September 20, 2020
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Forecasters say Tropical Storm Beta is making a slow crawl to the shores of Texas and Louisiana, casting worries about heavy rain, flooding and storm surge across the Gulf Coast. The system is moving north at just 3 mph and is expected to make landfall sometime Monday. Coastal communities have begun preparing for the storm, with the city of Galveston, Galveston County and nearby Seabrook issuing voluntary evacuation orders. Two other systems are also whirling in the Atlantic basin during this exceptionally busy hurricane season. If Beta makes landfall, it will be the ninth named storm to hit the continental U.S. in 2020, tying a record set in 1916.
STOCKHOLM (AP) — Sweden’s relatively low-key approach to coronavirus lockdowns captured the world’s attention when the pandemic first hit Europe. But it also had a per capita death rate much higher than other Nordic countries. Now, as infection numbers surge in much of Europe, Sweden has some of the lowest numbers of new cases and there are only 14 people being treated for the virus in intensive care in the country of 10 million. While its chief epidemiologist says it’s too early to judge the success of the strategy, a World Health Organization official says other nations might learn something from Sweden. Most people in Sweden don’t wear masks but the population does shoulder much more personal responsibility in fighting the pandemic.
PHOENIX (AP) — If Arizona Democrat Mark Kelly wins a seat in the U.S. Senate, he could take office as early as Nov. 30. A Kelly victory would shrink the GOP’s Senate majority at a crucial moment and complicate the path to confirmation for President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee. Kelly has maintained a consistent polling lead over Republican Sen. Martha McSally, who was appointed to the seat held by the late John McCain. Because the contest is a special election to finish McCain’s term, the winner could be sworn in as soon as the results are officially certified. Other winners in the November election won’t take office until January.
JUNIPER HILLS, Calif. (AP) — Strong winds stoked a wildfire in mountains northeast of Los Angeles, prompting authorities to issue evacuation orders Saturday for desert communities that lost some homes a day earlier. The weather pattern was similar on Friday when winds pushed the Bobcat Fire onto the desert floor, causing it to explode in size and destroy homes. The extent of the destruction is not immediately clear. Meanwhile, officials are investigating the death of a firefighter on the lines of another Southern California wildfire sparked by a pyrotechnic device used by a couple to reveal their baby’s gender. The death occurred Thursday as crews battled the fire in San Bernardino National Forest.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — In a virtual Emmys version of the wrong-winner Oscars gaffe, Ron Cephas Jones’ guest actor award for “This Is Us” was announced for another nominee. The error occurred during Saturday’s online creative arts Emmys, precursor to Sunday’s main ceremony. It culminated a week of events honoring technical and other achievements.