chapter 12

1. Hurricane Harvey

Hurricane Harvey is blowing toward Texas, and people are getting out of its way. Harvey is now a Category 2 storm in the Gulf of Mexico. But by the time it makes landfall near Corpus Christi -- late tonight or early tomorrow -- it's predicted to be a dangerous Category 3 that could bring as much as 35 inches of rain, winds of at least 111 mph and storm surges as high as 12 feet.

    People are evacuating the Texas coast, and traffic was bumper-to-bumper on roads and interstates. Harvey's also causing concern in New Orleans, where heavy rains could overwhelm the city's already-compromised drainage system. Gas prices will probably rise in some parts of the country, too, since the Gulf Coast is home to lots of oil rigs and platforms.

    2. Whole Foods

    Amazon will officially be running Whole Foods on Monday, and the first thing the Internet behemoth will do is cut prices at the stores. It could mean less silliness, like the $6-a-bottle "asparagus water" that turned up in a California store a couple years ago. While customers and other critics of the chain's high prices will be happy, regular old supermarkets won't be. They're already battling Walmart and Target for market share, so the prospect of now having to take on an Amazon-fortified Whole Foods is absolutely frightening for them

    3. Afghanistan

    America's longest war will go on a little longer, but President Trump, in a prime-time address to the nation, didn't say how much longer that will be. Nor did the President say how many more troops will be sent to Afghanistan, where the US has been fighting for 16 years, sacrificing the lives of thousands of American men and women and spending more than $800 billion. What Trump did say is that the US will "fight to win," focus on beating back the Taliban and other terrorists groups and not engage in nation-building. Trump campaigned on getting the US out of Afghanistan, but now he's taking his generals' advice.

    4. Charlottesville

    The man who's become the face of the Charlottesville protests is in jail. Christopher Cantwell, who was featured in a documentary about the white supremacist rally, surrendered to police in Lynchburg, Virginia. Cantwell and dozens of others marched through the University of Virginia carrying torches and chanting racist slogans. He was wanted on charges related to the rally, including illegal use of tear gas. Cantwell said he pepper-sprayed someone in self-defense. Meanwhile, large black tarps were placed over two monuments to Confederate military generals in Charlottesville in a symbol of mourning for counterprotester Heather Heyer, who was killed.

    5. Transgender troops

    The White House will soon give the Pentagon formal guidance on the President's transgender military ban. It will tell the military to stop admitting transgender people and to consider a transgender service member's ability to deploy when weighing whether to expel them, the Wall Street Journal reported. The Pentagon was surprised last month when President Trump tweeted out that he was reinstating the ban on transgender troops, and military leaders said they wouldn't move on it without more guidance from the White House. Defense Secretary James Mattis will have six months to put the ban into action.

    source: cnn, msnbc, washington post

    lindsay vancantfort