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Hurricane Florence bears down on the East Coast; Sweden’s elections end in confusion.
Bracing for impact
- The East Coast — particularly North and South Carolina and Virginia — are bracing for a powerful hurricane headed to shore. [Vox / Brian Resnick]
- Hurricane Florence has been upgraded to a Category 4 storm, with winds up to 130 miles per hour. [Washington Post / Brian McNoldy and Jason Samenow]
- It’s projected to make landfall on Thursday or Friday and could be stronger by then — wind speeds could be up to 150 mph then, although it would still be a Category 4. [NPR / Bill Chappell]
- As Vox’s Brian Resnick notes, scientists are typically better at predicting a storm’s path than how strong or weak a storm will be when it finally makes landfall, so a lot of things could change by the end of the week. [Vox / Brian Resnick]
- State and local emergency responders are already preparing for the storm, and the Carolinas and Virginia have already declared states of emergency. Some parts of the Outer Banks have issued mandatory evacuations, getting residents out of the area ahead of storm surges. [Washington Post / Kristine Phillips and Reis Thebault]
- North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper and other state officials are warning about long-lasting power outages and potentially disastrous flooding. [Charlotte News & Observer / Lynn Bonner]
- It’s not just the coasts that are on high alert. Because parts of the Carolinas and Virginia are mountainous, there are also concerns about landslides happening if there is significant rainfall in hilly areas. [USA Today / Doyle Rice]
- There are two other hurricanes besides Florence currently brewing in the Atlantic: Helene and Isaac. September is prime season for warm waters, and there were also multiple hurricanes in the Atlantic at the same time last year. [Tropical Atlantic Update / Brian McNoldy]
Sweden’s far-right party makes gains
- Election results in Sweden this weekend have resulted in confusion about exactly who is in power now, as two centrist parties have emerged with similar vote totals. [BBC]
- The ruling center-left Social Democrats are almost neck and neck with the center-right Moderates after the election on Sunday. Meanwhile, the far-right, anti-immigrant and anti-European Union Sweden Democrats (a group with white supremacist roots) came in third place, with 18 percent of the votes. [Deutsche Welle]
- That’s a historically good showing for the Sweden Democrats, but it’s by no means the dramatic sweep some pollsters were predicting. The two centrist parties have already said they won’t work with the SD on forming a coalition government, so the far-right party’s actual political power is looking limited. [CNN / Atika Shubert, Linnéa Wannefors, and Angela Dewan]
- However, the climb in support for the ultra-conservative group speaks to the growing anti-immigrant sentiment in many Western European countries, including Germany, France, and the Netherlands. [NYT]
- To underscore how bad DC’s rat problem is, one savvy little critter jumped on a fire alarm and triggered it ... evacuating an entire apartment building in the process. [NBC Washington]
- The Women’s Tennis Association is backing Serena Williams after she accused umpire Carlos Ramos of sexist treatment at the US Open finals this weekend. The WTA believes Carlos treated Williams differently than if she had been a male player. [BBC]
- The future is full of flying taxis ... but they’re not ready for primetime, or passengers, just yet. [Wired / Nicole Kobie]
- Native Americans are trying to get the National Parks Service to rename certain mountains and valleys in Yellowstone, getting them to drop the names of the white men who killed hundreds of Native Americans in the 1800s. [NPR / Nate Hegyi]
“We can’t go to Tinder and say, ‘Give us a list of everyone with a Russian surname.’” [Former FBI special agent Frank Montoya Jr. on Russian spies in Washington, to Politico / Ben Schreckinger]
Watch this: Why this Gucci knockoff is totally legal
Knockoffs are everywhere in fashion. So is the controversy they inspire. [YouTube / Cleo Abram]
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