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"Arrests at the southern border will set new records this year," Joe Walsh reports at Forbes. "Border Patrol apprehended 1.998 million people at the U.S.-Mexico border from October to August, already blowing past the 1.659 million arrested in all of fiscal year 2021, which was the agency’s busiest year on record." Read more

Georgia Meloni’s right-wing populist coalition just defeated the establishment in Italian parliamentary elections, despite European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen’s comment a few days ago suggesting that the European Union has “tools” to deal with those who don’t fall in line with the agenda of unelected authoritarian bureaucrats like her. Read more

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State AP Stories

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The Flagler Beach pier on the east coast of Florida has sustained significant damage as Hurricane Ian whipped up waves that broke off a large portion of the wooden structure. Locals captured video and photos of the destruction Thursday afternoon as waters rose and crashed onto the pier, leaving debris on the shoreline. Flagler Sheriff Rick Staly told News4JAX Thursday that he didn’t believe the pier — which was damaged by Tropical Storm Isaias in 2020, as well as Hurricane Matthew in 2016 — would survive the storm’s impact. Authorities advised residents to avoid the pier over safety concerns.

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The head of a national group working to elect women who support abortion rights is backing efforts in North Carolina. EMILY’s List President Laphonza Butler spoke at a Raleigh news conference on Tuesday with Gov. Roy Cooper and state legislative candidates. She also planned to visit college campuses with Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Cheri Beasley. An arm of EMILY's List already spent $2.7 million on pro-Beasley ads. Butler says General Assembly races will determine whether abortion restrictions that Republicans are likely to seek can be vetoed by Cooper. Republicans could earn veto-proof majorities if they win two more Senate seats and three more House seats.

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Leaders of College Park Baptist Church in Greensboro, North Carolina, thought it was odd when the Southern Baptist Convention recently sent queries about the congregation's LGBTQ-affirming ministry. The church itself had voted to leave the conservative denomination 23 years ago. But it was still on the SBC rolls until last week. That's when the convention's Executive Committee voted to cut ties because of the congregation's “affirmation ... of homosexual behavior.” The Rev. Michael Usey of College Park said the congregation was ousted for the right reason. Said Usey, “It’s good when people reject you because they understand clearly who you are."

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Experts say the U.S. Supreme Court’s June ruling overturning Roe v. Wade appears to be sending more teens to their doctors in search of birth control, including long-acting reversible forms like intrauterine devices and implants. Waits for appointments are growing in some areas, Planned Parenthood is getting a flood of questions and doctors report demand even among teens who aren’t sexually active. Some patients are especially fearful because some of the new abortion laws don’t include exceptions for sexual assault. Dr. Peggy Stager said dedicated spots for insertion of the Nexplanon implant are consistently filled at her Ohio practice and requests for contraceptive refills have increased 30% to 40% since the Court's June ruling.

National & World AP Stories

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Cars are left abandoned where they stalled on the road into Fort Myers Beach when Hurricane Ian's storm surge flooded their engines and their drivers couldn’t continue. Broken trees, boat trailers and other debris litter the path. It’s even worse in the seaside tourist town, much of which was flattened by the fierce winds and powerful storm surge generated by the Category 4 hurricane. The barrier islands along the southwest Florida coast are famed for their seashells, fishing and laid-back lifestyle. They took major hits from Ian when it came ashore Wednesday and residents tried to salvage what they could Thursday.

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Hurricane Ian has regained some strength after exiting Florida and taking aim at South Carolina. The National Hurricane Center said the storm spent only a few hours as a weakened tropical storm over Florida before it spun up into a Category 1 hurricane on Thursday in the Atlantic Ocean. Rescue crews were wading through water and using boats to rescue Florida residents stranded in the wake of Hurricane Ian. The Orange County fire department posted photos of crews in a flooded neighborhood in the Orlando area. At least one person in Florida was confirmed dead on the state's eastern coast. Forecasters have issued a hurricane warning for coastal South Carolina and southeastern North Carolina ahead of another landfall Friday.

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The Flagler Beach pier on the east coast of Florida has sustained significant damage as Hurricane Ian whipped up waves that broke off a large portion of the wooden structure. Locals captured video and photos of the destruction Thursday afternoon as waters rose and crashed onto the pier, leaving debris on the shoreline. Flagler Sheriff Rick Staly told News4JAX Thursday that he didn’t believe the pier — which was damaged by Tropical Storm Isaias in 2020, as well as Hurricane Matthew in 2016 — would survive the storm’s impact. Authorities advised residents to avoid the pier over safety concerns.

Ivette Garrido hurried last week to get the 6 kilograms of subsidized chicken allotted to her family by Cuba’s government and put it in the freezer, happy to have meat to get through Hurricane Ian. Now she is considering giving the chicken to her three dogs before it goes bad, as a huge power blackout caused by the storm extends beyond two days and everything in her freezer thaws amid scorching temperatures. Cuban authorities have not said what percentage of the population remains without electricity or when things will return to normal, but the Electric Union says only 10% of Havana’s 2 million people have power.