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10 things you need to know today: September 11, 2017

Irma crashes into Florida, Americans mark anniversary of 9/11 terrorist attacks, and more


Irma smashes into Florida, forcing evacuations and cutting power to millions

Hurricane Irma smashed into Florida on Sunday, destroying buildings and inundating several towns in the Florida Keys before hitting the state's southwest coast with sustained winds of 115 miles per hour. The National Hurricane Center warned that the storm also placed much of Florida's west coast in "imminent danger of life-threatening storm surge flooding" as it plowed up the Gulf of Mexico side of the peninsula through Monday morning. An estimated 4 million homes and businesses in the state lost power. Early Monday, Irma's top sustained winds, down to 85 mph, were battering the Tampa area as it weakened and pushed north. The storm forced 6.5 million people in Florida to leave their homes, after hammering many northern Caribbean islands, where at least 27 deaths have been confirmed.


Survivors, victims' relatives, rescuers gather to mark 9/11 anniversary

Thousands of people, including 9/11 survivors, victims' relatives, rescuers, and others, are expected to gather Monday at the World Trade Center to mark the anniversary of the 2001 terrorist attacks, which killed nearly 3,000 people. In traditions established over the last 16 years, participants in the ceremony will recite the names of the people killed, and two powerful beams of light will be projected into the night near where the twin towers once stood. President Trump will observe a moment of silence at about the time when hijacked planes slammed into the World Trade Center's twin towers, and Vice President Mike Pence is scheduled to deliver remarks at the Flight 93 National Memorial near Shanksville, Pennsylvania.


Hillary Clinton says she is 'done with being a candidate'

Former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton told Jane Pauley on CBS Sunday Morning that her career "as an active politician" is over. "I am done with being a candidate," Clinton said. "But I am not done with politics, because I literally believe that our country's future is at stake." Clinton is giving a series of interviews ahead of the Tuesday release of her book What Happened, which gives her account of the 2016 presidential campaign and election. Clinton conceded that she made mistakes but said the race was hard to control, because she was "running a traditional presidential campaign, while Trump was running a reality show." She also accused President Trump of using race to win the election, calling his inaugural speech "a cry from the white-nationalist gut."


Mexico earthquake death toll rises to 90

The death toll from the 8.1-magnitude earthquake that hit Mexico last week continued to climb on Sunday, reaching at least 90 people, as government planes delivered relief supplies to hard-hit areas. Thousands of houses and hundreds of schools have been damaged or completely destroyed in the southwestern states of Oaxaca and Chiapas. Many people continued to sleep outside, fearful that aftershocks could cause damaged structures to collapse. A 5.2-magnitude tremor was felt on Sunday. A priest moved services outside at his church on a street full of homes that were reduced to rubble. "One enters with fear, with a foot ready to run in case there's a sign that other shake is coming — and it continues moving," the Rev. Ranulfo Pacheco said.


Bannon calls Comey firing possibly biggest mistake 'in modern political history'

Former White House strategist Stephen Bannon said in his first extended interview since leaving his post last month that President Trump's firing of FBI Director James Comey was the biggest mistake "maybe in modern political history." "I don't think there's any doubt that if James Comey had not been fired we would not have a special counsel," Bannon told Charlie Rose in an online segment of the interview broadcast on CBS's 60 Minutes on Sunday. Bannon, who has returned to his job as head of the far-right Breitbart News website, also criticized West Wing staff, the "pearl-clutching mainstream media," and top Republicans, among others. He singled out Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), saying they "do not want Donald Trump's populist, economic nationalist agenda to be implemented."


Pope Francis tells Colombians they all must contribute to peace process

Pope Francis told a million people in Cartagena, Colombia, on Sunday that the peace process to end the country's half-century civil war will only work if individuals — not just the government and rebel leaders — do their part. The "collective process" can't succeed if people don't personally engage with those on the other side to share in the healing and forgiving necessary to put the conflict, which left some 220,000 people dead, in the past. "Only if we help to untie the knots of violence, will we unravel the complex threads of disagreements," the pope, his eye bandaged after a minor accident in the popemobile, said on the last day of his Colombia trip. "If Colombia wants a stable and lasting peace, it must urgently take a step in this direction!"


U.S. denies Iran claim of confrontation with American warship

Iran's Tasnim news agency reported Sunday that an Iranian military vessel confronted an American warship in the Persian Gulf, warning it to stay away from a damaged Iranian fishing boat. The U.S. Navy denied any American vessel had contact with an Iranian ship. "At no time was there any direct contact between the U.S. and Iranian maritime forces," U.S. Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT) spokesman Chloe Morgan said. In a statement, NAVCENT said the coastal patrol USS Tempest, operating in the Gulf of Oman, had heard a distress call from a small boat nearby and offered to help, but another boat was closer and went to help instead.


Demonstrators clash in Portland

Opposing demonstrators clashed in Portland, Oregon, and neighboring Vancouver, Washington, on Sunday. Black-clad, anti-fascist protesters attacked police and far-right demonstrators disrupting an anti-white-nationalist rally in Portland. In Vancouver, a pickup truck revved its engine and drove toward a group of counterprotesters at a rally by the conservative group Patriot Prayer, forcing some people to scramble out of the way and sparking comparisons to a similar incident that left one person dead last month in Charlottesville, Virginia. Several people were arrested in the violence. Police detained and later released the driver.


Nadal wins U.S. Open

No. 1 seed Rafael Nadal, the top-ranked men's tennis player in the world, defeated 32nd-ranked Kevin Anderson 6-3, 6-3, 6-4 on Sunday to win the U.S. Open. It was the 16th Grand Slam title for Nadal, who won the U.S. Open in 2010 and 2013 as well. Anderson, who is from South Africa, was playing in his first Grand Slam final. The day before, Sloane Stephens won the women's title, defeating her friend and fellow American Madison Keys, 6-3, 6-0, to cap a remarkably fast comeback from foot surgery in late January. "I should just retire now ... I'm never going to be able to top this," Stephens, 24, said during the trophy ceremony.


It smashes box office records in opening weekend

It, the New Line and Warner Bros. film adaptation of Stephen King's novel, smashed expectations and led the box office by bringing in $117.2 million in its debut weekend, shattering the record for largest September debut. It more than doubled the previous mark of $48.5 million set by Hotel Transylvania 2 in 2015. It also had the biggest opening weekend for a horror or supernatural film, crushing the previous high mark of $52.6 million set by Paranormal Activity 3 in 2011. It had the second highest opening ever for an R-rated movie, trailing only Deadpool's blockbuster $132.4 million debut in 2016. The film's performance came despite preparations for Hurricane Irma in Florida and Georgia, which dented attendance by as much as 5 percent.


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