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Alaskans Pocket Over $3,000 in Annual Oil-Wealth Payments

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By MARK THIESSEN, Associated Press

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Nearly each single Alaskan received a monetary windfall amounting to greater than $3,000 Tuesday, the day the state started distributing funds from Alaska’s funding fund that has been seeded with money from the state’s oil riches.

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The funds, formally referred to as the Permanent Fund Dividend or the PFD regionally, amounted to $2,622 — the best quantity ever. Alaska lawmakers added $662 as a one-time profit to assist residents with excessive vitality prices.

Direct deposits started hitting financial institution accounts Tuesday, and checks will arrive later for individuals who opted for them.

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Residents use the money in numerous methods, from shopping for big-screen TVs, autos or different items, utilizing it for holidays or placing it in financial savings or faculty funds. In rural Alaska, the money can assist offset the large prices of gas and meals, like $14 for a 12-pack of soda, $4 for a celery bunch and $3 for a small container of Greek yogurt.

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“We’re experiencing file excessive inflation that we haven’t seen because the first PFD was paid in 1982,” Gov. Mike Dunleavy mentioned in a video. “Alaskans have been bearing the brunt of this inflation from the gasoline pump to the grocery retailer, and this 12 months’s PFD will present a lot wanted aid as we head into winter.”

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The timing of the checks couldn’t have come at a greater time for these residing on the state’s huge western coast, which was devastated final weekend by the remnants of Typhoon Merbok. Damage to houses and infrastructure was widespread alongside a 1,000 miles (1,609 kilometers) of shoreline.

Among the communities experiencing the best injury was Nome, the biggest metropolis on the coast with about 3,500 residents and recognized for being the top level of the world’s most well-known sled canine race.

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Howard Farley, now 90, helped safe Nome because the Iditarod’s end line over 50 years in the past. His century-old house was secure from the storm on excessive floor in Nome, however they did lose about 100 toes (30.48 meters) of frontage and one constructing on the household’s camp web site about 5 miles (8 kilometers) east of city.

“The seaside is rather a lot nearer,” he mentioned.

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He mentioned the funds — which might be greater than $16,00 for a household of 5 — are a lot wanted.

“Even those that didn’t have injury, with the inflation up right here, that’s actually, actually hitting laborious,” he mentioned.

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“The worth gained’t go down prefer it does in Anchorage and different locations since you guys can get deliveries nearly any time,” he mentioned.

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“What it can imply for lots of households is that they’ll break even with the excessive prices we’re paying,” he mentioned.

The oil-wealth verify, which some in Alaska see as an entitlement, usually is derived from the earnings of the nest-egg funding account. The diversified fund was established throughout building of the trans-Alaska pipeline in the Nineteen Seventies and now’s value $73.6 billion.

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There is a yearly software course of and residency necessities to qualify for a dividend. Dividends historically have been paid utilizing earnings from the Alaska Permanent Fund. Lawmakers in 2018 started utilizing fund earnings to additionally assist pay for presidency and sought to restrict how a lot will be withdrawn from earnings for each functions. The quantity going to the dividend this 12 months represents half the approved draw.

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Residents obtained the primary verify, $1,000, in 1982. Amounts have assorted over time, and historically had been calculated on a five-year rolling common to buffer downturns in the financial system.

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The smallest verify ever was $331 in 1983. The largest earlier than this 12 months’s verify was $2,072 in 2015. If somebody has collected each verify since 1982, it might quantity to $47,049.

Mildred Jonathan, 74, and her husband, Alfred, 79, reside about 100 miles (161 kilometers) west of the Canadian border in the inside Alaska village of Tanacross.

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There will likely be no frivolous spending after they obtain their paper verify in October. Instead, the Jonathans’ main buy will likely be firewood.

“The wooden I’m hoping to get is $1,600, and it’s a 10-cord load,” she mentioned. “I’ll survive the winter if I purchase that.”

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Snow was already falling on close by mountains, and temperatures in the Athabascan village throughout the winter are usually nicely under zero. “It’s chilly, chilly, chilly,” she mentioned.

Any money the couple have left over will go to a brand new scorching water system, flooring for his or her house and Christmas presents for his or her grandchildren, who need new telephones.

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Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This materials is probably not printed, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Nation & World US News

Sydney Beats 1950 Rainfall Record With 3 Wet Months to Spare

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SYDNEY (AP) — Australia’s largest metropolis, Sydney, has been soaked by its wettest 12 months on report with virtually three months of anticipated above-average rain to spare.

The metropolis of 5 million folks beat its 1950 report of two,194 millimeters (86.4 inches) at 12:30 p.m. on Thursday when 27.2 mm (1.07 in) of rain had fallen on the Observatory Hill rain gauge since morning, Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology stated. Records at Observatory Hill return to 1859.

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Heavy rain is forecast to proceed throughout Sydney and different components of southeast Australia, peaking on Saturday.

The Bureau of Meteorology final month declared {that a} La Niña climate sample, which is related to above-average rainfall in jap Australia, was underway within the Pacific.

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La Niña is the cooler flip aspect of the better-known drying El Niño sample. La Niña happens when equatorial commerce winds grow to be stronger, altering ocean floor currents and drawing up cooler deep water.

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It is the third La Niña since 2019 grew to become Australia’s hottest and driest 12 months on report.

That 12 months got here to a catastrophic conclusion with wildfires fueled by drought that instantly or not directly killed greater than 400 folks, destroyed greater than 3,000 houses and razed 19 million hectares (47 million acres) of woods, farmland and metropolis fringes.

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Sydney had its wettest July on report this 12 months after solely two weeks, passing the 1950 report of 336.1 mm (13.2 in) on the best way to a complete of 404 mm (15.9 in).

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March broke a 1942 report of 521.4 mm (20.5 in) when 554 mm (21.8 in) of rain fell.

The ongoing deluge will see rivers in New South Wales state swollen by moderate-to-major flooding, affecting cities together with Tamworth, Dubbo and Bathurst, authorities stated.

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Closing Arguments Set in Alex Jones’ Sandy Hook Trial

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By DAVE COLLINS and PAT EATON-ROBB, Associated Press

WATERBURY, Conn. (AP) — A Connecticut jury is predicted to listen to closing arguments Thursday in a trial to find out how a lot Infowars host Alex Jones ought to pay for persuading his viewers that the 2012 taking pictures at Sandy Hook Elementary School was a hoax perpetrated to impose extra gun management legal guidelines.

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The six-person jury might start deliberations by the day’s finish in the lawsuit, one in all a number of filed towards the conspiracy theorist by family of the 26 folks killed in the mass taking pictures.

Since the trial started Sept. 13, all 15 plaintiffs in the Connecticut lawsuit have testified about being tormented for a decade by individuals who believed Jones’ claims that the taking pictures by no means occurred, and that the dad and mom of the 20 slain kids had been “disaster actors.”

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The plaintiffs mentioned they’ve acquired demise and rape threats, mail from conspiracy theorists that included pictures of useless kids, and had in-person confrontations with hoax believers. They sued Jones for defamation, intentional infliction of emotional misery and violating Connecticut’s unfair commerce practices regulation by profiting off the hoax lies.

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The folks suing Jones and his firm, Free Speech System, in the Connecticut case embrace the family of eight bloodbath victims, in addition to an FBI agent who responded to the college.

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Mark Barden, whose son Daniel was among the many 26 victims, advised the jury conspiracy theorists threatened to dig up the boy’s grave to show the taking pictures by no means occurred.

“This is so sacrosanct and hallowed a spot for my household and to listen to that folks had been desecrating it and urinating on it and threatening to dig it up, I don’t know tips on how to articulate to you what that appears like,” Barden advised the jury. “But that’s the place we’re.”

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Jones, whose present and Infowars model relies in Austin, Texas, was discovered responsible for defaming the plaintiffs final yr. In an uncommon ruling, Judge Barbara Bellis discovered Jones had forfeited his proper to a trial as a consequence of repeated violations of courtroom orders and failures to show over paperwork to the plaintiffs’ attorneys.

Jones took the stand for a contentious day of testimony, saying he was “achieved saying I’m sorry” for calling the college taking pictures a hoax.

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Outside the courthouse and on his net present, he has repeatedly bashed the trial as a “kangaroo courtroom” and an effort to place him out of business. He has cited free speech rights, however he and his lawyer weren’t allowed to make that argument in the course of the trial as a result of he already had been discovered liable.

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Jones’ lawyer, Norm Pattis, has been attempting to restrict any damages awarded to the victims’ households and claimed the family had been exaggerating their claims of being harmed.

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In the same trial in Texas in August, a jury ordered Jones to pay almost $50 million in damages to the dad and mom of one of many kids killed in the taking pictures, due to the hoax lies. A 3rd such trial, additionally in Texas, involving two different dad and mom is predicted to start close to the top of the yr.

Jones has mentioned he expects the circumstances to be tied up in appeals for the following two years and has requested his viewers to assist him increase $500,000 to pay for his legal bills. Free Speech Systems, in the meantime, is looking for chapter safety.

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Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This materials might not be revealed, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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At Least 66 US Clinics Have Halted Abortions, Institute Says

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At least 66 clinics in 15 states have stopped offering abortions for the reason that U.S. Supreme Court overturned (*66*) v. Wade, in keeping with an evaluation launched Thursday.

The variety of clinics offering abortions within the 15 states dropped from 79 earlier than the June 24 choice to 13 as of Oct. 2, in keeping with the Guttmacher Institute, a analysis group that helps abortion rights.

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All 13 of the remaining clinics are in Georgia. The different states haven’t any suppliers providing abortions, although a few of their clinics are providing care apart from abortions.

Nationally, there have been greater than 800 abortion clinics in 2020, the institute mentioned.

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“Much extra analysis will must be carried out to know the complete extent of the chaos, confusion and hurt that the U.S. Supreme Court has unleashed on folks needing abortions, however the image that’s beginning to emerge ought to alarm anybody who helps reproductive freedom and the suitable to bodily autonomy,” mentioned Rachel Jones, a Guttmacher researcher.

The new report doesn’t embrace knowledge on hospitals and doctor places of work that offered abortion and stopped them after the courtroom ruling, however Jones famous that clinics present most U.S. abortions, together with procedures and shelling out abortion treatment. Recent Guttmacher knowledge present simply over half of U.S. abortions are accomplished with treatment.

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Dr. Jeanne Corwin, who offers abortions in Indiana and Ohio, mentioned clinic closures “will lead to immeasurable hurt to ladies’s bodily well being, psychological well being and monetary well being.’’

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In a number of states, entry is below risk as a result of bans had been placed on maintain solely quickly by courtroom injunctions. These embrace Indiana, Ohio and South Carolina, the evaluation discovered.

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“It is precarious from a medical standpoint and positively from a business standpoint,’’ mentioned Dr. Katie McHugh, an OB-GYN who offers abortions in Indiana. “It’s troublesome to maintain the doorways open and the lights on if you don’t know for those who’re going to be a felon tomorrow.”

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The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives assist from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely chargeable for all content material.

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This materials is probably not revealed, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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