Austria elects world’s youngest leader, Sebastian Kurz, 31.
Hundreds killed in Somalia truck bombing.
Hurricane Ophelia approaches the British isles.
California wildfires continue to burn.
Puerto Rico weed industry hit hard by hurricane.
American hostage freed; husband refuses flight to U.S.
Wildfires are getting worse in California’s wine region.
Trump threatens to end aid to Puerto Rico.
U.S. and Israel quit UNESCO.
Florida detective captures 9-foot anaconda.
Spain issues deadline to Catalans.
Elderly couple among those killed in California wildfire.
NAFTA without Mexico? It’s possible.
Boy Scouts to admit girls; allow them to reach Eagle rank.
See who won the Genius grants.
California wildfires kill 13.
Catalonia independence bid on hold.
North Korea hacks South Korea/U.S. military plans.
Opposition leader quits Kenya election re-run.
NFL and teams discuss anthem protest response.
Three American soldiers killed in ambush in Niger.
Gunman’s girlfriend unaware of his plans.
Infighting in the West Wing.
Nobel for chemistry went to cool imaging technique.
5 former presidents to headline hurricane benefit concert.
Catalonia independence declaration could happen “in a matter of days.”
Trump compares Hurricane Maria deaths to Katrina.
U.S. expels 15 Cuban diplomats.
House passes GOP late-term abortion ban.
Gravitational wave work wins Nobel for physics.
Death toll up to 59 in the Las Vegas massacre.
Congress looking to roll back gun laws.
Catalans not seeking “traumatic split.”
Body clock scientists win Nobel Prize.
R.I.P. Tom Petty, 66, rock music iconoclast.
GM plans to ditch internal combustion engine at some point in the future.
Catalonia says they voted for independence; Madrid disagrees, and violence ensued.
Trump undermines Secretary of State on North Korea talks via tweet.
Sec. Mnuchin says FEMA doing “terrific job” in Puerto Rico (because “heckava” was already taken).
NFL players continue to take a knee.
Germans celebrate first legal gay marriage.
Half of Puerto Rico still without fresh water.
Japan parliament dissolved ahead of snap election.
Trump/GOP tax plan is revealed except how to pay for it.
Russia, U.S. discuss lunar base.
R.I.P. Hugh Hefner, 91, creator of Playboy. (Oddly enough, I never understood the attraction, but hey…)
Latest attempt to repeal Obamacare dies in GOP turmoil.
Puerto Rico struggles to stay alive.
Saudi Arabia lifts driving ban for women.
Moore wins GOP senate nomination in Alabama.
Florida Senate seat won by Democrat Annette Taddeo in special election.
#TakeAKnee takes off in defiance of Trump.
Angela Merkel re-elected as German chancellor amid nationalist rise.
North Korea added to U.S. travel ban.
Rohingya arrive at Bangladesh drop-off.
Gunman attacks Nashville church; stopped by usher.
Trump ramps up North Korea sanctions.
Fifteen dead after Hurricane Maria hit Dominica.
Mexico earthquake death toll reaches 273.
New antibody kills 99% of HIV strains.
Mormon college ends ban on caffeinated sodas.
Puerto Rico has been basically returned to the 18th century by Hurricane Maria.
Hurricane Maria delivered a destructive full-body blow to this U.S. territory on Wednesday, ripping off metal roofs, generating terrifying and potentially lethal flash floods, knocking out 100 percent of the island’s electrical grid and decimating some communities.
With sustained winds of 155 mph at landfall — a strong Category 4 storm and nearly a Category 5 — Maria was so powerful that it disabled radar, weather stations and cell towers across Puerto Rico, leaving an information vacuum in which officials could only speculate about property damage, injuries or deaths.
“Definitely Puerto Rico — when we can get outside — we will find our island destroyed,” Abner Gómez, director of Puerto Rico’s emergency management agency, said in a midday news conference here. “The information we have received is not encouraging. It’s a system that has destroyed everything it has had in its path.”
The island was already suffering under financial difficulty, and now this. The worst part is that no one here — or there — knows the extent of the damage because there’s no way to communicate with anyone other than via battery-operated satellite phones.
Add to that, Puerto Rico has been treated as a stepchild by Congress, and so far the Trump administration has barely acknowledged its existence as a U.S. territory.
Right now might not be the time to bring this up, but in the future this destruction and its recovery should be a factor in determining the statehood question — which I strongly favor — if only because the residents will be able to vote for president and that might be the shiny object that garners attention from politicians in Washington.
All of Puerto Rico is without power after Hurricane Maria.
At least 230 people feared dead in Mexico earthquake.
Iran’s president hits back at Trump at U.N.
Fed starts rolling back stimulus instituted during Great Recession.
Kenya election results “not verified.”
DACA’s fate uncertain in the hands of Congress.
South Florida preps for Hurricane Irma.
Putin warns against “hysteria” over North Korea.
Colombia’s last guerrillas speak out for peace.
Harvey hero faces DACA deportation.
U.S. tells Russia to vacate consulates.
Harvey affected over 100,000 homes.
Storm shuts main gas line between Texas and East Coast.
Tons of toxic and explosive chemicals released in wake of Harvey.
Manafort notes from Russia meeting refer to political contributions.
Rabbit, rabbit, rabbit.
Harvey: “The worst is not over.”
Trump: Talk will not work with North Korea.
Brazil court blocks Amazon mining.
Pentagon raises Afghanistan troop count.
L.A. votes to replace Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples Day.
Tropical Update: TS Irma is on track to head west to the Caribbean.
Harvey heads for Louisiana.
Trump drops in on Texas.
U.S.: “All options are open” regarding North Korea.
Oh, really? Poll reveals GOP doubts about Trump conduct.
Britain’s Sky TV drops Fox News.
It is now Tropical Storm Harvey but the effects and the rainfall are still catastrophic.
Here’s a map of the observed precipitation as of last night (click picture to embiggen):
If you want to help, here are the links.
Catastrophic floods rising in Houston.
North Korea fires a missile over the Sea of Japan.
Iraqi forces re-take another ISIS stronghold.
ACLU challenges military transgender ban.
Chile’s president sends same-sex marriage law to Congress.