As the sun comes up on the Florida Panhandle this morning we're getting up to speed on the devastation delivered by Hurricane Michael. People there are going to need assistance. Here's how you can help. And here's what else you need to know to Get Up to Speed and Out the Door.
1. Tropical Storm Michael
Michael is a tropical storm this morning, churning through central and eastern Georgia on its way to the storm-weary Carolinas. But everyone is just now getting a sense of the destruction it brought to Florida. Michael slammed into the Florida Panhandle on Wednesday as a powerful Category 4 storm with winds of 155 mph. It was the third-most powerful hurricane in history to hit the continental United States.
• At least two people are dead, untold numbers of homes and businesses have been destroyed and thousands are without power.
• The small coastal town of Mexico Beach, Florida, has been left in ruins.
• People who rode out the storm in their homes in Panama City saw their roofs fly away.
• Michael has been a monster storm unlike any other. CNN's Holly Yan explains why.
• Michael's strength may reflect the effect of climate change on storms. CNN's John Sutter says it may be time to stop calling hurricanes "natural disasters."
• You can track the storm here.
• If you have a weak phone connection, you can get text-only versions of top stories.
• And don't forget to sign up for hurricane alerts.
2. Financial markets
The markets in Asia and Europe were down overnight as the shockwaves from the big drop in the US stock market reverberated around the world. The Dow plummeted 832 points Wednesday, the third-worst point decline in history. Tech stocks were hit especially hard. The rise in yields on US Treasury bonds, now near a seven-year high, was blamed for the massive sell-off. Stocks tend to slump after sharp spikes in yields because that makes bonds, which are seen as safer assets, more appealing. Wall Street is also reacting to the rise in interest rates. The Federal Reserve is steadily raising rates to keep inflation in check and make sure this red-hot economy doesn't overheat.
3. Missing Saudi journalist
A bipartisan group of US senators wants President Donald Trump to investigate the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. The lawmakers, from the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, sent Trump a letter asking for a probe and to impose sanctions against those responsible. Trump's had a muted response to Khashoggi's disappearance, possibly because of his close ties to Saudi Arabia. And his administration's goals for the Middle East depend on Saudi Arabia's rulers and their money. Khashoggi, a critic of Saudi Arabia's leaders, has not been seen since entering the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul more than a week ago. Turkish officials reportedly say they believe he was killed by a Saudi murder squad. Saudi Arabia has repeatedly denied Turkey's account of the story, saying that Khashoggi left the consulate on the same day he arrived.
First China denied it was putting people in its far-western Xinjiang region in "re-education camps." Now the government has legalized them. A local law was revised this week to allow for the camps, where people accused of religious extremism are held. Most of the people sent there are Uyghurs -- a Turkic-speaking, largely Muslim minority native to Xinjiang. Human rights groups say China has put hundreds of thousands of Uyghurs in these camps as part of an effort to enforce patriotism and loyalty to Beijing. Survivors of the camps say they're an attempt to "strangle Uyghur culture and stamp out the Muslim faith."
5. US Postal Service
The US Postal Service seeks the biggest price jump on stamps in history. It wants to increase the price of a first-class stamp from 50 cents to 55 cents. The agency is getting heat from the Trump administration to do something about its sagging revenues. Its losses have been mounting, dragged down by a drop in overall mail volume because of the internet and a requirement to pre-fund the cost of retiree health benefits. The price hike will have to be OK'd by the Postal Regulatory Commission.
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