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Ed Dunens / Flickr

As President Trump talks about draining the swamp in Washington D.C., we turn our attention to actual swamps. Associated with death and decay, while also celebrated for their beauty and biodiversity, few landscapes evoke such contradictory sentiments as swamps.

popo.uw23 / flickr creative commons

Sports! There are sports!

Baseball's back. At least for now. With almost all of the teams playing games. And only, ya know, two of them having big COVID outbreaks.

The NBA exists in a Disney World "bubble," and it hasn't had a single test come back positive yet.

The NHL is doing two different kinds of tournaments at once in two different "bubbles" in Canada.

The arenas and stadiums are empty and quiet, but for the cardboard cutout fans and the piped-in crowd sounds. And the whole thing may well be a bad idea anyway...

But there are sports! At least for now.

Updated at 5:10 a.m. ET Thursday

Hurricane Dorian is "expected to become a major hurricane on Friday," according to the National Hurricane Center.

Maximum sustained winds at 5 a.m. ET Thursday were 85 mph — a Category 1 hurricane — with higher gusts, according to the center's most recent update. Dorian was about 150 miles north northwest of Puerto Rico, moving about 13 mph toward the northwest.

Updated at 6:35 p.m. ET

Federal prosecutors have charged multimillionaire Jeffrey Epstein with sex trafficking of minors and paying victims to recruit other underage girls, accusing Epstein of creating a network that allowed him to sexually abuse dozens of young victims.

Prosecutors in the Southern District of New York announced two counts against Epstein on Monday morning: one count of sex trafficking conspiracy and one count of sex trafficking, according to the indictment.

Epstein appeared in court Monday afternoon and pleaded not guilty.

Republican Gov. Rick Scott has defeated Democratic incumbent Bill Nelson in the Florida Senate race after a protracted and contentious recount.

Following both a machine and hand recount — mandated by law given the very tight margin of less than 0.25 percentage points — Scott continued to lead Nelson by more than 10,000 votes out of more than eight million votes cast.

"I just spoke with Senator Bill Nelson, who graciously conceded, and I thanked him for his years of public service," said Scott in a statement issued by his campaign.

Updated at 4:20 p.m. ET

Days after midterm voting, as ballots are still being counted, Republican lawmakers who are holding on to tight leads in midterm states are alleging foul play and voter fraud. The claims were amplified by President Trump, without evidence, on Friday morning.

"You mean they are just now finding votes in Florida and Georgia — but the Election was on Tuesday?" he wrote in a tweet. "Let's blame the Russians and demand an immediate apology from President Putin!"

Ed Dunens / Flickr

As President Trump talks about draining the swamp in Washington D.C., we turn our attention to actual swamps. Associated with death and decay, while also celebrated for their beauty and biodiversity, few landscapes evoke such contradictory sentiments as swamps.

Updated at 2:20 p.m. ET

At least 11 people have died from Hurricane Michael, which slammed into Florida's Panhandle with 155-mph winds on Wednesday. The storm hacked a trail of catastrophic destruction in Georgia, the Carolinas and Virginia before finally heading back out over water.

Five deaths were reported in Virginia, in addition to four in Florida, one in Georgia and one in North Carolina.

Updated at 2:00 a.m. ET Wednesday

Hurricane Michael has grown into a Category 4 hurricane, with sustained winds reaching 130 mph, as it barrels toward northwestern Florida, making it a much stronger storm than Hurricane Florence was when it made landfall as a Category 1 storm drenching the Carolinas last month, according to the National Hurricane Center.

Updated at 9:19 p.m. ET Sunday

A 24-year-old male opened fire during a video game tournament at a mall in Jacksonville, Fla., on Sunday afternoon, killing three people, including himself, according to the local sheriff.

Sheriff Mike Williams says the suspect has been identified as David Katz from Baltimore. The gunman used at least one handgun and was a participant in the tournament, according to the sheriff. Authorities planned to release more information about the suspect later on Sunday.

A man who fired shots in the lobby of the Trump National Doral Golf Club in South Florida and shouted statements against President Trump is in custody after he was wounded by police gunfire.

Police say that after sneaking into the club through a rear entrance, the man, identified as Jonathon Oddi, 42, triggered a fire alarm. He apparently pointed a handgun at people at the hotel but did not shoot anyone. People who had been in the lobby were able to flee.

Ed Dunens / Flickr

As President Trump talks about draining the swamp in Washington D.C., we turn our attention to actual swamps. Associated with death and decay, while also celebrated for their beauty and biodiversity, few landscapes evoke such contradictory sentiments as swamps.

Updated at 11:11 a.m. ET

Noor Salman, widow of the gunman who opened fire on an Orlando nightclub in 2016, has been found not guilty on both the counts she faced. U.S. District Judge Paul Byron announced the verdict Friday, roughly one month after the trial opened.

Friends, family and neighbors were worried about Nikolas Cruz. So were social workers, teachers and sheriff's deputies in two counties.

As classes at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School resumed two weeks after the shooting rampage that left 17 people dead, it is increasingly clear that Cruz, the alleged gunman, was deeply troubled.

Lorie Shaull (Flickr) / Creative Commons

Grading on the post-2016 scale, it was a relatively earth shattering revelation-free weekend. And so we have some time to regroup and take a look at more iterative developments in Mueller investigation- and Parkland-adjacent news.

Updated at 1:50 p.m. ET

A week after a gunman killed 17 people at a Florida high school, students who survived the attack brought their #NeverAgain protest movement to Tallahassee to demand action on guns and mental health. Thousands of activists marched on the state Capitol to pressure lawmakers Wednesday, even as their peers elsewhere in the U.S. staged protests of their own in solidarity.

Seventeen people were killed at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida on Wednesday.
Coral Springs Talk (Flickr) / Creative Commons

The mother of a child who was killed in the 2012 Newtown school shooting says the community of Parkland, Florida will need support and resources in the wake of the tragedy there, and she says if people want change in the wake of Parkland, they will have to take action.

Updated at 10:35 p.m. ET

The FBI says that someone called its tip line to report concerns about Nikolas Cruz, who has told police he killed 17 people in a Florida high school this week — but that the bureau failed to follow protocols to assess the threat.

The bureau says a person close to Cruz contacted the FBI's Public Access Line on Jan. 5 to report concerns about him. Those concerns included information about Cruz's gun ownership, a desire to kill people, erratic behavior and disturbing social media posts.

Updated at 7 p.m. ET

Court documents say the suspect in the shootings at a South Florida high school has confessed to investigators. Nikolas Cruz, 19, has been booked on 17 charges of premeditated murder at Broward County's Main Jail in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Michael Gil / Wikimedia Commons

The nation is waking up to another devastating tragedy—this time, a school shooting in a Florida high school. Police say 17 are dead, more than a dozen others have been hospitalized. The shooter, a former student, is in custody.

Updated at 10 p.m. ET

The Broward, Fla., sheriff said 17 people are dead in the Wednesday shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in the city of Parkland, northwest of Fort Lauderdale. He said a suspect is in custody.

In news conferences after the incident, Sheriff Scott Israel said 12 of the people who died were found inside the school building and two were found just outside. Another victim was on the street, and two people died at the hospital.

Luis Cruz and Esther Gomez had always considered moving to Florida from Puerto Rico. The weather and proximity made it an ideal destination; plus, the couple had family scattered across the state. They just didn't know when they'd take the big step.

Then Hurricane Maria hit. Three weeks after the storm wiped out the island's power grid, less than 20 percent of people have electricity and 64 percent have drinking water.

Roughly half of Florida's homes and businesses remained without electricity on Tuesday, two days after Hurricane Irma plowed through the state. A lot of the business recovery efforts there will depend on how quickly power can be restored.

On her way to work Tuesday morning, Carol McDaniel, vice president of human resources for the Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital in St. Petersburg, made her way through darkened neighborhoods.

Frank Tavares

Floridians are gauging the extent of the damage from Hurricane Irma, which continues to weaken as it heads northwest up the peninsula. 

National Hurricane Center

Millions sought refuge as Irma charged its way through Florida over the weekend. This hour, we get an update on the storm’s impact.

Updated at 5 a.m. ET Monday

Irma has weakened since beginning its push up central Florida, but is still a Category 1 hurricane with winds near 75 mph and higher gusts, according to the National Hurricane Center. Its center is about 60 miles north of Tampa and continues to move along the northwest coast of the Florida peninsula. The NHC says Irma is expected to weaken to a tropical storm this morning and tropical depression by Tuesday afternoon.

Updated at 6 a.m. ET Saturday

Hurricane Irma is again a Category 4 storm as it slowly moves along the Cuban coast. The storm made landfall on the Camaguey archipelago of Cuba late Friday, according to the National Hurricane Center. As of 5 a.m. Saturday, the hurricane's center was just off the northern coast near central Cuba. The report puts Irma's traveling speed at 12 mph, about 245 miles south-southeast of Miami.

About 5.6 million people in Florida have been ordered to evacuate; forecasters expect the hurricane to hit Florida early Sunday morning.

Updated at 5:00 a.m. ET Friday

The National Hurricane Center says Irma is now a Category 4 storm. It has maximum sustained winds of 155 mph.

Updated at 11 p.m. ET

Hurricane Irma continued its northwestward sweep Thursday evening, losing little steam as it skirted the Dominican Republic and Haiti and bearing the full force of its 165-mph winds down upon the southeastern Bahamas and away from the Turks and Caicos islands. Forecasters upgraded their alert for South Florida to a warning.

A "disgruntled employee" who was recently fired from a business near Orlando, Fla., fatally shot five of his former co-workers before killing himself on Monday morning, according to local law enforcement.

Four of the victims died at the scene, while a fifth died at a hospital, authorities said. Seven other employees were in the Fiamma Inc. building at the time of the attack and were unharmed. Fiamma is an Italy-based manufacturer of accessories for motor vehicles.

Courtesy Joe Coss

The job of a public announcer is unique. Joe Coss of Connecticut Public Broadcasting was making calls at Daytona 500 last week, and fresh off the plane, he came into our studio to talk about it.

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