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We're pleased to bring you "While You Were Out"—Verily's quick takes on the happenings of this week.

Giorgia Meloni to become Italy's first female prime minister

Italian voters on Sunday favored the far-right Brothers of Italy party, meaning its leader, Giorgia Meloni, will likely be the country's next prime minister. Meloni would be Italy's first female prime minister. Overshadowing the win for women's political representation is news coverage of how Meloni could be the country's most right-wing prime minister in decades.

"Ms. Meloni is widely expected to form Italy's most right-wing government since World War Two," BBC reports. "That will alarm much of Europe as Italy is the EU's third-biggest economy."

Meloni's win has sparked fears of fascism and comparisons to Benito Mussolini, though Meloni has written that she "does not belong to the cult of fascism."

Meloni described her platform in a speech earlier this year: "Yes to the natural family, no to the LGBT lobby, yes to sexual identity, no to gender ideology . . . no to Islamist violence, yes to secure borders, no to mass migration . . . no to big international finance . . . no to the bureaucrats of Brussels!"

After her apparent victory, a video of Meloni giving a nationalistic speech at the World Congress of Families in 2019 went viral; it appears to have been taken down by YouTube.

Earlier this week, President Joe Biden raised concerns about Meloni's governance, indicating that her leadership could threaten democracy. "You just saw what's happened in Italy in that election," he said. "You're seeing what's happening around the world. The reason I bother to say that is you can't be sanguine about what's happening here either." —Madeline Fry Schultz

Hurricane Ian hits Florida, leaving at least 10 dead and millions without power

Hurricane Ian landed in Florida as a Category 4 storm on Wednesday, resulting in at least ten deaths and leaving more than two million without power. Authorities expect the death toll to rise potentially to hundreds. With 150-mile-per-hour winds, the storm is one of the most powerful in U.S. history, submerging homes and inflicting damage for miles on end.

Ian was downgraded to a tropical storm before escalating again to a hurricane and heading toward the Carolinas on Thursday.

"This could be the deadliest hurricane in Florida's history," President Joe Biden said in an address at Federal Emergency Management Agency headquarters. "The numbers are still unclear, but we're hearing early reports of what could be substantial loss of life."

Rescue efforts are underway, with hundreds having already been retrieved from the hurricane's wreckage.

"You're looking at a storm that's changed the character of a significant part of our state," Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said at a news conference. "That is going to require emergency response not just now and the days or weeks ahead. This is going to require years of effort to be able to rebuild to come back." —MFS

Russia claims annexation of Ukrainian regions as Ukraine moves toward NATO membership

On Friday, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed decrees to annex four Ukrainian regions of Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia. The signing of these "accession treaties" follows referendums (votes) held in these regions from September 23-27 on the prospect of joining Russia.

In a speech during the signing ceremony, Putin declared that the residents in these regions would remain "our citizens forever." He also called on Kyiv to "immediately cease hostilities" and vowed that Russia would ensure the security of the residents in these regions. This move is likely to escalate the ongoing war in Ukraine.

The annexation has been rejected by world leaders, including President Biden and UN Secretary-General António Guterres, and has been called unlawful and illegitimate. The United State's announced a new round of sanctions against Russian officials in response.

Additionally, on Friday, in an apparent response to Russia's illegal annexation of Ukrainian territory, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky announced that Ukraine is applying for "accelerated ascension" into NATO. If Ukraine were accepted into NATO,  other alliance members would be required to send troops to defend Ukraine and fight against the Russian forces as part of NATO's collective defense obligations. Zelensky also called Russia's claims of annexation a "farce."

Meanwhile, regular citizens in Ukraine and throughout Europe continue to feel the conflict. On Friday morning, a civilian convoy in southeastern Ukraine was bombarded by Russian shelling; 25 were killed, and 50 people were injured, including children.

"The terrorist state fires missiles at the civilian population in Zaporizhzhia, the Mykolaiv region, the Dnipropetrovsk region. Hits Ukrainian regions with MLRS (Multiple Launch Rocket Systems) and drones," Zelensky said on Telegram.

Additionally, this past week, the European Union and several nations have shared suspicions that Russia is behind the recent sabotage of the Nord Stream pipelines. Recent leaks in the underwater pipeline are suspected to be the result of deliberate acts of sabotage; Russia has denied its involvement in the leaks. —Gabriella Patti

FDA announces a new definition of 'healthy' food

What food is healthy? Consumers can't always tell at first glance, and businesses are happy to claim, with or without evidence, that their foods fit the bill. This is why the Food and Drug Administration just announced a proposed guidance to "update the definition for the implied nutrient content claim 'healthy' to be consistent with current nutrition science and Federal dietary guidance . . . regarding how consumers can maintain healthy dietary practices."

As it stands, about 5 percent of packaged food is marketed as "healthy," according to the FDA. This includes many sugary cereals that aren't quite as good for you as they claim, leaving consumers missing out on some key nutrients. "More than 80 percent of people in the U.S. aren't eating enough vegetables, fruit and dairy," the FDA reports. "And most people consume too much added sugars, saturated fat, and sodium."

On the flip side, this could allow some foods to be marketed as healthy; ABC reports, "For example, foods like salmon, despite having higher fat content, can now be labeled as 'healthy,' as it is a nutrient-dense food."

This push is part of a broader health initiative by President Joe Biden's administration. In a statement on the new guidance, Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra said, "Healthy food can lower our risk for chronic disease. But too many people may not know what constitutes healthy food. FDA's move will help educate more Americans to improve health outcomes, tackle health disparities, and save lives." —MFS

Hayden Panettiere opens up about 'heartbreaking' decision to relinquish custody of her daughter

Actress Hayden Panettiere opened up this past week about giving up custody of her seven-year daughter while appearing on the Facebook Watch show "Red Table Talk."

The show, hosted by actress Jada Pinkett Smith and her mother Adrienne Banfield Norris and guest host Kelly Osbourne, sat down with Panettiere to discuss what she called the most "heartbreaking thing" she has ever had to do.

Panettiere, who has daughter Kaya with ex-husband Wladimir Klitschko, talked about signing away custody of her daughter, giving full custody to Klitschko as she was struggling with addictions to alcohol and pills at the time of the decision.

Panettiere said that the decision was not up for discussion at the time.

"It was the worst signing those papers, the most heartbreaking thing I've ever, ever had to do in my life . . . I was gonna go work on myself, I was gonna get better, and when I got better then things would change and she could come to me and I could have my time with her, but that didn't happen," Panettiere said in a clip from the episode.

Panettiere added, "It was the hardest thing I could do," she recalled. "But the best thing for my daughter was to make sure she was okay, take care of myself and make sure I could be a good mom to her. And sometimes that means letting go." —GP

Good News of the Week

A video of a man rescuing a cat during Hurricane Ian in southwest Florida has gone viral as his good deed touched many.

The video of 29-year-old Mike Ross trudging through knee-deep water to rescue a stranded orange and white cat from atop an air conditioner has been viewed over three million times on Twitter and has garnered praise from the online community. Ross and his girlfriend, who posted the original video, have named the cat Ian. Watch the video below!

Watch of the Week

Watch Lizzo as she plays a crystal flute owned by President James Madison in the Library of Congress's great hall! Lizzo was invited to explore the massive flute collection held in the Library of Congress, which includes 2 thousand flutes – some made of wood, jade and, of course, crystal.

Lizzo was also permitted to play President Madison's flute on stage during her show at Capitol One Arena in Washington D.C., where she shouted out: "History is freaking cool, you guys!"