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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida's Republican-controlled Legislature approved stiffer penalties against violent protesters on Thursday, handing a major legislative victory to Gov. Ron DeSantis, who began campaigning for the measure last year following a summer of turmoil across the country over the killings of Black people by police.

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate opened debate Wednesday on legislation confronting the rise of potential hate crimes against Asian Americans, a growing problem during the coronavirus crisis that will also test whether the chamber can push past partisanship on an issue important to many constituents.

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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Calls for fairness predominated at a North Carolina legislative hearing Wednesday on a bill that would prevent transgender girls and women from competing in organized school sports designated for biologically female athletes.

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Mike Elliott is among many who celebrated his election as mayor of Brooklyn Center as the beginning of a new era, marking the first time one of Minnesota's most racially diverse places would be led by a person of color. Elliott, a Black man who had emigrated from Liberia as a child, was almost giddy in talking about his plans for multicultural city hall.

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SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham's political committee has paid at least $62,500 to settle allegations by a former campaign employee who says he was sexually harassed by the governor, according to campaign finance filings and the governor's re-election campaign spokesman.

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — The Florida House took the unusual step of denouncing democratic socialism Tuesday with the sponsor of a non-binding resolution invoking the name of the country’s most prominent champion of the ideology, U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, in calling it a threat to American democracy.

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Top Federal Reserve policymakers on Tuesday underscored their concern that Black and Hispanic people are sharply underrepresented in the economics field, which lessens the perspectives that economists can bring to key policy issues.

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