Hurricane Sally hits Gulf Coast
Hurricane Sally made landfall as a category two hurricane near Pensacola, Florida on Wednesday morning. By Wednesday evening, the storm had weakened to a tropical depression, but left more than half a million people in the area without power.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration defines a category two hurricane as sustained winds of up to 110 miles per hour that could cause “major roof and siding damage” to well constructed houses, and “near total power loss” that could last more than a week.
On Saturday, the storm crossed the southernmost tip of Florida between Miami and Key West, and continued up into the Gulf of Mexico. The New York Times reports that Sally reached hurricane speeds on Monday morning and reached Gulf Shores, Alabama around 4:45 a.m., 38 miles west of Pensacola, Florida.
Later on Wednesday, at least 377 people were rescued, and the storm weakened to a tropical depression. Flooding in central Pensacola has already reached five feet from record storm surges and more than two feet of rainfall in the area.
According to Ed Rappaport of the NOAA, this storm is the ninth tropical cyclone to form in the Atlantic Ocean in the last 33 days.
“Sally has a characteristic that isn’t seen often,” Rappaport told the Associated Press. “And that’s a slow forward speed that’s going to exacerbate the flooding.”
Before making landfall, the storm grew over the Gulf of Mexico for more than 24 hours. John De Block of the National Weather Service said that the storm is moving at the pace of “a child in a candy shop.”
The tropical depression is expected to cross into Georgia on Thursday afternoon and continue into South, and then North, Carolina.
Middle Eastern leaders recognize Israel at the White House
On Tuesday, President Trump and his administration orchestrated the “Abraham Accords” to open up more diplomatic relations between Israel, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates.
According to the BBC, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates are the third and fourth states, respectively, to formally recognize Israel since its founding after the second world war.
“We’re here this afternoon to change the course of history,” President Trump said. “After decades of division and conflict, we mark the dawn of a new Middle East.”
Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, echoed the president’s enthusiasm, calling Tuesday’s signing a “pivotal” moment in history.
“You’ve unequivocally stood by Israel’s side,” Netanyahu said to President Trump. “You’ve proposed a realistic vision for peace between Israel and the Palestinians.”
However, Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas said that “stability will not be acheived in the region until the Israeli occupation ends.”
According to the Israeli army, rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip into Israel while the peace deal was being signed.
The White House website briefing on the the peace deal stipulates that the three Middle Eastern countries are to establish embassies, exchange ambassadors and open commerce in the region.
On Monday, outside the Delaware Museum of Natural History in Wilmington, former vice president and presidential candidate Joe Biden delivered a speech to address what he called “one of the most difficult moments in our history” as a nation. In his speech, Biden described the intersectionality between the “four historic crises all at the same time: the worst pandemic in 100 years that’s already killed nearly 200,000 people and counting; the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression that’s cost tens of millions of Americans jobs and counting; emboldened white supremacy, unseen since the ‘60s and a reckoning on race that’s long overdue and undeniable acceleration of the punishing reality of climate change on our planet and our people.”
“one of the most difficult moments in our history”
“We have to act as a nation,” the presidential candidate said. “It shouldn’t be so bad that millions of Americans live in the shadow of an orange sky, and they’re left asking ‘Is doomsday here?’ And I know this feeling of dread and anxiety extends well beyond the fires.”
On Tuesday, the Department of Justice opened an investigation into whether President Trump’s former national security advisor, John Bolton, released classified information in his memoir, “The Room Where it All Happened.”
Bolton’s memoir chronicles the 17 months that he spent as advisor to the president. Originally, the White House fought to keep the book from publication earlier this summer, arguing that Bolton was in violation of his non-disclosure agreement with President Trump, according to The Hill.
In a statement issued by Bolton’s lawyer, he denied any accusations that he “acted improperly, let alone criminally.”
“[Bolton] will cooperate fully, as he has throughout, with any formal inquiry into his conduct,” his lawyer, Charles Cooper, said.
City settles Breonna Taylor lawsuit
On Tuesday, after five months of legal deliberation, the city of Louisville announced they have reached a $12 million settlement in the lawsuit over the death of Breonna Taylor.
The lawsuit was filed by Taylor’s mother in April against three Louisville police officers who killed Taylor in her home in March.
The settlement also details police reform initiatives including improving community relations, changing the search warrant application process and holding police officers more accountable for their actions.
The settlement is the largest payout from Louisville police in history, according to an article by USA Today. However, the terms of the settlement do not recognize any wrongdoing on behalf of the officers involved in the shooting, and its terms prevent Taylor’s family from suing again in the future.
Thursday, Sept. 17, was the 231st birthday of the United States Constitution.