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Rivers keep rising in Carolinas as Trump tours Florence ‘nightmare’ aftermath

(CNN)Hurricane Florence’s rainfall has stopped, but its “nightmare” destruction isn’t over yet.On Wednesday, thousands of evacuees were urged to stay away from their homes, rivers kept rising, and the threat of floods remained high in North and South Carolina. Many roads remained closed, and thousands of people lack power.President Donald Trump spoke with state and…

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Rivers keep rising in Carolinas as Trump tours Florence ‘nightmare’ aftermath

(CNN)Hurricane Florence’s rainfall has stopped, but its “nightmare” destruction isn’t over yet.

On Wednesday, thousands of evacuees were urged to stay away from their homes, rivers kept rising, and the threat of floods remained high in North and South Carolina. Many roads remained closed, and thousands of people lack power.
President Donald Trump spoke with state and federal officials about 11 a.m. ET at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point on the Neuse River in North Carolina. Trump said the federal government would do everything necessary to ensure recovery. He praised first responders and said the country mourns with the families of the at least 36 people killed by Florence.
“Our state took a gut punch and our state is still reeling,” North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper told Trump, calling the storm “epic, disastrous and widespread.”
“We’ve got a long road ahead in the days, in the months and even years ahead to make sure we build back.”
Trump said, “We’re ready to do whatever we have to do to make this perfect. We’re going to take care of everybody.”
Also across the ravaged region:
• Rivers are still rising in South Carolina and will continue throughout the week, the state’s Emergency Response Team said Wednesday morning.
• Some 2,600 National Guard men and women are deployed across the state.
• About 800 power outages have occurred in South Carolina.
• North Carolina farms lost an estimated 3.4 million poultry birds and 5,500 pigs, officials said.
• South Carolina cotton farmers also were hit hard. Soaked ground could damage peanut crops, and hemp stems were reported blown over, the state said.
Among the dead were two detainees who died in a Horry County Sheriff’s Office transportation van in South Carolina floodwaters.
Much work remains in the recovery efforts, officials said.
Crews must work to reopen roads, restore power, contain hazardous materials and restore medical services, Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Brock Long said at Cherry Point.

Rivers cresting, some twice

North Carolina’s Cape Fear River is expected to crest at about 62 feet Wednesday, putting thousands in harm’s way.
Brunswick County Sheriff John Ingram said in a Facebook video that officers are going door-to-door in the Waccamaw River floodplain areas to encourage residents to consider evacuating and to get ready in case it becomes necessary.
Many were outside enjoying the beautiful weather Wednesday, he said. But already the water is 3 feet higher than ever, and it’s rising.
“We want to make sure everyone has adequate time to evacuate if these waters continue to rise and crest at the forecasted levels,” he said.
Floodwaters rose and then receded in Conway, South Carolina, but a second cresting is expected.
Greenville News reporter Gabe Cavallaro tweeted photos comparing a flooded street that had since returned to normal.
“Recognize this place?” he tweeted. “Amazing. Just days before this #ConwaySC neighborhood was completely underwater – now floodwaters from #Florence have receded and the road is back open again. But city officials warn that it won’t last long, as levels in the Waccamaw River creep higher.”
City spokesman Taylor Newell said the waters could be “4 feet higher” than when Hurricane Matthew struck in 2016.
“We are cautioning everyone not to be overconfident,” City Administrator Adam Emrick said. “The water is going to come back up. We are worried about Friday.”

Some returning home to devastation

On Tuesday, after days of hoping for the best, Billy and Rita Sanderson waded in knee-high murky waters to see Florence’s storm damage to their home of nearly 30 years.
They passed a car buried in floodwaters and called out to see if anyone was in it. When no one answered, they turned their attention to their white house with dark shutters — partially submerged in the water in front of them.
“That thing is a total loss,” Billy Sanderson told CNN affiliate WNCT, his voice breaking. “It’s just hard to explain. You’re going to have to start over, that’s all we can do.”
Florence slammed into the North Carolina coast last week as a Category 1 hurricane, and has killed at least 36 people, authorities said. Of those, 27 died in North Carolina, including in Duplin County, where the Sandersons live. Eight others died in South Carolina, and an additional person was killed in a storm-related tornado in Virginia.

At least 13 river gauges are at major flood stage

Florence was slowly moving northeast, where tornadoes associated with the storm hit Virginia. But even as it meandered away, at least 13 river gauges are at major flood stage, North Carolina’s governor said.
Many of those waterways are rising or cresting in the Carolinas, though a few were receding. Swollen rivers are gushing downstream toward flooded towns and cities, putting more homes at risk.
“I know for many people this feels like a nightmare that just won’t end,” Cooper said.

Governor to evacuees: Don’t go back home

Cooper warned residents that the rain may have subsided, but the flooding danger is far from over. He asked evacuees to stay where they are and not return home just yet.
“To the approximately 10,000 people staying in our shelters and the countless more who are staying with friends and families or in hotels, I know it was hard to leave home and it’s even harder to wait,” Cooper said. “Please … do not try to return home yet.”
Evacuees from Pender and Brunswick counties should especially not go home due to flooding, he said.
More than 1,000 roads were closed across the North Carolina on Tuesday, officials said, and about 343,000 people were still without power.

Swollen rivers mean danger remains

Fayetteville City Manager Doug Hewett said he’s concerned that with the rain gone, residents may become complacent and try to get back home, which could be dangerous.
“We have 12,000 residents who could be in harm’s way if the river continues to rise,” he said.
Hewett said the Cape Fear River could crest to its highest historic level — about 62 feet — by Wednesday.
“We had significant rainfall … and we’re still anticipating that some of the tributaries are draining into the upper Cape Fear. And if that happens, it will continue to rise until it crests,” he said.
Wilmington was the epicenter of Florence’s destruction. Rainfall totals of 26.58 inches submerged much of the city, cutting it off from the rest of the state. It will have its wettest year in 140 years of record-keeping. More than 86 inches of rain have fallen so far. On average, the city gets about 43 inches by this time of the year.
In Lumberton, where residents scrambled to plug the levee system, parts of Interstate 95 will remain closed until the Lumber River drops below 21 feet. That might not happen until next week, said Corey Walters, the city’s deputy director of public works.
But it’s impossible to say how deep the Lumber River is now, because the official river gauge stopped working a few days ago. Walters estimated the current depth is about 25 feet.

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Politics

People Got So Mad About This ‘Sexy’ Handmaid’s Tale Costume That the Company Is No Longer Selling It

A “sexy” Halloween costume inspired by the dystopian novel and TV series The Handmaid’s Tale is no longer being sold after receiving a barrage of online criticism for sexualizing the show’s subject matter — women subjugated by an oppressive government. The online retailer Yandy, which designed and sold the costume, issued an apology Thursday following…

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People Got So Mad About This ‘Sexy’ Handmaid’s Tale Costume That the Company Is No Longer Selling It

A “sexy” Halloween costume inspired by the dystopian novel and TV series The Handmaid’s Tale is no longer being sold after receiving a barrage of online criticism for sexualizing the show’s subject matter — women subjugated by an oppressive government.

The online retailer Yandy, which designed and sold the costume, issued an apology Thursday following the backlash. “Over the last few hours, it has become obvious that [the costume] is being seen as a symbol of women’s oppression, rather than empowerment,” the company wrote in a statement shared on Twitter.

“This is unfortunate as it was not our intention on any level. Our initial inspiration to create the piece was through witnessing its use in recent months as a powerful protest image,” the statement continued. “Given the sincere, heartfelt response, supported by numerous personal stories we’ve received, we are removing the costume from our site.”

Before being taken down, the costume’s product description read: “An upsetting dystopian future has emerged where women no longer have a say. However, we say be bold and speak your mind in this exclusive Brave Red Maiden costume featuring a red mini dress, a matching cloak with an attached hood, and a white bonnet headpiece.”

In the Handmaid’s Tale, women have had their rights eroded by an authoritarian government, which forces them to bear children and effectively act as slaves. The main character describes herself as a “two-legged womb.”

Many Twitter users quickly pointed out the costume was problematic given the show’s subject matter. “This is so far from the point,” one wrote.

“Our society doesn’t take the rape of real women seriously, why should they take the rape of fictional women seriously?” another person tweeted.

Dressing up in the handmaid’s signature red capes has become a symbol of women’s resistance in the real world in recent months. Earlier this month, dozens of women donned the crimson capes and protested at Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing.

This is far from the first controversial Halloween costume that has forced a company to roll back its product. In 2016, Disney stopped selling a controversial Moana costume after people said its brown skin was racist.

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Azerbaijan

Opposition activist sentenced to 6 years in Azerbaijan

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On 18 September, the Baku Court for Serious Crimes sentenced a member of the youth committee of the opposition Popular Front of Azerbaijan Party (PFAP), Orkhan Bakhishli, to six years in prison.

Bakhishli was detained by men in plain clothes in downtown Baku on the evening of 7 May. On 10 May, the Yasamal District Court in Baku charged the youth activist with drug possession and ordered his detention for four months.

The PFAP has claimed that the charges against Bakhishli are trumped up and politically motivated. Several days before his arrest, on 3 May at a World Press Freedom Day event at the grave of journalist Elmar Huseynov, who was shot and killed in 2005, Bakhishli accused the Azerbaijani government of Huseynov’s murder.

Human rights activists consider Bakhishli a political prisoner. Previously, he served 30 days of administrative detention after being arrested ahead of a 31 March opposition rally.

In recent years, activists Ahsan Nuruzadeh, Murad Adilov, Bayram Mammadov, Giyas Ibrahimov, Elgiz Gahramanov, blogger Rashad Ramazanov and others have also been jailed on charges of drug possession.

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Politics

Jimmy Butler Trade Rumors: T-Wolves Star Requests Deal, Gives Shortlist of Teams

Tim Warner/Getty ImagesMinnesota Timberwolves shooting guard Jimmy Butler has reportedly requested a trade ahead of the 2018-19 NBA season.On Wednesday, Shams Charania and Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic reported Butler has provided the T-Wolves with a list of the “one to three teams” with whom he’d be willing to sign a contract extension.According to ESPN’s Adrian…

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Jimmy Butler Trade Rumors: T-Wolves Star Requests Deal, Gives Shortlist of Teams
HOUSTON, TX - APRIL 25:  Jimmy Butler #23 of the Minnesota Timberwolves reacts in the first half during Game Five of the first round of the 2018 NBA Playoffs against the Houston Rockets at Toyota Center on April 25, 2018 in Houston, Texas.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)

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Minnesota Timberwolves shooting guard Jimmy Butler has reportedly requested a trade ahead of the 2018-19 NBA season.

On Wednesday, Shams Charania and Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic reported Butler has provided the T-Wolves with a list of the “one to three teams” with whom he’d be willing to sign a contract extension.

According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Butler’s three preferred trade destinations are the Brooklyn Nets, Los Angeles Clippers and New York Knicks.

Minnesota acquired the 29-year-old Marquette product in June 2017 in a blockbuster deal with the Chicago Bulls. He averaged 22.2 points, 5.3 rebounds, 4.9 assists and 2.0 steals while shooting 47.4 percent from the field across 59 appearances last year.

Although Butler enjoyed on-court success, ranking 18th in the NBA in player efficiency rating, there have been rumblings about his unhappiness within the squad.

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In July, Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times reported Butler was “frustrated with the nonchalant attitudes of younger teammates—specifically Karl-Anthony Towns—[and] does not intend to sign an extension with the Timberwolves.”

Per Cowley, the four-time All-Star selection is also keen on linking up with Boston Celtics point guard Kyrie Irving next offseason—both players can decline player options in their contract to become free agents in 2019—to create a potential superteam in the Eastern Conference.

Krawczynski noted Timberwolves head coach Tom Thibodeau was “initially resistant” to the idea of a trade, but Butler remains hopeful of moving to a new team as the new season approaches.

Krawczynski also reported the request has “very little” to do with the reported issues with Towns and Andrew Wiggins and is more related to contract concerns.

Butler is scheduled to receive a $18.7 million base salary for the 2018-19 season, which ranks 12th among shooting guards, seven spots behind Wiggins, per Spotrac.

It’s unclear whether there’s enough time to complete a major trade before the campaign gets underway in less than a month. The Wolves are set to open the preseason against the Golden State Warriors on Sept. 29, and their regular season begins Oct. 17 when they take on the San Antonio Spurs.

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