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Friday US briefing: Six dead as Hurricane Michael tears through south

Friday US briefing: Six dead as Hurricane Michael tears through south

Good morning, I’m Tim Walker with today’s headlines. If you’d like to receive this briefing by email, sign up here. Sign up for the US morning briefing Top story: Storm ‘like atomic bomb’ savages Florida and Georgia Hurricane Michael carved a destructive path through Florida and into Georgia on Thursday, leaving at least six people…


Good morning, I’m Tim Walker with today’s headlines. If you’d like to receive this briefing by email,sign up here.

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Top story: Storm ‘like atomic bomb’ savages Florida and Georgia

Hurricane Michaelcarved a destructive path through Florida and into Georgiaon Thursday, leavingat least six people deadand bringing fresh flooding to areas of North and South Carolina that are still recovering from Hurricane Florence in September. Florida was worst hit, withseveral waterfront communities destroyedby a 14ft storm surge andsustained winds of up to 155mph, before Michael was downgraded to a tropical storm.

Moving inland.Jamiles Larteyspoke to residents in Marianna, Florida, who had hoped being inland would protect them from the worst effects of the storm. No such luck.

Red tide.Biologists fear the storm surge carried a hidden danger: the toxin that causesFlorida’s infamous “red tide”algae blooms,which can trigger respiratory problems and flu-like symptoms.

Trump refuses to halt Saudi arms sales over Khashoggi case

Protesters at the Saudi embassy in Washington DC.

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Protesters at the Saudi embassy in Washington DC. Photograph: Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

Donald Trump has saidUS investigators are looking into the disappearance of journalistJamal Khashoggiat the Saudi consulate in Istanbul – but that whatever their findings, they will not prevent the US pursuing lucrative arms deals with the Saudis. It has been alleged that Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist and critic of the Riyadh regime, was murdered inside the consulate, drawing scrutiny on the close relationship between the Trump administration andthe Saudi crown prince,Mohammed bin Salman.

Bad business.Sir Richard Branson hassuspended business talks with the Saudisover the affair, while the Economist and New York Timespulled out of a Saudi investor conferenceknown as Davos in the desert.

Beto O’Rourke leaves no stone unturned in Texas senate race

Beto O’Rourke greets a young supporter at a campaign rally in Houston.

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Beto O’Rourke greets a young supporter at a campaign rally in Houston. Photograph: Loren Elliott/Reuters

Beto O’Rourke, the charismatic Democrat making a spirited, long-shot attempt at unseating the Texas senator, Ted Cruz, in the November midterms, is known for his attention to detail. So perhaps it should not be entirely surprising that, after he reada story in the Guardianabout Sebastian Esquivel, a Latino man who felt the Texas race “doesn’t really matter”,O’Rourke cold-called Esquivelto help him register to vote.

Dirty tricks.Two young Republicans in Arizonaposed ascommunists and tried to make a donationto a Democratic congressman in an apparent attempt to smear him before the midterms.

Bitter election brings wave of political violence to Brazil

An opponent of the former Brazilian president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva throws stones during a demonstration.

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An opponent of the former Brazilian president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva throws stones during a demonstration. Photograph: Christian Rizzi/AFP/Getty Images

The two remaining contenders in Brazil’s contentious presidential election have called for calm aftera series of stabbings, beatings and at least one murderrelated to politics. Journalists and members of the LGBT community have reportedly been targeted by supporters of the far-right frontrunner, Jair Bolsonaro, who was stabbed on the campaign trail in September.

Bannon ties.Bolsonaro, known as the “tropical Trump”, has denied claims of links betweenhis campaign and former White House strategist Steve Bannon, who was pictured with Bolsonaro’s son Eduardo in August.

Crib sheet

Kanye Westvisited the Oval Office on Thursday, where he likened his Make America Great Again hat to a Superman cape and claimed Trump was on a “hero’s journey” – much to the president’s apparent delight. Here are thebizarre highlights.

Oilcould soon hit $100 a barrelfor the first time since 2014, a price rise driven by pending Iranian sanctions and the political crisis in Venezuela.

– The writerStephen Elliot, who was named on a list of Shitty Media Men published last year at the height of the #MeToo moment, hasfiled a $1.5m defamation suitagainst the list’s creator.

– The English town Windsor is hosting itssecond royal wedding of the year, asPrincess Eugenieprepares to tie the knot with the tequila brand ambassador Jack Brooksbank on Friday.

Must-reads

Trumpism on the couch.

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Trumpism on the couch. Composite: Christophe Gowans/Getty Images/Reuters/AP

What Freudian theory can teach us about Trumpism

On the day after Trump’s presidential election triumph in 2016, the psychotherapist Gary Greenberg and his patients could speak of nothing else. Two years later, he examines howFreudian theory might explain the success of the “Trumpian con”.

Camila Cabello interview: from Harmony to Havana

Camila Cabello, the singer behind the inescapable single Havana, won four American Music Awards this week.She tells Rebecca Nicholson how she emergedfrom the girl group Fifth Harmony to become a star in her own right.

The online community dedicated to watching people die

There are 425,000 subscribers to the sub-RedditWatch People Die, which is devoted to sharing videos and GIFs of horrific, violent and tragic deaths. Kieran Dahl asks why so many people seem to enjoy such grim content.

Can climate activists create a ‘green wave’ at the midterms?

The environment rarely figures high on a list of voters’ concerns. TheEnvironmental Voter Projectcampaign group intends to change that by driving millions who care about climate change to the ballot box in November. Oliver Milman reports.

Opinion

The journalist Jose Antonio Vargas outed himself as an undocumented immigrant in an essay for the New York Times in 2011. The media coverage andpublicknowledge of immigrationremains pitiful, he says.

The news media is running out of time in chronicling a demographic makeover unlike anything this country has ever seen. The estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants don’t live on an island unto ourselves … You cannot separate the documented from the undocumented population.

Sport

Three years after their worst finish at a major tournament, the US women’s national soccer team are marching towards the 2019Women’s World Cup. Caitlin Murray finds outhow coach Jill Ellis reinvented the squad.

Aaron Rodgers may be the most talentedNFLquarterback of all time, says Oliver Connolly. So why have theGreen Bay Packersfrittered away his prime?

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