Show an ad over header. AMP

Gulf Coast braces for 2 potential hurricanes days apart

Two intensifying tropical storms have barreled past the Caribbean, pouring rain down on Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, as they take aim at the U.S. Gulf Coast.

Why it matters: Per NOAA, Tropical Storms Laura and Marco are forecast to strike Louisiana's coast this week at or near hurricane strength as the state continues to battle the coronavirus pandemic.

  • Storm surge, flash flood, tropical storm and hurricane watches are in effect ahead of Marco's expected arrival on Monday, the National Weather Service said. Laura is due to hit Wednesday.
  • Colorado State University hurricane researcher Phil Klotzbach told AP two hurricanes have never struck the Gulf of Mexico in the same week since records began some 120 years ago.

What to expect: The National Hurricane Center warned late Saturday there could be a prolonged period of hazardous weather. The area between coastal Mississippi and northeast Texas was under threat from Marco and the region spanning Alabama's coast to Louisiana in line for Laura as of Sunday morning, though this was subject to change.

What they're saying: Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) urged residents via Twitter to account for COVID-19 in their precautions, ensuring they have masks and sanitation supplies if they do leave home, noting: "This is unlike anything we've seen."

  • He said had requested a federal disaster declaration from the White House ahead of the storms' arrival.
  • Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves declared a state of emergency at a news briefing on Saturday. "We are in unprecedented times," he said. "We are dealing with not only two potential storms in the next few hours; we are also dealing with COVID-19."

The big picture: Laura formed near the Leeward Islands on Friday morning.

  • AP reports the tropical storm on Saturday left some 200,000 customers without power and over 10,000 with no water in Puerto Rico after downing trees in the south — an area still recovering from 2017's Hurricane Maria and which was hit by a series of earthquakes earlier this year.
  • Marco formed in the northwestern Caribbean on Friday night. It was initially forecast to sweep over Mexico's Yucatán state, but it moved further east.

Supreme Court backs religious groups on New York coronavirus restrictions

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled late Wednesday that restrictions imposed on New York places of worship by Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) during the coronavirus pandemic violated the First Amendment, per Bloomberg.

Why it matters: The decision in a 5-4 vote heralds one of the first significant actions by the new President Trump-appointed conservative Justice Amy Coney Barrett, who cast the deciding vote in favor of the Catholic Church and Orthodox Jewish synagogues.

Editor's note: This a breaking news story. Please check back for updates.

Trump agency head who often skips mask tests positive for coronavirus

The acting administrator of the United States Agency for International Development informed senior staff Wednesday he has tested positive for coronavirus, two sources familiar with the call tell Axios.

Why it matters: John Barsa, who staffers say rarely wears a mask in their office, is the latest in a series of top administration officials to contract the virus. His positive diagnosis comes amid broader turmoil at the agency following the election.

Keep reading... Show less

COVID-19 shows a bright future for vaccines

Promising results from COVID-19 vaccine trials offer hope not just that the pandemic could be ended sooner than expected, but that medicine itself may have a powerful new weapon.

Why it matters: Vaccines are, in the words of one expert, "the single most life-saving innovation ever," but progress had slowed in recent years. New gene-based technology that sped the arrival of the COVID vaccine will boost the overall field, and could even extend to mass killers like cancer.

Keep reading... Show less

Beware a Thanksgiving mirage

Don't be surprised if COVID metrics plunge over the next few days, only to spike next week.

Why it matters: The COVID Tracking Project warns of a "double-weekend pattern" on Thanksgiving — where the usual weekend backlog of data is tacked on to a holiday.

Keep reading... Show less

Trump pardons Michael Flynn

President Trump on Wednesday pardoned his former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who pleaded guilty in December 2017 to lying to the FBI about his Russian contacts.

Why it matters: It is the first of multiple pardons expected in the coming weeks, as Axios scooped last night.

This is a breaking story and will be updated with more details.

The emerging cybersecurity headaches awaiting Biden

The incoming administration will face a slew of cybersecurity-related challenges, as Joe Biden takes office under a very different environment than existed when he was last in the White House as vice president.

The big picture: President-elect Biden's top cybersecurity and national security advisers will have to wrestle with the ascendancy of new adversaries and cyberpowers, as well as figure out whether to continue the more aggressive stance the Trump administration has taken in cyberspace.

Keep reading... Show less

Past friction between Biden and Erdoğan foreshadows future tensions

Ankara — The incoming Biden administration's foreign policy priorities and worldview will collide with those of the Turkish government on several issues.

Why it matters: The U.S. needs its NATO ally Turkey for its efforts to contain Russia, counter Iran and deal with other crises in the Middle East. But relations between Biden and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan are expected to be strained.

Keep reading... Show less

Tesla's wild rise and European plan

Data: FactSet; Chart: Axios Visuals

Tesla's market capitalization blew past $500 billion for the first time Tuesday.

Why it matters: It's just a number, but kind of a wild one. Consider, via CNN: "Tesla is now worth more than the combined market value of most of the world's major automakers: Toyota, Volkswagen, GM, Ford, Fiat Chrysler and its merger partner PSA Group."

Keep reading... Show less



Get Goodhumans in your inbox

Most Read

More Stories