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North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has declared victory over COVID-19 just three months after acknowledging an outbreak, claiming the country’s widely disputed success would be recognized as a global health miracle. State media also said Kim’s sister said her brother at one point suffered a fever himself. Some experts believe North Korea has manipulated disclosures on its outbreak to help Kim maintain absolute control and they believe the victory statement signals his aim to move to other priorities. Kim's sister blamed the outbreak on leaflets flown from from South Korea and warned of deadly retaliation, remarks experts worry may portend a provocation. South Korean and U.S. officials have said North Korea could be preparing for a nuclear test.

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Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has reshuffled his Cabinet in a bid to distance his administration from the conservative Unification Church over its ties to the assassinated leader Shinzo Abe and senior ruling party members. The reshuffle was the second in just 10 months since Kishida took office. He says it's important to gain people’s trust and that the new Cabinet included only those who agreed to strictly review their ties to the church and help the victims of the allegedly fraudulent religious businesses. Abe’s assassination on July 8 and its impact on politics increased uncertainty as public support for Kishida’s Cabinet plunged. Seven ministers were removed including Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi, Abe’s younger brother. The church leader criticized Kishida's purge.

With abortion now or soon to be illegal in over a dozen states and severely restricted in many more, Big Tech companies that collect personal details of their users are facing new calls to limit that tracking and surveillance. One fear is that law enforcement or vigilantes could use data troves from Facebook, Google and other social platforms against people seeking ways to end unwanted pregnancies. History has repeatedly demonstrated that whenever people’s personal data is tracked and stored, there’s always a risk that it could be misused or abused.

The Oregon Court of Appeals has ruled that Gov. Kate Brown was within her authority to grant clemency during the coronavirus pandemic to nearly 1,000 people convicted of crimes. Oregon Public Broadcasting reports the governor’s use of her powers to shorten prison sentences drew condemnation from Linn County District Attorney Doug Marteeny and Lane County District Attorney Patricia Perlow. The attorneys and family members of crime victims sued the governor and other state officials to stop the clemency actions. The majority of the people receiving clemency were either medically at risk during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic or had helped with wildfire fighting efforts during the historic Labor Day fires in 2020.

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A federal judge has ruled that Walgreens can be held responsible for contributing to San Francisco’s opioid crisis for over-dispensing opioids for years without proper oversight and failing to identify and report suspicious orders as required by law. San Francisco City Attorney David Chiu says the pharmacy chain failed to track opioid prescriptions, prevented pharmacists from properly vetting prescriptions and missed red flags about over-prescribing doctors. U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer ruled that for 15 years, Walgreens dispensed hundreds of thousands of pills, eventually contributing to the city's hospitals being overwhelmed with opioid patients. Walgreens said it would appeal the ruling, which it said was not supported by “the facts and the law.”

A Superior Court judge has denied a motion by Delaware’s Department of Health and Social Services to quash a subpoena from the state auditor’s office seeking information regarding eligibility for Medicaid programs. The judge on Wednesday rejected the notion that Auditor Kathleen McGuiness does not have the authority under Delaware law to conduct performance audits of state agencies such as the Division of Medicaid and Medical Assistance. DHSS attorneys had argued that the auditor’s duties were limited to conducting after-the-fact “postaudits” of financial transactions by state agencies. McGuiness says DHSS for the past several years has been unable to demonstrate that it is effectively screening Medicaid applicants for eligibility before approving or denying benefits.

A judge is keeping abortion legal in Wyoming amid a lawsuit that contests a ban on the procedure. State District Judge Melissa Owens wrote Wednesday that the lawsuit is likely to succeed because the ban appears to violate the state constitution and would harm pregnant women and their doctors. Owens previously suspended the ban hours after it took effect July 27. Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon vows to continue defending the law. Those suing to contest the abortion ban include a planned Casper women's health clinic. Clinic founder Julie Burkhart says she's heartened but says the fight to keep abortion legal in Wyoming is far from over.

Green Bay Packers quarterback Jordan Love believes he has something to prove after producing so-so results while backing up reigning MVP Aaron Rodgers last season. The 2020 first-round pick from Utah State has looked more comfortable in training camp as he enters his third season. Love has a chance to show how far he’s come Friday as he starts the Packers’ preseason opener at San Francisco. Rodgers didn’t play at all in the 2021 preseason and won’t play Friday. Packers coach Matt LaFleur hasn’t said yet whether Rodgers will get any preseason snaps.

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Former Miss America Cara Mund says her concern about the erosion of abortion rights prompted her independent bid for the U.S. House in her home state of North Dakota. Mund is running against the odds in the deeply conservative state, but says the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn the constitutional right to abortion was “just a moment where I knew we need more women in office.” The 28-year-old recent Harvard Law School graduate announced her candidacy Saturday. Her run comes as North Dakota’s only abortion clinic in Fargo is preparing to relocate across the border to Minnesota.

There will be 14 students from Historically Black College and University medical schools working for the first time on the staffs of NFL clubs this season. The students are coming from the four HBCU medical schools in the country and will be working with eight different teams. The teams include Atlanta, Cincinnati, the Los Angeles Rams, LA Chargers, New York Giants, San Francisco, Tennessee and Washington. The program aims to diversify staffs across sports medicine. A study shows Black medical students comprise only 7.3% of the total in this country. The NFL has nearly 70% Black players.

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Longtime Wisconsin Secretary of State Doug La Follette has won his Democratic primary, advancing to a general election in which Republicans hope to win back the seat and give it power over elections. In Minnesota, Republican Kim Crockett has advanced to face Democratic Secretary of State Steve Simon. Crockett has called the 2020 election “rigged” and campaigned on rolling back changes that have made it easier to vote. Races for secretary of state this year have drawn tremendous interest and money largely because of unfounded attacks on the 2020 election results.

The Louisiana Department of Health is advising people to stay away from a recent oil spill and not to fish in areas with visible oil slicks or sheens. The statement Wednesday also warns against driving vessels through slicks or sheens. The Coast Guard says nearly 14,000 gallons of oil spilled from a tank on Monday, after an oil tank platform collapsed in Terrebonne Bay. The agency said Tuesday that nobody was hurt and it has not received any reports of affected wildlife. The spill occurred at Hilcorp's Caillou Island facility. The company has not responded to a request for comment made Tuesday through its website. The cause of the collapse is being investigated.

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New standardized test results show reading levels of Indiana’s younger students have improved just slightly but still remain below results from before the pandemic. Data released Wednesday from an Indiana Department of Education reading assessment given to third graders shows nearly one in five students “have not mastered foundational reading skills by the end of third grade.” It’s another indication that students have not quite cleared the hurdles of coronavirus pandemic learning losses, as those across all grade levels struggle to succeed after navigating transitions to online learning and adapting to current teacher shortages.

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A Nebraska woman has been charged with helping her teenage daughter have an abortion. The charges come after investigators obtained Facebook messages in which the mother and daughter discussed using medication to end the approximately 24-week pregnancy. Nebraska law prohibits abortion after 20 weeks. Prosecutors charged 41-year-old Jessica Burgess with helping her then 17-year-old daughter end her pregnancy and then burning and burying the fetus. Madison County Attorney Joseph Smith says he's never had a case involving an illegal abortion in his 32 years as the prosecutor.

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China’s 11 million university graduates are struggling in a bleak job market as repeated shutdowns under China’s “zero-COVID policy” force companies to retrench and drive many restaurants and other small employers out of business. When Liu Qian entered the job market, she said she felt as if her future had been smashed and didn’t know if she could piece it together. The 26-year-old graduate sent out more than 100 job applications and saw two openings she interviewed for eliminated before landing a job. Countless others are still looking. China’s job drought echoes the difficulties of young people worldwide in finding work in depressed economies.

Democratic Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams has COVID-19. Abrams campaign spokesperson Alex Floyd says Abrams tested positive for the respiratory illness Wednesday morning after giving a public speech on the economy Tuesday night in Atlanta. Floyd says Abrams tests daily for COVID-19 and had tested negative on Monday and Tuesday. The Abrams campaign requires visitors to its campaign headquarters to wear masks and take a rapid test for COVID-19. Floyd says Abrams is fully vaccinated and boosted and has mild symptoms. He says Abrams is isolating at home and looks forward to resuming her travel schedule as soon as possible.

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Eviction filings around the country are returning to pre-pandemic levels in many cities and states. The numbers have spiked from Connecticut to Utah, driven in part by rising rental prices and dwindling federal rental assistance. Legal advocates say some landlords are choosing not to take rental assistance, in favor or finding new tenants who will pay higher rents. Advocates are calling for states and cities to enact greater legal protections for tenants and support a federal bill that would make rental assistance permanent. Evictions dropped significantly during the pandemic and started rising after a federal eviction moratorium went away about a year ago.

At its current pace, Medicare’s Hospital Insurance trust fund will run out of money in 2028, according to the latest Medicare trustees report. That’s a two-year extension on the previous estimate, but experts say it’s still not good news, and the government needs to stop twiddling its thumbs. If Medicare exhausts its Part A reserves, hospital insurance spending will be cut by 10% starting as soon as 2029. Shoring up Medicare could mean doing things like shifting some benefits from Part A to Part B, revamping Medicare prescription drug coverage, reducing payments to providers or moving some money over from other parts of the government’s budget.

Hong Kong airline Cathay Pacific Airways says losses in the first half of the year narrowed as a relaxation in quarantine rules boosted passenger numbers. But it cautioned that quarantine restrictions on its crew were limiting the airline’s ability to increase flight capacity. The company reported losses of about $637 million in the first six months, down from $964.5 million in the same period last year. Hong Kong relaxed strict quarantine rules from 14 to seven days in mandatory hotel quarantine earlier this year, and to just three days from Friday. It still remains one of the few places in the world, together with mainland China, to require mandatory quarantine for inbound travelers. The city’s airline is lagging behind competitors like Singapore Airlines.