Potentially Catastrophic Hurricane, Border Fence Gaps, Downtown Pontiac Surveillance, Google Pentagon Bid

Potentially Catastrophic Hurricane, Border Fence Gaps, Downtown Pontiac Surveillance, Google Pentagon Bid
  • Hurricane Michael was roaring toward the Florida Panhandle and getting even stronger before making landfall later Wednesday. As of 8 a.m. ET, the intense Category 4 hurricane was packing top sustained winds of 145 mph. The National Hurricane Center described Michael as "potentially catastrophic." Michael could be the worst storm ever to hit the ​Panhandle. Nearly 30 million people in the southeast are in Michael's crosshairs. Forecasters said it will bring damaging winds and potentially life-threatening storm surge.

  • Roughly a decade ago when the federal government built 60 miles of border fence in the Rio Grande Valley in Texas, it left a few dozen long gaps in the barrier where it said it would eventually install gates. The spaces have been a point of confusion and frustration for local residents who say they render the fence ineffective. Now, infused with cash from the Trump administration, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security is looking to fill the gaps. On Tuesday, the agency filed a notice in the Federal Register saying it plans to waive more than a dozen environmental and other laws so it can install gates and roads along the border fence in Cameron County.

  • A new public-private community partnership in Michigan is aiming to catch downtown Pontiac on camera. The Downtown Pontiac Surveillance Group has installed a total of 57 high-definition security cameras downtown so far, and they are being monitored during business hours. The ultimate goal is to emulate a version of Project Green Light Detroit, which saw security cameras paid for by private businesses installed throughout the city, and to have the cameras monitored all-hours of the day, the Oakland Press reports.

  • Google has dropped a bid for a $10 billion Pentagon cloud computing project, the company announced Monday, BGR reports. The about-face comes after Google employees protested and resigned at what they perceived as their company's enabling of warfare technology, and demanded a corporate policy to prevent Google from working on harmful technologies in the future. The bid was for a Pentagon initiative called the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI), a plan to move the bulk of the Department of Defense's data to a centralized cloud infrastructure.