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5 things for September 12: Florence, Syria, Catholic Church, New Hampshire, whales

You can stop to take in the iconic outdoor scenes in Florence, Italy. But don't take a bite of your gelato a...

Posted: Sep 12, 2018 11:35 AM
Updated: Sep 12, 2018 11:35 AM

You can stop to take in the iconic outdoor scenes in Florence, Italy. But don't take a bite of your gelato as you gaze. You could get fined $581. Here's what else you need to know to Get Up to Speed and Out the Door. (You can also get "5 Things You Need to Know Today" delivered to your inbox daily. Sign up here.)

1. Hurricane Florence

Belief, religion and spirituality

Catholics and catholicism

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Continents and regions

Europe

Florence

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Middle East

Middle East and North Africa

New Hampshire

North America

Northeastern United States

Religious groups

Society

Southern Europe

Syria

The Americas

United States

Syria conflict

Unrest, conflicts and war

Animals

Dolphins and whales

Life forms

Mammals

Marine mammals

Accidents, disasters and safety

Hurricane Florence

Hurricanes

Natural disasters

Severe weather

Tropical storms

Weather

It's scary enough that the National Weather Service has called Florence a "storm of a lifetime." Now, there's also the absolutely terrifying prospect that the Category 4 storm will stall out as it approaches the Carolina coast Friday. Forecasters say it could churn from Wilmington, North Carolina, to Charleston, South Carolina, for days, bringing maximum rain, high winds and destruction.

Florence is one of the strongest hurricanes on the eastern seaboard in decades, and more than 1 million people are under mandatory evacuation orders in the Carolinas and Virginia. About 30 million people across the Southeast will be affected, if the forecast holds. You can track Florence here and get live updates.  Also:

• Learn the four factors that make Florence extremely dangerous;

• Find out why coastal communities should fear the storm surge;

• Discover the startling stats that show Florence's power;

• Learn why wherever Florence hits, its impact will be far-reaching; and

• Don't forget about the other storms out there, including Tropical Storm Olivia, which is closing in on Hawaii.

As coastal residents nailed up plywood before heading inland, President Trump praised the government's Hurricane Maria response last year, calling it "an incredible, unsung success," despite a death toll estimated at nearly 3,000 people.

2. Syria

The US is warning Russia and the Syrian regime against more airstrikes in Syria. UN Ambassador Nikki Haley warned them that there would be "dire consequences" if they continue airstrikes on Idlib, the last rebel-held area in Syria. She promised the US would respond to any use of chemical weapons, though Defense Secretary James Mattis declined to say whether the US would take military action. Syrian regime forces, backed up by the Russians, are trying to retake Idlib and essentially end the rebellion after more than seven years of war.

3. Catholic Church

Washington's embattled archbishop says he'll meet with Pope Francis soon to talk about stepping down. Cardinal Donald Wuerl faces increasing scrutiny in two areas: how he handled abusive priests while he headed the Diocese of Pittsburgh and what he may have known about abuse allegations against his predecessor, former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick. Wuerl said the Pope asked him to consider his best course of action "as we face new revelations of the extent of the horror of the clergy abuse of children and the failures in episcopal oversight." Francis plans to meet tomorrow at the Vatican with leaders of the US church to talk more about the sex abuse crisis.

4. New Hampshire primaries

No matter what voters decide, history will be made in New Hampshire this fall. Voters in the state's 1st Congressional District will either elect the state's first openly gay or first African-American congressman. Democrats picked Chris Pappas, who's gay, as their nominee, while Republicans chose Eddie Edwards, a black former police chief and a Navy veteran. This district regularly swings between the two major parties and backed President Trump in 2016.

5. Whale sanctuary

Picture it: A place in the ocean where whales can swim free from fear of attacks from man. Who would be against that? Actually, a lot of people. A coalition of pro-whaling nations shot down a proposal to create a South Atlantic whale sanctuary during a conference in Brazil. Japan, Norway and Russia were among the nations that voted against the proposal, which also aimed to increase the whale stock and curb the "severe exploitation" by foreign whaling fleets in the South Atlantic. The measure's defeat was strongly condemned by international conservation groups and animal rights activists.

TODAY'S QUOTE

"It is incomprehensible ..."

Elizabeth Smart, decrying the Utah parole board's decision to release one of the people who abducted her 16 years ago

BREAKFAST BROWSE

Printer power

Who needs factories? Volkswagen says it will soon start making some car parts with 3D printers.

Walk of honor

Firefighters across the country remembered their comrades who died on 9/11 by climbing 110 flights of stairs.

Eagle eye

A 9/11 remembrance memorial in Minnesota got a symbolic boost when a bald eagle swooped in for a bit.

Dance of life

Meet the young cancer survivor whose backward leg allows her to dance.

HAPPENING LATER

You'll wanna put down your phone for this

It's Apple iPhone event day. So, what can we expect when Tim Cook steps onto the stage at Apple headquarters in California? Here's a preview.

AND FINALLY

Makin' bacon

The long run of "Adventure Time" came to an end this month. But you can still enjoy the cartoon's tasty bacon pancakes. (Click to view.)

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 153270

Reported Deaths: 3807
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto10332104
Hinds10190199
Harrison7244111
Jackson6521124
Rankin5805103
Lee523695
Madison4964107
Forrest388286
Jones367788
Lauderdale3575147
Lafayette334952
Washington3241108
Lamar296650
Oktibbeha251362
Lowndes243864
Bolivar242984
Panola229653
Neshoba2241118
Marshall221250
Leflore207791
Monroe203978
Pontotoc202929
Lincoln194865
Sunflower192555
Warren178757
Tate177051
Union171026
Copiah167040
Pike164758
Yazoo158840
Scott157930
Itawamba156135
Alcorn154828
Pearl River154168
Coahoma151943
Simpson151953
Prentiss149531
Adams144451
Grenada142845
Leake139444
Holmes132361
Tippah128030
Covington127939
George126425
Winston124526
Hancock123640
Wayne120623
Marion118646
Attala117534
Tishomingo110842
Chickasaw109032
Newton108029
Tallahatchie97727
Clay93427
Clarke93053
Jasper84822
Stone80015
Calhoun78113
Walthall77229
Montgomery75825
Carroll74015
Lawrence73414
Smith72816
Noxubee72517
Yalobusha72328
Perry68126
Tunica62319
Greene61222
Claiborne58916
Jefferson Davis58817
Amite55814
Humphreys54719
Benton49918
Quitman4977
Webster46414
Kemper44718
Wilkinson40422
Jefferson36411
Franklin3535
Choctaw3507
Sharkey32317
Issaquena1204
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 249524

Reported Deaths: 3578
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson33064500
Mobile19951362
Madison13596148
Tuscaloosa13246154
Montgomery12435236
Shelby1061677
Baldwin889098
Lee781466
Morgan686150
Etowah643966
Calhoun6430121
Marshall635355
Houston537738
DeKalb492236
Cullman451542
Limestone433345
St. Clair432555
Lauderdale422354
Elmore412964
Walker3710111
Talladega359354
Jackson329823
Colbert329642
Blount299740
Autauga278042
Franklin256434
Coffee248315
Dale236254
Chilton227438
Dallas226832
Russell22383
Covington220434
Escambia198931
Tallapoosa184391
Chambers177950
Pike159914
Clarke159819
Marion143636
Winston135123
Lawrence131636
Pickens125718
Geneva12438
Marengo123124
Bibb119617
Barbour117811
Butler117842
Randolph104921
Cherokee103424
Hale97831
Fayette92516
Washington92219
Clay92024
Henry8756
Lowndes80229
Monroe79011
Cleburne77814
Macon74522
Crenshaw72030
Bullock70219
Perry6906
Lamar6898
Conecuh68814
Wilcox64218
Sumter58622
Greene42818
Choctaw42713
Coosa3544
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