not advance Sweeney. She was the fifth place finisher in the June 11 special primary, and was not advanced to the final four after the third place finisher suddenly dropped out. The high court did not elaborate on its decision but said a full opinion will follow at a later date.

'Mitt Romney Republican' is now a potent GOP primary attack

Mitt Romney isn’t up for reelection this year, but his name is surfacing in Republican primaries throughout the nation. Candidates are using the label “Mitt Romney Republican” to frame opponents as insufficiently conservative and enemies of the Trump-era GOP. Candidates have employed the concept in attack ads and talking points in Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania. In Romney's home state Utah, Republican challengers taking on incumbent congressmen are using the attack, even though Romney won overwhelmingly only four years ago. The fact that Romney remains potent attack fodder reflects his singular position in politics and ongoing divisions within the Republican Party.

Abortion foes, supporters map next moves after Roe reversal

Americans are taking stock a day after the Supreme Court overturned a woman’s constitutional right to abortion. The depth of emotion unleashed by the ruling has led to demonstrations and prayer vigils across the country. As states begin implementing bans, supporters and foes of abortion rights are mapping out their next moves. Minnesota's governor has signed an executive order to help shield people seeking or providing abortions in his state from legal consequences elsewhere. In neighboring North and South Dakota, as in a number of other states, the ruling has triggered abortion bans that take effect immediately or soon.

‘State of shock’: Spokane woman shares story of abortion as Roe v. Wade gets overturned

SPOKANE, Wash. – Advocates rallied Friday evening, angry and disappointed that the highest court in the nation stripped abortion rights at the federal level. It’s now up to the states to decide and about half will restrict access. Protesters Friday were afraid of what would happen next. “My body, my choice,” they chanted in downtown Spokane at the Thomas Foley…

Two months of waiting, and finally a Supreme Court ruling

And so, the interminable wait after the leak of the decision overturning Roe v. Wade has come to an end — nearly two months in which abortion and all of its complexities have been have been hashed and rehashed, while the U.S. Supreme Court was silent. Throughout, much of the focus was on who would suffer the most if abortion was widely illegal. Women in many places were already forced to travel long distances to undergo the procedure, and children in the states with the toughest abortion laws got the least support from states. Both sides waited, some with fear, others with expectations, for the decision that arrived Friday.

7 accusers write to Ghislaine Maxwell's sentencing judge

Seven women who say Ghislaine Maxwell helped Jeffrey Epstein steal the innocence of their youth are asking a judge who will sentence the British socialite on Tuesday to consider their pain. Manhattan federal prosecutors unveiled their statements publicly Friday, including graphic pictures of how one of them looked after two suicide tries that she blames on her trauma. Three women are seeking to speak at the sentencing of 60-year-old Maxwell after her December conviction on sex trafficking and other charges. Prosecutors say she should spend at least 30 years in prison. Defense lawyers say no more than five years behind bars are necessary.

Guns in paradise: Ruling could undo strict Hawaii carry law

A U.S. Supreme Court ruling striking down a New York gun law could mean big changes thousands of miles away in Hawaii, which has strict restrictions on carrying firearms. In 2020, Hawaii had the nation’s lowest rate for gun deaths. Chris Marvin is a Hawaii resident with the gun control group Everytown for Gun Safety. He's concerned minor scuffles over things like surf spots could escalate if more people are carrying guns in public because of the high court decision. As Marvin says, “Guns and aloha don't mix." Hawaii and California are among states with strict laws limiting carrying guns in public. Those laws will now need to be loosened.

Religious schools may face another hurdle to state tuition

Maine Attorney General Aaron Frey says religious schools seeking to take advantage of a state tuition program must abide by state law banning discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. He says that could deter some of them from participation despite a Supreme Court decision this week. The high court ruled that Maine can’t exclude religious schools from a program that offers tuition aid for private education in towns that don’t have public schools. One of the attorneys who successfully sued says the state can balance the interests of all parties if elected officials “are genuinely committed to that task.”

'Loving' boy last Texas school shooting victim laid to rest

The last victim of the mass school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, is being laid to rest. A funeral is being held Saturday for 10-year-old Uziyah Garcia at Immanuel Baptist Church in San Angelo, where he lived before moving to Uvalde about a year before the May 24 attack. In an obituary, his family recalled his contagious laugh, love of silly jokes, and sweet and outgoing nature. His grandfather says Uziyah, or Uzi as he was known, also loved football and took the sport seamlessly when they threw the ball around over spring break. Uzi was among the 19 students and two teachers who were killed in the attack at Robb Elementary School.

Pfizer says tweaked COVID-19 shots boost omicron protection

Pfizer says tweaking its COVID-19 vaccine to better target the omicron variant is safe and boosts protection. Saturday's announcement comes just days before regulators debate whether to offer Americans updated booster shots this fall. The current COVID-19 vaccines still offer strong protection against hospitalization and death. But protection against infection has dropped markedly with the omicron variant, and now its even more transmissible relatives are spreading. Pfizer says either an omicron-targeted booster or a combination shot that mixes the original vaccine with omicron protection substantially increases protection. Rival Moderna hopes to offer a similar combination shot.

Abortion ruling thrusts companies into divisive arena

The Supreme Court’s decision to end the nation’s constitutional protections for abortion has catapulted businesses of all types into the most divisive corner of politics. A rash of iconic names including The Walt Disney Company, Facebook parent Meta, and Goldman Sachs announced they would pay for travel expenses for those who want the procedure but can't get it in the states they live in. Others including J.P. Morgan Chase, Starbucks and Yelp reiterated past pledges they would cover travel expenses. But of the dozens of big companies that The Associated Press reached out to, many like McDonald's, PepsiCo and Walmart remained silent, underscoring how divisive the issue is.