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    Prime Minister Narendra Modi has launched 5G services in India, calling it a “step towards the new era.” The government says the launch in select cities will cover the entire country over the next couple of years. Bharti Airtel is rolling out its 5G services in eight cities on Saturday and has set March 2024 as the deadline for countrywide coverage for as many as 5,000 towns. Reliance Jio telecom company plans to start from four metropolitan areas in October and hopes to reach most cities and towns in 18 months. Research agency OMDIA projects that with 369 million 5G subscriptions _ over half the total global 5G subscriptions currently _ India will be just behind China and the U.S. in world rankings by 2026.

      A revived Hurricane Ian has pounded coastal South Carolina after causing catastrophic damage in Florida. The storm washed away parts of piers and flooded streets in parts of South Carolina. The U.S. death toll from Hurricane Ian rose to at least 27 as Florida authorities confirmed several drowning deaths and other fatalities. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement said Friday that the deaths included a 22-year-old woman ejected in an ATV rollover because of a road washout. Many other deaths were drownings, including that of a 68-year-old woman swept into the ocean by a wave. Authorities expect the death toll to rise further.

        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.

            North Korea has fired two short-range ballistic missiles Saturday, prompting quick, strong condemnation from its rivals. It's the North's fourth round of weapons launches this week and seen as a response to nearby military drills by the U.S. and its allies. Japan, South Korea and the United States each said they detected the two North Korean missile launches. The weapons’ reported low and “irregular” trajectory suggests they were likely nuclear-capable, highly maneuverable missiles. Observers say the missiles are being developed to defeat missile defenses and strike key targets in South Korea, including U.S. military bases there. North Korea has carried out a record number of missile tests this year.

              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.

                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.

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                When then-Gov. Paul LePage endorsed Donald Trump for president in 2016, LePage credited himself as a prototype for the insurgent candidate. Now, with LePage running for a third term after a brief retirement to Florida, he rarely talks about Trump in campaign events and media interviews, and LePage's advisers say his hiatus from politics changed him. LePage's efforts at distancing himself from Trump are particularly notable because LePage once invited comparisons to Trump president — and made them himself. LePage is seeking to unseat Democratic Gov. Janet Mills in November and become the longest-serving governor in Maine's history.

                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.

                An Arizona judge has refused to suspend her order that allowed enforcement of a pre-statehood law making it a crime to provide an abortion. Friday's ruling from Pima County Superior Court Judge Kellie Johnson means the state’s abortion providers will not be able to restart procedures. Abortions were halted on Sept. 23 when Johnson ruled that a 1973 injunction must be lifted so that the Civil War-era law could be enforced. Republican Attorney General Mark Brnovich sought the order lifting the injunction. Planned Parenthood argued newer laws take precedence. They asked Johnson to put her ruling on hold to allow an appeal.

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