One of the strongest hurricanes to ever hit Puerto Rico pummeled the island Wednesday with sustained 150 mph winds as officials warned it would decimate the power company's crumbling infrastructure and force the government to rebuild dozens of communities.
Maria made landfall around 6:15 a.m. Wednesday in the southeast coastal town of Yabucoa as a Category 4 storm with winds of 155 mph, and it was expected to retain its intensity as it moved across the island and punish Puerto Rico with life-threatening winds for 12 to 24 hours, forecasters said.
By 8 a.m., the storm was centered about 15 miles south-southwest of the capital San Juan and moving toward the northwest near 10 mph, the National Hurricane Center said. Hurricane-force winds extended out 60 miles from the center. Maria's eye was expected to move off the northern coast by the afternoon then set a course north of the Dominican Republic later in the evening.
"This is going to be an extremely violent phenomenon," Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rossello said. "We have not experienced an event of this magnitude in our modern history."
Police, firefighters and ordinary Mexicans dug frantically through the rubble of collapsed schools, homes and apartment buildings Wednesday, looking for survivors of Mexico's deadliest earthquake in decades as the number of confirmed fatalities stood at 225.
Adding poignancy and a touch of the surreal, Tuesday's magnitude-7.1 quake struck on the 32nd anniversary of the 1985 earthquake that killed thousands. Just hours earlier, people around Mexico had held earthquake drills to mark the date.
One of the most desperate rescue efforts was at a primary and secondary school in southern Mexico City, where a wing of the three-story building collapsed into a massive pancake of concrete slabs. Journalists saw rescuers pull at least two small bodies from the rubble, covered in sheets.
Was it a bluff? A warning that Washington would shoot down North Korea's next missile test? A simple restatement of past policy? Officials and pundits across Asia struggled Wednesday to parse U.S. President Donald Trump's threat to "totally destroy North Korea" if provoked.
Amid the speculation, the focus of Trump's belligerence, North Korea, remained silent in the hours after the speech Tuesday at the U.N. General assembly.
In a region well used to Pyongyang's pursuit of nuclear weapons generating a seemingly never-ending cycle of threats and counter-threats, Trump's comments stood out.
Late night host Jimmy Kimmel sounded off on Tuesday to blast Republican Sen. Bill Cassidy for his part in crafting the latest GOP health care proposal that, Kimmel said, goes against the promises the senator had made to him on his show.
Kimmel had discussed health care with Cassidy after the late-night host revealed in early May that his newborn son had open-heart surgery to fix birth defects. This led Kimmel to deliver an emotional message to Congress, pleading for affordable health care for Americans, especially those in similar situations.
Cassidy then famously coined the "Jimmy Kimmel test" phrase, saying families like Kimmel's should not have to deal with high premiums, lifetime caps and rate hikes when it comes to coverage. A week after Kimmel's plea, the senator appeared on "Jimmy Kimmel Live" to expand on his idea of affordable health care.
With time growing short, President Donald Trump and Republican Senate leaders are engaged in a frantic search for votes in a last-ditch effort to repeal and replace the Obama health law. The outcome is uncertain in a Capitol newly engulfed in drama over health care.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, whose failure to pass a repeal bill in July opened a bitter public rift with Trump, is pressing hard for the newly revived effort, which had been left for dead as recently as a week or two ago. But in a sign he remained short of votes, McConnell refused on Tuesday to commit to bringing the legislation up for a vote.
As in July, much of the focus was on Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.
U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres will open the signing ceremony for the first treaty to ban nuclear weapons and the Security Council hold a high-level meeting on its far-flung peacekeeping operations as world leaders tackle a wide range of crises and challenges on the second day of their annual gathering.
More than 120 countries approved the treaty in early July over strong opposition from nuclear-armed countries and their allies, who boycotted negotiations. The U.N. treaty office said 51 countries are expected to sign during Wednesday's opening day.
Guterres is also expected to brief the Security Council meeting on reforming U.N. peacekeeping — a key item on the Trump administration's agenda, which will be represented by Vice President Mike Pence.
In his first speech to the U.N. General Assembly, President Donald Trump reprised misleading talking points on everything from job growth to defense spending.
We’ve written about variations of some of these claims numerous times, but since these comments were made to a world audience, we are revisiting some of them. We also cover new claims the president made on foreign issues.
First lady Melania Trump is calling on world leaders to "step up" to improve the lives of children.
She will deliver the remarks Wednesday during a luncheon at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations in New York. The White House says the audience will include spouses of world leaders, among others.
In prepared remarks, Trump says that children are often "hit first and hardest in any country" when it comes to drug addiction, bullying, poverty, disease, trafficking illiteracy and hunger.
She says, "We need to step up, come together, and ensure that our children's future is bright."
British counterterror police arrested two more people Wednesday in relation to the London subway attack, bringing the number to five.
Detectives arrested a 48-year-old man and a 30-year-old man under the Terrorism Act in Newport, Wales. A 25-year-old man was also arrested in Newport on Tuesday.
Two other men arrested over the weekend — an 18-year-old refugee from Iraq and a 21-year-old from Syria — remain in custody. Neither has been charged.
Taco bell plans to serve alcohol at 300 new locations as part of its expansion into urban markets, the fast food chain announced Tuesday.
The company will build new "Cantina style" locations throughout the country where customers are free to buy alcohol. The new locations, in urban areas like New York City, Chicago and Detroit, will not include drive-thrus, the company said.
"The drink offerings certainly complement the experience and give customers a reason to stay longer, but we want to make sure these Cantinas blend in with the local aesthetic and you feel like you’re in your favorite neighborhood restaurant," the company said in a statement.
The GOP's last-ditch effort to repeal "Obamacare" would redistribute hundreds of billions of dollars in federal financing for insurance coverage, creating winners and losers among individual Americans and states in ways not yet fully clear.
Independent analysts say the latest Senate Republican bill is likely to leave more people uninsured than the Affordable Care Act, and allow states to make changes that raise costs for people with health problems or pre-existing medical conditions.
After closed-door meetings Tuesday, supporters seemed confident but acknowledged they're not sure if the bill can pass. There's only a narrow window for the Senate to act under special budget rules that expire at the end of the month.
Former "Access Hollywood" and "Today" show personality Billy Bush has separated from wife Sydney Davis after nearly 20 years of marriage.
Jill Fritzo, Bush's publicist, says in a statement that the couple has "separated for the moment to evaluate their life together." She adds, "they love each other and their children deeply and are committed to a bright future."
The separation comes nearly a year after a 2005 recording surfaced of a lewd conversation between Bush and then "Apprentice" host Donald Trump during an "Access Hollywood" shoot. The video rocked Trump's presidential campaign and led to Bush's ouster from his "Today" post.
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Scenes From Puerto Rico as Hurricane Maria Makes Landfall