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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 U.S. death toll from Hurricane Ian’s passage has risen to four overall after an official said late Thursday that two residents of a hard-hit barrier island on Florida’s western coast were confirmed dead. Dana Souza, city manager of Sanibel, said the deaths were confirmed by fire officials but offered no other specifics.Two other people have also died. A 38-year old man from Lake County died Wednesday in a motor vehicle accident after his vehicle hydroplaned and a 72-year old man in Deltona was confirmed dead on Thursday. Officials with the Volusia sheriff’s office said the man went outside to drain his pool and fell into a canal.

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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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Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa sustained neck and head injuries after being slammed to the ground in Thursday’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals, and was stretchered from the field. The Dolphins said Tagovailoa was conscious and had movement in all his extremities after being taken by stretcher from the field. He was taken to University of Cincinnati Medical Center. Tagovailoa was chased down and sacked by Josh Tupou with about six minutes left in the first half. He remained down for more than seven minutes before being loaded on a backboard, stabilized and removed via stretcher. Dolphins players gathered around as he was rolled off the field and the crowd chanted “Tua! Tua!.”

A quick study by two scientists calculates that climate change made Hurricane Ian 10% rainier than it would have been if there were no such thing as global warming. Thursday's analysis, which was not peer reviewed, is based on 20 computer simulations of a world with no climate change from the burning of coal, oil and natural gas. Scientists then compared those scenarios to what was playing out in real time with Hurricane Ian. The authors compared the highest rainfall rates over three hours.

South Korea, U.S. and Japanese warships have launched their first anti-submarine drills in five years, after North renewed ballistic missile tests this week. South Korea says Friday's one-day trilateral training off the Korean Peninsula’s east coast is meant to cope with a North Korean push to advance its ability to fire missile from submarines. North Korea has been building bigger submarines including a nuclear-powered one and testing sophisticated missiles that can be fired from them in recent years. The North’s recent five missiles launches, the first such tests in a month, also came before and after U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris visited South Korea.

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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 four people in Florida were 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.