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In this column I want to inspire you as dark financial storm clouds form on the horizon. Over the past few months, we’ve all been alarmed at the steep rise in the prices of food, gas and, well, everything. That, of course, includes building materials and the prices contractors charge — if you can even get them to bid your job.

Q: I had a contract with a buyer to sell my home. A week before the closing, the buyer canceled the deal. The buyer said they couldn’t get the interest rate for their loan as listed in the contract, even though they were approved by the lender and the rate was well below current market rates according to our agent.

Up to 40,000 Army National Guard soldiers across the country - or about 13% of the force — have not yet gotten the mandated COVID-19 vaccine, and as the deadline for shots looms, at least 14,000 of them have flatly refused and could be forced out of the service. Guard soldiers have until next Thursday to get the vaccine. Data obtained by The Associated Press shows that between 20% to 30% of the Guard soldiers in six states are not vaccinated, and more than 10% in 43 other states still need shots. Guard leaders say states are doing all they can to encourage soldiers to get vaccinated by the time limit.

Democratic officials across the nation hope to harness their party's collective outrage and sadness to improve their political outlook this fall after the Supreme Court's stunning decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. Abortion was an afterthought for much of the year for many voters. It was overshadowed by record gas prices, surging inflation and President Joe Biden’s low popularity. But on Friday, a Supreme Court majority of conservative justices ensured that abortion would be a central issue in U.S. politics for the foreseeable future. Polling shows that relatively few Americans wanted to see Roe overturned.

Chinese leader Xi Jinping will visit Hong Kong to celebrate next week’s 25th anniversary of the former British colony’s return to China following a crackdown on a pro-democracy movement that has inflamed tension with Washington and Europe. The official Xinhua News Agency said Saturday Xi will attend an anniversary gathering and the first meeting of the territory's new government. Xi has avoided trips outside the Chinese mainland since the start of the coronavirus pandemic 2 1/2 years ago. His decision to go to Hong Kong reflects the anniversary's historical importance in the ruling party’s eyes and to the image Xi is trying to construct for himself as leader of a “national rejuvenation.”

The Supreme Court has stripped away women’s constitutional protections for abortion. It's a fundamental and deeply personal change for Americans' lives after nearly a half-century under the court's landmark Roe v. Wade decision. Friday's new ruling is likely to lead to abortion bans in roughly half the states. The ruling by the high court's conservative majority was unthinkable just a few years ago. It was the culmination of decades of efforts by abortion opponents, made possible by an emboldened right side of the court that has been fortified by three appointees of former President Donald Trump. The ruling came more than a month after the stunning leak of a draft opinion by Justice Samuel Alito.

TikTok creator @risinggeminis saw a dated chair at Goodwill and knew it had potential. Cutting the curtain off and deep cleaning revealed a super cool midcentury modern chair.

You don’t need to buy an expensive vase to display your flowers. Instead, hit up a Goodwill for some old glasses like @genevavanderzeil and use paint to totally transform them.

If you love all things Victorian and dark academia @paintedblackdecor’s thrifted lamp transformation will inspire you. You can also use thrifted shirts to upgrade any lamp shade.

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