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Watermelon Festival: The Winterville Watermelon Festival will be held Aug. 25-28 at Winterville Recreation Park Amphitheatre, 332 Sylvania St. The event will include food, entertainment, carnival rides, contests and vendors. The Watermelon Jam, featuring Jameson Rodgers, with opening performances by Cooper Greer and Kylie Morgan, will be held from 6-11 p.m. Aug. 27. Concert tickets are $15-$25. Visit watermelonfestival.com.

WASHINGTON — Falling prices for gas, airline tickets and clothes gave Americans a little bit of relief last month, though overall inflation is still running at close to its highest level in four decades.


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Close games often come down to who makes the first mistake, and Friday afternoon’s matchup between Pitt County and California at the Little League Softball World Series was no different.

Successfully navigating the field of teams in the Little League Softball World Series means being versatile and having great reaction time.

The third day of action at the Little League Softball World Series brought with it eliminations, as the representatives from Washington and Italy were excused and Canada was on the ropes in the late game.

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State AP Stories

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Authorities in North Carolina are trying to determine who fired the shots that killed a sheriff's deputy along a dark highway late Thursday night. Wake County Sheriff Gerald Baker said early Friday that the deputy was fatally wounded after 11 p.m. Thursday. Sheriff’s spokesperson Eric Curry says it happened on a dark section of road adjacent to open land about a quarter mile from a gas station. He says they're trying to learn why the deputy stopped there as they search for “the perpetrator or perpetrators.” Several sheriff’s deputies have been shot recently in North Carolina, including Wayne County Sheriff's Sgt. Matthew Fishman, who was killed last week.

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The campaign committee of North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein plans to ask a federal court to block enforcement of a state law looming in a probe of a TV ad aired against Stein's election rival in 2020. The state law makes it illegal to knowingly circulate false reports to damage a candidate’s election chances. Stein beat Republican Jim O'Neill that November. A Stein committee attorney filed the notice Wednesday, after a judge refused to stop a district attorney from potentially using the law to prosecute anyone over the disputed 2020 campaign ad. No one's been charged. Stein's committee argues the law is overly broad and chills political speech.

The North Carolina attorney general’s office is asking a federal court not to restore the state's 20-week abortion ban after the judge suggested his previous injunction “may now be contrary to law.” The attorney general’s office argued in a brief filed late Monday that reinstating restrictions in the aftermath of the June U.S. Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade would create “significant risk of public confusion” about the availability and legality of abortion services in North Carolina. Staff attorneys in Stein’s office filed the brief without the attorney general’s involvement.

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North Carolina Democrats have asked a state court to overturn an elections board vote granting the Green Party official recognition despite allegations of fraud. Democrats have been accused by the Green Party of meddling in its petitioning process to qualify candidates for the November ballot. The lawsuit, filed Wednesday in Wake County Superior Court, precedes the first hearing next Monday in a Green Party lawsuit against the North Carolina State Board of Elections, when the newly certified party will fight for an extension to a statutory deadline preventing its candidates from appearing on the ballot.

North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein is pushing back against Republican General Assembly leaders’ allegations that he neglected his duty to defend state law by refusing to seek enforcement of a blocked 20-week abortion ban after the fall of Roe v. Wade. Attorneys for Senate leader Phil Berger and House Speaker Tim Moore filed a brief last week asking U.S. District Judge William Osteen to lift an injunction on a 1973 state law banning nearly all abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy.  Stein, an abortion rights supporter, says he will continue to recuse himself from the case, drawing criticisms from Republicans who say he is refusing to do his job.

National & World AP Stories

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Salman Rushdie remained hospitalized Saturday after suffering serious injuries in a stabbing attack as he was about to speak in western New York. Rushdie's agent says the 75-year-old suffered a damaged liver, severed nerves in an arm and an eye he was likely to lose. He was also on a ventilator. Rushdie's novel “The Satanic Verses” drew death threats from Iran’s leader in the 1980s. Police arrested the man who attacked the writer and identified him as 24-year-old Hadi Matar of Fairview, New Jersey. Matar's lawyer declined to comment. Police said the motive for the Friday attack was still unclear.

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Ukrainian officials say Russia’s military have shelled residential areas across Ukraine while their own fighters damaged the last working bridge over a river in occupied southern Ukraine, hurting Russia's ability to resupply its military. The mayor of the city of Kramatorsk said a Russian rocket attack killed three people and wounded 13 others Friday night. Kramatorsk is the eastern headquarters for Ukraine's military. The Russian Defense Ministry, meanwhile, claimed Saturday its forces had taken control of a village on the outskirts of the city of Donetsk, the provincial capital that pro-Moscow separatists have claimed since 2014. Russian troops also launched hundreds of shells at Ukraine's northern regions of Kharkiv and Sumy, setting wheat fields on fire.

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R. Kelly’s federal trial that starts Monday in Chicago is in many ways a do-over of his child pornography trial in 2008 in state court. At that trial 14 years ago, jurors acquitted the singer on charges that he produced a video of himself having sex with a girl no older than 14. But a big difference between that trial and the one starting in a federal courthouse in Chicago is that prosecutors say the female in the video will testify this time. Among the charges Kelly faces is that he rigged the 2008 trial by paying off and threatening the girl to ensure she didn't testify. The woman is now in her 30s. Four other accusers are also slated to testify.

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A major economic bill headed to the president has “game-changing” incentives for the nuclear energy industry, experts say, and those tax credits are even more substantial if a facility is sited in a community with a coal plant that's closing. Among the many things the transformative bill could do, nuclear energy experts say, is spur more nuclear reactor projects like one Bill Gates is planning in Kemmerer, Wyoming. Companies designing and building the next generation of nuclear reactors could pick one of two new tax credits available to carbon-free electricity generators. Both include a 10-percentage point bonus for facilities sited in fossil fuel communities.

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Iranians are reacting with praise and worry over the attack on novelist Salman Rushdie — the target of a decades-old fatwa by the late Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini calling for his death. It remains unclear why Rushdie’s attacker, identified by police as Hadi Matar of Fairview, New Jersey, stabbed the author as he prepared to speak at an event Friday in western New York. Iran’s theocratic government and its state-run media have assigned no motive to the assault as well. But in Tehran, some willing to speak to The Associated Press offered praise for an attack targeting a writer they believe tarnished the Islamic faith with his 1988 book “The Satanic Verses.”

Italy’s worst drought in decades has reduced the country’s largest lake to near its lowest level ever recorded. Tourists flocking to Lake Garda on Friday for the start of a long weekend found a vastly different landscape than in past years. An expansive stretch of bleached rock extended far from the normal shoreline. Northern Italy hasn’t seen significant rainfall for months, and snowfall this year was down 70%. With rivers that farmers use to irrigate crops drying up, authorities allowed more water from Lake Garda to flow out to local waterways. The lake’s temperature, meanwhile, has been above average for August and on Friday approached the average for the Caribbean Sea.

Ukraine’s health minister has accused Russian authorities of committing a crime against humanity by blocking access to affordable medicines in areas its forces have occupied since invading the country 5 1/2 months ago. In an interview with The Associated Press, Ukrainian Health Minister Viktor Liashko said Russian authorities repeatedly have blocked efforts to provide state-subsidized drugs to people in occupied cities, towns and villages. The World Health Organization says it recorded 445 attacks on Ukrainian hospitals and other health care facilities as of Aug. 11 that directly resulted in 86 deaths and 105 injuries. But Liashko said the much higher number of casualties caused by damaged roads and bridges delaying ambulances “cannot be calculated.”

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Salman Rushdie's agent says the writer is on a ventilator after being stabbed in the neck and abdomen on a western New York stage where he was about to give a lecture. The 75-year-old Rushdie was flown to a hospital and underwent surgery after Friday's stabbing at the Chautauqua Institution. His agent, Andrew Wylie, said the writer had a damaged liver, severed nerves in an arm and an eye he was likely to lose. Rushdie's novel “The Satanic Verses” drew death threats from Iran’s leader in the 1980s, Police arrested the man who attacked the writer and identified him as 24-year-old Hadi Matar of Fairview, New Jersey. Matar's lawyer declined to comment.