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News Wrap: Belarus’ besieged Lukashenko meets with Putin

In our news wrap Monday, Belarus’ embattled President Alexander Lukashenko traveled to neighboring Russia to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin, who promised a $1.5 billion loan and warned against foreign interference in Belarus’ politics. Also, scientists in Denmark and Greenland report a huge chunk has broken off of the Greenland ice shelf -- another sign the Arctic is rapidly warming.

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  • Judy Woodruff:

    In the day's other news: The U.S. Gulf Coast battened down for Hurricane Sally's arrival later tonight. It's expected to hit east of New Orleans, with up to two feet of rain. Another hurricane struck Bermuda today, and two more are brewing in the Atlantic.

    We get more from Ken Graham, director of the National Hurricane Center.

    He spoke with our Stephanie Sy earlier.

    Ken Graham, thank you so much for joining us.

    The governor of Louisiana said that, for a lot of people, Hurricane Sally seemed to have come out of nowhere, rapidly forming into a hurricane just in the last day. What is the — current forecast can you tell us about where it is heading and how strong it will be?

  • Ken Graham:

    Yes, looking at 100 mile-an-hour winds right now, so, significant hurricane.

    And, actually, looking at this, I mean, the tropical storm-force winds extend out over 100 miles, but the real story here is slow, and that is a big problem. So, if you think about this being 1:00 p.m. Tuesday, this is 1:00 p.m. Wednesday.

    In 24 hours, that's not a lot of movement. So, the problem is, with a slow storm like that, that just compounds the issues with rainfall. Storm surge. It's going to be water. You're going to see that storm surge from Louisiana all the way back to Florida and torrential dangerous rains as well from Mississippi, Alabama, the Florida Panhandle, even into Georgia.

    So, significant issue with the water, slow storms, that just compounds the issues.

  • Stephanie Sy:

    Yes.

    And a lot of times, there's focus on the center of the hurricane and when it hits landfall. With Hurricane Sally, are we more concerned with the prolonged impacts?

  • Ken Graham:

    Absolutely.

    Let's look at that. So, you have the cone. So, the cone really is where two-thirds of the time we expect to have the center, but the impacts are well outside of it. I mean, you look at this rainfall, well outside of the cone. That's a huge area of rainfall.

    But the other part of this is the dangerous storm surge. That's historically the leading cause of fatalities in these tropical systems. So, you look at some of these values, from Southeast Louisiana, to portions of the Mississippi coast seven to 11 feet, but even six to nine feet, four to six feet, five to eight in Mobile Bay, so from Alabama, the Florida Panhandle, the Mississippi coast to Louisiana, just dangerous storm surge.

    And that — it makes it very dangerous to travel. And a lot of those areas, if the local officials tell you to leave, it's just so important to not be in those dangerous locations.

  • Stephanie Sy:

    I know you all were predicting a very active season. You're now monitoring five Atlantic cyclones at the same time, only the second time in recorded history for that to happen, even running out of names for these hurricanes.

    Ken Graham have with the National Hurricane Center, thank you so much for the latest.

  • Ken Graham:

    Thank you.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    There's also new evidence that the Arctic is rapidly heating.

    Scientists in Denmark and Greenland report that a huge chunk has broken away from the Greenland ice shelf. A satellite study estimates it to be about 42 square miles. That is nearly the size of San Francisco.

    Cases of COVID-19 topped 29 million worldwide today, as the pandemic persists. That includes more than 6.5 million in the United States. But new cases in the U.S. have declined about 17 percent from two weeks ago. The rate of new deaths is also falling, even as total deaths nationwide approach 195,000.

    The besieged president of Belarus traveled to neighboring Russia today, seeking support against mass protests after 26 years in power. Russia's President Vladimir Putin met with Alexander Lukashenko in Sochi. Putin promised a $1.5 billion loan. He also warned against foreign interference.

  • Vladimir Putin (through translator):

    We see what kind of domestic political events are happening in relation to the election in Belarus. You know our position well. We are for Belarusians to sort out this situation themselves, without any tips and pressure from outside. They should come to a common decision.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    On Sunday, an estimated 150,000 people took to the streets of Minsk, the Belarusian capital. They say that Lukashenko rigged his reelection in August and must step down.

    Back in this country, a federal appeals court today upheld President Trump's decision to strip protections that let half-a-million immigrants stay in the U.S. They were admitted on humanitarian grounds from El Salvador, Haiti, Nicaragua and Sudan, and some have been here for decades. The case could wind up before the U.S. Supreme Court.

    Authorities across the Los Angeles area are searching for the gunman who fired into a squad car and wounded two sheriff's deputies on Saturday. It also sparked an anti-police protest outside the hospital where the deputies are being treated. They are expected to recover.

    Software developer Oracle has won the competition for TikTok's U.S. operations. The video-sharing app's Chinese owner announced the proposed partnership today, but did not call it a sale. President Trump says that TikTok's U.S. operations must be sold or shut down to prevent data being passed to China.

    And on Wall Street, the Oracle-TikTok agreement and other major corporate deals fueled a new rally. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 327 points to close at 27993. The Nasdaq rose 203 points and the S&P 500 added 42.

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