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“A category 4 hurricane approaches plus, medicare and theater subscriptions.”

Views expressed in this U.S., World, and Geopolitical News update are those of the reporters and correspondents.  Accessed on 30 August 2023, 1310 UTC.

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Good morning. We’re covering Hurricane Idalia, Medicare and theater subscriptions.

Rising waters in St. Petersburg, Fla., early this morning. Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Idalia’s landfall

Hurricane Idalia intensified overnight and is now a Category 4 storm heading toward Florida’s Gulf Coast. It has wind speeds of 130 miles an hour and is expected to make landfall around 8 a.m Eastern, bringing catastrophic waves and potentially submerging the coast in up to 16 feet of flooding. You can track the storm’s path here.
The strongest part of the storm will be over Florida’s Big Bend, where the state’s long peninsula curves to meet its Panhandle. Though that region is sparsely populated, the storm is expected to affect much of the southeastern United States: Officials issued evacuation orders in counties across West and Central Florida, and governors in Georgia and the Carolinas declared states of emergency because of concerns about heavy rains and potential tornadoes.
More than half of Florida’s western coastline is at risk of life-threatening storm surges, as rising ocean water floods towns. “You’re not going to be able to survive that,” Gov. Ron DeSantis warned. Here are the latest updates:
  • More than 50,000 customers in Florida are already without power. Tallahassee is preparing for outages that could last days, expecting its strongest storm in decades.
  • Heavy rains doused Tampa, Florida’s third-largest city, overnight. Much of the city closed in preparation. See what has shut down.
  • Schools canceled classes, performers postponed concerts and museums closed across the Southeast, too.
  • Children in the Naples, Fla., area huddled in hallways yesterday during a tornado warning.
  • The Florida National Guard is fully mobilized, with more 55,000 soldiers and airmen either deployed or deploying, and help is coming from as far away as California.
Communities along hundreds of miles of coastline boarded up windows, sandbagged buildings and emptied grocery store shelves of water. Many people have fled Cedar Key, an island city that is home to roughly 700 people. “My family has been here for many generations,” said the mayor, Heath Davis. “We haven’t seen a storm this bad, ever.”

Hot water, stronger hurricanes

Idalia (pronounced ee-DAL-ya) is the first major hurricane to threaten the U.S. mainland this Atlantic season, which is expected to be more active than usual. That’s partly because of human-driven climate change, which appears to have contributed to record-breaking ocean temperatures off the Florida coast.
Warmer air and water feed a hurricane’s winds. “There’s never been as much fuel available to a hurricane as Idalia has available to it,” said Daniel Gilford, a meteorologist at the research group Climate Central. Warming can also cause hurricanes to intensify rapidly and increase how much rain they drop, worsening flooding.
Idalia is expected to hit some parts of Florida that have yet to fully rebuild after Hurricane Ian, which devastated the state’s southwest coast last year.
After slamming into Florida, Idalia is expected to weaken. Forecasters predict it will head north into Georgia, then lash the southeastern U.S. before heading back out to sea.

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Some of the medications on the government’s list.Matt Rourke/Associated Press
  • The Biden administration named the first 10 medicines that will be subject to Medicare price negotiations, including drugs to treat diabetes and cancer. Here’s the full list.
  • Steve Scalise, the No. 2 House Republican, said he had multiple myeloma, a rare but treatable blood cancer.
  • Republican House members in vulnerable seats are highlighting their support for contraception access to voters skeptical about their party’s opposition to abortion.
2024 Election
War in Ukraine
The cemetery in St. Petersburg, Russia, where Yevgeny Prigozhin was buried.Nanna Heitmann for The New York Times
  • Russia used false reports about hearses and decoy police contingents to prevent crowds gathering for the burial of the mercenary leader Yevgeny Prigozhin.
  • Russian troops are advancing in the northeast of Ukraine, Ukrainian troops in the south. Each side hopes to divert the other’s forces.
  • Volodymyr Zelensky asked for more F-16 fighter jets while visiting Western allies.
Gun Violence
  • A.J. Laguerre, 19, wanted to go to college, but he took a job at a Dollar General store to support his grandmother. Read more about the victims of the Jacksonville shooting.
  • A U.N.C. graduate student was charged with murdering one of his professors in a shooting that locked down the campus for hours on Monday.
Other Big Stories
  • Military officers in Gabon said they had seized power in a coup.
  • Most students in Lahaina, Hawaii, haven’t enrolled in classes for the fall after the deadly wildfire.
  • A Native American boarding school system in place for more than 150 years forcibly removed children from their homes. Hundreds died.
  • Uganda charged a 20-year-old man with “aggravated homosexuality” under its antigay law, a crime punishable by death.
  • A water-main break in Times Square flooded streets and subway tunnels, upending commutes.
Is America’s memory of the pandemic accurate? Not quite, the epidemiologist Katelyn Jetelina argues, and that could hurt future responses.
Critics of Oregon’s policy of drug decriminalization assume that charging people for opioid possession will somehow lead to treatment. But when has it? Maia Szalavitz writes.
Here are columns by Thomas Edsall on campaign financing and Bret Stephens on China’s economic problems.
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Night swimming.Andrea DiCenzo for The New York Times.
Dubai: To escape the heat, people are going to the beach in the middle of the night.
Would your partner cheat? A paid online service is offering to help you find an answer.
Regret: It’s a painful emotion, but it can be harnessed.
Lives Lived: In plays like “Coastal Disturbances” and “Painting Churches,” the writer Tina Howe zeroed in on her characters’ humor, heartache and solidity, particularly the women. She died at 85.


One and done: Venus Williams lost in the first round of the U.S. Open.
Purge: The Angels put nearly a fifth of their roster on waivers yesterday, another reminder of the team’s swift fall since the trade deadline.
An emotional pick: Justin Thomas surprisingly made the Ryder Cup team, announced yesterday, despite a terrible year on the course.


Clarence Brown Theater in Knoxville, Tenn.Jessica Tezak for The New York Times
Unsubscribe: Before the pandemic, many people bought subscriptions to their local theaters, paying upfront to see most or all of a season’s shows. But while theaters were closed during Covid, longtime subscribers started streaming entertainment instead of going out. Their cancellations have caused deep problems for many theaters.

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Here is today’s Spelling Bee. Yesterday’s pangram was fixated.
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