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The best stories of the day
Florida Gulf Coast residents evacuate as the state prepares for Idalia. The storm became a Category 1 hurricane this morning and will intensify before making landfall.
- Even though the storm is heading north of Tampa, NPR’s Greg Allen says the city is still concerned about storm surges because the Tampa Bay area is low and prone to flooding. On First today he reports that President Biden and Governor Ron DeSantis spoke. The White House approves the state’s request for a federal disaster declaration.
- Some gas stations in Florida were told to stop selling gas due to fuel contamination. The diesel was placed in ordinary gas tanks, which could prevent cars and generators that use the gas from working.
The United States is experiencing a summer wave new cases of COVID. I am recovering after first receiving it last week. Even though most people don’t get seriously ill, hospitalizations are on the rise and schools are encouraging students to wear masks again.
- NPR’s Maria Godoy spoke to a doctor who says that most hospitalizations are for the elderly. She says the CDC is concerned about a new variant detected in the United States and a handful of other countries. The BA.2.86 variant is “quite different” from strains currently in circulation. The question now is whether it will cause a significant surge like Omicron did.
A 20-year-old man in Uganda became the first person charged with “aggravated homosexuality, an offense punishable by death under the country’s anti-LGBTQ+ law.
- Uganda has not executed anyone for decades. NPR’s Emmanuel Akinwotu reports that a conviction “would put this recent precedent to the test.” The World Bank has said it will not consider new loans to Uganda, and the United States has restricted travel for some Ugandan officials due to the country’s anti-LGBTQ+ law. But Akinwotu says international pressure “inadvertently reinforces this common conspiracy” that gay culture is alien.
The Navy, Army and Marine Corps are without leaders after Alabama Senator Tommy Tuberville suspended Senate confirmations indefinitely. The Pentagon says 301 admiral and general nominations are in limbo. That number could be as high as 650. Senator Tuberville wants the military to change its policy of reimbursing service members for travel to seek reproductive care, including abortions.
NPR’s Malaika Gharib spent her summers in the mid-90s in Egypt, where his father lived. Air conditioners weren’t standard back then, so she had to find ways to cope with the heat. Gharib’s comic describes how locals used to stay cool – and why it lasts long enough today.
It’s not too late for one last summer trip — especially as we approach the long Labor Day weekend. Don’t let jet lag ruin your next vacation. NPR’s international reporters share their top tips for avoiding jet lag.
- Start adapting to the new time zone a few days before your trip.
- Try to sleep on the plane, but avoid prescription sedatives.
- Once you land, try combining exposure to daylight early in the day with a melatonin tablet in the evening.
- Take a nap if you are tired, but do not take a nap for more than 20 minutes.
3 things to know before you go
Caroline Albertin/MBL Cephalopods Program/Caroline Albertin/MBL Cephalopods Program
Scientists have genetically modified some hummingbird bobtail squid so that they are almost transparent. The squids will offer researchers a new way to study the animal’s biology.
Voting is open for the Tree of the Year competition in the UK. A winner will be crowned among 13 iconic trees. The winning tree will represent the UK in the European Tree of the Year competition.
More than 100 athletes who participated in the Tough Mudder obstacle course in California fell ill with a possible bacterial infection. Symptoms include fever, vomiting, muscle aches and a distinct rash including boils. (via KQED)
This newsletter was edited by Majd Al-Waheidi.