10 things you need to know today: October 6, 2016

Hurricane Matthew gains strength as it nears Florida, Paris climate deal to take effect after clearing hurdle, and more

Hurricane Matthew, pictured in the Caribbean Sea
(Image credit: Getty Images)

1. Hurricane Matthew regains strength as it approaches Florida

Governors ordered or urged nearly 2 million people to evacuate their homes on the coasts of Florida, Georgia, and the Carolinas on Wednesday as Hurricane Matthew barreled through the Bahamas toward the U.S. East Coast. At 5 a.m. Thursday the storm was 255 miles southeast of West Palm Beach, Florida, moving northwest at 12 miles per hour. A hurricane warning was in effect from Golden Beach, Florida, just north of Miami, to Altamaha Sound, Georgia. The storm's top sustained winds were 125 miles per hour, down from 145 mph when it hit southwest Haiti and eastern Cuba, but it was expected to strengthen again over the warm Bahamian waters. Matthew has left at least 26 people confirmed dead. If it makes landfall on the East Coast, it could be the first category 3 or higher storm to hit the U.S. in 11 years.

The Associated Press National Hurricane Center

2. Paris climate deal to take effect in November after clearing hurdle

The landmark Paris climate accord cleared its final hurdle on Wednesday when the European Union and 10 nations submitted their official ratification of the landmark deal, which was struck last year. The treaty takes effect 30 days after countries responsible for 55 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions sign on, and the latest ratifications put it over the threshold. The deal requires participants to reduce emissions to keep global temperature rise below 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit. It now will take effect Nov. 4. President Obama called the news a "turning point for our planet," and United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the support is a "testament for the urgency of action."

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.


Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up

The Associated Press

3. U.N. Security Council picks ex-Portugal prime minister as next secretary-general

The United Nations Security Council unanimously picked former Portuguese prime minister Antonio Guterres as the world body's next secretary-general. Samantha Power, the U.S. ambassador to the U.N., said world powers were "united behind the choice." The Security Council still must hold a formal vote on Thursday, followed by a vote in the General Assembly. Guterres, the U.N.'s former refugee chief, will take office in 2017 after the end of the second term of Ban Ki-moon of South Korea.

CBS News

4. Poland lawmakers reject abortion ban after protests

Lawmakers in Poland's conservative ruling party on Wednesday rejected a total ban on abortion following mass protests against the proposal two days earlier. A parliamentary commission voted against the ban on Wednesday, but the full lower house of Parliament will vote Thursday on whether to reject the proposal outright, or return it to the commission for further study. Before the vote, science and higher education minister Jaroslaw Gowin said the protests "taught us humility." Dutch lawmaker Sophie in't Veld said current Polish law "still doesn't give women the choice."


5. NSA contractor charged with stealing classified information

A federal contractor, Harold Thomas Martin III, has been arrested on suspicion of leaking National Security Agency hacking tools, according to court records revealed Wednesday. The suspect was charged with stealing classified U.S. government information. Martin, 51, performed technology work for consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton, and is suspected of "hoarding" classified materials dating back a decade. He was arrested in August after a raid at his home uncovered documents and data, some highly classified, on various devices.

The Washington Post

6. The Atlantic backs Clinton — its third endorsement in 227 years

The Atlantic on Wednesday declared its support for Hillary Clinton — just the third-ever presidential endorsement in its history — in an editorial titled "Against Donald Trump." The editors said they "are impressed by many of the qualities of the Democratic Party's nominee for president, even as we are exasperated by others... we are mainly concerned with the Republican Party's nominee, Donald J. Trump, who might be the most ostentatiously unqualified major-party candidate in the 227-year history of the American presidency." The magazine's last endorsement was for Lyndon B. Johnson over Barry Goldwater in 1964. Its first was for Abraham Lincoln in 1860.

The Atlantic

7. ISIS claims bombing that killed 20 at Syria-Turkey border

A bombing killed at least 20 people at the rebel-controlled Atmeh crossing on the Turkey-Syria border on Thursday. The attack, which witnesses said occurred during a changing of the guard, also wounded dozens of people. Most of the dead reportedly were foreign-backed rebels, witnesses said. The Islamic State claimed responsibility, saying it had hit the Syrian side of the crossing with a suicide car bomb targeting a rebel convoy.

BBC News

8. Twitter shares plunge after report that Google won't bid

Twitter shares dropped by 9 percent in after-hours trading on Wednesday following a report that Google, owned by Alphabet, would not make a bid for the micro-blogging social-networking site. The report in Recode did not identify its sources. Recode also said Disney had decided not to bid, and that Apple probably would not go for Twitter, either. Salesforce.com reportedly remains in the running. Twitter has struggled to generate profit even though it has more than 300 million monthly active users. It has said it wants to complete negotiations on a sale in time for its third-quarter earnings report on Oct. 27.

Recode Reuters

9. Study says 115 years is maximum human lifespan

The age of 115 years appears to be the longest human beings can live, according to a study published Wednesday in the journal Nature. Life expectancy has risen steadily since the 19th century, thanks to advances in medicine and other factors. Jeanne Calment, who died at 122 in 1997 in a French nursing home, set a record for longevity that appears to be unbreakable, said aging expert Dr. Jan Vijg of Albert Einstein College of Medicine, who wrote the study with two graduate students, Xiao Dong and Brandon Milholland. "It seems highly likely we have reached our ceiling," Vijg said. "From now on, this is it. Humans will never get older than 115." Some experts disagree, saying it's too early to conclude the human lifespan has hit a wall.

Nature The New York Times

10. Giants beat Mets in NL wild-card game, advance to face Cubs

The San Francisco Giants beat the New York Mets 3-0 in the National League wild-card game in New York on Wednesday night to advance to the NL Division Series. The Giants next face a strong Chicago Cubs team at Wrigley Field in the Friday opener of the division series. Wednesday's game was largely a duel between two of the best pitchers in the Major Leagues, Madison Bumgarner for the Giants and Noah Syndergaard for the Mets. After eight scoreless innings, Giants third baseman Conor Gillaspie swatted in a 3-run homer off Mets closer Jeurys Familia. The Mets lost to the Kansas City Royals in the 2015 World Series.

USA Today

Continue reading for free

We hope you're enjoying The Week's refreshingly open-minded journalism.

Subscribed to The Week? Register your account with the same email as your subscription.

Harold Maass

Harold Maass is a contributing editor at TheWeek.com. He has been writing for The Week since the 2001 launch of the U.S. print edition. Harold has worked for a variety of news outlets, including The Miami Herald, Fox News, and ABC News. For several years, he wrote a daily round-up of financial news for The Week and Yahoo Finance. He lives in North Carolina with his wife and two sons.