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KNOW IT ALL: Thursday's Top 8 Stories at NBC News

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A federal appeals court on Friday, July 29, 2016, blocked a North Carolina law that required voters to produce photo identification and follow other rules disproportionately affecting minorities, finding that the law was intended to make it harder for blacks to vote in the presidential battleground state.Andrew Krech / AP

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Good morning. Here are some of the stories on our radar:

1. Trump Recommits to Mass Deportation in Fiery Speech

Surprise! Donald Trump’s self-declared “softening” on immigration is gone, replaced by a recommitment to a hardline policy that could best be described as mass deportation. Shouting his remarks to a fired-up crowd in Arizona, Trump pledged a maximal approach that would target every undocumented immigrant in the country without mercy. Read more in POLITICS.

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2. What Trump Never Mentions About U.S. Border Security

American taxpayers have already spent billions of dollars on border security, including a 700-mile long physical barrier along the southern border with Mexico. Read more in POLITICS.

3. Hermine Threatens 9-Foot Storm Surge, 15 Inches of Rain

Millions of Americans were bracing Thursday for a tropical storm that threatened a storm surge of up to 9 feet in Florida as well as dangerous rip currents along the East Coast. So-called Tropical Depression 9 strengthened into Tropical Storm Hermine in the Gulf of Mexico late Wednesday.

4. Supreme Court Won't Reinstate Strict N.C. Voting Law

The high court deadlocked 4-4 on whether to let the state reimpose key provisions of the 2013 Republican-backed voting law, seen by many experts as the strictest in the country. The state could be pivotal in the presidential race, and also hosts tight Senate and governor's races. Read more in POLITICS.

5. American Journalist Detained in Turkey

Lindsey Snell has been detained by Turkish authorities since August 7th, the State Department confirmed Wednesday. Snell was detained after crossing the border from Syria into Turkey and has now been charged with violating a military zone. Read more in NEWS.

6. Ban on Gun Sales to Marijuana Card Holders Upheld

The 9th Circuit said in its 3-0 decision that Congress reasonably concluded that marijuana and other drug use "raises the risk of irrational or unpredictable behavior with which gun use should not be associated." Read more in NEWS.

7. Oldest Fossils Ever Found Date Back 3.7 Billion Years

The fossils, called stromatolites, turned up when some snow melted in modern-day Greenland. If they really are fossils from bacteria, that takes the first evidence of life on Earth back more than 200 million years earlier than the previously oldest fossils. Read more in SCIENCE.

8. Clowns in the Woods No Laughing Matter in S.C.

Multiple reports that menacing clowns are lurking in the woods — sometimes, allegedly, offering kids cash to follow them — have the residents of Greenville, S.C., looking over their shoulders and even brandishing guns. Read more in NEWS.

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