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Dorian is forecast to become a Category 3 ‘major’ hurricane. What does this mean?

 Doyle Rice, USA TODAY,USA TODAY

The latest forecast from the National Hurricane Center has Dorian strengthening into a major Category 3 hurricane with winds of 115 mph by Sunday off the U.S. East Coast. 

What does this mean?

A “major” hurricane is any hurricane that’s rated as a Category 3, 4 or 5 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson scale of hurricane intensity. A Category 3 hurricane has maximum sustained winds of from 111 to 129 mph.

The five hurricane categories of the scale are defined solely by wind speed and don’t take storm surge, heavy rain or barometric pressure into account. Keep in mind that water – whether through surging ocean waves or driving rain – is often the most destructive part of a hurricane, typically causing more devastation than wind.

If Dorian hits as a Category 3, “devastating” wind damage will occur, according to the National Hurricane Center.

“There is a high risk of injury or death to people, livestock and pets due to flying and falling debris,” the hurricane center warned.

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Mexico’s Playa Bagdad mixes sun, sand and drug trafficking

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MARIA VERZA, Associated Press

PLAYA BAGDAD, Mexico (AP) — At the very eastern end of the U.S.-Mexico border there’s a long strip of sand where the Rio Grande meets the sea. It is called Playa Bagdad — or ‘Bagdad Beach.’

Unlike the Tijuana-Imperial Beach border on the western end, here there are no steel pilings marching out to sea to stop migrants from swimming, wading or paddling across to the United States.

In Playa Bagdad, which is spelled ‘Playa Baghdad’ by the Drug Enforcement Agency, it’s apparently unnecessary: This is a beach for drugs and crime, not migrants.

As attention focuses on the migrant crisis along the border that has drawn harsh rhetoric and actions from President Donald Trump, Playa Bagdad seems to have escaped notice.

Here, there are no walls or border guards, just miles of dunes and Gulf coast beaches marked only by simple wooden huts or awnings held up by sticks.

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Amazon fires: Brazil to reject G7 aid after Bolsonaro rages at ‘colonialist’ leaders

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Brazilian officials say the government will reject more than $22m (£18m) pledged at the G7 summit in Biarritz to help fight raging Amazonwildfires.

Emmanuel Macron announced on Monday that the funding would be immediately released, and could be spent on more fire-fighting plane sorties to curb record blazes in the rainforest that have alarmed environmentalists.

Brazil did not immediately provide a reason for refusing the money, but its president Jair Bolsonaro has previously accused Mr Macron of adopting a “colonialist” mindset at the summit of leading developed nations in France.

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The Latest: New tropical depression forms in Atlantic

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Associated Press

5 p.m.

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — The Latest on tropical weather in the Atlantic Ocean (all times local):

A new tropical depression has formed in the Atlantic Ocean between Bermuda and the United States but isn’t expected to threaten the U.S. East Coast.

The National Hurricane Center in Miami reports Monday that the storm is about 295 miles (480 kilometers) southeast of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, and has maximum sustained winds of 35 miles per hour (55 kph). It is moving east at 2 miles per hour (4 kph).

The center says Tropical Depression Six is expected to become a tropical storm Monday night or Tuesday but will remain “well east” of the East Coast.

8:45 a.m.

Much of the eastern Caribbean island of Barbados shut down on Monday as Tropical Storm Dorian approached the region and gathered strength, threatening to turn into a small hurricane that forecasters said could affect Puerto Rico and its neighbors later in the week.

Prime Minister Mia Mottley closed schools and government offices across Barbados as she warned people to remain indoors.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center issued a tropical storm warning for Barbados, St. Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines. It also issued a tropical storm watch for Dominica, Martinique, Grenada, Saba and St. Eustatius. The storm was expected to dump between 2 to 4 inches (5 to 10 centimeters) of rain in Barbados and nearby islands, with isolated amounts of 6 inches (15 centimeters).

UPDATE 1-Seven killed in collision between helicopter, small plane in Mallorca

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Reuters

MADRID, Aug 25 (Reuters) – Seven people, including two minors, were killed on Sunday in a collision between a helicopter and a light plane on the Spanish island of Mallorca, the regional government said.

Five people were on board the helicopter, two of them minors, and they were all likely Germans, the Balearic Islands government said on Twitter. Two adult Spaniards were in the small plane. All the people on board the two aircraft were killed.

The cause of the accident was not yet known. Emergency services were notified of the crash at 1:35 p.m. time in the municipality of Inca.

“My solidarity and love for the families of the victims that lost their lives in this tragic accident,” Spanish acting Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez tweeted. (Reporting by Joan Faus Editing by Frances Kerry)

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Dad says Alaska Airlines ditched his 13-year-old daughter during layover: ‘I was shaking’

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 Megan Johnson,Yahoo Lifestyle

The Alaska Airlines website claims that those who pay the $75 unaccompanied minor fee can trust their constant supervision. “Once you’ve handed your child over to our care, he or she will remain under supervision at all times,” the website reads.

While the airline refunded the $75 fee to Davila, they responded in a statement claiming Davila’s daughter actually was met by an Alaska Airlines employee at San Francisco International Airport. However, they say she was asked to wait during a delay due to a mechanical issue.

“Caring for a child flying alone, without a guardian, is our top priority. We view them as the most precious cargo. Our investigation, which includes specific records that tracked the movement of our young guest, indicates employees did meet her when her flight arrived and escorted her to our Service Center at San Francisco International Airport,” Alaska Airlines said in a statement sent to WDTV.

“Our guest was asked to wait with employees at the Service Center, as her connecting flight to Seattle was delayed for 1.3 hours due to a mechanical issue. While we had tabs on our young guest the entire time, we understand that she may have felt unsupervised in the crowded area and for that we are deeply sorry. We also think we could have done a better job communicating with her. Given her experience, we are carefully evaluating our chain of custody procedures for unaccompanied minors making connections through SFO and will strengthen processes to make sure our young guests feel safe and attended to at all times while they are in our care.”

According to WTVD, the family would like to receive a full refund for the flight, in addition to the refund for the unaccompanied minor fee.

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Tropical Storm Dorian could strengthen to hurricane as it reaches Caribbean

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Forecasters issued a tropical storm warning for Barbados as strengthening Tropical Storm Dorian approached the island off the coast of northeastern South America on Sunday.

Authorities in St. Lucia, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines have issued storm watches, and the National Hurricane Center said additional watches and warnings would likely be issued Monday as the storm approaches the Windward and Leeward islands, which include Dominica and Martinique. Sunday, the storm was moving west about 14 mph but is expected to begin turning more northward on Monday and Tuesday, forecasters said.

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This graphic shows the potential wind speeds and areas that could be impacted as Tropical Storm Dorian moves into the Caribbean over the next several days.

Measles-stricken New Zealand girl visited Disneyland, other California destinations

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By Dan Whitcomb

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A teenage girl from New Zealand sick with measles visited Disneyland and other popular tourist stops across Southern California earlier this month, possibly infecting others, local government health officials warned.

The alert comes amid the worst outbreak of measles in the United States in a quarter century, with more than 1,200 cases reported across 30 states since October 2018, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health is looking to identify others who are at risk for measles and may have been exposed to a non-resident measles case that traveled to Los Angeles County while infectious,” the health department said in an advisory on Friday night.

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FILE PHOTO: A vial of the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine is pictured at the International Community Health Services clinic in Seattle

The Orange County Health Care Agency said that the girl was in Southern California from Aug. 11 to Aug. 15. 

During her stay in Southern California the girl visited the Universal Studios Theme Park and several destinations in Hollywood and Santa Monica, Los Angeles health officials said, adding that anyone who was also at those locations may be at risk of developing measles.

Orange County health officials said she visited Disneyland in Anaheim on Aug. 12 and stayed at the nearby Desert Palms Hotel. There was no information on her current condition. 

So far in 2019 a total of 16 measles cases have been reported among Los Angeles County residents, and 11 infected people are known to have traveled through the county. 

The CDC said earlier this week that there had been a 1.8% increase in the number of cases of the highly contagious and sometimes deadly virus in the United States between Aug. 8 and Aug. 15. 

The disease was declared eliminated in the United States in 2000, meaning there was no continuous transmission for at least a year. CDC officials say the United States risks losing its measles elimination status if the current outbreak, which began in October 2018 in New York state, continues until October 2019. 

Measles, considered one of the most contagious viruses in the world, infects 90% of exposed people who have not been immunized, according to the Los Angeles County Health Department. 

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Symptoms of the virus, which can cause severe complications and even death, include fever, cough, runny nose, red eyes and a characteristic rash which can appear up to three weeks following exposure.

(Reporting by Dan Whitcomb in Los Angeles; Editing by Matthew Lewis)

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Europe to see third major heat wave this summer, as temperatures soar from France to Scandinavia

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By Matthew Cappucci andAndrew FreedmanAugust 22

For the third time this summer, parts of Europe will soon be dealing with another heat wave. Temperatures will climb some 20 degrees above average in spots beginning this weekend, baking much of Eastern Europe and Scandinavia in unseasonable warmth.

The culprit for the hot weather will again be a strong area of high pressure aloft, or heat dome, that will set up an atmospheric squeeze-play of sorts between low pressure on either side. This will draw a flow of unusually warm air northward.

On Saturday, the heat will begin to crank up across most of Europe before consolidating over central Europe on Sunday. By Tuesday, a bubble of significant heat will pinch off and settle over Scandinavia, while the rest of the dome will settle south and reorganize over the Balkans.

The sweltering conditions are set to arrive in Germany on Sunday, when Frankfurt could hit the upper 80s. Then they will be within a degree or two of 90 on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday — pretty impressive considering the average high there this time of year is just 71 degrees.

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Qantas tests 20-hour non-stop flights to see if passengers can bear it

Qantas Airways Ltd. will run marathon ghost flights from New York and London to Sydney carrying just a few staff to see how the human body holds up before commercial services start.

Qantas said Thursday it will simulate the world’s longest direct flights with Boeing Co. Dreamliners as soon as October. The payload of 40 passengers and crew, most of them employees, will undergo a host of medical checks and assessments.

The Australian airline wants to start direct flights connecting Sydney to New York and London as soon as 2022. Chief Executive Officer Alan Joyce calls the services aviation’s final frontier.

The services, which take about 20 hours, aren’t yet a sure thing. Qantas still hasn’t decided on a Boeing or Airbus SE plane that can fly the route fully laden and without a break. And it’s not clear how passengers will tolerate living in the cabin for the best part of a day and night.

“The things we learn on these flights will be invaluable,” Joyce said on a call Thursday.

Joyce has previously said he plans to choose either Boeing’s 777-8X or Airbus’ ultra-long-range A350-900ULR and -1000ULR for the flights.

In an interview with Bloomberg Television, Joyce said the delay to Boeing’s 777X program hasn’t excluded the U.S. manufacturer from the deal.