Governor Says Fuel Shortages 'Top Priority'
Florida's gasoline supply slowed to a trickle -- as did traffic on Sunshine State highways -- as panicked residents scrambled Thursday from the path of Hurricane Irma, the record-breaking storm set to unleash devastation on Miami as early as Sunday morning. Florida Gov. Rick Scott said at a news conference the state's gas situation is a "top priority." "I have been very clear to the retailers," Scott said. The governor is asking the federal government, including the Environmental Protection Agency and White House, to waive restrictions to get as much fuel to Florida as possible before Irma nears.Fox
VOA VIEW: Notice of a posible problem has been long coming.
AG Calls Out Chevron
Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi (R) blasted price-gouging businesses in South Florida for taking advantage of Hurricane Irma's impending landfall. Bondi said her office fielded thousands of complaints thus far against businesses for jacking up their prices in advance of the strongest hurricane in Atlantic basin history. "You cannot inflate prices during the time of a hurricane for essential commodities," she said, adding that 45 complaints came in overnight against Chevron gas stations in the region. She said that in Tallahassee and Tampa, Chevron's prices were average, but in Miami-Dade and Monroe County, customers are reporting inflated prices per-gallon. Fox
On Trump's Deal With Democrats
House Speaker Paul Ryan said Thursday morning that he believes Republican President Donald Trump cut a debt ceiling deal with Democrats Wednesday because the President wanted to avoid a partisan fight as the country faced two devastating hurricanes. It was just hours before the deal was cut that Ryan personally called the Democrats' proposal "ridiculous" at a news conference. "Yeah, I sort of noticed that," Ryan said jokingly when asked about the awkward timing Thursday during an event hosted by The New York Times at Washington's Newseum. CNN
VOA VIEW: The liberals had a good deal - no, good giveaway.
Jr. Did Not Recall WH Involvement
Donald Trump Jr. told Senate judiciary committee staffers Thursday that he did not recall the details of White House involvement in the public response to his 2016 meeting with a Russian lawyer and did not know much about the Air Force One meeting that allegedly led to the production of the statement, sources told CNN. Trump Jr. was explicitly asked whether he either took any of the Russian participants in the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting to see his father -- now President Donald Trump -- or whether he told his father about the meeting after, sources said. He insisted he did neither. Asked why his father promised the next day that dirt was coming on Hillary Clinton, Trump Jr. told Senate staffers that's just the way his father talks. CNN
VOA VIEW: CNN is the big instigator.
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Wants Democratic Support For Tax Pitch
President Donald Trump made an overt pitch for Democrats to support his tax overhaul plan, singling out a North Dakota Democratic senator whose vote would be prized by the White House. Delivering an outdoor speech to a crowd of hundreds at an oil refinery Wednesday, Trump called for the state's governor and congressional delegation to join him on stage, including Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, the only statewide elected Democrat in heavily Republican North Dakota. ABC News
Planning To Scrap Obama Rules
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos on Thursday declared that "the era of 'rule by letter' is over" as she announced plans to change the way colleges and university handle allegations of sexual violence on campus. She said Obama administration rules established in 2011 to guide schools as they investigate and resolve complaints of assault have failed to protect students and done a "disservice to everyone involved." ABC News
The top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee wants to know more about Facebook and Twitter ads apparently bought by phony Russian accounts during the 2016 presidential campaign. Sen. Mark Warner, D-Virginia, confirmed Thursday that Senate Intelligence Committee staff had seen a presentation from Facebook about the phony accounts that appear to have originated in Russia and bought $100,000 worth of advertisements during the presidential campaign. He also said that Facebook had shared the content of the ads with committee staff, and he called on Facebook to share the ads broadly. CBS News
VOA VIEW: The advertisements prove that Democrats and Obama were fooled.
Bannon Says Catholic Church Has "Economic Interest" In "Unlimited Illegal
In his first extensive interview since leaving the Trump administration, former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon is speaking out about President Trump's decision to end the DACA program. The Obama-era policy protects nearly 800,000 undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children from deportation. Bannon spoke to Charlie Rose in an interview that will air this Sunday, Sept. 10, on "60 Minutes." Steve Bannon: Look, what he did on DACA the other day. Okay, I don't agree with that DACA decision, but I understand how he struggled with it, I understand how he's giving the possibility of a legislative thing. And he said even last night in a tweet – even in a tweet, he would rethink it. Trust me, the guys in the far right, the guys on the conservative side are not happy with this. CBS News
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Is Nearly Out Of Cash
The Federal Emergency Management Agency is rapidly running out of disaster relief funding as Hurricane Irma slams Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands and heads toward Florida. The federal response to Hurricane Harvey’s devastation in Texas has quickly depleted FEMA’s disaster relief fund, which dropped by $2.14 billion last Thursday to $1.01 billion as of Tuesday. The figures from FEMA were first reported by Bloomberg and later confirmed by NBC News.
"FEMA is scheduled to run out of money by Friday, Sept. 8, just two days before Hurricane Irma is expected to hit Florida," Florida Sens. NBC
Suddenly, it seems like Sen. Charles Schumer (N.Y.) and Rep. Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) are driving the agenda in Congress. The deal President Trump struck with the two Democrats over the objection of the majority leaders in his own party has at least temporarily upended the balance of power in Washington, emboldening Democrats who now see space to work with Trump on immigration and spending. It’s a dramatic shift from Trump’s first seven months in office, when the president worked almost exclusively with Republicans and Democrats were largely an afterthought. But the past 24 hours have laid bare Trump’s deep frustration with Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). The Hill
VOA VIEW: The minority has been pushing and winning - they know how to fight..
Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) brushed off reports that President Trump's former chief strategist Stephen Bannon and Rep. Mark Meadows (R-S.C.) are discussing potential replacements for him, saying he's not focused on it. "I don't worry about this stuff at all. Look, when I took this job at the request of our members, I knew it comes with lots of slander. This is not something I'm worried about or focused on," Ryan told Fox News' Martha McCallum on Thursday. Ryan's comments come after The Washington Post reported on Wednesday that Bannon and Meadows were talking about potential replacements for Ryan in the case that conservatives ousted him. Bannon left the White House last month and returned to working at the bombastic, far-right newspaper Breitbart, which has frequently targeted Ryan. The Hill
Where Trump Donated His $1 Million
President Donald Trump and the first lady, Melania, personally donated $1 million to Hurricane Harvey relief efforts, the White House said Wednesday in announcing which charities had been selected. The donation was divided among 12 charities, including the Red Cross, Salvation Army, Reach Out America and the ASPCA. The White House previously requested recommendations of where Trump should send his money and "several of the following organizations were recommended ... by members of the White House Press Corps." Here's the full list of where the White House says that money will be donated: Red Cross - $300,000 Salvation Army -$300,000 Reach Out America - $100,000 Samaritan's Purse - $100,000 ASPCA - $25,000 Catholic Charities - $25,000 Direct Relief - $25,000 Habitat for Humanity - $25,000 Houston Humane Society - $25,000 Operation Blessing - $25,000 Portlight Inclusive Disaster Strategies - $25,000 Team Rubicon - $25,000 NBC News
Republican Senators Co-Sponsoring Dream Act
A total of four Republicans have signed onto the Dream Act of 2017, introduced by Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Dick Durbin (D-Ill.). That's four short of the eight Republican votes needed to pass the bill in the Senate. In addition to Graham, the Republicans co-sponsoring the bill include Jeff Flake of Arizona; Lisa Murkowski of Alaska; and Cory Gardner of Colorado. On Thursday, Sen. Durbin expressed optimism that the votes will be there: "I believe we have an opportunity now, to pass this measure in the House and the Senate," Durbin told MSNBC's "Morning Joe." CNS
VOA VIEW: Republicans need to step aside for Independents and Democrats have gone far left.
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Interrupts His Speech To Praise Ivanka
President Trump interrupted his speech in Mandan, North Dakota on Wednesday to single out his eldest daughter. He was talking about North Dakota being an example for the nation: “This state is a reminder of what can happen when we promote American jobs instead of obstructing American jobs, which has been happening, believe me,” Trump said. Then he got distracted: “And by the way, Ivanka Trump? Everybody loves you. Come up, honey. Should I bring Ivanka up?” he asked the crowd. “Sometimes they'll say, you know, he can't be that bad a guy. CNS
Requires Enhanced Screening Of Cargo From Turkey
The U.S. Transportation Security Administration said on Thursday it is issuing a new security directive requiring enhanced screening of cargo from Turkey. The change was “to adequately address emerging threats to cargo and raise the baseline for global aviation security,” TSA spokesman Michael England said. The directive mandates voluntary measures already in use by Turkey and will ensure “cargo flying to the United States is screened and secured in accordance with the Air Cargo Advance Screening Program,” he said. Reuters
Time To Talk Climate Change Isn't Now
Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt told CNN in an interview about Hurricane Irma on Thursday that the time to talk about climate change isn't now. "Here's the issue," Pruitt told CNN in a phone interview. "To have any kind of focus on the cause and effect of the storm; versus helping people, or actually facing the effect of the storm, is misplaced. He continued: "What we need to focus on is access to clean water, addressing these areas of superfund activities that may cause an attack on water, these issues of access to fuel. ... Those are things so important to citizens of Florida right now, and to discuss the cause and effect of these storms, there's the... place (and time) to do that, it's not now." CNN
VOA VIEW: Pruitt is right - CNN is being liberal and stupid.
Equifax Managers Sold Stock Before Cyber Hack Revealed
Three Equifax Inc. senior executives sold shares worth almost $1.8 million in the days after the company discovered a security breach that may have compromised information on about 143 million U.S. consumers. The trio had not yet been informed of the incident, the company said. The credit-reporting service said late Thursday in a statement that it discovered the intrusion on July 29. Bloomberg
VOA VIEW: Birds don't fly?
Search For Bipartisan Fix
In Bismarck, North Dakota Wednesday night, President Donald Trump called on supporters to press Congress on health care. “You have to make sure that they do what they have to do,” said Trump. “And believe me, we haven't given up on healthcare. We haven't given up on healthcare. We never give up.” After months of stalemate and Washington meltdowns, one team of senators has not given up either. The Senate health and education committee has returned to basic order, conducting hearings, interviewing witnesses, and seeking to make small improvements to the current law. This week the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions committee [HELP] heard from state insurance commissioners from around the country and five state governors on how to improve and stabilize those individual insurance marketplaces where many self-employed people buy their own insurance. ABC News
Passes $15B Disaster Aid Measure
The Senate on Thursday overwhelmingly backed a $15.3 billion aid package for victims of Harvey, nearly doubling President Donald Trump's emergency request, and adding a deal between Trump and Democrats to increase America's borrowing authority and fund the government into December. The 80-17 vote sends the package to the House for a vote on Friday, though GOP conservatives are chafing at the inside-Washington maneuvering and painful debt limit vote. But with emergency accounts running out of money and Hurricane Irma barreling toward the East Coast, the measure appears set to easily pass. Trump will sign it. The must-do legislation would also provide money to government agencies through Dec. 8, eliminating the threat of a government shutdown when the new fiscal year starts next month. ABC News
Loses Appeal On Relatives Covered By Travel Ban
President Donald Trump suffered another setback on his embattled travel ban, with an appeals panel leaving in a place a lower-court ruling that forces the administration to accept people with grandparents, cousins and other relatives in the U.S. Thursday’s decision by a three-judge panel of the San Francisco-based appeals court further frustrates the administration as it heads toward an Oct. 10 showdown before the U.S. Supreme Court over the broader legality of the president’s executive order temporarily barring travelers from six mostly Muslim nations. Bloomberg
VOA VIEW: The liberal Court is anti United States.
Agrees U.N. Action, And Talk, Needed
China agreed on Thursday that the United Nations should take more action against North Korea after its latest nuclear test, while also pushing for dialogue to help resolve the standoff. North Korea, which is pursuing its nuclear and missile programs in defiance of international condemnation, said it would respond to any new U.N. sanctions and U.S. pressure with “powerful counter measures”, accusing the United States of aiming for war. Reuters
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Than 5,000 Out-Of-State Voters May Have Tipped New Hampshire Against Trump
Over 6,000 individuals registered to vote in New Hampshire for Election Day Nov. 8 using out-of-state driver’s licenses — and since then the vast majority have neither obtained an in-state license nor registered a motor vehicle. Speaker of the New Hampshire House Shawn Jasper, a Republican, issued the findings on Thursday based on inquiries he made to the Department of State, which oversees elections, and the Department of Safety. Since election days, Republicans have charged that a significant number of non-resident Democrats, principally from Massachusetts, flowed into New Hampshire to vote illegally, tilting close elections to their party. Washington Times
Schumer Gained ‘Leverage’
Democrats heaped praise on President Trump Thursday for agreeing to their offer of a short-term debt limit, saying they see it as the start of the deal-making chief executive Mr. Trump had promised during the campaign. Mr. Trump exchanged calls with both House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, who told him they hope his deal-making extends to finding a permanent replacement for DACA, the deportation amnesty the president announced he would phase out. Washington Times
VOA VIEW: What happened to the ugly things Pelosi and Schumer said about Trump.
Trump Raves To Schumer, Pelosi
Many Republicans were furious with President Donald Trump's budget deal Wednesday, stunned that the president quickly gave in to Democratic demands to pair hurricane relief with a three-month debt limit hike — though getting nothing in return. But in calls with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi Thursday morning, Trump raved about the positive news coverage it had received, according to people familiar with the calls, and he seemed very pleased with his decision. POLITICO
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Conservatives Oppose Trump Debt Ceiling Deal
Republican resistance to a deal to raise the national borrowing limit — struck Wednesday by President Donald Trump and Democratic congressional leaders — is straining GOP unity just as Congress enters the most politically treacherous stretch of the legislative calendar. The leaders of the Republican Study Committee, an alliance of more than 150 conservative House members, panned the deal Thursday, even as Speaker Paul Ryan — who initially opposed it as well — praised Trump for seeking a bipartisan approach. The measure is expected to be attached to a bill that would send billions of dollars worth of disaster aid to Texas for its recovery from Hurricane Harvey. POLITICO
VOA VIEW: Republicans have failed when they had a chance to win big.
Chief Skips Decision On Commuting Hebron Shooter's Sentence
t appears that IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot is in no rush to decide whether to commute the sentence of the Hebron shooter as he declined to even issue a decision on Thursday. Thursday, 30 days after Elor Azaria’s rejected appeal became final and weeks after the Hebron shooter entered prison, was the first day according to law that Eisenkot could have issued a decision. Many had thought Eisenkot would rush to issue a decision on Thursday to end the public pressure over the issue in which a vast majority of politicians, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, have lobbied for commuting the sentence. JPost
Gets Cozy With Democrats
Just like that, he went from “Cryin’ Chuck” to the president’s pal “Chuck,” and she went from an “incompetent” shepherd of House Democrats who has “done a terrible job” to just “Nancy.” That’s how President Donald Trump was referring to the country’s top Democrats, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, moments after striking a not-so-grand bargain with them that funds the government and raises its borrowing limit through mid-December. The president has made clear he has little interest in leading the Republican party – whether that means acting to defend its majorities or serving as its ideological ballast. He’s insulted the GOP’s previous presidential nominees and railed against lawmakers on whose re-election its congressional majorities depend. NPR
VOA VIEW: Republicans are not united and on target.
Message To Dems: Don’t Give Bernie The Keys
Democrats are living their own version of Groundhog Day. Every day, they wake up and realize they are still in the 2016 presidential primary. The leaked excerpts of Hillary Clinton’s campaign memoir, “What Happened,” have stirred up another round of relitigation over, well, what happened. Clinton reserves some blame for Vladimir Putin, James Comey and herself. But it’s her fingering of Bernie Sanders that has cheered her loyalists, enraged his, and made every other Democrat consider emulating Bill Murray by taking a bath with a plugged-in toaster. Sanders’ attacks on her character and progressive credentials “caused lasting damage,” she charges in the book, “making it harder to unify progressives in the general election and paving the way for Donald Trump’s ‘Crooked Hillary’ campaign. POLITICO
Worry Trump Is Falling Into The Arms Of 'Chuck And Nancy'
You might call it "The Schumer Test." It goes something like this: If you're a Republican and Chuck Schumer is happy, then it's likely not a good day. The Democratic leader in the Senate was indeed beaming Wednesday, after President Trump took a deal he and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi offered to fund the government through mid-December. NPR
VOA VIEW: Republicans failed.
Wants To Overhaul Trade
President Trump won office promising to overturn the global trade system, which he assured voters was rigged against the United States. And he was particularly unhappy with the five-year-old trade deal with South Korea. At the White House on June 30, he underscored that concern, saying, "The fact is that the United States has trade deficits with many, many countries and we cannot allow that to continue. And we'll start with South Korea right now." That timetable may be slipping. NPR
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Supporting National Relief Efforts
United Nations agencies are supporting relief efforts in the wake of Hurricane Irma, which has already wreaked havoc on Antigua and Barbuda and other Caribbean islands and is en route towards the United States. According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), Irma, a Category 5 storm, made landfall on northeast Caribbean islands during the early hours of 6 September, affecting Antigua and Barbuda, Anguilla, the British Virgin Islands, St Barthélemy, St. Martin, the US Virgin Islands and other islands in the eastern Caribbean Sea. United Nations
Clinton To Appear On "CBS Sunday Morning"
This Sunday, Sept. 10, former Secretary of State and Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton will sit down with "CBS Sunday Morning" anchor Jane Pauley for her first TV interview about her new book, a memoir entitled "What Happened," published by Simon & Schuster, a division of CBS. "What Happened", due out Sept. 12, details Clinton's experience of becoming the first woman nominated for president by a major party during a historic election "marked by rage, sexism, exhilarating highs and infuriating lows, stranger-than-fiction twists, Russian interference, and an opponent who broke all the rules," says publisher Simon & Schuster. Pauley will interview the former first lady to discuss Clinton's ill-fated White House campaign, her thoughts on President Donald Trump, Russian hacking, former FBI Director James Comey's effect on the race, and her life since Election Day 2016. CBS News
VOA VIEW: A waste of time BS sales story.
Scramble Amid Fare Hikes
Irma is an unruly passenger. Some airlines sent empty planes to Florida and the Caribbean to bring passengers home ahead of the hurricane, while others issued change waivers and capped ticket prices. After spiking demand for domestic flights out of Miami drove prices as high as $3,000 on some websites, the airlines faced a flurry of online criticism and moved to address the issue. A tweet from an Arizona public relations professional who spotted a soaring ticket price on Expedia racked up tens of thousands of retweets and likes. The woman later tweeted that Delta had reached out to her and resolved the issue — but she wasn't the only one spotting eye-popping fares. NBC News
Flock To Trump Properties To Give Birth
Anatoliy Kuzmin held out his daughter’s blue U.S. passport over a red Russian one and snapped a photo from a Florida beach. “Woohoo! Got dual citizenship for my daughter!” he wrote on Instagram. American citizenship for the newborn girl was the goal of Kuzmin and his Instagram-celebrity wife, who sought the help of birth-tourism services in Florida for the arrival of their first child. They are among the estimated hundreds of Russian parents who flock to the U.S. annually for warm weather, excellent medical care, and, more importantly, birthright American citizenship. Daily Beast
3K National Guard Troops Called In
With Hurricane Irma just a couple days out, Florida's 20 million residents are hitting highways out of town -- and those who aren't leaving are searching for supplies to hunker down. State residents are bracing for the strongest storm since Hurricane Andrew, a Category 5 storm, struck South Florida in 1992. Andrew caused $47.8 billion in damage and killed 65. Irma is forecast to diminish to a Category 4, which is sustained winds of 130-156 mph, when it possibly reaches Florida around 8 a.m. Sunday though tropical force winds are forecast to arrive Saturday. UPI
Blasts South Korea
All planned deployment of the U.S. missile defense system THAAD to South Korea is complete, 14 months after the United States and South Korea publicly announced the decision in July 2016. The deployment of four additional launchers to Seongju, central South Korea, prompted Chinese state media to issue a strong condemnation that likened THAAD to a "malignant tumor" that was as provocative as "North Korea's nuclear weapons." South Korean Defense Minister Song Young-moo said Thursday the four launchers were all delivered to the designated site, 40 days after Seoul had agreed to place more missile defense in the area following North Korea's intercontinental ballistic missile provocation on July 29. UPI
'Sad Day' For North Korea
U.S. President Donald Trump said on Thursday he would prefer not to use military action against North Korea to counter its nuclear and missile threat but that if he did it would be a “very sad day” for the leadership in Pyongyang. Trump again pointedly declined to rule out a U.S. military response following North Korea’s sixth and most powerful nuclear test as his administration seeks increased economic sanctions, saying Pyongyang was “behaving badly and it’s got to stop.” “Military action would certainly be an option. Reuters
VOA VIEW: North Korea is pushing the envelope.
U.S. Navy Ships In Pacific Lack Certification
A U.S. government watchdog said on Thursday that more than a third of U.S. Navy ships based out of Japan had expired warfare training certifications, as lawmakers raised concerns about readiness after a series of collisions involving the Navy this year. The U.S. Navy recently removed Seventh Fleet Commander Vice Admiral Joseph Aucoin after a pre-dawn collision between a guided-missile destroyer and a merchant vessel east of Singapore and Malaysia in August, the fourth major incident in the U.S. Pacific Fleet this year. Reuters
Tells DACA Immigrants They’re Safe For Six Months
President Trump assured young illegal immigrants under DACA amnesty they remain safe for at least six more months, saying in a tweet Thursday morning that there will be “no action!” “For all of those (DACA) that are concerned about your status during the 6 month period, you have nothing to worry about,” the president said. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi took credit for prodding Mr. Trump to issue the tweet, saying she asked him in a phone call Thursday morning to issue the reassurance, and he immediately did so. Washington Times
VOA VIEW: Trump is sounding waffled.
Iranian Militia Vows To Turn Against U.S. Troops
The U.S. military is keeping a wary eye on Iran’s most violent proxy militia in Iraq, which has vowed to start killing Americans again once the Islamic State is expelled. With the Islamic State’s defeat in Iraq coming closer — the U.S. estimates that the once 25,000-strong terrorist group is down to a few thousand followers at most holding only pockets of resistance — the danger from the Hezbollah Brigades is fast approaching. Washington Times
Warplanes Pick Off ISIS Fighters
An attempt by Islamic State to evacuate hundreds of fighters from western Syria to the Iraqi border has instead left them sitting ducks for aerial attacks by the U.S.-led coalition on the convoy. “We were able to exploit it and take advantage,” Army Col. Ryan S. Dillon, a coalition spokesman, said of the ISIS maneuver Thursday morning as 11 buses full of ISIS fighters and civilians remained stranded in the Syrian desert. U.S. warplanes continue to pick off militants who stray too far from the protection of the convoy’s women and children, officials said. Strikes have also destroyed militant vehicles coming to the area from ISIS-held territory. Stars & Stripes
South Carolina Plan Evacuations
Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal on Thursday ordered a mandatory evacuation for coastal areas and South Carolina's governor was considering doing the same as Hurricane Irma advanced toward the U.S. coast. The Georgia order covers all areas east of Interstate 95 and other areas near the coast, including all of Chatham County. Residents there must leave the area by Saturday. Deal also expanded a state of emergency for 30 counties in the state's southeast and ordered up to 5,000 Georgia National Guard members to be on active duty. The National Hurricane Center projects Hurricane Irma's eye will make landfall somewhere along the Georgia-South Carolina border Monday or Tuesday. Irma was classified a Category 5 storm as of Thursday afternoon in Caribbean, where it killed at least 13 people, but is expected to weaken to Category 4 or 3 by time it passes over Florida and reaches Georgia's coast. UPI
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