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Caribbean

Irma effect on tourism mixed

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Florida could recover from Hurricane Irma’s wrath in time for its busy tourism season this winter, but that’s likely not the case for harder-hit Caribbean islands including St. Martin/St. Maarten, the U.S. and British Virgin Islands and Barbuda, according to travel experts’ early reads.

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AT&T pledges $1.4M in Hurricane Irma relief

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Telecommunications giant AT&T is giving another $1.4 million in relief toward “sustained recovery” efforts in Florida, Texas and the Caribbean after a pair of devastating hurricanes.

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Zika hit Florida months before infections found, study says

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Zika began spreading in Florida mosquitoes about three months before infections showed up in the Miami area last summer, and the virus likely was carried in by travelers from the Caribbean, new research suggests. Mosquitoes there started picking up the virus from infected travelers as early as March last year, according to scientists who examined genetic information from samples from about 30 people with Zika as well as from mosquitoes. It wasn’t until July that Florida health officials said they…

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Hundreds of thousands flee Florida coast to escape Matthew’s fury

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Hundreds of thousands of anxious people boarded up their homes and businesses and grabbed a few belongings to flee inland as Hurricane Matthew gained strength and roared toward the Southeast seaboard on Thursday. In Florida, Gov. Rick Scott said the state, its skies already darkening from early outer rain bands of the life-threatening storm, could be facing its “biggest evacuation ever” as Matthew menaces almost all the state’s Atlantic coast. As people hurried for higher ground, authorities in South Carolina…

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Obama briefed on federal hurricane preparations, S.C. town closes in preparation

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President Barack Obama is being briefed on the federal government’s preparation for Hurricane Matthew as the Category 3 storm makes its way to the U.S. mainland. The president says now is the time to “hope for the best but we want to prepare for the worst.” Obama is at the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s headquarters. FEMA has deployed personnel to emergency operation centers in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina. It’s also positioning commodities and other supplies at Fort…

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Matthew forces rerouting of cruise, research ships to Key West

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Several cruise ships are being rerouted from their regularly scheduled Caribbean and Bahamas ports to Key West. Key West is about 40 miles south of the portion of the Florida not currently under a tropical storm warning. As Hurricane Matthew approaches the Bahamas, officials say nine Royal Bahamas Defence Force vessels have moored at Truman Harbor in Key West. Naval Air Station Key West spokeswoman Trice Denny says a University of Miami Rosentiel School research ship called the Whalton Smith…

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Hurricane warning extended for Florida’s coast

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The National Hurricane Center has extended the hurricane warning northward in Florida as Matthew heads toward the East Coast. Meanwhile, Hurricane Matthew is heading toward the Bahamas after hitting Cuba hard. The hurricane center says the hurricane was about 105 miles (165 kilometers) south of Long Island, Bahamas. It has maximum sustained winds of 120 mph (195 kph). The hurricane center said there is a danger of life-threatening inundation during the next 36 hours along Florida’s east coast from North…

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