A trial date of March 4, 2024, has been set for former President Donald Trump for his alleged efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election. This means Trump may possibly be sitting in federal court instead of campaigning ahead of the Super Tuesday primaries set for March 5.
Here’s what else you need to know to Get Up to Speed and On with Your Day.
1. Hurricane Idalia
Idalia has strengthened into a hurricane that’s expected to hit Florida this week, making landfall on Wednesday possibly as a Category 3 storm. With winds up 75 mph and life-threatening storm surge, the hurricane’s latest projected path shows it could deliver a devastating blow to portions of Florida’s Gulf Coast. It is expected to make landfall north of Tampa in Florida’s Big Bend region, but a small shift in the track could put the vulnerable population center more at risk. Already, Tampa International Airport has suspended all commercial operations beginning today and dozens of schools have closed. Evacuations are in effect in at least 10 counties and all 5,500 National Guard members in Florida have been activated to assist authorities. “This is going to be a major hurricane,” Gov. Ron DeSantis said Monday, urging residents to take proper precautions.
2. UNC shooting
A suspect is in custody after a shooting at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on Monday afternoon left a faculty member dead and sent the university with more than 30,000 students into lockdown for hours. The gunman’s motive remains unknown at this time and police are still looking for the firearm used in the shooting. The suspect was detained about 90 minutes after the gunfire interrupted activities at the school’s Caudill Laboratories, a chemistry studies building. No one else was injured, officials said. At least 49 school shootings have happened in the US this year, including the UNC shooting — 34 have been reported on K-12 campuses and 15 on university and college campuses.
3. Hawaii fires
The utility company Hawaiian Electric said energized power lines seem to have caused a fire during the early morning of August 8, but were not responsible for the afternoon Lahaina fire that killed at least 115 people and destroyed the historic town. The company said the cause of the Lahaina fire has not yet been determined but insists that power lines in West Maui had been de-energized for more than six hours by the time a fire began in the Lahaina area. The utility and the state are still conducting investigations into what happened. Meanwhile, a slew of viral conspiracy videos on social media have made baseless claims that the Maui wildfires were started intentionally as a land grab to make room for multimillion-dollar developments. Social media platforms have taken steps to curb the spread of this misinformation, but some videos appear to be slipping through the cracks.