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Idalia, now a hurricane, nears Florida: The Morning Rundown Aug. 29, 2023

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Idalia has strengthened to a hurricane on its way toward Florida’s Gulf Coast, and Toyota has stopped all production at its plants in Japan. These stories highlight The Morning Rundown for Tuesday, Aug. 29, 2023.

Idalia expected to hit Florida as Category 3 hurricane

Less than 24 hours away from projected landfall in Florida, Idalia has strengthened from a tropical storm into a hurricane. The storm is expected to hit Florida’s Gulf Coast as a Category 3 hurricane, with winds topping 100 mph.

President Joe Biden spoke with Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) on Monday, Aug. 28. A federal emergency disaster has already been declared in the state in order to expedite federal resources.

Warmer-than-average water in the Gulf of Mexico has grown the size of the storm. It’s expected to hit Florida early on Wednesday, Aug. 30 and impact a wide central portion of Florida. This includes major cities like Tampa and Orlando.

As Idalia approaches Florida, Hurricane Franklin is at Category 4 strength over the Atlantic. It’s projected to miss the southeastern coast of the United States. 

Trial date set for March 4 in Trump federal election case

Former President Donald Trump’s lawyers will have until March 4, 2024 to prepare their defense in the federal trial over his alleged illegal efforts to overturn the 2020 election. That is the same date Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis was hoping to hold Trump in a Georgia courtroom to stand trial in his state election case. There is no official trial date set in that case yet.

March 4 is also the day before Super Tuesday, when voters in 14 states will vote in the primaries. On March 25, 2024, the former president will be due in a New York courtroom where his criminal trial related to hush money payments is set to begin. Trump’s federal classified documents case is set to begin trial on May 20, 2024.

1 dead in shooting at University of North Carolina

A shooter opened fire on the campus of the University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill on Monday, Aug. 28, killing one faculty member and causing the school to go into lockdown for hours. Police said the shots were fired inside the school’s chemistry building around 1:00 p.m.

Sirens sounded, and students and staff were told to remain inside. Arriving officers found the faculty member, who has not been identified, inside a school lab.

“I’m grieved to report that one of our faculty members was killed in this shooting,” UNC-Chapel Hill Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz, who also released a statement, said Monday. “This loss is devastating and the shooting damages the trust and safety we so often take for granted in our campus community.”

Police said witness information helped officers track down the suspected shooter. According to local reports, the suspect was arrested a short time later in a residential neighborhood near campus.

The name of the suspect has not been released. A motive for the shooting is under investigation.

Toyota plants in Japan shut down due to computer problems

All 28 assembly lines at Toyota’s 14 plants in Japan had to shut down due to a production system malfunction. The company said the problem was with its computer system that deals with incoming auto parts.

A spokesperson for the automaker said they do not suspect it to be a cyberattack. According to Reuters, the Japanese plants account for roughly 33% of Toyota’s global production.

It’s not clear when production will resume. The shutdown comes as Toyota rebounds from a semiconductor shortage that stalled production.

American Airlines fined after passengers stuck on tarmac

The U.S. Department of Transportation said it is fining American Airlines $4.1 million for unlawfully keeping passengers stuck inside planes on the tarmac for lengthy periods of time. It’s the heftiest fine the government agency has ever handed down over tarmac delay violations.

Airlines are prohibited from keeping passengers on the tarmac for more than three hours. American Airlines violated that rule 43 times between 2018 and 2021, including one delay on the tarmac in San Antonio that lasted six hours.

The airline released a statement saying the 43 incidents represent a small number of the nearly 8 million flights taken during that time period.

In July of 2023, it was a Delta Air Lines plane that passengers were on when their flight was delayed for hours. Some passengers reportedly passed out due to hot and uncomfortable conditions while stuck on the tarmac.

NASA exploring idea of Mach 4 passenger jet

NASA has begun investigating the possibility of a passenger plane traveling four times faster than the speed of sound, or around 3,045 miles per hour. The agency said it is studying about 50 established commercial air routes.

Since the U.S. and other nations have banned all civilian supersonic flights over land 50 years ago, NASA’s study only covered trans-oceanic travel. The agency has issued two year-long contracts to companies like Boeing to develop concept designs to make supersonic air travel a reality.

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IDALIA HAS STRENGTHENED TO A HURRICANE – INTENSIFYING ON ITS WAY TOWARD FLORIDA’S GULF COAST

AND TOYOTA HAS STOPPED ALL PRODUCTION AT ITS PLANTS IN JAPAN

THE MORNING RUNDOWN STARTS NOW.

THIS IS STRAIGHT-ARROW NEWS.

BRINGING YOU UNBIASED, STRAIGHT FACTS.

TODAY IS TUESDAY — AUGUST 29TH

THANKS FOR JOINING US.

I’M KARAH RUCKER.

WE ARE NOW LESS THAN 24 HOURS AWAY FROM THE PROJECTED LANDFALL OF HURRICANE IDALIA —

WHICH IS GROWING IN STRENGTH — NOW EXPECTED TO HIT FLORIDA’S GULF COAST AS A MAJOR CATEGORY **THREE HURRICANE.

THAT MEANS FLORIDA RESIDENTS ARE BRACING FOR POTENTIALLY OVER-100-MILE-PER-HOUR WINDS.

PRESIDENT BIDEN SPOKE WITH FLORIDA GOVERNOR RON DESANTIS ON MONDAY —

A FEDERAL EMERGENCY DISASTER HAS ALREADY BEEN DECLARED IN THE STATE IN ORDER TO EXPEDITE FEDERAL RESOURCES.

RIGHT NOW — IDALIA WHICH STRENGTHENED INTO A HURRICANE THIS MORNING IS HOVERING OVER THE GULF —

WARMER-THAN-AVERAGE WATER IS GROWING THE SIZE OF THE STORM —

AND IS EXPECTED TO INTERSECT FLORIDA EARLY WEDNESDAY — IMPACTING A WIDE CENTRAL PORTION OF FLORIDA — INCLUDING MAJOR CITIES LIKE TAMPA AND ORLANDO.

MEANWHILE — ANOTHER FORCE OVER THE ATLANTIC — HURRICANE FRANKLIN — IS AT CATEGORY FOUR STRENGTH.

IT’S PROJECTED TO MISS THE SOUTHEASTERN COAST OF THE U.S.

FORMER PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP’S LAWYERS WILL HAVE UNTIL MARCH FOURTH TO PREPARE THEIR DEFENSE IN THE FEDERAL TRIAL OVER HIS ALLEGED EFFORTS TO OVERTURN THE 2020 ELECTION.

THAT IS THE SAME DATE THAT FULTON COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY FANI WILLIS WAS HOPING TO HOLD TRUMP IN A GEORGIA COURTROOM TO STAND TRIAL IN HIS STATE ELECTION CASE —

HOWEVER THERE IS NO TRIAL DATE SET IN THAT CASE YET.

MARCH FOURTH IS ALSO THE DAY BEFORE SUPER TUESDAY —

WHEN VOTERS IN 14 STATES WILL VOTE IN THE PRIMARIES.

THEN ON MARCH 25 — THREE WEEKS AFTER TRUMP’S FEDERAL ELECTIONS CASE GETS UNDERWAY–

THE FORMER PRESIDENT WILL BE DUE IN A NEW YORK COURTROOM WHERE HIS CRIMINAL TRIAL RELATED TO HUSH-MONEY PAYMENTS IN 2016 IS SET TO BEGIN.

TRUMP’S FEDERAL CLASSIFIED DOCUMENTS CASE IS SET FOR TRIAL  MAY 20TH OF NEXT YEAR.

AUTHORITIES ARE LOOKING FOR ANSWERS AFTER A SUSPECT OPENED FIRE ON THE CAMPUS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA AT CHAPEL HILL MONDAY KILLING ONE FACULTY MEMBER AND CAUSING THE SCHOOL TO GO INTO LOCKDOWN FOR HOURS.

POLICE SAY THE SHOTS WERE FIRED INSIDE THE SCHOOL’S CHEMISTRY BUILDING AROUND 1 P.M. — SIRENS SOUNDED AND STUDENTS AND STAFF WERE TOLD TO REMAIN INSIDE.

ARRIVING OFFICERS FOUND THE FACULTY MEMBER – WHO HAS NOT BEEN IDENTIFIED – FATALLY SHOT INSIDE A SCHOOL LAB.

“I’m grieved to report that one of our faculty members was killed in this shooting. This loss is devastating and the shooting damages the trust and safety we so often take for granted in our campus community.”

POLICE SAY WITNESS INFORMATION HELPED OFFICERS TRACK DOWN THE SUSPECTED SHOOTER.

LOCAL REPORTS SAY THE SUSPECT WAS ARRESTED A SHORT TIME LATER IN A RESIDENTIAL NEIGHBORHOOD NEAR CAMPUS. THE NAME OF THE SUSPECT HAS NOT BEEN RELEASED.

A MOTIVE FOR THE SHOOTING IS STILL UNDER INVESTIGATION.

ALL 28 ASSEMBLY LINES AT TOYOTA’S 14 PLANTS IN JAPAN ARE SHUT DOWN THIS MORNING DUE TO A PRODUCTION SYSTEM MALFUNCTION.

THE COMPANY SAYS THE PROBLEM IS WITH ITS COMPUTER SYSTEM THAT DEALS WITH INCOMING AUTO PARTS.

A SPOKESPERSON FOR THE AUTOMAKER SAYS THEY DO NOT SUSPECT IT TO BE A CYBERATTACK.

ACCORDING TO REUTERS — THE JAPAN PLANTS ACCOUNT FOR ROUGHLY ONE-THIRD OF TOYOTA’S GLOBAL PRODUCTION

IT’S NOT CLEAR WHEN PRODUCTION WILL RESUME.

THE SHUTDOWN COMES AS TOYOTA REBOUNDS FROM A SEMICONDUCTOR SHORTAGE THAT STALLED PRODUCTION.

THE U-S DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION SAID IT IS FINING AMERICAN AIRLINES 4 POINT 1 MILLION DOLLARS FOR **UNLAWFULLY KEEPING PASSENGERS STUCK INSIDE PLANES ON THE TARMAC FOR LENGTHY PERIODS OF TIME.

IT’S THE HEFTIEST FINE THE GOVERNMENT AGENCY HAS EVER HANDED DOWN OVER “TARMAC DELAY VIOLATIONS.”

ACCORDING TO THE DEPARTMENT —

AIRLINES ARE PROHIBITED FROM KEEPING PASSENGERS ON THE TARMAC FOR MORE THAN 3 HOURS.

AMERICAN VIOLATED THAT RULE 43 TIMES BETWEEN 2018 AND 2021 – INCLUDING ONE DELAY ON THE TARMAC IN SAN ANTONIO THAT LASTED SIX HOURS.

AMERICAN RELEASED A STATEMENT SAYING THOSE FLIGHTS REPRESENT A SMALL NUMBER OF THE NEARLY 8 MILLION FLIGHTS TAKEN DURING THAT TIME PERIOD.

EARLIER THIS MONTH — IT WAS A DELTA PLANE THAT PASSENGERS WERE ON WHEN THEIR FLIGHT WAS DELAYED FOR HOURS —

PASSENGERS REPORTEDLY WERE PASSING OUT DUE TO THE HOT AND UNCOMFORTABLE CONDITIONS WHILE STUCK ON THE TARMAC.

FINALLY THIS MORNING – IF YOU’RE WISHING FOR A FASTER COMMUTE TO WORK — HOW DOES THIS SOUND – NEW YORK TO LONDON IN 90 MINUTES? NASA SAYS IT MIGHT HAPPEN IN THE NEAR FUTURE.

CURRENTLY – LARGE AIRLINERS TRAVEL AT APPROXIMATELY 600 MILES PER HOUR- ABOUT 80 PERCENT OF THE SPEED OF SOUND.

BUT NASA IS INVESTIGATING THE POSSIBILITY OF A PASSENGER PLANE TRAVELING **FOUR TIMES FASTER THAN THE SPEED OF SOUND – AROUND 3,045 MILES PER HOUR.

NASA SAYS IT’S STUDYING ABOUT 50 ESTABLISHED COMMERCIAL ROUTES –  BUT BECAUSE THE US AND OTHER NATIONS HAVE BANNED ALL CIVILIAN SUPERSONIC FLIGHTS OVER LAND 50 YEARS AGO, NASA’S STUDY ONLY COVERED TRANS-OCEANIC TRAVEL.

NASA HAS ISSUED TWO TWELVE-MONTH CONTRACTS TO COMPANIES INCLUDING BOEING TO DEVELOP CONCEPT DESIGNS TO MAKE SUPERSONIC AIR TRAVEL A REALITY.

THOSE ARE YOUR TOP STORIES THIS TUESDAY MORNING. THANK YOU FOR CHOOSING STRAIGHT ARROW NEWS AS YOUR TRUSTED SOURCE.

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UNBIASED. STRAIGHT FACTS. THAT’S STRAIGHT ARROW NEWS.

WE’LL SEE YOU BACK HERE TOMORROW.

UNTIL THEN I’M KARAH RUCKER. HAVE A GREAT DAY.