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Happening Today: Michael, Haley, Polio-Like Condition, AMAs

What to Know

  • Hurricane Michael intensified into an extremely dangerous major Category 4 storm over warm Gulf of Mexico waters

  • A puzzling condition that causes partial paralysis in children is back on the uptick in parts of the U.S., health officials said

  • Taylor Swift kicked off her week with a rare political post on social media, and the AMAs encouraging fans to vote in the midterm elections

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Florida Braces for Michael, A Classic October Storm

A classic October storm, Hurricane Michael is quite the contrast to September's Florence. Michael is likely to be stronger, windier and fast-moving when it reaches the Florida Panhandle sometime Wednesday. And the water problem along the coast is more likely to be from storm surge, not rainfall. Michael intensified into a major Category 4 storm over warm Gulf of Mexico waters as Mandatory evacuations were issued as beach dwellers rushed to board up homes just ahead of what could be a devastating hit. A hurricane hunter plane that bounced into the swirling eye off the western tip of Cuba found wind speeds rising. By 5 a.m., top winds had reached 140 mph, making Michael a "major" hurricane before it makes landfall, according to the National Hurricane Center in Miami.

Nikki Haley Became a Popular UN Diplomat Despite Trump Policies

Nikki Haley came to her job as the top U.S. diplomat at the United Nations with no foreign policy experience, but in less than two years she made many friends — even among ambassadors from countries at odds with the Trump administration's policies The sudden announcement that she was leaving by the end of the year ricocheted through U.N. headquarters like a lightning bolt, with many expressing shock, and some sadness and dismay. The ambassadors on the powerful U.N. Security Council who worked closely with Haley praised her — a testament to her skills and success as a diplomat — though many of their countries, including America's traditional allies, have serious issues with her government's foreign policy. When Haley arrived at the U.N. on Jan. 27, 2017, she was the former governor of South Carolina and a novice at international affairs but she wasted no time in announcing a new way the U.S. was going to do business.

Rare, Polio-Like Condition Appears in US Again

A puzzling condition that causes partial paralysis in children is back on the uptick in parts of the U.S., with six cases under investigation in Minnesota and 14 reported in Colorado, health officials said. The children have acute flaccid myelitis or AFM, a weakening of the nerves that resembles polio. It was first widely recognized in 2014, when 120 children were diagnosed, NBC News reported. So far this year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says there have been 38 confirmed cases of the polio-like condition across 16 states.

Taylor Swift Wins Big at AMAs, Encourages Fans to Vote

Taylor Swift kicked off her week with a rare political post on social media, and at the American Music Awards she continued the conversation by encouraging fans to vote in the upcoming midterm elections. Swift won four honors including artist of the year at the fan-voted show on Tuesday in Los Angeles, beating out Drake, Ed Sheeran, Imagine Dragons and Post Malone for the top prize. "This award and every single award given out tonight were voted on by the people, and you know what else is voted on by the people," she said, "the midterm elections on November 6." Swift announced she was voting for Tennessee's Democratic Senate candidate Phil Bredesen, breaking her long-standing refusal to discuss anything politics. In the days since Swift broke her silence on politics, endorsing two Democrats from her home state, thousands of Americans have registered to vote.

Kanye West to Have Lunch With Trump at White House

Rapper Kanye West is headed to the White House. White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said West is scheduled to have lunch with President Trump and meet with Jared Kushner, Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser. Sanders says they'll talk about manufacturing, prison reform, preventing gang violence and reducing violence in Chicago, where West grew up. Trump recently tweeted praise for West, who closed a "Saturday Night Live" show wearing a "Make America Great Again" hat and delivering an unscripted pro-Trump message after the credits rolled. West is married to reality television star Kim Kardashian West, who successfully pushed Trump to grant a pardon for a drug offender this year and has met with senior aides regarding criminal justice reform.

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