Sally's threat: 'Potentially historic' floods, fierce winds

Kim Miller and Monty Graham open their truck bed and began loading up sandbags along U.S. 90 in preparation for Tropical Storm Sally, Sunday, Sept. 13, 2020 in Gulfport, Miss.

NATION

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Hurricane Sally, one of five storms lined up as if on a conveyor belt across the Atlantic, churned toward the Louisiana-Mississippi coast Monday with rapidly strengthening winds of at least 90 mph and the potential for as much as 2 feet of rain that could bring severe flooding.

Storm-weary Gulf Coast residents rushed to buy bottled water and other supplies ahead of the storm, which was expected to reach Louisiana’s southeastern tip around daybreak Tuesday and make its way sluggishly northward into Mississippi on a path that could menace the New Orleans metropolitan area and cause a long, slow drenching.

Forecasters said it could be a Category 2 hurricane with winds of 105 mph by the time it nears the coast. It could be Louisiana’s second pounding from a hurricane in less than three weeks.

STATE

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Chick-fil-A said Monday that it no longer plans to open a restaurant in the San Antonio airport, even though the Texas city relented and agreed to let it do so after more than a year of legal wrangling.

“We are always evaluating potential new locations in the hopes of serving existing and new customers great food with remarkable service.” Chick-fil-A said in a statement. “While we are not pursuing a location in the San Antonio airport at this time, we are grateful for the opportunity to serve San Antonians in our 32 existing restaurants.”

Some San Antonio City Council members blocked the chain from opening a restaurant at the San Antonio International Airport, saying they objected because Chick-fil-A’s owners have donated to anti-LGBTQ causes for years.

In May last year, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton asked U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao to look into whether the city had broken federal law or transportation department regulations. He said the fast-food chain’s exclusion from the airport amounted to discrimination “due to the expression of the owner’s religious beliefs.” The complaint prompted an FAA investigation that ended July 24 with an informal resolution for San Antonio to allow Chick-fil-A to seek a lease in the city-owned airport.

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said Saturday that he’s appealing a judge’s decision to allow the Harris County clerk to send mail-in ballot applications to all registered voters in the county.

Paxton is asking the 14th Court of Appeals in Houston to prevent Harris County Clerk Chris Hollins from sending applications to all 2.4 million Houston-area voters. A state judge ruled Friday that the county can proceed with its plan.

Paxton argues that the plan violates the state constitution and Texas election law.

“There has already been widespread confusion regarding who is and is not eligible to vote by mail during this election cycle,” Paxton’s office argues in the appeal. “Sending applications to millions of ineligible voters ... will only exacerbate this situation.”

HOUSTON (AP) — A 20-year-old woman was shot and killed as she slept in her bed after dozens of gunshots were fired into her home near Houston, authorities said.

Sierra Rhodd was struck by gunfire that went through her bedroom window at about 11 p.m. Sunday, TV station KTRK reported.

No arrests have been made, and authorities have not yet released a possible motive. Police said Rhodd’s parents and younger brother were also at the home but were not hurt.

“Typically in these type of situations they are usually retaliatory, so we will be looking into that,” Sgt. Greg Pinkins said. “At this time, it would only be speculation.”

WORLD

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Poland’s conservative government came under criticism Monday in the European Parliament, where some lawmakers called for it to lose European Union funding over its rule of law record and its discrimination against LGBT people.

The parliament was discussing a new report on fundamental rights in Poland prepared by Juan Fernando Lopez Aguilar, a Spanish lawmaker who heads the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs.

Aguilar told the lawmakers that Poland appears to be moving away from European fundamental values and called the situation “extremely concerning.” The report will face a vote on Thursday.

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — An enormous chunk of Greenland’s ice cap has broken off in the far northeastern Arctic, a development that scientists say is evidence of rapid climate change.

The glacier section that broke off is 42.3 square miles. It came off of the fjord called Nioghalvfjerdsfjorden, which is roughly 50 miles long and 12 miles wide, the National Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland said Monday.

The glacier is at the end of the Northeast Greenland Ice Stream, where it flows off the land and into the ocean.

Annual end-of-melt-season changes for the Arctic’s largest ice shelf in Northeast Greenland are measured by optical satellite imagery, the survey known as GEUS said. It shows that the area’s ice losses for the past two years each exceeded (19 square miles).