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    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.

      Newly disclosed text messages between Elon Musk and Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal showed that the two men briefly bonded in April over their love of engineering — at least until Musk tweeted this message early on Aug. 9: ‘Is Twitter dying?’” The messages revealed in Delaware court filings surfaced a few weeks before a high-stakes trial over Musk's abortive $44 billion offer for the social platform. The two sides are due in court Oct. 17 for a five-day trial intended to determine whether Musk must carry through with the agreed-to acquisition he later claimed to put “on hold.”

        Police say the hacker who stole the personal data of almost 10 million people in one of Australia’s worst privacy breaches concealed their identity, actions and whereabouts. They say the investigation into the cyberattack will be “long and complex.” The government blames lax cybersecurity at the Optus telecommunications company, which maintains it was the target of a sophisticated cyberattack that penetrated several layers of security. While details of 9.8 million Optus customers were stolen, authorities are most concerned for more than 10,000 customers whose records were dumped on the dark web. The hacker later withdrew a $1 million ransom demand and apologized, though experts are skeptical.

          Asian stocks have sunk again after German inflation spiked higher, British Prime Minister Liz Truss defended a tax-cut plan that rattled investors and Chinese manufacturing weakened. Shanghai, Tokyo, Hong Kong and Sydney retreated. Oil prices edged lower. Wall Street fell to its lowest level in almost two years after strong U.S. jobs data reinforced expectations the Federal Reserve will stick to plans for more interest rate hikes. Investors worry the global economy will tip into recession following interest rate hikes by central banks to cool inflation that is at multi-decade highs. Global export demand is weakening and Russia’s attack on Ukraine has disrupted oil and gas markets.

            A former vice governor of China’s sprawling Tibet region has been indicted on charges of accepting bribes. The government said Zhang Yongze “took advantage of his former positions and power to seek benefits for others” in obtaining contracts and promotions, while illegally accepting money and valuables in return. Zhang’s case is being handled by prosecutors and courts in another province, as is typical where high-ranking officials and serious charges are involved. Zhang is the latest former leader to be indicted, just weeks before a congress of the Communist Party whose leader Xi Jinping has made fighting corruption a signature issue. Xi is expected to try to break with tradition and award himself a third five-year term as leader.

              Hotels, restaurants and other businesses along Florida's southwest coast face a long rebuilding process after Hurricane Ian. Damage assessments began Thursday. Fort Myers took a direct hit, as did Sanibel, a barrier island dotted with tourist resorts. The damage appears to be lighter in the Orlando area, home to Walt Disney World and other theme parks. Disney says the park is closed while crews assess damage and clear debris. Some airports are already reopening, and two of the biggest, in Orlando and Tampa, plan to resume flights on Friday morning, according to federal officials.

              The House has approved antitrust legislation targeting the dominance of Big Tech companies by giving states greater power in competition cases and increasing money for federal regulators. The bipartisan measure was separated from more ambitious provisions aimed at reining in Meta, Google, Amazon and Apple and cleared by key House and Senate committees. Those proposals have languished for months, giving the companies time for vigorous lobbying campaigns against them. The Biden administration endorsed the more limited bill this week. House conservatives objected to the proposed revenue increase for the antitrust regulators, arguing there's been brazen overreach by the Federal Trade Commission under President Joe Biden.

              Former executives and directors of Pacific Gas & Electric have agreed to pay $117 million to settle a lawsuit over devastating 2017 and 2018 California wildfires sparked by the utility’s equipment. The settlement was announced Thursday by the PG&E Fire Victim Trust, which was established to handle claims filed by more than 80,000 victims of deadly wildfires ignited by PG&E’s rickety electrical grid. The nation's largest utility calls the settlement “another step forward" as it continues working to reduce risk from its electrical system. PG&E has been blamed for more than 30 wildfires since 2017 that wiped out more than 23,000 homes and businesses and killed more than 100 people.

              U.S. health officials have approved a much-debated drug to treat the deadly illness known as Lou Gehrig's disease. The approval Thursday follows an intense lobbying campaign by patients and advocates, though it's also likely to raise questions about the standards used to review experimental medicines. The Food and Drug Administration approved the medication from Amylyx Pharmaceuticals based on results from one small, mid-stage study. The agency's internal scientists repeatedly said the company's results were not convincing. But thousands of patients have urged the FDA to be flexible and grant patients' access. Lou Gehrig’s disease has no cure and most patients die within five years of initial symptoms.

              The Biden administration is proposing a new permitting program for wind energy turbines, power lines and other projects that kill bald and golden eagles. The move comes amid growing concern among scientists that a rapid expansion of renewable energy in the U.S. West that's now underway could harm golden eagle populations now teetering on decline. The Fish and Wildlife Service program announced Thursday is meant to encourage companies to work with officials to minimize the harm to golden and bald eagles. There are about 350,000 bald eagles but only 40,000 golden eagles, which need much larger areas to survive and are more inclined to have trouble with humans.

              The family of a woman who died after she was accidentally served dishwashing liquid as drinking juice at a San Francisco Bay Area care home has sued the facility. The suit filed Thursday concerns the death of 93-year-old Trudy Maxwell. She was one of three people hospitalized after accidentally being served dishwashing liquid instead of drinking juice on Aug. 28 at Atria Park Senior Living Facility in San Mateo. The lawsuit contends the liquid was more toxic than Drano and destroyed her digestive tract. It alleges wrongful death, negligence and elder abuse and neglect. Another resident, 93-year-old Peter Schroder, also died and his family also has sued. Atria says it's working with authorities to review the incident.

              New Mexico is poised to have its first unionized Starbucks store. Rank-and-file staff at an Albuquerque location of the coffee giant voted in favor of unionizing Thursday. The National Labor Relations Board conducted the election at the store at I-40 and Rio Grande Boulevard. The store was the first in New Mexico to take initial steps toward forming a labor union. Workers formally filed a petition for an election in July. A second store in Santa Fe is also looking to unionize. A representative for Starbucks did not immediately respond to a request seeking comment. More than 230 Starbucks branches nationwide have elected to unionize since late last year.

              California’s insurance commissioner has ordered nearly 50 auto insurers to provide detailed information about their claims costs during the pandemic. It's Commissioner Ricardo Lara's latest attempt to compensate consumers he says were overcharged as traffic virtually disappeared after the nation’s largest automobile insurance market imposed the first U.S. coronavirus stay-home order. Lara on Thursday gave the state’s major insurers 30 days to respond. It’s the latest salvo in a dispute over whether Lara’s delay in considering rate hike requests threatens insurance companies’ ability to write policies in California. Insurers say they are now losing money, with inflation and supply chain shortages compounding the cost of increased claims due to worsening driving habits.

              Missouri lawmakers have approved an income tax cut and ditched plans to cut corporate taxes. The Republican-led Missouri House on Thursday voted 98-32 in favor of a bill to cut income taxes from 5.3% to 4.95% beginning next year. The measure now heads to GOP Gov. Mike Parson, who is expected to sign it. Parson had directed lawmakers to cut income taxes during the special session. Parson says he's thrilled by lawmakers' work. The House also on Thursday stripped a last-minute proposal to phase out corporate income taxes.

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              Russia is planning to annex more of Ukraine on Friday. The move represents an escalation of the seven-month war that is expected to isolate the Kremlin further, draw more international punishment and bring extra support to Ukraine. An annexation ceremony is planned in the Kremlin. The annexation would come just days after voters supposedly approved Moscow-managed “referendums” that Ukrainian and Western officials have denounced as illegal, forced and rigged. In an apparent response, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called an emergency meeting Friday of his National Security and Defense Council.

              A decision by regulators in California has cleared the way for New York to move forward on its goal of requiring all new cars and trucks sold in the state to be zero-emission by 2035. New York Gov. Kathy Hochul said Thursday that the state will craft regulations by the end of the year that will require 35% of new vehicle sales to be zero-emission vehicles in 2026, 68% by 2030, and 100% by 2035. Under the Clean Air Act, states can either abide by the U.S. government’s vehicle emissions standards or choose to follow California’s stricter requirements.

              Chloe got almost ready-to-dance at Paris Fashion Week as designer Gabriela Hearst developed disco fever. She cracked open the strobe lighting, 1970s motifs and retro hair for a collection that while not exactly disco, was a very Hearst-for-Chloe version of it. Think pared down minimalist with occasional whooshes of dance floor. Also on Thursday, Shang Xia used razor-sharp silhouettes to continue the brand's exploration of minimalism. The spring collection was delivered in pastel colors and accessorized with chunky platform wedges.  Rick Owens, the indefatigable U.S. designer, brought a softer touch to his display of creature-couture as diaphanous white fur poked out of brace boots and voluminous 3-D sleeves were fashioned in pearly white.

              Demolition of the long-vacant Packard auto plant that for generations has been a symbol of urban blight in Detroit has begun. Crews on Thursday began tearing apart one of the massive structure's crumbling exterior walls and ripping out old bricks and concrete along the upper floors. The work follows up on a plan by Mayor Mike Duggan to start razing parts of the plant complex, which Peruvian developer and owner Fernando Palazuelo failed to do after buying it in 2013. The Packard Automotive Co. built the plant in 1903, but by 1954, it had become obsolete and Packard car production was being done elsewhere.

              A new report finds that U.S. companies added women to their boards of director at a slower pace this year compared with last year as the COVID-19 pandemic and a difficult economy shifts priorities. Women have continued to make gains, now holding a record 28% of board seats on the Russell 3000 index of publicly traded companies. But during the first six months of 2022, the share of new seats going to women declined by 8 percentage points compared to the preceding six months. That's according to an annual report released by the advocacy group 50/50 Women on Boards, using data from executive data firm Equilar.

              A New York City man alleges in a lawsuit that an Atlantic City casino and others paid him $30,000 a month to not report being repeatedly disconnected while gambling online. Sam Antar says he is a compulsive gambler. He says his habit was well-known to defendants including the Borgata casino, MGM Resorts International, and its online partner Entain. He says he gambled more than $29 million over nine months, getting disconnected every 15 minutes or so. His lawsuit accuses the defendants of fraud, racketeering and other transgressions. The companies either declined comment or did not respond to requests to do so.

              A former eBay Inc. executive has been sentenced to almost five years in prison for leading a scheme to terrorize the creators of an online newsletter that included sending live spiders, cockroaches, a funeral wreath and other disturbing deliveries to their home. David Steiner and Ina Steiner were the targets of the harassment campaign. David Steiner told the court Thursday that James Baugh and other eBay employees made their lives “a living hell." Another former eBay executive, David Harville, was sentenced later Thursday to two years behind bars for his role in the scheme.

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