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See perfect calm in eye of Hurricane Michael

The eye of Category 4 Hurricane Michael showed an absolute calm when it made landfall in the Florida Panhandle, while images of the storm's aftermath show pure destruction.

Posted: Oct 12, 2018 2:01 AM
Updated: Oct 12, 2018 2:24 AM

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.

4. China

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.

This just in

Emergency landing
Astronauts -- including one from NASA -- on board a Soyuz rocket heading to the International Space Station this morning survived an emergency landing following a booster failure, a Russian space official said.

BREAKFAST BROWSE

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Weighty decision

If you're headed to Greece, you might want to get on the scales first. It's banning "overweight" tourists from riding on donkeys there.

Hoping for a miracle
Sad news from Jael Strauss, a former contestant on "America's Next Top Model." She told fans on Facebook she has incurable breast cancer.

Snap TV
Seems like everybody has abandoned Snapchat for Instagram. Snapchat hopes to win us all back with new original shows.

AND FINALLY ...

Can't slow me down
When you're really excited about your morning walk, two legs work just as well as four. (Click to view.)

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

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Confirmed Cases: 33558

Reported Deaths: 2110
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion9616571
Lake3538185
Cass15897
Allen145168
St. Joseph124834
Elkhart116328
Hendricks116171
Hamilton115693
Johnson1093108
Madison58559
Porter51627
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Hancock32728
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Morgan27824
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Montgomery23517
White2318
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Noble21121
Grant20621
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Monroe16612
Warrick16628
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Lawrence15423
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Brown331
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Pike60
Unassigned0164

Illinois Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 7 p.m. CT)

Confirmed Cases: 117455

Reported Deaths: 5270
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Cook762663570
Lake8063287
DuPage7543362
Kane6188170
Will5442269
Winnebago215654
McHenry151471
St. Clair109179
Kankakee87144
Kendall76919
Rock Island64624
Champaign6177
Madison56558
Boone42817
DeKalb3924
Sangamon34629
Jackson26810
Randolph2674
McLean21713
Peoria2128
Ogle2023
Stephenson1992
Macon19519
Clinton18117
Union1519
LaSalle14713
Whiteside13512
Iroquois1314
Coles12514
Unassigned1250
Out of IL1191
Warren1130
Jefferson10116
Knox970
Grundy952
Monroe9411
McDonough878
Lee791
Cass710
Tazewell714
Henry680
Williamson642
Pulaski510
Marion500
Jasper457
Macoupin452
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Perry420
Montgomery391
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Morgan351
Christian334
Jo Daviess320
Livingston322
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Woodford192
Mason180
Washington180
Mercer170
Hancock160
Shelby161
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Carroll142
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Franklin120
Piatt120
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Clark110
Crawford110
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Moultrie110
Brown100
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Logan100
Wayne91
Alexander80
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Effingham71
Johnson70
Massac70
Saline70
Greene50
Marshall50
De Witt40
Lawrence40
Richland30
Stark30
Clay20
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Hamilton20
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A wonderful Saturday with sunshine expected!
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