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The Rev. Norvel Goff, right, prays at the empty seat of the Rev. Clementa Pinckney at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina. Pinckney and eight others were killed at the church Wednesday.


A most profound service: Five days ago, the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church was filled with horror after a gunman opened fire, killing nine members. On Sunday, the historic South Carolina church was filled not just with grief, but with faith and gratitude as worshipers united for their first service since the massacre. “The doors of the church are open,” the Rev. Norvel Goff said during prayers. “No evildoer, no demon in hell or on Earth can close the doors of God’s church.” Meanwhile, investigators are looking into a 2,000-word racist manifesto featured on a website registered to the suspect.


Time for change? The Charleston massacre has reignited the debate over whether the Confederate flag should keep flying over the capitol in Columbia. Republican state Rep. Doug Brannon plans to introduce a bill to remove the flag when the South Carolina legislature convenes in January, but getting that bill passed could be tough. And several presidential candidates are tip-toeing around the issue in a state that hosts a key primary for next year’s election.


Long-distance chase: Police swarmed the upstate New York town of Owls Head as the manhunt for two escaped killers shifted once again. Monday marks day 17 of the search for Richard Matt and David Sweat, who have eluded authorities since carving their way out of a maximum-security prison on June 6. Over the weekend, witnesses reported seeing two suspicious men in Allegany County, near the Pennsylvania border, but police said the search of that area wrapped up late Sunday.

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