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News Wrap: Florida prepares for first hurricane since 2005

In our news wrap Thursday, residents along Florida’s Gulf Coast are bracing for a direct hit by Hurricane Hermine, the first to make landfall there in 11 years. Early rain has already caused minor flooding. Also, California state lawmakers voted to regulate methane emissions from landfills and dairy farms for the first time, amid objections by industry and farming interests.

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    In the day's other news: People along Florida's Gulf Coast braced for a direct hit tonight by a hurricane, the state's first since 2005. Hermine is projected to make landfall with winds of 75 miles an hour or higher and drive across the state toward the Atlantic.

    As it approached today, rain caused minor flooding, and people filled sandbags.

    Governor Rick Scott warned against taking the storm for granted.

  • GOV. RICK SCOTT (R-Fla):

    We're going to see a big storm surge. We're going to see a lot of rain. We're going to see flooding. We're going to see downed power lines. We're going to see — there's going to be a lot of risk if we don't do our job. Everybody needs to be prepared. We are blessed. We have the best emergency management teams in the country at the state and at the local level. We have a great National Guard, but you have got to take this seriously.


    Many cities in the storm's path, including the capital, Tallahassee, have not been hit by a hurricane in decades.


    State lawmakers in California are expanding a climate change law that's already the most aggressive in the nation. Majority Democrats agreed last night to regulate methane emissions from landfills and dairy farms for the first time. It came over the objections of industry and farming interests.


    A huge explosion rocked a SpaceX launch pad today at Cape Canaveral, Florida. The unmanned Falcon rocket blew up as a test for a Saturday launch was under way. The blast also destroyed a communications satellite on board, but no one was hurt. SpaceX said there was a problem in a fuel tank, but they gave no details.


    In Eastern Ukraine, a fragile new cease-fire took effect at midnight between government troops and pro-Russian rebels. Both President Petro Poroshenko and the rebels said the truce appeared to be holding. Fighting had flared in the contested Donetsk region over the last month after an earlier cease-fire collapsed.


    Back in this country, authorities in Florida have found Zika virus in three groups of mosquitoes in Miami Beach. It's the first time that's happened in the continental United States. The insects were trapped in the small area that's seen active Zika transmission. Officials said today the finding will help them fight the virus.

    DR. CHRIS BRADEN, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: If there are positive traps, we know when, we know where. All right? We can identify where this transmission is occurring. Typically, what happens is that transmission occurs in mosquitoes in a limited area. And so we can intensify what we do in those areas. We can do more active surveillance, we can do surveys, we can do more active mosquito control.


    The control efforts could be complicated by the hurricane coming ashore tonight. Its heavy rain will leave new breeding pools for mosquitoes.


    In economic news: Major automakers reported U.S. sales slumped in August, as a surge in business begins to cool after six years.

    And on Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average gained 18 points to close at 18419. The Nasdaq rose nearly 14 points, and the S&P 500 added a fraction.

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