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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Maryland officials remembered the nation’s longest-serving state Senate president on Friday as a powerful leader who influenced policy for nearly half a century, a towering figure in state politics who could be gruff as well as kind.

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — President Joe Biden’s 60-day moratorium on new oil and natural gas leases and drilling permits is prompting widespread concerns in New Mexico, where spending on education and other public programs hinges on the industry’s success.

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TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A newly elected Kansas lawmaker accused of threatening two state officials and abusive behavior toward girls and young women before taking his seat will get a public warning about his past conduct rather than facing possible removal from office, a committee decided Friday.

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — A Democratic state lawmaker criticized Pennsylvania’s vaccine rollout as muddled on Friday — saying other states are doing a much better job at distribution and communication — while unions representing police and prison guards expressed outrage at having been shoved farther back in line for COVID-19 shots.

LOS ANGELES (AP) — California election officials announced Friday that 99.4% of more than 15 million mail-in ballots were verified and counted in the November election, a rejection rate notably lower than the March primary even though more than twice as many people voted.

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — A federal judge on Friday ordered an Arkansas man accused of beating a police officer with a flagpole during this month's riot at the U.S. Capitol to remain in jail pending his trial, calling video from the incident “simply shocking."

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HOUSTON (AP) — U.S. immigration authorities have released the last of nine detained women who were taken to see a rural Georgia gynecologist accused of performing unnecessary hysterectomies or other medical procedures, a lawyer for the women said Friday.

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LOS ANGLES (AP) — The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department is under investigation for potential civil rights violations as state officials determine whether deputies have engaged in a pattern or practice of unconstitutional policing, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra announced Friday.

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HELENA, Mont. (AP) — A bill that would protect businesses and health care providers from coronavirus-related lawsuits is advancing quickly through the Montana Legislature, after the state's Republican governor said the measure was necessary to remove a statewide mask mandate put in place by his Democratic predecessor.

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