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Thursday, October 06, 2022

Hurricane Ian’s death toll has climbed into the triple digits. The number of recorded storm-related deaths rose Thursday to at least 101 in the eight days since the storm made landfall in southwest Florida. Of the total deaths, 98 were in Florida, according to reports from the Florida Medical Examiners Commission. Other storm deaths include five in North Carolina, three in Cuba and one in Virginia. Ian is the second-deadliest storm to hit the mainland United States in the 21st century behind Hurricane Katrina, which left more than 1,800 people dead in 2005. The deadliest hurricane to ever hit the U.S. was the Great Galveston Hurricane in 1900 that killed as many as 8,000 people.

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden is pardoning thousands of Americans convicted of “simple possession” of marijuana under federal law, as his administration takes a dramatic step toward decriminalizing the drug and addressing charging practices that disproportionately impact people of color.

Wednesday, October 05, 2022

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Democratic U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan, who has made his opponent's questionable record fighting the opioid epidemic a central theme of his campaign for Ohio's open U.S. Senate seat, has received campaign donations over the years from drug distributors blamed for key roles in the cri…

The OPEC+ alliance of oil-exporting countries has decided to sharply cut production to support sagging oil prices. The move Wednesday could deal the struggling global economy another blow and raise politically sensitive pump prices for U.S. drivers just ahead of key national elections. Energy ministers meeting at the Vienna headquarters of the OPEC oil cartel cut production by 2 million barrels per day at their first face-to-face meeting since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Besides a token trim in oil production last month, the major cut is an abrupt turnaround from months of restoring deep cuts made during the depths of the pandemic and could help alliance member Russia weather a looming European ban on oil imports.

Tuesday, October 04, 2022

The tumultuous saga of Elon Musk’s on-again off-again purchase of Twitter has taken a turn toward a conclusion. The mercurial Tesla CEO proposed to buy the company at the originally agreed-on price of $44 billion. Musk made the proposal in a letter to Twitter that the company disclosed in a filing Tuesday with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. It comes less than two weeks before a trial between the two parties is scheduled to start in Delaware. In a statement, Twitter said it intends to close the deal at $54.20 per share. Trading in Twitter’s stock had been halted for much of the day pending release of the news. It resumed trading late Tuesday and soared 22% to close at $52.

Hurricane Ian may be long gone from Florida, but the job of restoring power and searching for anyone still inside flooded or damaged homes presses on. About 430,000 homes and businesses remained without electricity Tuesday in Florida and it will be the weekend before most power is restored. Meanwhile, the much weakened storm isn't finished. Officials warned that Ian's remnants could still cause coastal flooding from Long Island, New York, south to North Carolina’s Outer Banks. Seventy-nine deaths have been blamed on Ian, including 71 in Florida, five in North Carolina and three in Cuba. Authorities say the death toll could rise as crews continue searching homes in the hardest-hit areas.

Advocates say schools increasingly are removing children with disabilities from the classroom because of behavior issues related to their disability but not recording the actions as suspension. The practice is known as informal removal, which advocates say amounts to a form of off-the-books, de facto denial of education that evades accountability. Because the removals aren’t recorded, there’s no way to quantify how often they happen. But the assistant secretary for the Education Department's Office for Civil Rights, Catherine E. Lhamon, says the practice has "taken hold in a way that is dangerous for students and needs to be addressed.”

President Joe Biden is highlighting his administration’s efforts to protect access to abortion. The president is marking 100 days since the Supreme Court overturned a national right to the procedure. Democrats hope the issue will galvanize their voters to the polls ahead of midterm elections. The White House says Biden will attend the second meeting of the Cabinet-level task force he stood up to coordinate the government’s response to the ruling. Biden will also announce two new steps meant to protect access to reproductive health care. At the same time, he is set to remind Americans that only Congress can restore access to abortion nationally, part of his pitch to vote Democratic.

Loretta Lynn, the Kentucky coal miner’s daughter who became a pillar of country music, has died. Lynn's family said she died Tuesday at her home in Tennessee. She was 90. Her compositions reflected her pride in her humble background and spoke frankly of her experiences as a woman and mother in Appalachia on such hits as “Coal Miner’s Daughter," “You Ain’t Woman Enough” and “The Pill.” Her bestselling 1976 autobiography was made into a movie, with Sissy Spacek winning an Oscar for her portrayal of Lynn. Lynn wrote unfiltered songs about sex and love, cheating husbands, divorce and birth control that sometimes got her in trouble with radio programmers.

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court says it won’t review the conviction of former coal CEO Don Blankenship, who was found guilty of conspiring to violate safety standards at West Virginia’s Upper Big Branch mine before the 2010 explosion that killed 29 men.

Monday, October 03, 2022

An independent investigation into the scandals that erupted in the National Women’s Soccer League found emotional abuse and sexual misconduct were systemic in the sport, impacting multiple teams, coaches and players. U.S. Soccer commissioned the investigation by former acting U.S. Attorney General Sally Yates and a law firm after former NWSL players Sinead Farrelly and Mana Shim came forward with allegations of harassment and sexual coercion dating back a decade. But it was clear the problems were widespread. Five of the 10 head coaches in the league last season either were fired or stepped down amid allegations of misconduct.

New vehicle sales in the U.S. are expected to have fallen slightly in the third quarter, even with improvement in September. But there are warning signs that consumers’ appetite for expensive new cars, trucks and SUVs may be waning. says it expects sales to show a drop of just under 1% in the period from July through September when the numbers from automakers are totaled up on Monday. Multiple companies reported sales declines for the quarter, with General Motors as a notable exception. However, many said sales rose in September as shortages of computer chips and other parts started to ease and auto factories were able to produce more. That increased vehicle supplies. But any monthly gain may be short lived due to high prices and rising interest rates.

WASHINGTON — The founder of the Oath Keepers extremist group and four associates planned for an “armed rebellion” to stop the transfer of presidential power on Jan. 6, 2021, prosecutors told jurors Monday at the opening of the most serious case to reach trial in the attack on the U.S. Capitol.

Sunday, October 02, 2022

Russia has attacked the Ukrainian president’s hometown with suicide drones. This comes as Ukraine has pushed ahead with its counteroffensive that has embarrassed the Kremlin. Ukraine took back control of the strategic eastern city of Lyman, which Russia had been using as a transport and logistics hub. That's a new blow to the Kremlin as it seeks to escalate the war by illegally annexing four regions of Ukraine. Photos circulating online pointed to some battlefield movement for Ukraine, showing Ukrainian soldiers entering what appeared to be newly retaken settlements in the south and east. Pope Francis, meanwhile, on Sunday decried Russia’s nuclear threats against the West and appealed to Russian President Vladimir Putin to stop “this spiral of violence and death.”

U.S. officials are vowing to unleash an unprecedented amount of federal disaster aid in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian as the death toll rises amid recovery efforts. Federal Emergency Management Agency Director Deanne Criswell said Sunday that the government is ready to provide help days after Ian came ashore as a Category 4 hurricane and carved a deadly path of destruction through Florida and into the Carolinas. The monster storm killed at least 54 people, including 47 in Florida, and hundreds of thousands of people and businesses remain without power. Officials warn that flooding could still worsen in parts of Florida because all the rain that fell has nowhere to go, with waterways already overflowing.

Police firing tear gas after an Indonesian soccer match in an attempt to stop violence triggered a disastrous crush of fans that has left at least 125 people dead. Attention immediately focused on police crowd-control measures at Saturday night’s match between host Arema FC of East Java’s Malang city and Persebaya Surabaya. Witnesses described officers beating them with sticks and shields before shooting tear gas canisters directly into the crowds. President Joko Widodo ordered an investigation of security procedures and the president of FIFA called the deaths “a dark day for all involved in football and a tragedy beyond comprehension.” While FIFA has no control over domestic games, it has advised against the use of tear gas at soccer stadiums.

King Charles III has decided not to attend the international climate change summit in Egypt next month, fueling speculation that the new monarch will have to rein in his environmental activism now that he has ascended the throne. The Sunday Times newspaper reported that the decision came after Conservative Prime Minister Liz Truss objected to Charles attending the conference, known as COP27, when she met with the king last month at Buckingham Palace. But a member of Truss’ Cabinet said the government and palace were in agreement about the decision and suggestions to the contrary were untrue. Charles has been a champion of environmental issues for decades.

President Joe Biden, a self-described “car guy,″ often promises to lead by example on climate change by moving swiftly to convert the sprawling U.S. government fleet to zero-emission electric vehicles. But efforts to eliminate gas-powered vehicles from the fleet have lagged. Biden last year directed the government to purchase only American-made zero-emission passenger cars by 2027. But the General Services Administration, which buys two-thirds of the federal fleet, says there are no guarantees. It cites big upfront costs and specialized agency needs, such as off-road vehicles for national parks that have limited EV options. About 13% of new light-duty vehicles purchased across the government this year — meaning about 3,550 — were zero emissions.

Local election officials across the United States are bracing for a wave of confrontations on Election Day in November. Emboldened Republican poll watchers, including many who embrace former President Donald Trump’s falsehoods about the 2020 election, are expected to flood election offices and polling places. The Republican Party and conservative activists have been holding poll watcher training sessions, but in many states they've barred the media from observing those sessions. Some Republican-led states passed laws after the 2020 election that require local election offices to allow poll watchers and give them expanded access to observe and challenge ballots.

Saturday, October 01, 2022

Jimmy Carter, already the longest-living U.S. president in history, turned 98 on Saturday. It's another milestone for the 39th president and day to spend with family and friends in Plains, the tiny Georgia town where he and his wife, 95-year-old Rosalynn, were born. And the Carter Center founded by the Carters established together in 1982 is marking 40 years of promoting democracy and advancing public health internationally. Jason Carter, the former president’s grandson, describes his grandfather as content with his life and legacy. The younger Carter said the former president was planning a relatively quiet day that includes watching his favorite baseball team, the Atlanta Braves, in a key evening matchup against the New York Mets.

After being encircled by Ukrainian forces, Russia has pulled troops out from an eastern Ukrainian city that it had been using as a front-line hub. It was the latest victory for the Ukrainian counteroffensive that has humiliated and angered the Kremlin. The city of Lyman was a key transportation hub for the Russian front line. A day earlier Moscow had annexed as part of Russia. Kyiv has retaken vast swaths of territory beginning in September. With Lyman recaptured, Ukraine can now push further into the occupied Luhansk region, one of the four regions that Russia annexed Friday. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and his military have vowed to keep fighting to liberate all regions from Russian control.

Rescuers continue to search for survivors in flooded homes in Florida after Hurricane Ian's passage earlier this week. Meanwhile, authorities in South Carolina began the long process of assessing damage Saturday. The powerful storm terrorized millions of people for most of the week and officials say it's blamed for at least 34 deaths overall, 27 of them in Florida, four in North Carolina and three in Cuba. But authorities say they expect the death toll to rise further. As of Saturday, more than 1,000 people had been rescued from flooded homes near Florida's southwestern coast alone.

Hurricane Ian ravaged coastal towns in southwest Florida. But the impact has not been confined to the beaches and tourist towns. The rains from the storm's deluge are flowing into inland towns not usually part of the hurricane warnings. In the Sarasota suburb of North Port, water levels have gone up significantly, turning roads into canals, reaching mailboxes, flooding SUVs and trucks, blocking the main access to the interstate and leaving families trapped. Now, as days go by, they are starting to run out of food and water. It’s the rising rivers that cause the flooding, and authorities say that flooding now poses a danger to those nearby.

The Danish Energy Agency says one of two ruptured natural gas pipelines in the Baltic Sea appears to have stopped leaking natural gas. The agency said Saturday on Twitter it had been informed by the company operating the Nord Stream 2 pipeline that pressure appears to have stabilized in the pipeline, which runs from Russia to Germany. It said "this indicates that the leaking of gas in this pipeline has ceased.” The undersea blasts that damaged the Nord Stream I and 2 pipelines this week have led to huge methane leaks. Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday accused the West of sabotaging the Russia-built pipelines, a charge vehemently denied by the United States and its allies.

Experts say that Hurricane Ian is shining a spotlight once again on the vulnerability of the nation’s barrier islands and the increasing cost of people living on them. Florida's Sanibel Island was hard hit by the storm. Homes were destroyed. Two people have been confirmed dead. And Sanibel's lone bridge to the mainland collapsed. Barrier island communities like Sanibel anchor tourist economies that provide crucial tax dollars. But the cost of rebuilding them is often high because they’re home to many high-value properties. Jesse Keenan is a real estate professor at Tulane University. He questions whether such communities can keep rebuilding as hurricanes become more and more destructive from climate change.

An early prototype of Tesla Inc.’s proposed Optimus humanoid robot slowly and awkwardly walked onto a stage, turned, and waved to a cheering crowd at the company’s artificial intelligence event Friday. But the basic tasks by the robot with exposed wires and electronics were far from CEO Elon Musk’s vision of a human-like robot that can change the world. Musk told the crowd that the robot can do much more than the audience saw Friday. But he said it's also delicate and they didn't want it to fall. The demonstration didn't impress several robotics experts, one of which called it a scam. Musk said Tesla's goal is to make millions of robots at a cost that could be less than $20,000.

The Supreme Court begins a new term on Monday at a time of diminished public confidence and justices sparring openly over the institution’s legitimacy. The court seems poised to push American law to the right on issues of race, voting and the environment. Back in June, the conservative majority overturned nearly 50 years of constitutional protections for abortion rights. Now, the court is diving back in with an aggressive agenda that appears likely to split the six conservative justices from the three liberals. Joining the nine-member court is new Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, the court’s first Black woman.

The U.S. government will soon spend $25 million to help patients access experimental drugs for the incurable illness known as Lou Gehrig's disease. The new strategy blurs the line between research and treatment. And it breaks decades of precedent in which responsibility for funding so-called compassionate use fell to drugmakers. But after years of being rebuffed by drugmakers, ALS patients lobbied Congress to help fund access to not-yet-approved drugs. While it offers a critical new treatment option for ALS patients, it also raises the possibility that federal dollars could be tapped for unproven treatments of other diseases in the future.

The Army fell about 15,000 soldiers — or 25% — short of its recruitment goal this year, despite a frantic effort to make up the widely expected gap in a year when all the military services struggled in a tight jobs market to find young people willing and fit to enlist. While the Army was the only service that didn’t meet its target, all the others had to dig deep into their pools of delayed entry applicants, which will put them behind as they begin the next recruiting year on Saturday. The worsening problem is stirring debate about whether America’s fighting force should be restructured or reduced in size.

Friday, September 30, 2022

Wall Street closed out a miserable September with a loss of 9.3%, the worst monthly decline since March 2020. The S&P 500 fell 1.5% Friday and is at its lowest level in almost two years. The benchmark index has lost ground for six of the last seven weeks and posted its third straight losing quarter. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 1.7% and the Nasdaq fell 1.5%. Nike fell sharply after the company had to slash prices to clear inventories, while Carnival dropped following weaker-than-expected quarterly results. Bond markets were showing more calm as yields relaxed.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has whipsawed his way through the national conversation this month, first by putting migrants on planes or buses to Democratic strongholds and then shifting to a more traditional role of crisis manager as Hurricane Ian barreled into his state. He's been forced to partner with a president he has spent the better part of two years demeaning. He’s also gladly accepting the type of federal disaster aid he rejected as a member of Congress. But the past two weeks offer insight into how DeSantis might govern if he wins another term as governor or advances in a presidential contest.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed treaties to illegally annex parts of Ukraine, while Kyiv has submitted an “accelerated” application to join NATO. At the Kremlin, Putin and the pro-Moscow heads of the four Ukrainian regions inked the treaties in a sharp escalation of the war. The signing came three days after the end of Kremlin-orchestrated “referendums” on joining Russia that Kyiv and the West dismissed as a bare-faced land grab, held at gunpoint and based on lies. NATO's chief said the war is at “a pivotal moment,” and that Putin’s decision was “the most serious escalation" since the war began. Russia pounded Ukrainian cities, with one strike in the Zaporizhzhia region’s capital killing 30 people and wounding 88.

The Democratic-led House passed a short-term spending bill on Friday that finances the federal government through mid-December and provides another infusion of military and economic aid to Ukraine as lawmakers acted to avert a partial government shutdown set to begin after midnight. The bill passed the House by a vote of 230-201. The measure next goes to President Joe Biden’s desk to be signed into law. Republicans overwhelmingly opposed the measure. The bill provides more than $12.3 billion in Ukraine-related aid. The money will go to provide training, equipment and logistics support for the Ukraine military, help Ukraine’s government provide basic services to its citizens.

Saturday marks five years since a gunman rained bullets into an outdoor country music festival crowd on the Las Vegas Strip. The grim drumbeat of mass shootings has only continued in the years since, from New York to Colorado to Texas. Northeastern University professor James Alan Fox oversees a database maintained by The Associated Press, USA Today and Northeastern University and says there's also been a horrifying uptick in the number of mass shootings with an especially high number of people killed. The news takes a toll on survivors of the Las Vegas slaying, but a strong sense of community has also developed.

Desperate to locate and rescue their loved ones, social media users are sharing phone numbers, addresses and photos of their family members and friends online for anyone who can check on them after Hurricane Ian made landfall in southwest Florida. While authorities recommend that those in distress contact official emergency channels, strangers online are braving the conditions to step in and answer the pleas for help. And the family members are more than grateful. Heather Donlan says her social media post crowdsourced the person she holds responsible for saving her father's life.

The U.S. Supreme Court's decision striking down a constitutional right to abortion and sending the issue to the states has groups on both sides of the debate focusing more than ever on races this fall for state supreme courts. Whether abortion access is maintained, restricted or eliminated in any state could depend on whether a state's high court has a majority of Democratic or Republican justices. Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan, North Carolina and Ohio are among the states where the races are drawing heavy interest and spending as the midterm elections approach.

U.S. regulators have revealed their plan to allow foreign baby formula manufactures to stay on the market long term. The Friday announcement from the Food and Drug Administration aims to diversify the nation’s highly concentrated formula industry and prevent future shortages. The U.S. has been forced to turn to foreign suppliers to boost formula supplies after FDA inspectors temporarily shuttered the nation’s largest domestic manufacturing plant in February. Since then the U.S. has imported the equivalent of 300 million bottles of formula. Under the new plan, foreign manufacturers will have until 2025 to comply with U.S. standards for formula nutrition, labeling and manufacturing.

Unpaid internships are facing new scrutiny from colleges, state lawmakers and student activists. Nearly half of all internships are unpaid, putting them out of reach for students who need wages to keep up with their bills, even if the work has nothing to do with their intended careers. Many students say they can’t afford to meet internship requirements, and shouldn’t be expected to work unpaid to make it in a given field. The people who can take unpaid internships have financial safety nets, and that means they tend to benefit students who are wealthier and white, perpetuating wealth gaps.

Hurricane Ian was over southwest Florida for just a few hours. It’ll take months to clean up all the damage. Maybe longer. And local officials some of the destruction can’t be cleaned up at all. From trees getting ripped out of the ground to signs being ripped apart, traffic lights crashing onto roadways and some buildings simply being destroyed, the impact was everywhere and almost nothing was spared. The only difference between one place and the next was the severity of the problems.

Ian’s fierce winds howled through a Gulf coast trailer park with such force that residents felt they would be lifted off the ground, even blown away. Now many homes in North Fort Myers, Florida, are crumpled and splintered. Hurricane Ian bent their metal roofs and splintered wooden structures. James Burdette is a carpenter who moved to Florida from Virginia a few years back. He said he literally watched his house disappear. Burdette sat back on a brown leather chair Thursday surveying debris around him. Now he and his wife don’t know what they will do, and have no plans where to go next.

Thursday, September 29, 2022

Hurricane Ian has regained some strength after exiting Florida and taking aim at South Caroline. 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 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 Thursday 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.

President Joe Biden says the entire United States "hurts" along with the people of Florida after Hurricane Ian flooded communities across the state, knocked out power and raised fear of a "substantial loss of life.” Biden went to the Washington headquarters of the Federal Emergency Management Agency for a briefing on federal response efforts. The president says the storm could end up as the “deadliest hurricane in Florida’s history.” He also says he intends to visit Florida as soon as “conditions allow." And he'll go to Puerto Rico, which was ravaged by Hurricane Fiona before Ian struck Florida.

Six Republican-led states are suing the Biden administration to try and halt its plan to forgive student loan debt for millions of Americans. They're accusing it of overstepping its executive powers. It’s at least the second legal challenge this week to the sweeping proposal laid out by President Joe Biden in late August, when he said his administration would cancel up to $20,000 in education debt for millions of borrowers. The announcement became immediate political fodder ahead of the November midterms while fueling arguments from conservatives about the program’s legality.

Tens of millions of small U.S. companies will soon be required to submit details on their owners and others who benefit from them. Under a new regulation finalized Thursday, the Treasury Department will create a database containing personal information on the owners of at least 32 million U.S. businesses. The goal is to combat illicit finance and peel back the layers of ownership of shell companies that often hide unlawfully obtained assets. Treasury officials call the new rule a sea change in the world of corporate transparency. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen says the rule will make it harder for criminals to hide their identities and launder money.

A woman has described a harrowing ordeal in her home as Hurricane Ian passed over. Valerie Bartley said Thursday that her neighborhood in the Fort Myers area had been under an evacuation order but that she felt it was too late to leave earlier in the week with no plans in place. She and her husband had to push their dining room table against a sliding door leading to the back patio because they felt the wind was going to blow it into the house. Bartley says her 4-year-old daughter gave her courage by grabbing her hand and saying that she was scared too, but that it would be OK.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has awarded $7.9 million for seven West Virginia programs to address homelessness, health care services and medical research. The awards go to West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources, Prestera Center for Mental Health Services, West Virginia University, Logan-Mingo Area Mental Health Inc., Youth Services System of Wheeling and Cabell-Huntington Coalition for the Homeless. U.S. Sens. Joe Manchin and Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia announced the funding Wednesday.

Wednesday, September 28, 2022

LOS ANGELES — Coolio, the rapper who was among hip-hop's biggest names of the 1990s with hits including “Gangsta's Paradise” and “Fantastic Voyage,” died Wednesday at age 59, his manager said.

President Joe Biden is warning the oil and gas companies against increasing prices for consumers as Hurricane Ian makes landfall in Florida. Biden's message to the industry is: “Do not, let me repeat, do not use this as an excuse to raise gasoline prices or gouge the American people." Biden says the hurricane “provides no excuse for price increases at the pump” and if it happens, he'll ask federal officials to determine ”whether price gauging is going on.” The president is putting companies on notice: “America is watching. The industry should do the right thing,."

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Hurricane Ian's most damaging winds began hitting Florida's southwest coast Wednesday, lashing the state with heavy rain and pushing a devastating storm surge after strengthening to the threshold of the most dangerous Category 5 status.

WASHINGTON — Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin has abandoned, for now, his push to speed up the permitting process for energy projects, easing the Senate’s path toward passing a stopgap spending bill that would keep the federal government running when the fiscal year ends at midnight Friday.

Tuesday, September 27, 2022

COLUMBUS, Ohio — A judge extended a temporary block Tuesday on an Ohio law banning virtually all abortions for an additional 14 days, further pausing a law that had taken effect after federal abortion protections were overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court in June.

A union that rejected its deal with the nation’s freight railroads earlier this month now has a new tentative agreement. But officials cautioned that the contract dispute won’t be fully settled until all 12 rail unions approve their agreements this fall. The five-year deal announced Tuesday includes a 24% pay raise and $5,000 in bonuses that were in the first deal along. It also has a couple of additional benefits, including a cap on health insurance expenses and a promise that each railroad will negotiate individually over expense reimbursement. Officials with the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers said they hope those enhancements will be enough to pass the agreement.

HAVANA — Hurricane Ian tore into western Cuba as a major hurricane Tuesday and left 1 million people without electricity, then churned on a collision course with Florida over warm Gulf waters expected to strengthen it into a catastrophic Category 4 storm.

CHARLESTON — A U.S. Navy nuclear engineer and his wife entered new guilty pleas Tuesday in a case involving an alleged plot to sell secrets about nuclear-powered warships, a month after their previous plea agreements that had called for specific sentencing guidelines were rejected.

Civil rights lawyers and Democratic senators are pushing for legislation that would limit U.S. law enforcement agencies’ ability to buy cellphone tracking tools to follow people’s whereabouts, including back years in time, and sometimes without a search warrant. Concerns about police use of the tool known as “Fog Reveal” raised in an investigation by The Associated Press published earlier this month also surfaced in a Federal Trade Commission hearing three weeks ago. Police agencies have been using the platform to search hundreds of billions of records gathered from 250 million mobile devices, and hoover up people’s geolocation data to assemble so-called “patterns of life,” according to thousands of pages of records about the company.

Monday, September 26, 2022

Stocks closed broadly lower Wall Street and the Dow Jones Industrial Average became the last of the major U.S. indexes to fall into what’s known as a bear market. The S&P 500 fell 1% Monday. The Nasdaq also fell. The losses were broad and included banks, health care companies and energy stocks. The British pound slumped to an all-time low against the dollar and investors continued to dump British government bonds in displeasure over a sweeping tax cut plan announced in London last week. Treasury yields continued to rise as the Federal Reserve and other global central banks step up their fight against inflation.