Welcome back from the long weekend. If you’re just now tuning back into the news, there’s a lot to catch up on.
Here are five of the biggest stories you might’ve missed over the Labor Day weekend.
At least five people are dead as Hurricane Dorian pummels the Bahamas
The Category 3 hurricane pummeled the Bahamas over the weekend as it traced a northeastern path several hundred miles off the Atlantic Coast. Dorian’s winds reached as high as 180 miles an hour, and the hurricane was labeled a Category 5 storm.
The hurricane slowed over the Bahamas and exacted horrific damage on the Abacos Islands, located 90 miles to the east of Grand Bahama. At least five people died on the Abacos, according to Bahamian Prime Minister Hubert Minnis.
Government officials have ordered evacuations in parts of North and South Carolina. The National Hurricane Center said Tuesday morning it expected “life-threatening storm surge and dangerous hurricane-force winds” in the coming days along the east coast of Florida and the coasts of Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina.
For now, Dorian is planted over the Bahamas.
— National Hurricane Center (@NHC_Atlantic) September 3, 2019
President Trump spreads misinformation about Hurricane Dorian
Trump said on several occasions over the weekend that Alabama would feel the effects of Dorian as the hurricane moved northward. He tweeted: “In addition to Florida — South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama, will most likely be hit (much) harder than anticipated.” At a FEMA briefing the next day, he said that Dorian “may get a little piece of a great place: It’s called Alabama.”
The problem: That’s not true. Dorian is not expected to touch Alabama.
Alabama meteorologist James Spann corrected the president by tweeting back at him: “Alabama will not be impacted by Dorian in any way.” The National Weather Service’s Birmingham, Alabama, bureau was more emphatic in its rebuttal of Trump: “Alabama will NOT see any impacts from #Dorian. We repeat, no impacts from Hurricane #Dorian will be felt across Alabama. The system will remain too far east.”
— NWS Birmingham (@NWSBirmingham) September 1, 2019
Texas suffers its second mass shooting in a month
A gunman went on a shooting spree Saturday after a traffic stop, firing indiscriminately as he drove through West Texas, and ultimately killing at least seven people and injuring 22 more.
It was the second mass shooting in Texas in the month of August.
The gunman, who had reportedly lost his job as a truck driver for an oil-services company, began firing a rifle at police officers after being pulled over for failing to use his turn signal. He injured at least three officers and then sped through the cities as Midland and Odessa firing indiscriminately at groups of people. At one point, the gunman opened fire on a U.S. Postal worker, killing her and stealing her U.S.P.S van.
After a brief chase, the gunman was killed outside of a movie theater. The victims ranged in age from 15 to 57, according to the City of Odessa.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) said on Twitter that the gunman, who was 36, had a criminal history and had failed a background check to buy a gun in Texas. Abbott said the gunman did not go through a background check for the gun used in the Odessa mass shooting.
Betsy DeVos wants to gut protections for ripped-off students
On Friday afternoon, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos unveiled her plan to gut the Obama-era protections for students victimized by predatory for-profit colleges. Known as the “borrower defense” rule, the policy was implemented to give debt relief to students who said they had been defrauded or misled by their college. The vast majority of the claims under the original borrower defense rule had to do with for-profit colleges.
DeVos’ new proposed rule would make it much harder for students to get relief. The DeVos plan would force students to effectively prove that that their college duped them “with knowledge of its false, misleading, or deceptive nature or with reckless disregard for the truth,” and that they wouldn’t have attended the school had they not been misled. It sets a three-year deadline after a student leaves school to file a complaint. Under the Obama versions, students who were attending a school that closed before they got their degree received automatic debt relief. The DeVos plan would eliminate that.
“Secretary DeVos’s new borrower defense policy is heartless and draconian. It makes it nearly impossible for students who have been defrauded by predatory colleges to get the relief they deserve,” Yao Can, a fellow at the nonpartisan Century Foundation, said in a statement. “With this policy overhaul, Secretary DeVos has cemented her legacy as best friend to predatory colleges and enemy to the students they rip-off.”
The Trump administration may reverse its cruelest immigration policy yet
In August, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services quietly said that it would roll back its “medical deferred action” policy, which allowed immigrants facing deportation to stay in the country if they or a family member was receiving life-saving medical treatment.
The decision meant that immigration officials could now deport young immigrants receiving treatment for cancer or rare genetic diseases. Even amidst the daily dose of cruelty meted out by this administration, the plan to stop medical deferrals promoted an outcry. More than 100 Democratic lawmakers demanded the administration preserve the medical deferral policy.
Now, it appears as if the administration felt the backlash. The Citizenship and Immigration Services agency announced Monday that it would rethink its decision on medical deferral decisions. An administration official told the New York Times that it “is taking immediate corrective action to reopen previously pending cases for consideration.”