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    Hong Kong’s leader has promised to revive its struggling economy following a campaign to crush a pro-democracy movement. The announcement comes as China’s ruling Communist Party marked its 73rd anniversary in power under strict anti-virus controls. In Beijing, crowds of spectators watched a 96-member honor guard raise the Chinese flag on Tiananmen Square in the heart of the capital. There were no parades or other public events after authorities called on the public to avoid holiday travel. The holiday marks the anniversary of the Oct. 1, 1949, founding of the People’s Republic of China by then-leader Mao Zedong following a civil war.

      The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration has upgraded Malaysia’s air safety rating, allowing the country’s carriers to expand flights to the United States after a three-year hiatus. Malaysia's Transport Minister Wee Ka Siong says the move will bolster tourism and economic growth in Malaysia, which opened up from pandemic shutdowns in April. The FAA lowered Malaysia’s rating in November 2019 due to non-compliance with safety standards, prompting Malaysia to restructure its Civil Aviation Authority and address issues. Now that they're resolved, the FAA has restored Malaysia’s Category 1 rating, meaning it meets standards.

        Women are gathering across Michigan to strategize how to preserve abortion rights in their state. The small, personal conversations are playing out alongside more traditional get-out-the-vote efforts, with major stakes for both abortion rights and the mostly Democratic candidates who support them. Michigan is one of a handful of places where abortion rights will be on the ballot in November, after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June and left the issue to states to decide. A 1931 ban has been on hold since a state court judge’s ruling, but it is no guarantee that the procedure won’t one day be outlawed unless voters approve a state constitutional amendment.

          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.

            U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin is visiting Hawaii this week amid lingering community frustration and distrust after jet fuel from a military storage facility last year spilled into Pearl Harbor’s drinking water. The spill poisoned thousands of military families and threatened the purity of Honolulu’s water supply. Austin traveled to the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility in the hills above Pearl Harbor on Friday and met the commander of the joint task force in charge of draining its tanks so it can be shut down. He also met with several families affected by the fuel spill and Hawaii officials. The meetings were closed to the media, and Austin didn’t hold a news conference afterward.

            The U.S. death toll from Hurricane Ian has risen to 17 as Florida authorities confirmed several drownings and other fatalities Friday afternoon.  According to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the deaths included a 22-year-old woman who was ejected from an ATV rollover Friday because of a road washout in Manatee County and a 71-year-old man who died of head injuries when he fell off a roof while putting up rain shutters on Wednesday. Many of the other deaths were drownings. The death toll was expected to increase substantially once emergency officials have an opportunity to search many areas hardest hit by the storm. Three people in Cuba were killed earlier in the week as the storm made its way north.

            Gov. Andy Beshear's office says an advisory committee set up this year by the governor reported that many Kentucky adults favor legalizing marijuana for medical purposes. The Democratic governor formed the Medical Cannabis Advisory Committee after a bill to legalize medical marijuana died in the state Senate. Beshear has said he supports legalization. He says the committee found that Kentuckians who suffer from chronic conditions are not getting relief from painkillers and opioids and fear their addictive properties. Justice and Public Safety Secretary Kerry Harvey, the committee co-chair, said the committee did not hear any opposition at town hall meetings on the topic.

            The NFL’s handling of concussions has evolved dramatically from the days when players were handed smelling salts on the bench and sent back into the game. The league and the NFL Players Association have implemented extensive protocols and hired unaffiliated neurotrauma consultants to work with team physicians at each game to diagnose concussions. Still, football is a violent sport and injuries similar to the frightening one Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa suffered Thursday night seem unavoidable. The most effective means of protecting players remains enforcing strict concussion protocols, which players, fans and others are concerned didn’t happen with Tagovailoa.

            Some U.S. health officials are conceding that monkeypox is probably not going away anytime soon. The disease’s spread is slowing but the virus is so widespread that elimination is unlikely. That conclusion was in a recent CDC report and echoed Friday by an agency disease-forecasting scientist. The CDC report contained some good news: The U.S. outbreak seems to have peaked in August. The average number of cases being reported daily is fewer than 150. That's just a fraction of what was reported in the middle of the summer. Officials expect the decline will continue for at least the next several weeks.

            FRIDAY, Sept. 30, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Dupixent (dupilumab) as the first treatment for adults with prurigo nodularis, according to Regeneron Pharmaceuticals.


            FRIDAY, Sept. 30, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Thursday gave its approval to a new drug for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). But approval of the drug, called Relyvrio (sodium phenylbutyrate/taurursodiol), is bound to stir new questions, with some doubting the strength of data supporting its effectiveness. Patient advocate groups had strongly lobbied the FDA for its approval, however.

            A University of Idaho memo warning staffers not to refer students to abortion or birth control providers has placed the school at the center of a debate over First Amendment rights and access to reproductive health care. But UI Provost Torrey Lawrence says the school was just trying to protect employees from punitive state laws. One of the laws bars the use of state funds to promote or endorse abortion or emergency contraception. Another makes it illegal for non-health care providers to advertise abortions or birth control. It's not clear exactly how the laws apply to the rest of Idaho's approximately 900,000 state employees, or if they affect others who get state funds like foster parents.

            A street in San Francisco will be renamed Saturday in honor of an 84-year-old Thai grandfather killed in a brutal attack that galvanized Asian Americans reeling from a surge in assaults during the pandemic. A short lane in a neighborhood will be called “Vicha Ratanapakdee Way.″ Hundreds are expected at an afternoon gathering. Speakers will include Ratanapakdee’s daughter, Monthanus Ratanapakdee, and actor Daniel Dae Kim. Ratanapakdee was on a morning walk in 2021 when authorities say he was attacked and knocked to the ground. His death has become a symbol in the national movement to end hate against Asian Americans.

            A Michigan homeowner has been charged with shooting and wounding an 84-year-old woman who was canvassing door-to-door against a proposed constitutional amendment that would guarantee the right to abortion in the state. Ionia County Prosecutor Kyle Butler says Richard Harvey was charged Friday with felonious assault and reckless discharge of a firearm causing injury charges. Harvey is being held in the county jail. Butler says State Police investigated the Sept. 20 shooting in Odessa Township, and submitted charging recommendations to the prosecutor’s office. Harvey is being represented by a public defender, who has not not responded to a message seeking comment.

            Vice President Kamala Harris and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen will host a forum to highlight how coronavirus pandemic relief dollars have helped support Black- and minority-owned businesses. The Treasury Department says the importance of making sure the community finance system supports minority businesses will be "front and center” at this year's Freedman's Bank Forum next week. About 96% of Black-owned businesses are sole proprietorships and single-employee companies. These small businesses have the hardest time finding funding and are often the first to suffer during economic downturns. The forum will include a panel on new support for community finance institutions, small businesses and low wealth communities.

            The daughters of the late country music matriarch Naomi Judd talk about her openness and empathy as fans gather for a final tour to reflect on her legacy. Actor and humanitarian Ashley Judd said her mother was “enthralled by my audacity” as an outspoken activist. Wynonna Judd said fans identified with the mother-daughter duo from eastern Kentucky who rose to fame in the early '80s. The pair were interviewed this week by The Associated Press ahead of an 11-city tour that Wynonna Judd and several musical guest stars are undertaking. The shows will serve as a reminder of the legacy of Naomi Judd and her impact on country music.

            Vermont dispensaries are set to begin selling marijuana for recreational use, though only three will be ready to do so on opening weekend. FLORA Cannabis in Middlebury, Mountain Girl Cannabis in Rutland and CeresMED in Burlington will all open on Saturday. A fourth business has been licensed to sell recreational pot but isn’t ready to do so yet. James Pepper, who chairs the state Cannabis Control Board, says Vermont's inaugural weekend will be “more of a soft opening" akin to those when recreational sales began in other states and in Canada. The Vermont stores say they anticipate having enough supply, but some growers have been frustrated by the timeline.

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