1 Hurricane Nicholas Makes Landfall In Texas
Just before 10 p.m. last night, the storm tracking toward the central coast of Texas gained just enough strength to be classified as a minimal hurricane. Hurricane Nicholas made landfall as expected overnight with maximum sustained winds of 75 mph recorded. While wind gusts and isolated tornados are a risk, meteorologists consider the rainfall brought by the storm to be the biggest potential problem. Nicholas is expected to bring between six and 12 inches of rain inland, with some areas possibly receiving up to 20 inches today and tomorrow. Texas Governor Greg Abbott has already issued a disaster declaration for 17 Texas counties, as well as readying relief equipment and supplies. Mayor Craig Brown of Galveston said his city had already started to experience tropical-storm-force wind gusts by 10 p.m. time last night. Nicholas will continue to lose strength as it moves across Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi, but the storm is expected to drop large amounts of rainfall across all three states over the next few days.
2 Blinken On Hot Seat Over U.S.-Afghan Withdrawal
With criticism from all directions over the chaotic withdrawal and evacuation from Afghanistan,Secretary of State Antony Blinken faced the first of two days on the congressional hot seat yesterday. He started out with reminder that the Trump administration got the ball rolling on a U.S. withdrawal. The secretary argued no one anticipated the rapid collapse of the Afghan government. Blinken said, "There is no evidence that staying longer would have made the Afghan security forces or the Afghan government any more resilient or self-sustaining." Blinken called the massive evacuation from the Kabul airport one of the largest and most successful airlifts in history. He also vowed to continue efforts to help any American who wants to leave Afghanistan. Not all Americans in the war-torn nation registered with the State Department, so locating them has been challenging, but Blinken acknowledged the U.S. has lost some intelligence-gathering capacity without boots on the ground. He suggested the U.S. has other ways of determining whether Afghanistan again becomes a haven for terrorists as it was on 9-11.
3 CDC Director: COVID-19 Vaccines For Kids Under 12 Could Come Before End Of Year
The CDC Director is hoping a COVID vaccine for kids 12 and under will be available by the end of the year. Speaking on "TODAY", Dr. Rochelle Walensky said while the CDC wants to move quickly, vaccine makers have to submit their data to the FDA for emergency use authorization. Walensky says she's anticipating this will happen in the fall. She called COVID an "opportunist" while adding "the best thing we can do for our kids is surround them with people who are vaccinated." She also backed President Biden's "Six Point Plan." Walensky noted his plan was made to get more Americans vaccinated, to keep children safe, and to keep the economy up and running.