Hurricane Harvey strengthened to a Category 2 storm Friday as it roared toward Texas packing winds of up to 100 mph.
Harvey is now forecast to hit the Texas Gulf Coast as a Category 3 hurricane with winds of 115 mph late Friday or early Saturday.
It would be the strongest hurricane to hit the U.S. in 12 years. A major hurricane is one that’s a Category 3 or above on the Saffir-Simpson scale of hurricane intensity.
The last Category 3 storm to hit the U.S. was Hurricane Wilma, which barreled into Florida in Oct. 2005.
A mandatory evacuation has been ordered for the 60,000 residents of San Patricio County, located just north of Corpus Christi.
— NWS Corpus Christi (@NWSCorpus) August 25, 2017
Corpus Christi Mayor Joe McComb and county officials stopped short of ordering a mandatory evacuation for the city, but they said residents who stay are risking their lives.
“There will come a point during the storm where rescue operations will cease,” McComb said at a Thursday news conference. “Please don’t put our public safety officers at risk.”
McComb declined to say when that threshold would be reached, but indicated it will likely come before the worst of the storm.
Anti-Imperialist U: A blogger who goes by the name Hugo Turner wrote on Sunday that neo-Nazis and other right-wing extremists who participated in the Aug. 12 fracas in Charlottesville, Va., were among “hundreds of well-armed, highly trained fascist groups and militias, many interlocking with the military, police, FBI and the CIA.” Turner also called the popular revolt in Ukraine that ousted pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych in 2014 a “fascist coup” launched by the United States. Turner calls himself a novelist on Twitter, but is not listed by Amazon as publishing any books.
James Carden, executive editor for the American Committee for East West Accord, which promotes better relations between the U.S. and Russia, assailed the Marshall Fund’s Twitter tracker an “assault on public discourse.”
In an op-ed in The Nation, he said the fund, founded in 1972 by German Chancellor Willy Brandt to memorialize the U.S.-financed Marshall Plan that helped rebuild his nation after World War II, was “embracing the Russia panic that dominates the current discourse in Washington.”
“It is a legitimate thing” to look at how the Russians try to influence American political discourse, Carden said in an interview. But Russian sites on the tracker also report on legitimate stories, he said.
“It seems that anything critical of the United States is now all of a sudden Russian propaganda,” he said. “That’s a slippery slope.”