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    Fearing Russia might cut off natural gas supplies, the head of Germany’s regulatory agency for energy is calling on residents to save energy and to prepare for winter, when use increases. Federal Network Agency President Klaus Mueller urged property owners to have their gas boilers and radiators checked and adjusted to maximize their efficiency. Mueller told the Funke Mediengruppe, a German newspaper and magazine publisher. on Saturday that residents need to use the 12 weeks before cold weather sets in to get ready. He says families should start talking now about “whether every room needs to be set at its usual temperature in the winter, or whether some rooms can be a little colder.”

      Google will automatically purge information about users who visit abortion clinics and other places that could trigger legal problems now that the U.S. Supreme Court has opened the door for states to ban the termination of pregnancies. The company behind the internet’s dominant internet search engine and Android phone software outlined the new privacy protections in a Friday blog post. Other places Google plans to erase from location histories include counseling centers and fertility centers. The move is made as Google and other Big Tech companies face escalating pressure to safeguard the sensitive personal information collected through their products.

        Serbian media say one person has been killed and seven others have been injured in a clash between two groups of migrants stranded in northern Serbia while attempting to cross into European Union nation Hungary. The injured in Saturday's violence have been taken to a local hospital. Serbian media reports say they include a 16-year-old girl who was seriously injured. Thousands of migrants fleeing wars and poverty in Africa, Asia and the Middle East are stranded in the Balkans which is one of the major European routes for those trying to reach Western Europe.

          U.S. officials are testing a new wildfire retardant after two decades of buying millions of gallons annually from one supplier, but watchdogs say the expensive strategy is overly fixated on aerial attacks at the expense of hiring more fire-line digging ground crews. The Forest Service says tests started last summer are continuing this summer with a magnesium-chloride-based retardant from Fortress. Fortress contends its retardants are effective and better for the environment than products offered by Perimeter Solutions. That company says its ammonium-phosphate-based retardants are superior. The Forest Service used more than 50 million gallons of retardant for the first time in 2020 as increasingly destructive wildfires plague the West.

            The Supreme Court's ruling on carbon emission controls on power plants this past week has cast light on the world of federal regulation. The ruling is seen as a potential blow to the fight against global warming, and it may have broader implications, too. Federal regulations run through American life, touching on everything we consume, the air we breathe, the water we drink. Regulation has become the go-to way for presidents to make policy when they can’t get Congress to pass a law, as on climate change. Barack Obama and Donald Trump did it, and so does Joe Biden. But the court’s conservative majority said not so fast to Biden.

              The deadliest smuggling attempt in U.S. history underscores the limitations of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s massive border security operation. Texas is spending $3 billion on a mission that includes National Guard members, jail for suspects arrested on trespassing charges and buses to shuttle migrants to Washington, D.C. But the number of people found illegally crossing the nation’s entire southern border is around its highest in two decades. Abbott has pointed the finger at the Biden administration. This week, Abbott said Texas state troopers would begin additional inspections of tractor-trailers. State authorities haven't said how many trucks are being stopped.

                Airlines worked Saturday to deliver luggage to passengers around the world after a technical breakdown left at least 1,500 bags stuck at Paris’ Charles de Gaulle airport. It was the latest of several tangles hitting travelers this summer. The airport operator said the baggage sorting system had a technical malfunction Friday morning that caused 15 flights to leave without luggage. The airport handled about 1,300 flights overall Friday, the airport operator said. It came as airport workers are on strike at French airports to demand more hiring and higher pay to keep up with inflation.

                China’s top diplomat has arrived on his first visit to Myanmar since the military seized power last year to attend a regional meeting. The government says it's a recognition of its legitimacy while opponents protested it as a violation of peace efforts. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi will join counterparts from Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam in a meeting of the Lancang-Mekong Cooperation group in the central city of Bagan. The grouping is a Chinese-led initiative that includes the countries of the Mekong Delta, a potential source of regional tensions due to an increasing number of hydroelectric projects that are altering the flow and raising concerns of ecological damage. China has built 10 dams along the upper stretch of the Mekong.

                Medication abortions were the preferred method for ending pregnancy in the U.S. even before the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. As more states seek abortion limits, demand is expected to grow. They involve using two prescription medicines days apart _ pills that can be taken at home or in a clinic. The drug mifepristone is taken first. It blocks the effects of the hormone progesterone, which is needed to sustain a pregnancy. Misoprostol is taken 24 to 48 hours later. It cause the womb to contract, expelling the pregnancy. Use of the pills has been increasing in recent years.

                Tourism is booming again in France, and so is COVID-19. French government officials have “invited” or “recommended” people to go back to using face masks but stopped short of renewing restrictions that would scare visitors away or revive protests. From Paris commuters to tourists on the French Riviera, many people seem to welcome the government’s light touch, while some worry that required prevention measures may be needed. Infections are rising across Europe and the United States, but government data shows France had nearly 1,000 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 per day over the past two weeks. Local officials are contemplating new measures, including indoor mask mandates, but nothing that would potentially curb economic activity.

                Pope Francis is urging the people and leaders of Congo and South Sudan to “turn a page” and forge new paths of reconciliation, peace and development. Francis issued a video message on the day he had planned to begin a weeklong pilgrimage to the two African countries. He canceled the trip last month because of knee pain that makes walking and standing difficult. In the message delivered Saturday, Francis said he was “greatly disappointed” by the turn of events and promised to reschedule “as soon as possible.” He sent his No. 2, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, to visit both Congo and South Sudan on the days the pope was supposed to have been there.

                Australia’s new government is putting climate change at the top of its legislative agenda when Parliament sits next month for the first time since the May 21 election, with bills to enshrine a cut in greenhouse gas emissions and make electric cars cheaper. Minister for Climate Change and Energy Chris Bowen told the National Press Club on Wednesday a bill will be introduced to commit Australia to reducing its emissions by 43% below 2005 levels by 2030 when Parliament sits on July 26. Another bill would abolish import tariffs and taxes for electric vehicles that are cheaper than a luxury car threshold. Bowen says legislating the 43% target would create greater confidence.

                Abortion, guns and religion _ a major change in the law in any one of these areas would have made for a fateful Supreme Court term. In its first full term together, the court’s conservative majority ruled in all three and issued other significant decisions limiting the government’s regulatory powers. And it has signaled no plans to slow down. With three appointees of former President Donald Trump in their 50s, the six-justice conservative majority seems poised to keep control of the court for years to come, if not decades. Its remaining opinions issued, the court began its summer recess Thursday, and the justices will next return to the courtroom in October.

                The Texas Supreme Court has blocked a lower court order that had given some abortion clinics confidence to resume performing abortions. The order handed down Friday night by the state’s highest court comes just days after some abortion providers rushed to resume services. An lower court order issued this week by a Houston judge had reassured some doctors they could temporarily resume abortions up to six weeks into pregnancy. Before that, doctors across Texas had stopped performing abortions in the state after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade and ended the constitutional right to abortion.


                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.

                County election officials wrapped up a two-day statewide recount of ballots in the Nevada GOP primary for governor on Friday and the outcome did not appear to change, showing second-place finisher Joey Gilbert losing to Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo in a crowded field. Gilbert has said he did not expect the results to change much but sought the recount to challenge the results of the election in court. He paid $190,960 for the recount, which took clerks in all 17 counties two days to perform. The state's two largest counties, Clark and Washoe, confirmed that Lombardo had beaten Gilbert.

                California Gov. Gavin Newsom has pardoned a former inmate who received a life sentence when she was a teenager for killing her former pimp. It’s the final step in an official redemption that has spanned more than a decade and three governors of both political parties. Hers was among nearly three dozen such pardons and clemencies Friday that also affected younger and older offenders. Sara Kruzan was 16 when she killed George Gilbert Howard in a Riverside motel room. Kruzan eventually earned support from state lawmakers and reform groups seeking to soften harsh life sentences for those who committed their crimes as juveniles.

                The North Carolina General Assembly has wrapped up its chief work session for the year. It adjourned on Friday after finalizing proposed state budget adjustments for the new fiscal year and crossing off other must-do legislation. The budget bill headed to Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper, who must decide whether to sign it, veto it or let it become law. More than 30 Democrats joined all Republicans on Friday in voting for the spending measure. Some big policy matters like Medicaid expansion, medical marijuana and sports betting remain unresolved or were thwarted during the six-week session. The legislature could consider any Cooper vetoes in a few weeks.

                The Biden administration is proposing up to 10 oil and gas lease sales in the Gulf of Mexico and one in Alaska over the next five years. Friday’s announcement goes against the Democratic administration’s promises to end new drilling on public lands and waters. But it scales back a Trump-era plan that called for dozens of offshore sales, including in undeveloped areas. Interior Department officials said fewer lease sales — or even no lease sales — could occur. A final decision is months away. Interior had suspended oil and gas lease sales in 2021 because of climate concerns but was forced to resume them by a federal judge in Louisiana.

                The elected county recorder and the elections director in Arizona's Yavapai County are resigning after more than a year and a half of threats and heated criticism from backers of former President Donald Trump. Republican County Recorder Leslie Hoffman said Friday that she is fed up with the “nastiness” and has accepted a job outside the county. She says longtime the county's elections director is leaving for the same reason. She said she tired of the unfounded criticism of her and her department who have been recognized for years for running safe and secure elections. She said she's tired of the “nastiness."

                Renewed efforts are underway to publicly investigate and possibly discipline two New Mexico attorneys that represented the Donald Trump campaign and helped challenge local results of the 2020 presidential election in the weeks prior to the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. A group of attorneys including former Albuquerque Mayor Martin Chavez on Thursday asked the state Supreme Court to intervene and ensure an investigation in public view into possible violations of professional standards. The state’s chief disciplinary counsel has twice declined requests for a public investigation. Now-President Joe Biden won the 2020 vote in New Mexico by about 11 percentage points.

                Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey says a former Republican state senator and candidate for Congress has been charged after allegedly stealing a gun from an elderly constituent and misleading investigators about what happened. Authorities said Friday that 46-year-old Dean Tran used his position as a public official to intimidate the constituent into parting with her late husband’s firearms while visiting her in June 2019. Investigators say he later returned the firearms, but allegedly came back again and stole a hand gun. Tran issued a statement calling the allegations “untrue and categorically false.”

                New York’s legislature has approved a sweeping overhaul of the state’s handgun licensing rules, seeking to preserve some limits after the Supreme Court said people have a right to carry a handgun for personal protection. Gov. Kathy Hochul signed the measure into law after it passed both chambers by wide margins. The law is almost sure to draw more legal challenges from gun-rights advocates who said the state is still putting too many restrictions on who can get a gun and where they can carry it. Backers said the new law will strike the right balance between complying with the Supreme Court’s ruling and trying to ensure that weapons stay out of the hands of criminals.

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