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Pedro Portal pportal@miamiherald.com

Hurricane Michael approached Florida with ferocious speed this week, hitting the Panhandle as a Category 4 hurricane and leaving behind a trail of catastrophic damage. The storm went from a depression to a serious storm in less than a week.

The rate of cesarean sections around the world is increasing at an "alarming" rate, reported an international team of doctors and scientists on Thursday.

Since 1990, C-sections have more than tripled from about 6 percent of all births to 21 percent, three studies report in The Lancet. And there are no "signs of slowing down," the researchers write in a commentary about the studies.

Emily Michot / Miami Herald

Floridians pay a price for living on the coast.

 

Hurricane Michael, which made landfall just shy of a Category 5 storm, ravaged the Panhandle and Big Bend area. The storm destroyed neighborhoods and washed out roads – changing lives forever.

Updated at 2:20 p.m. ET

At least 11 people have died from Hurricane Michael, which slammed into Florida's Panhandle with 155-mph winds on Wednesday. The storm hacked a trail of catastrophic destruction in Georgia, the Carolinas and Virginia before finally heading back out over water.

Five deaths were reported in Virginia, in addition to four in Florida, one in Georgia and one in North Carolina.

The Sarasota County Commission has rejected a preemptive ban on recreational marijuana because of an error found in the ordinance.

Citrus Growers Get A Dose Of Good News

14 hours ago

A year after Hurricane Irma ravaged Florida’s citrus industry, growers are on pace to slightly surpass their production from two years ago.

A public health state of emergency has been declared in Florida after Hurricane Michael. Medical personnel have been deployed at the national level to respond. A team of seven people from the Orange County Health Department has been sent to help with recovery efforts after Hurricane Michael.

In March 1980, Patricia Morales Tijerino and her sister had just left a wedding in a little chapel in El Salvador's capital and were on their way to the reception.

"And then I spotted him," Morales Tijerino recalls. "He was in his white cassock."

Óscar Arnulfo Romero, the Roman Catholic archbishop of San Salvador, was standing alone in a garden outside the church.

Press secretary Sarah Sanders last walked up to the lectern in the White House press briefing room on Oct. 3 after a 23-day drought. Before that, there had been an 18-day stretch with no briefing.

House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi vowed this week to demand President Trump's tax returns if Democrats win control of the House of Representatives next month.

Pelosi, seeking to regain her gavel as House speaker after elections in November, told The San Francisco Chronicle editorial board that the move "is one of the first things we'd do — that's the easiest thing in the world. That's nothing."

Updated at 8:52 p.m. ET

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has a message for Republican voters who are celebrating the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh: Get to the polls in November if you want more conservatives sitting on judicial benches.

The Washington Supreme Court has struck down the state's death penalty, saying that it is imposed arbitrarily and with racial bias.

"We are confident that the association between race and the death penalty is not attributed to random chance," the justices wrote in a majority opinion.

Mark Hedden

It's the time of year when residents from the Florida Keys can catch a glimpse of thousands of Peregrine Falcons on their way to South America.

The falcons are considered the fastest animals on earth — reaching speeds up to 240 miles per hour. Spectators and professional birdwatchers from around the world will gather in the Florida Keys this weekend for the annual “Hawk Mania” event.

For immigrants living in the U.S. illegally, it can be difficult to get a valid identification card. Now there's one very old organization trying to make it easier: the Catholic Church.

The Archdiocese of Baltimore announced Wednesday that its parishioners will now be able to get an ID card that shows name, address and data of birth, accompanied by the parish logo. While the cards clearly state they aren't government-issued IDs, the city of Baltimore and its police department say they will recognize the cards as an official form of identification.

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