Tropical Storm Ian could become a 'catastrophic' Category 4 hurricane
Tropical Storm Ian was forecast to rapidly gain strength Sunday while racing across the Caribbean toward Cuba and threatening a big hit to Florida's west coast later in the week. Ian was forecast to reach hurricane status Sunday, then roll across western Cuba Monday night and early Tuesday. As Ian approaches Florida, Accuweather said the storm could reach Category 4 status, which means sustained winds between 130 mph and 156 mph. "Significant" wind and storm surge damage is expected across a wide swath of the Atlantic Basin, and the Cuban government upgraded the hurricane watch to a warning. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis urged residents to load up on food, water, medicine, batteries and fuel. He said it was too soon to determine when or even if Ian will make landfall, but that evacuations may be ordered in the coming days.
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Fiona makes devastating landfall in Canada
Fiona, now a post-tropical cyclone after a destructive run as a hurricane, washed away homes and has left thousands powerless in Canada after making landfall Saturday. Although Fiona is expected to weaken over the next few days – as tropical storms typically do when they reach cooler waters – the Canadian Hurricane Centre has noted how unprecedented the storm is for eastern Canada. "I’m seeing homes in the ocean," said René J. Roy, a resident of Channel-Port Aux Basques and chief editor at Wreckhouse Press. "I’m seeing rubble floating all over the place. It’s complete and utter destruction." As the storm made landfall in Canada, winds were reaching over 100 mph – the equivalent of a Category 2 hurricane. The damage in Canada comes after Fiona devastated Puerto Rico earlier this week.
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'Sham' annexation referendums held in Russian-occupied Ukraine
About 93% of those casting their ballots on the first day of the referendum on the Zaporizhzhia region joining the Russian Federation were in favor, according to a poll released Sunday by the Crimean Republican Institute for Political and Sociological Research, a Russian firm. Ukrainian and U.S. officials have dismissed the voting for "sham referendums," in which residents of the Russian-occupied region were surveyed starting Friday. Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Sunday that Russia is pushing ahead with the referendums in parts of Ukraine it controls because President Vladimir Putin knows he is losing the war and must justify continuing to fight it. Zelenskyy said people who fail to support annexation wouldn't be able to "live a normal human life" and could face retribution – such as having their electricity cut off.
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Rihanna tapped to headline Super Bowl halftime show
Rihanna better get to "Work" because she has a Super Bowl halftime show to headline. After the star dropped a hint with a photo of a football posted to her Instagram, official Apple Music and NFL Twitter accounts confirmed her appearance at the Apple Music Halftime Show on Sunday afternoon. "It's on," read a tweet from Apple Music. "Rihanna is a once in a generation artist who has been a cultural force throughout her career," said Seth Dudowsky, NFL Head of Music. "We are thrilled to welcome Rihanna to the Apple Music Super Bowl Halftime Show stage." Super Bowl LVII is slated to take place at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona, on Feb. 12, 2023.
Pujols reaches 700 home runs; Judge still chasing 61
One Major League Baseball home run milestone has been reached and another remains a swing of the bat away. St. Louis Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols on Friday night became just the fourth major leaguer to reach 700 career homers when he hit two at Dodger Stadium. Pujols – the oldest active MLB player at age 42 – joined Barry Bonds (762), Hank Aaron (755) and Babe Ruth (714) in one of baseball's most elite hitting clubs. Meanwhile, the Yankees' Aaron Judge remains one short of tying Roger Maris' American League record of 61 home runs in a season. Judge has gone homerless in four straight games, but gets his next chance Sunday night against the Red Sox (7:08 p.m. ET; ESPN).
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Exit poll: Italian far-right leader’s alliance leading vote
Far-right leader Giorgia Meloni's electoral alliance appeared to hold a wide lead in Italy's national vote, an exit poll on state television suggested shortly after polls closed Sunday evening. Rai state broadcaster said Meloni's Brothers of Italy in alliance with two right-wing parties appeared headed to take as much as 45% of the vote in both chambers of Parliament, compared to the closest contender, the center-left alliance of former Democratic Party Premier Enrico Letta, which apparently garnered 29.5%. Italians voted Sunday in an election that could move the country's politics sharply toward the right, leaving Meloni well-positioned to become Italy's first far-right premier since the end of World War II. Her party, with neo-fascist roots, would need to form a coalition with her main allies, anti-migrant League leader Matteo Salvini and conservative former Premier Silvio Berlusconi to command a solid majority in Parliament. If Meloni, 45, becomes premier, she will be the first woman in Italy to hold the office.
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Contributing: Associated Press
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Tropical Storm Ian, Fiona hits Canada, Ukraine referendum, Albert Pujols home runs. News you missed.