Thursday, Sep 21st

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Hurricane Lee, now very large, is raising wind and surf dangers along the East Coast

Hurricane LeeHurricane Lee will bring perilous rip currents and surf conditions at beaches along the U.S. East Coast this week. And while the strong storm has yet to make landfall anywhere, forecasters are warning people to look out for wind and rain hazards.

Lee is currently a Category 3 hurricane, according to the National Hurricane Center. It's also much larger than it was just a few days ago: Lee's hurricane-force winds extend up to 90 miles from its center, with tropical storm-force winds extending for some 205 miles. Compare that to last Friday, when its hurricane-force winds extended 35 miles out.

Here are key things to know about Hurricane Lee, as it starts to move north along the U.S. coast:


Decongestant ingredient in popular products does not work, FDA concludes

Many decongestants do not work: FDA

A common decongestant ingredient of numerous popular over-the-counter cold and flu remedies does not work, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) concluded on Tuesday.

An advisory panel spent two days looking at studies of phenylephrine, an active ingredient in well-known medicines including Benadryl, Mucinex, Sudafed PE and Tylenol, and reported to the FDA that it is no more effective than a placebo.

The announcement raises the likelihood of the medicines disappearing from shelves this fall while manufacturers scramble to formulate alternative formulas without it, according to the New York Times, which first reported the development.


‘Authoritarian regimes ban books’: Democrats raise alarm at Senate hearing

Authoritarian regimes ban books

A Senate hearing on book bans and censorship on Tuesday spotlighted the growing phenomenon in America and highlighted a partisan split on the issue, with Democrats decrying censorship as Republicans and rightwing activists push for many works to be taken out of schools and libraries, claiming it should be parents’ rights to do so.

Many of the most commonly banned books deal with topics such as racism, sexuality and gender identity. Conservatives also argue that some books, many exploring queer identity and LGBTQ+ themes, include sexually explicit content inappropriate for students. School librarians opposing such book bans have been attacked and harassed.


Co-founder of fake cryptocurrency scheme sentenced to 20 years in US prison

Greenwood gets 20 yearsA federal judge in New York sentenced the co-founder of the purported cryptocurrency OneCoin to 20 years in prison on Tuesday for what prosecutors called a $4 billion fraud.

U.S. District Judge Edgardo Ramos in Manhattan sentenced Karl Sebastian Greenwood, a dual citizen of Sweden and the United Kingdom, who pleaded guilty to fraud and money laundering charges in December 2022.

Ramos also ordered Greenwood to forfeit $300 million.

Greenwood has been detained in New York since his 2018 arrest in Thailand and extradition to the United States over his role in promoting OneCoin.


Women denied abortions file lawsuits in Idaho, Tennessee and Oklahoma over bans

Women denied abortions sues statesAn abortion rights advocacy group filed lawsuits in three states on Tuesday on behalf of women who say they were denied abortions despite suffering life-threatening pregnancy complications.

The Center for Reproductive Rights sued on behalf of eight women and four doctors in Idaho, Tennessee and Oklahoma, three states that have passed some of the strictest abortion bans since the U.S. Supreme Court gutted federal abortion rights by overturning Roe v. Wade in 2022.

The lawsuits follow a similar case brought by the center in Texas, where a judge last month sided with five women who were denied abortions and exempted women experiencing pregnancy complications from Texas' stringent abortion ban.

The lawsuits in Idaho and Tennessee ask the state courts to clarify those states' legal exceptions for abortions in cases of medical emergencies, so that doctors may perform abortions when they deem them necessary without fear of prosecution.


Libya floods wipe out quarter of city, death toll passes 2,000

Libya floods wipe out quarter of a cityMore than 2,000 people were killed and at least 10,000 were missing in Libya in floods caused by a huge Mediterranean storm that burst dams, swept away buildings and wiped out as much as a quarter of the eastern coastal city of Derna.

Officials expected the death toll to rise further after Storm Daniel barrelled across the Mediterranean into a country divided and crumbling after more than a decade of conflict.

In Derna, a city of around 125,000 inhabitants, Reuters journalists saw wrecked neighbourhoods, their buildings washed out and cars flipped on their roofs in streets covered in mud and rubble left by a wide torrent after dams burst.


5 Officers Involved In Tyre Nichols' Killing Indicted By Federal Jury

5 officers charged in death of Tre Nichols

A federal grand jury has indicted the five Memphis police officers involved in the January killing of 29-year-old Tyre Nichols, according to court filings on Tuesday.

The indictment comes months after officers Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Emmitt Martin III, Desmond Mills Jr. and Justin Smith — all Black men — were captured on body camera footage brutally beating Nichols during a Jan. 7 traffic stop. The killing led to a Justice Department investigation into the department’s policing.

The department fired the officers in January, and in February, they each pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder and other state-level charges.


'A promising step:' NASA says planet 8.6 times bigger than Earth could support life

NASA says exoplanet could support life

NASA's James Webb Space Telescope has uncovered evidence of a possible ocean world larger than Earth with conditions that have the potential to support life.

The exoplanet known as K2-18 b was first discovered in 2015 more than 120 light-years from Earth during the space agency's K2 mission. But Webb's enhanced technology compared to previous space telescopes recently allowed scientists to more closely examine the star-orbiting planet beyond our solar system.

And what they found was nothing short of remarkable.

Observations in 2019 with Webb's predecessor, the Hubble Space Telescope, previously indicated that the exoplanet — 8.6 times bigger than Earth — could be a "Hycean" world with a hydrogen-rich atmosphere and a surface covered by ocean water. Now, a new investigation with the Webb telescope has revealed traces of carbon-bearing molecules in K2-18 b's atmosphere, including methane and carbon dioxide, NASA said Monday.


Reuters: Ukraine could get long-range missiles armed with US cluster bombs - officials

ATACM'sThe Biden administration is close to approving the shipment of longer-range missiles packed with cluster bombs to Ukraine, giving Kyiv the ability to cause significant damage deeper within Russian-occupied territory, according to four U.S. officials.

After seeing the success of cluster munitions delivered in 155 mm artillery rounds in recent months, the U.S. is considering shipping either or both Army Tactical Missile Systems (ATACMS) that can fly up to 190 miles (306 km), or Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (GMLRS) missiles with a 45-mile range packed with cluster bombs, three U.S. officials said.

If approved, either option would be available for rapid shipment to Kyiv.

Ukraine is currently equipped with 155 mm artillery with a maximum range of 18 miles carrying up to 48 bomblets. The ATACMS under consideration would propel around 300 or more bomblets. The GMLRS rocket system, a version of which Ukraine has had in its arsenal for months, would be able to disperse up to 404 cluster munitions.




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