Florence downgraded to Category 2, still poses dangerous threat
Even though it has slowed on its approach to the Carolinas, Hurricane Florence could make landfall late Thursday, where its expected to bombard communities with torrential rain, high winds and deadly storm surge. The hurricane was downgraded to a Category 2 storm late Wednesday, but remained a clear danger to the East Coast. Hurricane winds could linger for 24 hours or more, sweeping away trees and power lines while dumping 20 to 30 inches of rain in some coastal areas, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) said. As if that weren’t enough “isolated tornadoes” could become a threat along the North Carolina coast.” The approach of Florence has put more than 10 million people under storm watches and warnings across three states. “This is not going to be a glancing blow,” Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Jeff Byard said, adding: “This is going to be a Mike Tyson punch to the Carolina coast.”
U.S. Catholic officials to meet with Pope Francis amid abuse scandals
Pope Francis will meet with a group of US church figures led by Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, head of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, at the Vatican Thursday amid growing criticism over the pope’s handling of sex-abuse cases. DiNardo has said he wants Francis to authorize a full-fledged Vatican investigation into ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, who was removed as cardinal in July after a credible accusation that he groped a teenager. A retired Vatican ambassador alleged that Francis had rehabilitated McCarrick from sanctions imposed by Pope Benedict XVI for having molested and harassed adult seminarians. The Vatican hasn’t responded to the charges but has promised “clarifications” that could follow Thursday’s meeting.
Big cities report declining poverty rates
Poverty rates in some of the nation’s most populous metropolitan areas are on the decline, according to new data being released Thursday. The US Census Bureau statistics from its American Community Survey (ACS) show a decline in poverty rates in 13 of 25 of the most populous metro areas from 2016 and 2017. For several metro areas, it was the third consecutive year for a decline, according to the ACS. The Washington, D.C. metropolitan area had the lowest poverty rate of 7.9 percent.
Cynthia Nixon battles Andrew Cuomo in New York primary
New York voters head to the polls Thursday to pick their candidates for state and local races in the November election. The race getting the most attention is the Democratic primary for governor between Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Cynthia Nixon, the actor and activist. The former “Sex and the City” star is trying to deny Cuomo a bid for a third term, arguing that he is not nearly progressive enough and accusing him of being overly tolerant of a Republican-led state Senate. Cuomo has focused his campaign largely on his battles with President Donald Trump. Polls show Cuomo with a sizable lead.
Democratic primary voters in New York will soon settle the contentious primary battle between two-term Gov. Andrew Cuomo and liberal challenger Cynthia Nixon, the longtime activist and former “Sex and the City” star. (Sept. 12)
Judge to decide whether grizzly bear hunts resume in Rockies
A federal judge’s order to temporarily block the opening of the first grizzly bear hunts in the Rocky Mountains in more than 40 years expires Thursday. Environmental activists, who argue that the hunt is unnecessary and inhumane, are seeking another two-week delay after District Judge Dana Christensen issued the order last month. Hunting restrictions were put in place in the Lower 48 states in 1975 to protect the last of the tens of thousands of bears who used to roam the territory between the Pacific Ocean and the Great Plains. Hunters say they should be allowed to kill a small number of grizzlies because the population has grown large enough to prompt President Donald Trump’s administration to remove the animals’ special protections last year.
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