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Hurricane Hanna roars ashore in coronavirus-hit Texas

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Hanna, the first Atlantic hurricane of 2020, slammed into the coast of coronavirus-hit Texas on Saturday, bringing heavy rain, storm surge and potentially life-threatening flash flooding.

The Category 1 storm packed winds of around 90 miles (145 kilometers) per hour as it came ashore at Padre Island at 5 pm (2200 GMT), the US National Hurricane Center said.

“Hanna is expected to produce heavy rains across portions of southern Texas and northeastern Mexico. These rains will result in life-threatening flash flooding,” and some river flooding, the meteorologists said.

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“Life-threatening storm surge” could potentially reach 6 feet (1.8 meters) in some areas, while the hurricane was forecast to drop up to 18 inches (45 centimeters) of rain through Monday on south Texas and the Mexican states of Coahuila, Nuevo Leon, and northern Tamaulipas.

“My Administration is closely monitoring Hurricane Douglas off Hawaii & Hurricane Hanna, which has now made landfall in Texas,” President Donald Trump tweeted.

“We continue to coordinate closely with both states — listen to your emergency management officials … to protect your family & property!”

Damage appeared to be limited in the immediate aftermath of Hanna’s landfall, with some isolated flooding and power outages.

Images shared by the National Weather Service office in Corpus Christi showed water lapping at the city’s bayfront Art Museum of South Texas.

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Hanna roared ashore as Texas is facing a huge surge in coronavirus infections, with officials instituting a state-wide mask mandate to try to curb the spread of the disease.

Hanna was about 70 miles south of Corpus Christi when it made landfall, with the city of 325,000 home to one of Texas’s virus hotspots.

The US is the hardest-hit country in the coronavirus pandemic, with some 4.2 million cases, and authorities will have to figure out how to safely shelter residents forced out of their homes by future hurricanes this season.

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Hanna was forecast to move inland over south Texas on Saturday night, and into northeastern Mexico on Sunday.

Two other storm systems were churning Saturday: Pacific Hurricane Douglas, bearing down on the Hawaiian islands, and Tropical Storm Gonzalo in the Atlantic, near the Windward Islands.

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Douglas — at one point a powerful Category 4 hurricane — has weakened to a Category 1 storm with wind speeds of 90 miles per hour.

The NHC said Saturday the storm “will be near the main Hawaiian Islands late tonight and will move over parts of the state Sunday and Monday,” bringing high winds, heavy surf, and rainfall of up to 10 inches.

A hurricane warning was in effect in Oahu.

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Meanwhile, Venezuela’s government warned of heavy rains and gusting winds as Gonzalo moved west across the Caribbean.

Big waves have already started to pound the coast in eastern Venezuela and power was knocked out in some areas Saturday, Venezuelan media reported.


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2020 Election

Trump’s latest attack on Joe Biden is stunningly delusional — even for him

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Few ever accuse President Donald Trump of subtlety. But in a new speech in Cleveland on Thursday, he let loose with a particularly wild rant against his Democratic opponent, former Vice President Joe Biden, that was over-the-top, even for him.

It’s worth just quoting in full:

He’s following the radical left agenda. Take away your guns. Destroy your Second Amendment. No religion! No anything! Hurt the Bible! Hurt God! He’s against God! He’s against guns! He’s against energy, our kind of energy. Uh, I don’t think he’s going to do too well in Ohio.

Many people pointed out that there’s much more evidence that Biden is a committed Christian than there is for Trump. But almost that seems to miss several key points about how wild this is:

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Angst-ridden Republicans should have acted when Trump put his reelection above national security concerns: conservative columnist

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Writing in the Washington Post this Thursday, columnist Jennifer Rubin says that Senate Republicans are in serious trouble, especially in light of the stimulus bill they rolled out this week.

According to Rubin, the Senate GOP is in dire straits because "they have allowed the anti-government, anti-science Trump sycophants to disclaim any interest in the bill, thereby handing the reins to Democrats."

Rubin writes that some Republicans saying they want to see essential workers being taken care of in the bill are speaking up too late. "If only they they had some power in February to remove the unfit and corrupt president from office, instead of leaving him there to purge witnesses from his administration, seek vengeance on foes, force out inspectors general and botch the response to the coronavirus," Rubin writes.

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2020 Election

Facebook removes network of fake accounts that posed as Trump supporters

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Facebook said Thursday it took down accounts running a deceptive campaign out of Romania pretending to be Americans supporting US President Donald Trump ahead of the coming election.

The leading online social network removed 35 Facebook accounts, three pages, and 88 Instagram accounts as part of an ongoing fight against "coordinated inauthentic behavior," according to security policy head Nathaniel Gleicher.

"The people behind this network used fake accounts to pose as Americans, amplify and comment on their own content, and manage pages including some posing as President Trump fan pages," Gleicher said.

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