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Tropical Storm Ian strengthens as it heads to Cuba, Florida

Authorities and residents in Florida are keeping a cautious eye on Tropical Storm Ian as it rumbles through the Caribbean. The National Hurricane Center said Sunday it expects Ian to rapidly strengthen and become a major hurricane by Monday as it passes over Cuba. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has declared a statewide emergency, expanding an order from Friday that had covered two dozen counties. He is urging Floridians to prepare for a storm that could lash large swaths of the state. Some residents have begun stocking up on supplies such as water, plywood and generators. President Joe Biden has also declared an emergency for the state.

'Eco-warrior' and Earth First! co-founder Dave Foreman dies

Dave Foreman, a self-proclaimed eco-warrior who was a prominent member of the radical environmentalism movement and a co-founder of Earth First!, has died. He was 74. The New Mexico-based Rewilding Institute, which Foreman founded as a think tank to develop long-term conservation plans, said on its website that he died peacefully at his home in Albuquerque on Monday. A cause of death wasn’t released, but friends said Foreman had battled a lung illness for months. Foreman helped launch Earth First!, a movement that uses a direct-action approach to draw “attention to the crises facing the natural world,” according to the movement’s website. He also helped launch the “rewilding” movement, which seeks to protect huge expanses of nature for wildlife.

3 wounded in shooting at amusement park near Pittsburgh

Three people, including two teenagers, were wounded by gunfire late Saturday at an amusement park southeast of Pittsburgh, which was kicking off a Halloween-themed festival. Allegheny County police said a 39-year-old man and two 15-year-old boys sustained leg wounds in the gunfire shortly before 11 p.m. Saturday at Kennywood Park in West Mifflin. The man was treated and released and the two youths are listed as stable. Authorities say an argument between two groups of teenagers prompted the shooting by a suspect described as a male wearing a mask and black hoodie. Kennywood was celebrating the first night of its Phantom Fall Fest, scheduled to run through Oct. 16.

After rocky start, hopes up in Oregon drug decriminalization

Since Oregon residents voted in 2020 to decriminalize hard drugs and dedicate hundreds of millions of dollars to treatment, few people have requested the services and the state has been slow to channel the funds. Oregon still has among the highest addiction rates in the country. Fatal overdoses have increased almost 20% over the previous year, with over a thousand dead. Steve Allen, behavioral health director of the Oregon Health Authority, acknowledges that Oregon’s experiment has had a rocky start. But he says a milestone has been reached, with more than $302 million being sent to facilities across the state to help people get off drugs.

'Don't Worry Darling' shrugs off drama, opening with $19.2M

After off-screen drama threatened to consume Olivia Wilde’s “Don’t Worry Darling,” the Warner Bros. release opened No. 1 at the box office. The film debuted with $19.2 million in ticket sales, according to studio estimates Sunday. For an original film that cost $35 million to make, a $19.2 million launch was solid — and slightly more than the studio had forecast. A large number of moviegoers turned up to see what all the fuss was about. Last week’s top film, Gina Prince-Bythewood’s African epic “The Woman King,” starring Viola Davis, slid to second place with $11.1 million. The rerelease of James Cameron’s “Avatar” grossed $10 million domestically, 13 years after its initial run in theaters.

Texas vow to 'eliminate all rapists' rings hollow at clinics

Rape crisis centers in Texas say their caseloads remain high a year after a new abortion law that made no exceptions for rape victims went into effect. Republican Gov. Greg Abbott defended the law in September 2021 by saying that Texas would get to work eliminating rapes. But the constant caseloads in Texas are one example illustrating how Republicans have struggled to defend zero-exception abortion bans that are unpopular in public polling and caused uproar in high-profile cases. The absence of exceptions has caused divisions among Republicans, including in West Virginia, where a new law signed this month allows rape and incest victims to obtain abortions at up to eight weeks of pregnancy but only if they report to law enforcement first.

Family of Palestinian slain by Israel denies he was attacker

Relatives have pushed back against Israeli claims that a Palestinian teacher intentionally rammed an Israeli police car before he was shot dead by security forces. The family of the 36-year-old man said Sunday that he had no possible reason to carry out an attack. Relatives noted that he was a father of three and had just opened a new business. They believe he accidentally crashed into a police car Saturday before troops opened fire. The army has said soldiers spotted a car attempting to ram them and then shot the man. The army still holds his body.

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