Hurricane Ian slammed into Florida's southwestern coast Wednesday with its 150 mph winds measuring near the highest ranking of storms. The Biden administration is flexing soft power to curb China's growing influence with international visits and welcoming regional leaders to the White House this week. Keep reading for our review of "Hocus Pocus 2."
Now, here we go with Thursday's news.
🌅 Up first: ☕ Caffeine. It's National Coffee Day 2022. Here are 20 businesses offering free coffee and other daily deals.
Nearly 2 million without power in Florida
The center of Hurricane Ian is expected to reach Florida's east coast Thursday after making landfall as a Category 4 storm. It slowed as it lashed the state and was downgraded to a Category 1 storm Wednesday night, leaving nearly two million Floridians without power. The storm is expected to weaken but, could return to hurricane strength as it approaches Florida's east coast. Read more
One thing to know: Ian’s strength at landfall tied it for the fifth-strongest hurricane when measured by wind speed to strike the U.S.
Ian's landfall came close to initial forecasts: Maximum sustained winds measured Wednesday afternoon at a stunning 150 mph — only 7 mph slower than a Category 5, the highest status on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.
A flooded fire station; Wiped out 911 emergency call centers: Read USA TODAY's live updates from the scene of the storm.
Ian could cause between $20 to $40 million in damage. Insurance experts say that even if your insurance covers the disaster, it may not be enough.
Where is the powerful storm headed next? Ian is forecast to turn northward on Friday and approach the northeastern Florida, Georgia and South Carolina coasts.
Kamala Harris makes stop at DMZ
Vice President Kamala Harris capped her four-day trip to Asia with a stop Thursday at the Demilitarized Zone dividing the Korean Peninsula as she emphasized U.S. commitment to the security of its Asian allies in face of an increasingly aggressive North Korea. The visit comes after North Korea fired two short-range ballistic missiles on Wednesday, while Harris was in Japan, and fired one before she left Washington on Sunday. Harris’ trip was organized so she could attend the state funeral of former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, but her itinerary was dominated by security concerns involving China and North Korea. Read more
More news to know now
⚫ Six people were injured in a shooting at a school in east Oakland, California, police said.
💡 Millions of Cubans remained without power Wednesday after Hurricane Ian triggered an island-wide outage.
🥕 End hunger in the U.S. by the year 2030 and reduce the toll of diet-related diseases: Biden's new promises to improve Americans' diets.
📰 Kyle Young, the Jan. 6 rioter charged with attacking an officer, was sentenced to more than 7 years in prison.
🌤 What's the weather up to in your neck of the woods? Check your local forecast here.
4th leak reported on Nord Stream pipelines in Baltic Sea
A fourth leak on the Nord Stream pipelines has been reported off southern Sweden. Earlier, three leaks had been reported on the two underwater pipelines running from Russia to Germany. Two explosions were detected by seismologists and officials believe that the leaks were “deliberate actions.” Experts have said Russia is likely to blame for any sabotage — it directly benefits from higher energy prices and economic anxiety across Europe. Sweden’s coast guards told news agency TT that they have a vessel on the site of the leak. Read more
Gas from the ruptured pipelines is bubbling to the surface, creating white foam. Danish and Swedish authorities declared an environmental safety hazard and were keeping ships away from the leaks.
''Got to get this right'': Senators press administration why Russian sanctions haven't had more impact.
Biden to host Pacific Island leaders
In an effort to curb China's influence in the Pacific Islands, President Joe Biden will engage with leaders from the region in a first-of-its-kind summit. Biden will address the leaders Thursday at the State Department and host them at the White House for dinner. Among those participating are leaders from Fiji, the Marshall Islands, the Solomon Islands, French Polynesia and New Caledonia. While the high-level gathering is welcomed by the region's leaders as a signal of Biden's commitment to the Pacific, there's also a healthy skepticism about whether the United States will remain engaged for the longer term in the Pacific Islands. Read more China coverage
Just for subscribers:
💗 What is a childfree relationship? And how you might be misunderstanding it.
🏈 ''Positional segregation'' is rampant in the NFL, leaving Black coaches stuck in the pipeline.
🎒 How much time do kids spend in school? It depends on where they live.
✏ Oath Keepers trial: A 1800s-inspired defense meets most significant Jan. 6 prosecution yet.
These articles are for USA TODAY subscribers. You can sign up here. Already a subscriber and want premium content texted to you every day? We can do that! Sign up for our subscriber-only texting campaign.
Thursday night football: Will the Dolphins remain undefeated?
When the Miami Dolphins play the Cincinnati Bengals on Thursday night, it will be a case of game recognizing game, in more ways than one. The Dolphins are one of only two teams — the Philadelphia Eagles being the other — that is undefeated. The Bengals are the reigning AFC champions. And then there's the affinity Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel has for Joe Burrow's presence. Burrow, 25, has gotten off to a slower start this season, completing 64% of his passes for 812 yards with six touchdowns versus four interceptions. Read more
The other football: Denmark's World Cup jersey will protest human rights issues in Qatar at 2022 tournament.
📷 Photo of the day: Paris Fashion Week 2022 📷
Iconic hats, classic belts and a lot of familiar faces: Paris Fashion 2022 has kicked off with star-studded shows for top fashion houses including Dior, Balmain and Etam. The spectacle lasts through Oct. 4 and features runways at iconic venues across the city of love. Click here to see more photos from Paris Fashion week.
A little less heavy
🍕🥗 Drew Barrymore goes viral with ''pizza salad'' TikTok video: ''Crunchy and delicious.''
😲 Adam Levine, Ned Fulmer and the expectations in mainstream vs. internet celebrity culture.
😅 ''SNL'' returns ''live from New York'' October 1. See who's joined (and left) the cast.
🧹 ''Hocus Pocus 2'' writer says it was ''terrifying'' to take on sequel, but teases a ''third one.''
🎵 Watch Lizzo play James Madison's 200-year-old crystal flute onstage: ''I'm scared.''
Nicole Fallert is a newsletter writer at USA TODAY, sign up for the email here. Want to send Nicole a note, shoot her an email at NFallert@usatoday.com or follow along with her musings on Twitter. Support journalism like this – subscribe to USA TODAY here.
Associated Press contributed reporting.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Hurricane Ian, North Korea, Nord Stream Pipeline, Bengals, Dolphins: Daily Briefing