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    The mayor of a southwestern Louisiana city and parish is back after a 21-day stint from an in-person rehab program where he was getting treatment for alcohol addiction and post traumatic stress disorder. The Lafayette City Council and Parish Council were notified Friday morning via email from City-Parish Attorney Greg Logan that Mayor-President Josh Guillory was back in town. The Advocate reports Friday’s announcement comes 18 days after the initial statement about his plan to seek treatment was issued. Guillory's deputy chief of staff, Jamie Angelle, said Guillory is to return to office on Monday. Angelle said he plans to address the public during a news conference next week.

      Poland’s environment minister says laboratory tests following a mass fish die-off have detected high salinity levels but no mercury in the Oder River. That means the mystery is continuing as to what killed tons of fish in Central Europe. The minister said analyses of river samples taken in both Poland and Germany revealed the elevated salt levels. She says comprehensive toxicology studies are still underway in Poland. The Oder River runs from Czechia and along the border between Poland and Germany before flowing into the Baltic Sea. Poland's prime minister vowed Saturday to do everything possible to limit the environmental devastation. A reward has been offered for information about those responsible.

        Federal regulators who want to enforce new vessel speed rules to help protect rare whales can expect some pushback from ship operators. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced the new proposed rules last month. They are designed to protect the last remaining North Atlantic right whales. The rules would expand seasonal slow zones off the East Coast, and require more vessels to comply. The agency is holding a series of informational meetings on the new rules, including one scheduled for Aug. 16. Some shipping and maritime groups said they are concerned that the rules could make their jobs more difficult or less safe.

          The candidates running in Saturday’s primary election to succeed term-limited Democratic Gov. David Ige include a former first lady, a retired mixed martial arts champion and a congressman who moonlights as a Hawaiian Airlines pilot. Democratic U.S. Rep. Kaiali‘i Kahele’s decision to run for governor has opened up his congressional seat representing rural Oahu and the Neighbor Islands. In the U.S. Senate, incumbent Democratic Sen. Brian Schatz is also up for reelection and is facing a primary challenge from a little-known candidate. Hawaii is a vote-by-mail state so voters have been mailing their ballots and placing them in drop boxes across the islands since late last month.

            What takes years to make and costs more than $20,000? A trash can in San Francisco. The pricey, boxy bin is one of three custom-made trash cans the city is testing this summer as part of its yearslong search for another tool to use against its dirty streets. San Francisco began its search for the perfect trash can in 2018 when officials decided it was time to replace the more than 3,000 round public bins that have been on the streets for nearly 20 years. What trash can the city gets will depend in part on the feedback from residents. The city promises the new bins will be in place by the end of 2023 and will cost a maximum of $3,000 each.

              The North Carolina Highway Patrol says a Department of Transportation worker was killed when a vehicle struck her as she directed traffic around a fallen tree. A motorist was later arrested and charged with fleeing the scene. The patrol says 60-year-old Anna Bradshaw worked in DOT's Wilson County maintenance office. A trooper says she was holding a sign Friday morning along U.S. Highway 264 Alternate when she was struck by a passenger car, but the driver ultimately left. The patrol says Jamari Marquis Powell of Bailey was taken into custody late Friday and charged with felony hit and run.

                There's no dispute that Louisiana needs to replace its voting machines. They're outdated, having been deployed in 2006, the year after Hurricane Katrina struck. And they don’t produce paper ballots that are critical to ensuring election results are accurate. What to do about them is another story. The long-running drama includes allegations of bid-rigging, voting machine companies claiming favoritism and a secretary of state who's noncommittal about having a new system in place for the 2024 presidential election. Local election clerks also worry about the influence of conspiracy theorists who've peddled unfounded claims about voting equipment and who've been welcomed into the debate over replacing the machines.

                Montenegro has declared three days of national mourning after 10 people, including two children, were killed in an attack by a 34-year-old gunman in the western city of Cetinje. The gunman used a hunting rifle Friday to first kill two children and their mother who were tenants in his house. Then he walked into the street and randomly shot 13 more people, 7 of them fatally. Police said Saturday the shooter’s motives were still being investigated, but that he had recently exhibited “a change in behavior.” Law enforcement officers sent to the scene engaged in a gun battle with the attacker, and he later died, but the circumstances of the attacker’s killing were still being investigated.

                A Chinese research ship will be allowed to dock in a Sri Lankan port after a days-long delay apparently because of concerns raised by India. The Yuan Wang 5 had been scheduled to dock last Thursday in Sri Lanka's southern Hambantota port. The ministry said the ship will now arrive Tuesday and anchor there until Aug. 22 after China's reapplication for clearance was approved. Sri Lanka did not give any specific reason for its earlier request to China to postpone the ship’s arrival, but India’s security concerns over the presence of the ship close to its southern borders are a likely reason.

                Sen. Kyrsten Sinema received a $1 million surge of campaign cash over the past year from private equity professionals, hedge fund managers and venture capitalists whose interests she has staunchly defended in Congress. That's according to an Associated Press review of campaign finance disclosures. The revelation comes after the Arizona Democrat single-handedly thwarted her party's long-standing goal of raising taxes on such investors. Sinema says the contributions did not influence her thinking on the matter. But many in her party see Sinema's defense of the favorable tax treatment received by such investors as indefensible.

                NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee lawmakers have been smack dab in the middle of the national hoopla about bans limiting what can be discussed about race and gender in public schools. Legislators outlined those boundaries in a bill passed in 2021.

                The leader of Italy's Democratic Party is warning of the threats to European democracy posed by Italy's right-wing nationalistic parties. Party leader Enrico Letta released the video warning in multiple languages Saturday. He says that his party would keep Italy at the center of the European Union if it comes in first in Italy's early parliamentary election next month.  The video comes days after the leader of the far-right Brothers of Italy party, Giorgia Meloni, did a multilingual video of her own to dispute suggestions that her election as premier would endanger democracy in Italy. Those are the two leading parties in opinion polls going into Italy's Sept. 25 parliamentary election.

                Early, in-person voting is starting in New York’s congressional party primaries. This will set the final field for a slew of competitive contests in the general election this autumn, and an early test of where the Democratic and Republican parties are headed. Voters in two parts of the state are also picking new members of Congress in special elections to replace U.S. House members who resigned. A limited number of polling places will be open for early voting starting Saturday and through Aug. 21. The final day of the primary is Aug. 23.

                Thousands of U.K. train drivers have walked off the job in a 24-hour strike over jobs, pay and conditions, scuppering services across much of the country. The walkout is the latest in a spreading series of strikes by British workers seeking substantial raises to offset soaring prices for food and fuel. Weekend workers, soccer fans heading for games and families heading for the seaside are among those having to change their plans on Saturday. Railway staff held a series of one-day strikes in June and July and plan more walkouts next week. Postal workers, lawyers, British Telecom staff, dock workers and garbage collectors have all announced walkouts for later this month.

                Italy’s worst drought in decades has reduced the country’s largest lake to near its lowest level ever recorded. Tourists flocking to Lake Garda on Friday for the start of a long weekend found a vastly different landscape than in past years. An expansive stretch of bleached rock extended far from the normal shoreline. Northern Italy hasn’t seen significant rainfall for months, and snowfall this year was down 70%. With rivers that farmers use to irrigate crops drying up, authorities allowed more water from Lake Garda to flow out to local waterways. The lake’s temperature, meanwhile, has been above average for August and on Friday approached the average for the Caribbean Sea.


                Content by Brand Ave. Studios. The annual Amazon Prime Day is coming July 12 and 13, and per usual will offer discounts on many of your favorite things.

                Content by Brand Ave. Studios. The annual Amazon Prime Day is coming July 12 and 13, and per usual will offer discounts on many of your favorite things.

                Ukraine’s health minister has accused Russian authorities of committing a crime against humanity by blocking access to affordable medicines in areas its forces have occupied since invading the country 5 1/2 months ago. In an interview with The Associated Press, Ukrainian Health Minister Viktor Liashko said Russian authorities repeatedly have blocked efforts to provide state-subsidized drugs to people in occupied cities, towns and villages. The World Health Organization says it recorded 445 attacks on Ukrainian hospitals and other health care facilities as of Aug. 11 that directly resulted in 86 deaths and 105 injuries. But Liashko said the much higher number of casualties caused by damaged roads and bridges delaying ambulances “cannot be calculated.”

                The Chinese air force is sending fighter jets and bombers to Thailand for a joint exercise with the Thai military on Sunday. The Chinese Defense Ministry said the training will include air support, strikes on ground targets and small- and large-scale troop deployment. China’s expanding military activities in the Asia-Pacific region have alarmed the United States and its allies and form part of a growing strategic and economic competition that has inflamed tensions between the world’s two largest economies. U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin visited Thailand in June as part of an effort to strengthen what he called America’s “unparalleled network of alliances and partnerships” in the region.

                The flagship climate change and health care bill passed by Democrats and soon to be signed by President Joe Biden will bring U.S. taxpayers one step closer to a government-operated electronic free-file tax return system. It’s something lawmakers and advocates have been seeking for years. For many Americans, it’s frustrating that beyond having to pay sometimes hefty tax bills, they also have to shell out additional money for tax preparation programs or preparers because of an increasingly complex U.S. tax system. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen says, “It’s definitely something we should do, and when the IRS is adequately resourced, it’s something that will happen."

                Republican Roy Moore of Alabama has won a defamation lawsuit against a Democratic-aligned super PAC over campaign ads dating to his failed 2017 Senate bid. A jury awarded Roy Moore $8.2 million in damages Friday after finding a Democratic-aligned super PAC made false and defamatory statements with a TV ad during the U.S. Senate race in Alabama. Moore called the ruling a vindication. The Senate Majority PAC argued the ad was substantially true and planned to appeal. Moore is a former judge known for backing public display of the Ten Commandments and hardline stances against same-sex marriage. Misconduct allegations against Moore rocked his 2017 race, which was won by a Democrat.

                Court papers show that the FBI recovered documents  labeled “top secret” from former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida. The papers released Friday indicate the seized records include some that were marked top secret and also “sensitive compartmented information,” a special category meant to protect the nation’s most important secrets and those that if revealed publicly could cause “exceptionally grave” harm to U.S. interests. The court records did not provide specific details about what information the documents might contain. Trump backed the warrant’s “immediate” release, but contended the government could have had them any time by asking.

                Pennsylvania Senate candidate John Fetterman is acknowledging he is lucky to be alive as he officially returns to the campaign trail. He's been sidelined for more than 90 days after suffering a stroke that threatened the Democrat's life and political strength in one of the nation’s premier Senate contests. Fetterman spoke Friday for nearly 11 minutes, haltingly at times, as he addressed several hundred voters packed inside an Erie convention center. The 52-year-old lieutenant governor says: “Tonight for me, it’s about being grateful — just grateful. Three months ago my life could have ended.” Republican opponent Dr. Mehmet Oz has railed against Fetterman's prolonged absence throughout the summer.

                The Idaho Supreme Court says Idaho’s strict abortion bans will be allowed to take effect while legal challenges play out in court. The state's highest court made the ruling late Friday afternoon. A doctor and a regional Planned Parenthood affiliate sued the state earlier this year over three anti-abortion laws, all of which were designed to take effect this year now that the U.S. Supreme Court has overturned Roe v. Wade. Under the new ruling, a near-total criminalizing all abortions takes effect Aug. 25. The law says anyone performing or assisting with an abortion may be charged with a felony, but physicians can attempt to defend themselves by saying the procedure was necessary to save a life.

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