Hurricane Florence is expected to make landfall Friday morning, bringing with it “hurricane-force winds and life-threatening storm surge” when it crashes onto the…
Hurricane Florence is expected to make landfall Friday morning, bringing with it “hurricane-force winds and life-threatening storm surge” when it crashes onto the Carolina coast, according to the National Weather Service. Despite being downgraded to a Category 1 storm late Thursday, hurricane officials still warned that it has plenty of punch to wreak havoc. The storm’s relentless rain had already resulted in serious flooding in low-lying areas and its gusting winds knocked out power for thousands of people in North Carolina. More than 1 million people were evacuated from coastal areas, and 10 million live within areas of hurricane or tropical storm warnings and watches. Storm surges of up to 13 feet will be “life-threatening” and rainfall of up to 40 inches will mean “catastrophic” flooding, the National Hurricane Center said.
A status conference for Paul Manafort’s second trial, where he faces seven criminal counts, including money laundering, failure to register as a foreign agent and obstruction of justice, is scheduled for Friday morning. Several reports have indicated Manafort’s lawyers are in talks with special counsel Robert Mueller about a possible plea deal. Jury selection in the D. C. trial is slated to begin Monday for the former Trump campaign chairman who last month was convicted on eight of 18 counts of financial fraud in a related trial in Alexandria, Virginia. Prosecutors say they have even more evidence — more than double the amount they showed jurors in Virginia.
The National Transportation Safety Board will send investigators to northeast Massachusetts on Friday after numerous fires in communities north of Boston triggered widespread confusion and evacuations. State Police say at least 39 fires erupted Thursday in three communities — Lawrence, Andover and North Andover — that killed at least one person and injured 10 others. The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency blamed the fires on gas lines that had become over-pressurized. Officials said Columbia Gas, the utility company that services the area, was working to ease pressure on gas lines following the fires. Schools in all three communities were canceled for Friday, and some schools are being used as shelters for residents, according to the Associated Press
Ready for a new iPhone or Apple Watch? Apple’s newest, updated models are available to pre-order beginning Friday. The new phones feature an iPhone X-like design with facial recognition, faster processors and a beefier camera while the Watch gets thinner, can function as an ECG and has a 30 percent larger screen. Interested? Be prepared to open your wallet. The 5.8-inch iPhone XS starts at $999 for the 64GB model, the massive 6.5-inch iPhone XS Max starts at $1,099 for 64GB and the Apple Watch Series 4 starts at $399.
Controversial umpire returns in US-Croatia Davis Cup match
The men on the US Davis Cup tennis team might what to tread carefully and be on their best behavior. The chair umpire who penalized Serena Williams a game in the US Open final has been assigned to officiate the Davis Cup semifinal matches between the US and Croatia that begin Friday. Williams was given three code violations by Carlos Ramos in her straight-set loss to Naomi Osaka of Japan, with critics arguing that sexism played a role because Williams wasn’t treated the same as some male players. The match descended into chaos after Williams confronted Ramos about his rulings with thousands of spectators booing and both players crying during the trophy ceremony.