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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Congress and President Joe Biden acted with unusual swiftness this week in approving Juneteenth as a national holiday. That shifted the battle to the states, where the holiday faces a far less enthusiastic response.

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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper vetoed gun-rights legislation on Friday that would allow parishioners at more churches to be armed, marking the second year in a row that he's blocked the idea.

Connecticut is poised to become the 19th state to legalize adult, recreational use of cannabis, now that a long-awaited bill has cleared the General Assembly and Democratic Gov. Ned Lamont has said he'll sign it into law. While it will be legal as of July 1 for adults 21 years and older to possess up to 1.5 ounces (42.5 grams) of marijuana, it's likely going to take at least a year before an industry is up and running.

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As the nation this week made Juneteenth a federal holiday, honoring the end of the enslavement of Black people, lawmakers are reviving calls to end a loophole in the Constitution that allowed another form of slavery — forced labor for those convicted of some crimes — to thrive.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Virginia's road to legalizing simple possession of marijuana has had some twists and turns, so it's not surprising that advocacy groups have been flooded with calls from people trying to understand exactly what will be allowed under state law as of July 1.

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BRUSSELS (AP) — A Belgian court ruled Friday that coronavirus vaccine-maker AstraZeneca had committed a “serious breach” of its contract with the European Union amid a major legal battle over delivery obligations that has tarnished the company’s image.

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Black Americans rejoiced after President Joe Biden made Juneteenth a federal holiday, but some said that, while they appreciated the recognition at a time of racial reckoning in America, more is needed to change policies that disadvantage too many of their brethren.

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand is on the brink of success in her yearslong campaign to get sexual assault cases removed from the military chain of command. But getting over the finish line may depend on whether she can overcome wariness about broader changes she’s seeking to the military justice system.

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CHICAGO (AP) — Activists widely expected Joe Biden to take swift action against the death penalty as the first sitting president to oppose capital punishment, especially since an unprecedented spate of executions by his predecessor ended just days before Biden took office.

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WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden is facing a formidable to-do list now that he’s back from his summit-filled trip to Europe, with pressing legislative challenges, foreign policy follow-up and a need to steer the country’s reopening as the coronavirus threat recedes.

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JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy labeled as “defective” the state spending package passed by lawmakers this week and said he was prepared to call them into another special session next week if they do not act before the current special session expires Friday.

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Black Americans rejoiced Thursday after President Joe Biden made Juneteenth a federal holiday, but some said that, while they appreciated the recognition at a time of racial reckoning in America, more is needed to change policies that disadvantage too many of their brethren.

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