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After days of waiting, it’s here. Devastating winds and rain from Florence hit the Carolinas today. The Category 2 hurricane now has maximum sustained winds of 110 mph and is about 200 miles southeast of Wilmington, North Carolina. At this point, it looks like Florence’s center will be somewhere over the Carolina coasts late tonight or tomorrow. And as it moves inland, people in Georgia, Virginia and Maryland need to stay alert. The big concern remains that Florence will stall, pounding the region with nonstop rain, catastrophic winds and potentially deadly flooding for days. One of five huge threats is storm surge, possibly as high as 13 feet. And there are six nuclear power plants in Florence’s projected path – but not everyone thinks they can withstand it.
2. North Korea
The escalating clergy sex abuse scandal that’s raging within the church prompts Pope Francis to call an unprecedented meeting. The Pope will meet the presidents of the Catholic bishops conferences from around the world in February at the Vatican. Francis has come under withering criticism for his handling of the crisis (and his poll numbers have nosedived). A meeting between the Pope and leaders of the US church on the crisis is set for today.
3. Europe heat wave
President Trump signed an executive order that intends to punish foreign entities for meddling in US elections. The order lets the director of national intelligence identify groups responsible for election interference and direct the Treasury Department to apply sanctions. This order aims to hit more than just the Russians. But Democrats and Republicans criticized it as insufficient and want to see mandatory sanctions instead.
4. Border Patrol
California has a shiny, new net neutrality law, and the Trump administration is already working to knock it down. The law stops internet service providers from blocking or slowing specific types of content or applications, or charging apps or companies fees for faster access to customers. It’s the strictest net neutrality protection in the country and could serve as a blueprint for other states. The Department of Justice says the law is illegal and is taking the state to court. Remember, the FCC repealed net neutrality regulations earlier this year.
Incoming White House acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney discussing then-candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton during a radio interview in October 2016.
Dancing with the ‘stars’
Daughter signs for dad at concert, and doesn’t miss a beat
MIT invents method to shrink objects to nanoscale using a laser
A judge convicted a deer poacher and says and he’s gotta watch “Bambi” once a month
Cruel and unusual crime, meet cruel and unusual punishment.
The Lincoln Continental is bringing back “suicide doors”
Tired all the time? Your immune system may be to blame.
The number of UNESCO World Heritage sites in Cordoba, Spain. It’s the first city in the world to have that many, surpassing even Rome and Paris. UNESCO says such sites must be “of universal outstanding value” and meet one of 10 criteria such as being representative of a living or extinct cultural tradition or civilization.
AND FINALLY …
Wait, where’d the treat go, Santa?!
A shelter got someone to do some holiday magic tricks to show the cute little personalities of all their adoptable dogs. But remember, before you go out and scoop up the whole lot of them for Christmas, pets are not gifts! They’re forever friends who deserve all of your love year-round. (Click here to view.)