Hurricane Florence Makes Landfall, Super Typhoon Mangkhut Moves Towards The Philippines, Explosions Rock Three Towns

Hurricane Florence Makes Landfall, Super Typhoon Mangkhut Moves Towards The Philippines, Explosions Rock Three Massachusetts Towns, And More
  • ​Hurricane Florence made landfall in North Carolina this morning at 7:15 a.m. local time and is expected to continue to spread heavy rain and strong winds in the region. "The eyewall will move extremely slowly across the North Carolina coast through early Friday morning bringing extreme wind gusts and very heavy rainfall," according to The Weather Channel. "Extreme rainfall is already occurring in eastern North Carolina. A flash flood emergency was issued for portions of Carteret, Craven, Pamlico, and Jones counties due to a combination of storm surge and heavy rainfall." Florence has already knocked out power to more than 400,000 homes and businesses in North Carolina, and roughly 150 people are stranded in a storm surge awaiting rescue in New Bern.

  • A nuclear power plant in North Carolina is bracing for Hurricane Florence's arrival. The Duke Energy Corp's dual-reactor Brunswick plant has a similar design to the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant, which was hit by an earthquake and a tsunami in 2011, causing meltdowns in three of its six reactors. "We're monitoring the meteorological conditions, and if we have certainty that the winds onsite will reach 73 miles per hour, then we'll begin an orderly shutdown of the units," said Karen Williams, a spokeswoman for Duke Energy, who spoke to WIRED on Wednesday.

  • Super Typhoon Mangkhut is making its way through the Pacific Ocean towards the Philippines and China. The typhoon currently has winds of 180 miles per hour, is one of the strongest systems on record, and could impact nearly 37 million people in its path. "Mangkhut, which is equivalent to a Category 5 hurricane, has prompted mass evacuations in the Philippines," Business Insider reports. "Lt. Gen. Emmanuel Salamat, commander of North Luzon forces, said 2,000 families have been evacuated form their homes as of Friday. Tens of thousands more have been evacuated from China's Guangdong."

  • A series of explosions and fires impacted almost 40 homes and businesses in three Massachusetts towns Thursday, killing at least one man and injuring 10 others. Authorities said the cause of the explosions may have been an issue with a gas service that impacted Lawrence, Andover, and North Andover. "This has been an overwhelming event," Andover Fire Rescue Chief Michael B. Mansfield told CNN. "I have been in the fire service for almost 39 years and I have never seen anything like this in my entire career… It looked like Armageddon, it really did."

  • McDonald's female employees plan to strike next week in 10 U.S. cities to pressure management to change how it handles reports of sexual harassment. "In May, 10 women filed sexual harassment complaints against McDonald's restaurants with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission," Vox reports. "Some of them are now organizing the walking out in partnership with the Time's Up Legal Defense Fund, a legal aid group for workers who experience sexual harassment, and Fight for $15, a labor group fighting for higher wages in the fast-food industry."

  • Mass surveillance by the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) and the U.K.'s Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) violated the European Convention on Human Rights by illegally intruding on the private lives of British and European citizens, the European Court of Human Rights ruled. "The court found that the sharing of intelligence information gathered from bulk surveillance—as GCHQ does with the NSA and other members of the 'Five Eyes' intelligence and security alliance—does not violate the human rights charter," according to Ars Technica. "But the judges did warn that using such intelligence sharing to bypass restrictions on surveillance of a member state's own citizens would be a violation of the charter."

  • In other news, North Korea says a "smear campaign" over hacking undercuts strides made with the U.S. government, a pretrial hearing for Paul Manafort was delayed, new research finds that many people fear robots and computers will eliminate jobs while increasing inequality, and a new executive order may not do enough to address U.S. election interference.