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WASHINGTON (AP) — Democrats are pumping an unprecedented amount of money into advertising related to abortion. The spending underscores how central the message is to the party in the final weeks before the midterm elections. The most intense period of campaigning is only just beginning, and Democrats have already invested more than an estimated $124 million this year in television advertising referencing abortion. That’s twice as much money as the Democrats’ next top issue and almost 20 times more than Democrats spent on abortion-related ads in the 2018 midterms.

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Authorities are making contact with some of the most remote villages in the United States to determine the need for food and water and assess damage from a massive weekend storm that flooded communities dotting Alaska’s vast western coast. No one has been reported injured or killed during the massive storm — the remnants of a typhoon that traveled north through the Bering Strait over the weekend.

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Flood waters are receding in parts of western Alaska battered by the worst storm in a half century. The storm left behind debris flung by powerful Bering Sea waves, the remnants of Typhoon Merbok, which was weakening Sunday as it moved north from the Bering Strait into the Chukchi Sea.

HAVANA (AP) — Hurricane Fiona struck Puerto Rico's southwest coast on Sunday as it unleashed landslides, knocked the power grid out and ripped up asphalt from roads and flung the pieces around.

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Just hours after a Montana judge blocked health officials from enforcing a state rule that would prevent transgender people from changing the gender on their birth certificate, the state said it would defy the order. District Court Judge Michael Moses chided attorneys for the state on Thursday over the rule. He said it circumvented his April order that temporarily blocked a 2021 Montana law that made it harder to change birth certificates.

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — An Indiana judge has turned down a request to block enforcement of the state’s abortion ban just hours after it took effect. The ruling came Thursday in a lawsuit filed by abortion clinic operators who argue that the state constitution protects access to the procedure.

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — After nearly two months of being forced to boil their water before drinking it or using it to brush teeth, people Mississippi’s largest city were told Thursday that water from the tap is safe to consume — but Jackson’s water system still needs big repairs that the mayor says the cash-strapped city cannot afford on its own.

MIAMI (AP) — The National Hurricane Center in Miami says Tropical Storm Fiona is on a path to threaten the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico this weekend. Fiona took shape Wednesday night as the season's sixth named storm, centered east of the Leeward Islands in the Atlantic Ocean.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department says three Iranian citizens have been charged in the United States with cyberattacks that targeted power companies, local governments and small businesses and nonprofits, including a Pennsylvania domestic violence shelter. The charges accuse the hacking suspects of targeting hundreds of victims in the U.S. and elsewhere, stealing data from their networks and demanding ransom payments to unlock and return the stolen information.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — West Virginia’s Legislature has passed a sweeping abortion ban with few exceptions. Several Republicans, whose party holds a supermajority, say they hope the bill approved Tuesday will make it impossible for the state’s only abortion clinic to continue to offer the procedure. Under the legislation, rape and incest victims would be able to obtain abortions at up to eight weeks of pregnancy.

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