First Thing: ‘Catastrophic’ Damage in Florida as Hurricane Ian Heads for South Carolina | American News

Hello.

As South Carolina braces for Hurricane Ian to make landfall today, the ‘catastrophic’ extent of the damage caused by Ian’s deadly 150mph rampage across Florida has become clearer as the authorities are expressing fears of a growing death toll.

Search and rescue teams in Southwest Florida conducted hundreds of missions to rescue trapped residents from flooded homes in areas that were submerged by storm surge of up to 18ft after one of the most powerful storms to hit the United States swept the shore on Wednesday.

With the entire South Carolina coast under a hurricane warning, a steady stream of vehicles left Charleston on Thursday, with many likely heeding authorities’ warnings to search for more ground. raised. Storefronts were lined with sandbags to prevent high water levels in an area prone to flooding.

Along the Battery Area, at the southern end of the 350-year-old city’s peninsula, locals and tourists took selfies against a choppy backdrop of whiteheads in Charleston Harbor as palm trees swayed bent under the wind in gusts.

  • How many rescues have taken place? Florida Governor Ron DeSantis gave a briefing Thursday evening where he said at least 700 rescues, mostly by air, had been carried out so far, involving the US Coast Guard, National Guard and crews. urban search and rescue. Meanwhile, Biden said Ian “could be the deadliest hurricane in Florida history.”

  • Is climate change making things worse? In short, yes. Rainfall and storm surges – the latter due to rising sea levels – are both becoming more intense and destructive thanks to global warming, changing the pattern of hurricanes around the world.

Secret CIA websites could have been found by an ‘amateur’, study finds

A report revealed that the CIA used websites for secret communications that could have been discovered by an “amateur detective”. Photo: Larry Downing/Reuters

The CIA used hundreds of websites for secret communications that were seriously flawed and could have been identified even by an “amateur detective”, according to security researchers.

The flaws reportedly led to the deaths of more than two dozen US sources in China in 2011 and 2012 and also led Iran to execute or imprison other CIA assets.

The research was led by security experts from the University of Toronto’s Citizen Lab, who began investigating the case after receiving a tip from Reuters journalist Joel Schectmann.

The group said it is not releasing a full, detailed technical report of its findings to avoid endangering CIA assets or employees. But its limited findings raise serious doubts about how the intelligence agency handles security measures.

  • What did Citizen Lab discover? Using a single website and publicly available documents, Citizen Lab said it identified a network of 885 websites that it attributed “with high confidence” to having been used by the CIA. He found that the websites were supposed to be concerned with news, weather, health and other legitimate websites.

  • What did the CIA answer? CIA spokeswoman Tammy Kupperman Thorp said: “The CIA takes very seriously its obligations to protect the people who work with us and we know that many of them do so bravely, at the risk of their lives. . The idea that the CIA would not work as hard as possible to protect them is wrong.

Trevor Noah quits The Daily Show, saying he wants to do more stand-up

Trevor Noah in Los Angeles this month.
Trevor Noah in Los Angeles this month. Photography: Caroline Brehman/EPA

Trevor Noah is leaving The Daily Show after hosting it for seven years, saying he wants to devote more time to stand-up comedy.

The 38-year-old comedian, who moved to the United States in 2011 and was born in Johannesburg, South Africa, had big shoes to fill when he took over in 2015 after the long-time host left date Jon Stewart.

It quickly established itself with its own brand, suited to a time when online influence often outweighed that of cable TV content.

His reign on The Daily Show on Comedy Central required him to delicately cover some pivotal moments in American history, such as the Covid-19 pandemic, the Black Lives Matter movement and the 2021 attacks on the United States Capitol.

  • Who will take the reins? We did not know who would succeed him. It’s also unclear when Noah’s exact departure date is.

  • What did he say about leaving? “I spent two years in my apartment [during Covid], not on the road,” Noah told his studio audience last night. “The stand-up was over, and when I got back there, I realized there was another part of my life that I wanted to keep exploring.”

In other news…

Liz Truss in New York last week.
Liz Truss in New York last week. Photograph: Toby Melville/AP
  • Liz Truss, Britain’s new prime minister, will hold emergency talks with the head of Britain’s independent fiscal watchdog after failing to ease panic in financial markets on its radical economic plan. The repercussions of the new government’s “mini-budget” last week were felt in international financial markets, sending stocks in Europe, the United States and Asia plunging.

  • According to a new book, Donald Trump made his famous excuse for not releasing his tax returns on the fly – literally, while driving his campaign plane during the 2016 Republican primary. Maggie Haberman describes the scene on Trump’s plane just before Super Tuesday, March 1, 2016.

  • A suicide bombing at an educational institute in the Afghan capital Kabul has killed 19 people and injured 27, police said today. The blast occurred inside the center of Kabul’s Dashti Barchi neighborhood, said Khalid Zadran, the Taliban-appointed spokesman for Kabul’s police chief.

  • Conservative activist Ginni Thomas, the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, appeared yesterday for a voluntary interview with the House Jan. 6 committee. Thomas’ testimony was one of the remaining items for the committee as it nears the end of its work.

Stat of the day: US announces $800 million in aid for the Pacific as it tries to curb China’s influence in the region

Fijian Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama, Joe Biden and Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare met in Washington this week for the historic US-Pacific Summit.
Fijian Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama, Joe Biden and Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare met in Washington this week for the historic US-Pacific Summit. Photography: Bonnie Cash/EPA

The United States will provide an additional $810 million in support to Pacific island nations and recognize Niue and the Cook Islands as sovereign states, as part of the country’s efforts to increase engagement with the region following China’s growing presence in the Pacific. President Joe Biden announced the measures at the first United States-Pacific summit in Washington on Thursday. Biden told the leaders the United States was committed to strengthening its presence in the Pacific, especially as the region faces the “existential threat” of climate change.

Don’t miss it: Uganda’s first professional cyclist aims for the Tour de France

Rainy season in rural Uganda.
Rainy season in rural Uganda. Photograph: Dan Chung/The Guardian

It is September and the beginning of the rainy season in Uganda, when the roads are flooded with clay water, writes Frank Lopez. Despite these conditions, Florence Nakaggwa, 21, trains in the suburb of Masaka, a town 80 miles southwest of the Ugandan capital, Kampala. She cycles 30 to 60 miles (50 to 100 km) every day, going from the tarmac to the red soil of village roads. Earlier this year, Nakaggwa became the first female rider from Uganda to receive a professional cycling contract. She tells the Guardian she is determined to take her place among the great cyclists.

Climate toll: Arctic Ocean is acidifying up to four times faster than other oceans, study finds

The Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard
The Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard. Melting sea ice in the Arctic Ocean is accelerating warming and acidification, in a feedback loop known as Arctic amplification. Photography: Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

According to one study, acidification in the western Arctic Ocean is occurring three to four times faster than in other ocean basins. The ocean, which absorbs a third of all carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, has become more acidic due to the burning of fossil fuels. The rapid loss of sea ice in the Arctic region over the past three decades has accelerated the rate of long-term acidification, according to the study published yesterday in Science. The researchers said acidification occurs three to four times more than in the Atlantic, Pacific, Indian, Antarctic and Sub-Antarctic basins.

Last thing: kudos to New Zealand’s ‘middle finger’ health campaign

One of the images from the New Zealand advertising campaign
One of the images from the New Zealand ‘Stick it to hep C’ advertising campaign which was found to be indecent and offensive. Photo: Paste it on the Hepatitis C website

A New Zealand health campaign designed to help fight hepatitis C has hit a stumbling block after one of its adverts showing people raising their middle fingers was deemed too offensive to run. The campaign included actors raising their middle fingers to another person, while smiling. The ad then goes on to show an actor having his middle finger pricked for a blood test, to determine if he has the blood-borne virus. But the Advertising Standards Authority has upheld a complaint about the images. “The gesture has long been established as ‘sign language’ for a series of very rude words, in short ‘F*%$ You!'” the complainant said.

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