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Vox Sentences: Michael makes landfall

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Hurricane Michael strikes the Florida Panhandle as a Category 4 storm; a Chinese intelligence operative is brought to the US to face espionage charges.

“The worst storm ... in more than 100 years”

Mark Wallheiser/Getty Images
  • Hurricane Michael made landfall Wednesday afternoon near Mexico Beach, Florida, as a Category 4 storm. The hurricane, traveling with maximum sustained winds at 155 miles per hour, is just 2 mph shy of a Category 5 marking, the most severe on the scale. [USA Today / Susan Miller]
  • This is the first Category 4 hurricane to strike in Florida. Life-threatening storm surges are already causing distress in the state, while heavy rainfall flooding is also expected in North and South Carolina. [Weather Channel]
  • More than 43,000 businesses and residences have lost power in Florida by Wednesday afternoon. Duke Energy estimates 100,000 to 200,000 buildings will experience power outages in both inland and coastal areas. [Reuters]
  • “This is the worst storm the Florida Panhandle has seen in more than 100 years,” Florida Gov. Rick Scott said. Roughly 375,000 residents have been ordered to evacuate their homes. [Tampa Bay Times / Elizabeth Koh]
  • Despite warnings from officials, some Florida locals in St. George Island and Alligator Point, near the storm’s path, are remaining in mandatory evacuation areas. Staying put could be life-threatening for residents. [Tallahassee Democrat / Karl Etters]
  • Delta Airlines has canceled about 70 flights to Tallahassee, Panama City, and Destin-Fort Walton Beach. More cancellations are expected at least until Thursday night. [Atlanta Journal-Constitution / Kelly Yamanouchi]

A Chinese spy faces charges in the US

  • A Chinese operative was arrested and brought to the US to face charges that he conspired to steal trade secrets from leading aviation firms including GE Aviation, the Justice Department announced Wednesday. [New York Times / Katie Benner]
  • The intelligence officer, who was first arrested in Belgium and is now incarcerated in Ohio, is the first Chinese government spy to have been brought to the US to face charges. [Washington Post / Ellen Nakashima]
  • The Justice Department said the alleged corporate espionage was part of an overall trend of developing China “at American expense.” Yanjun Xu, the spy, is an official of China’s Ministry of State Security. [NBC News / Pete Williams]
  • Xu could be given a 25-year prison sentence in addition to fines if he’s tried and found convicted. [South China Morning Post]


  • Next year’s Met Gala, co-chaired by Anna Wintour and stars like Lady Gaga, Harry Styles, and Serena Williams, will be camp-themed, drawing on a 1964 essay that describes camp as “love of the unnatural.” [Vogue / Hamish Bowles]
  • In an effort to find new avenues for growth, Snapchat announced a slate of self-produced new programming, part of a series called Snap Originals, which will include a mix of scripted and reality shows. [The Verge / Casey Newton]
  • An airline passenger was kicked off a plane after it was made clear to her by the staff that she couldn’t travel with her “emotional support” squirrel on board. [Huffington Post / Nina Golgowski]
  • In a recent scientific study, researchers found out that bees stop flying and go silent when a solar eclipse reaches totality, in a behavior so abrupt it’s similar to saying “lights out” at a summer camp. [Science Alert / Michelle Starr]


“I do stand with women, but we need to show the evidence. You cannot just say to somebody, ‘I was sexually assaulted,’ or, ‘You did that to me,’ because sometimes the media goes too far.” [First lady Melania Trump weighed in on the #MeToo movement a few days after Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed to the Supreme Court despite sexual assault allegations against him / ABC]

Watch this: Why a storm surge can be the deadliest part of a hurricane

It can start before a hurricane even makes landfall. [YouTube / Sam Ellis, Mallory Brangan, and Mac Schneider]

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