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NOAA's updated hurricane outlook calls for even more storms in 2021

Hurricane Dorian seen on Sept. 2, 2019. Photo: NOAA

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on Wednesday updated its 2021 Atlantic hurricane seasonal forecast, slightly increasing expectations for the number of named storms and powerful hurricanes.

Why it matters: With the U.S. already reeling from extreme heat and wildfires, disaster response agencies are overstretched. A particularly destructive and active hurricane season could overwhelm some of its response capacity.

Manhattan, Westchester prosecutors request evidence from Cuomo investigation

Gov. Cuomo during a press conference in New York City on Aug. 2. Photo: Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

The district attorneys for Manhattan and Westchester County on Wednesday requested evidence related to New York Attorney General Letitia James' investigation into sexual harassment allegations against Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D), according to a letter obtained by NBC News.

Why it matters: The district attorneys are investigating if alleged conduct highlighted in an independent report published by James' office that occurred in their jurisdictions was criminal in nature.

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Scoop: Buzzy media startup Puck launches in beta

Puck, a splashy new digital media company, is coming out of stealth mode, Axios has learned. The company debuted its landing page,, on Wednesday, and will officially launch its website in September.

Why it matters: The company has been quietly building a roster of top talent, but hadn't confirmed its branding or exact business plans up until now.

Rep. Letlow on losing husband to COVID: "I would've given anything" for the vaccine

Rep. Julia Letlow (R-La.), whose husband, Luke, died of COVID-19 in December, made an emotional, urgent plea on "CBS This Morning" for more Louisiana residents to get the coronavirus vaccine as the state faces a surge in new cases.

Driving the news: "He and I had prayed for weeks prior about the possibility of the vaccine and we were so excited that it was coming out and that it was going to be widely available," Letlow said in an interview that aired Wednesday. "And he missed it by two weeks."

4 hours ago - World

WHO calls for moratorium on COVID booster shots through September

Photo: FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP via Getty Images

The World Health Organization on Wednesday called for a moratorium of coronavirus vaccine booster shots through at least September to allow for poorer countries to have access to doses.

What they're saying: "We cannot and should not accept countries that have already used most of the global supply of vaccines using even more of it while the world’s most vulnerable people remain unprotected," said WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus at a press conference.

Scoop: Politico staffers mount unionization effort

Photo: Wolfgang Kumm/picture alliance via Getty Images

Members of Politico's newsroom are actively mounting an effort to unionize with the NewsGuild, sources tell Axios.

Why it matters: Politico's newsroom is one of the largest newsrooms to have resisted organizing efforts in the past. A successful unionization drive would be a major win for newsroom labor groups.

7 hours ago - World

One-year anniversary of Beirut blast marked by grief, anger

White roses are seen on portraits of victims of last year's Beirut port blast, Aug. 4. Photo: Joseph Eid/AFP via Getty Images

Fluctuating between feelings of sadness, grief and anger, Beirut residents on Wednesday marked the one-year anniversary of the port explosion that killed more than 200 people and injured thousands of others.

The big picture: No senior official has been held accountable for the blast, which was caused by a large amount of ammonium nitrate stored unsafely at the port for years, per Reuters.

Kendall Baker, author of Sports
7 hours ago - Sports

The NCAA's summer of change

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The college sports landscape has changed more this summer than at any other point in history, as the NCAA grapples with new rules and shifting power dynamics.

The state of play: When NCAA competition resumes this fall, everyone involved — from student-athletes and coaches, to universities and fans — will be entering a new world.

Mike Allen, author of AM
8 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Ohio upset's '22 clues

Shontel Brown campaigns with Rep. James Clyburn in Cleveland on July 31. Photo: Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

An upset in Ohio on Tuesday night is giving moderate, Biden-aligned Democrats momentum vs. the party's vocal left ahead of next year's midterms.

Driving the news: In a special primary for U.S. House in the Cleveland area, Cuyahoga County Council member Shontel Brown pulled out a surprise victory for the Democratic establishment in Cleveland.

9 hours ago - Health

New York City revives vaccine passports

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

New York City yesterday became the first city in the U.S. to require proof of coronavirus vaccination for indoor dining and other leisure activities, a measure popular among public health experts but previously squashed by political backlash to "vaccine passports."

Why it matters: Employers and now local governments are starting to ensure that remaining unvaccinated will have consequences for everyday life, testing the resolve of those who say nothing could persuade them to get a shot.

Updated 9 hours ago - Sports

Olympics dashboard

Sakura Yosozumi during women's park skateboarding at the Olympics on Aug. 4, 2021. Photo: Ulrik Pedersen/NurPhoto via Getty Images

🤼🏿‍♀️ "Making history": Mensah-Stock first Black woman to win Olympic wrestling gold

🛹: 2 teens and girl, 12, sweep board at women's park skateboarding

🥇: Sydney McLaughlin breaks own world record to win gold in 400m hurdles

📈: Simone Biles' exit brings global attention to mental health

🦠: Greece's artistic swimming team to miss Olympics after COVID outbreak

🏃🏾‍♂️: Tampa teen phenom Erriyon Knighton eyes gold in Tokyo

🛫: Belarus sprinter Krystsina Tsimanouskaya departs Tokyo for Vienna

.📷: In photos: Tokyo Olympics day 12 highlights

Go deeper: Full Axios coverage

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
9 hours ago - Technology

Your future sushi dinner could be cultivated, not caught

Wild Type's cultivated salmon sashimi. Photo: Bryan Walsh/Axios

Startups are getting close to being able to sell cultivated seafood products that have been grown from fish cells in a lab-like facility, rather than caught in the wild or farmed.

Why it matters: Developing cultivated animal protein that could compete with conventional products is a promising way for people to eat what they want without killing animals or damaging the planet.

China's homegrown techlash

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

With the Chinese government accelerating moves against its own tech industry, China is — for now — prioritizing Communist Party control of the domestic economy over aggressive international competition.

Why it matters: China and the U.S. are both playing a long game, with tech as the playing field, companies as the pieces and domination of the global economy as the stakes.

Updated 9 hours ago - Sports

The Olympic events to watch today

Sky Brown of Britain competes in women's park skateboarding. Photo: Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

5 events to watch today...
  • 🏀 Women's basketball: Spain takes on France in the quarterfinals. Watch at 8 a.m. ET on NBC Sports.
  • 🧗‍♀️ Women's sport climbing: The new Olympic event gets underway at 10 a.m. ET on USA Network.
  • 🏊 Men's swimming: Marathon swimmers race in the 10km open water event at 5:30 p.m. ET on NBC Sports.
  • 🏐 Women's beach volleyball: Watch Team USA's April Ross and Alix Klineman take on Switzerland in the semifinals at 8 p.m. ET on NBC.
  • 🛹 Men's skateboarding: The men's park competition gets underway at 8p.m. ET on CNBC.
10 hours ago - Health

Simone Biles' exit brings global attention to mental health

Expand chart
Data: NewsWhip; Chart: Axios Visuals

Simone Biles' withdrawal from Olympics gymnastics events generated significant public interest in mental health, according to exclusive data from NewsWhip.

Why it matters: The Tokyo Games offered the ultimate platform for the topic to get global attention, with much of the world watching the same story.

Debt investors retreat from funding dirty energy

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Banks are coming under fire from all sides for their role in funding fossil fuel companies, even though most have pledged to pull back over the coming decades.

What's happening: Despite pressure from activists, shareholders and Democratic politicians to finally divest from carbon-spewing businesses as the planet warms, the biggest American banks are still energetically backing dirty energy.

12 hours ago - Sports

In photos: Tokyo Olympics day 12 highlights

Team USAs Sydney McLaughlin in front of the timer after winning the 400m hurdles in record time at the Tokyo Olympics. Photo: Wally Skalij /Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Day 12 of the Tokyo Olympic Games saw American Sydney McLaughlin break her own world record to win gold in the women's 400-meter hurdles final on Wednesday.

Of note: Japan won a third Olympic skateboarding gold, as two teenagers and a 12-year-old swept the podium for the inaugural women's park skateboarding event.

13 hours ago - Health

Biden to GOP governors who resist COVID rules: "Get out of the way"

President Biden speaks at the White House on Tuesday. Photo: Shawn Thew/EPA/Bloomberg via Getty Images

President Biden spoke out Tuesday against Republican governors who've sought to block vaccine and mask mandates, as COVID-19 cases spike across the U.S.

Why it matters: Biden has tried to avoid making the pandemic a partisan issue, but the Washington Post notes the White House "has grown increasingly frustrated" with Republican leaders looking to obstruct health measures.

Ina Fried, author of Login
14 hours ago - Sports

2 teens and girl, 12, sweep board at women's Olympic park skateboarding

Photo: Ina Fried

TOKYO — Two teenagers and a 12-year-old girl swept the podium for the inaugural women's park skateboarding event on Wednesday, with Japanese 19-year-old Sakura Yosozumi clinching gold.

Why it matters: While Yosozumi won with her high-flying acrobatics amid the brutal midday heat, her 60.09 was only a point ahead of 12-year-old Kokona Hiraki, also of Japan. Hiraki and 13-year-old British bronze medalist Sky Brown are among the youngest Olympic medalists of all time.

15 hours ago - World

Belarus sprinter Krystsina Tsimanouskaya departs Tokyo for Vienna

Belarus athlete Krystsina Tsimanouskaya (C) at Narita International Airport in Narita, Chiba Prefecture, outside Tokyo, before boarding her Vienna-bound flight on Aug. 4. Photo: Charly Triballeau/AFP via Getty Images

Belarusian sprinter Krystsina Tsimanouskaya left Japan on Wednesday, aboard a plane bound for Vienna after refusing national team orders to fly home amid concerns for her safety.

Driving the news: The 24-year-old Olympian had sought refuge at the Polish embassy in Tokyo, where she was granted a humanitarian visa. But she changed flights at the last minute and boarded an Austrian Airlines flight for Vienna, an airport official told reporters.

Shontel Brown wins Democratic primary in Ohio's 11th district

Shontel Brown. Photo: Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

Shontel Brown, the Cuyahoga County Democratic Party chair and a county councilwoman, on Tuesday won the Democratic primary in the race for former Rep. Marcia Fudge's seat, after opponent Nina Turner conceded.

Why it matters: Brown could become the third consecutive Black woman to represent the 11th District.

Sydney McLaughlin sets world record to win Olympic gold in 400m hurdles

Team USA's Sydney Mclaughlin (C) wins the women's 400m hurdles final setting a new world record during the Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium in Tokyo on Tuesday. Photo: Giuseppe Cacace/AFP via Getty Images

U.S. hurdler Sydney McLaughlin clinched an Olympic gold medal in the women's 400m hurdles final at the 2020 Tokyo Games — breaking her own world record to finishing in 51.46 seconds on Wednesday morning local time.

The big picture: McLaughlin edged into silver teammate Dalilah Muhammad, who was defending her own gold from the 2016 Rio Games. The Netherlands' Femke Bol took Bronze.

Trump-backed Mike Carey wins GOP primary in Ohio's 15th district

Mike Carey. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Coal lobbyist Mike Carey won the Republican nomination for Ohio's 15th congressional district on Tuesday, AP reports.

Why it matters: Carey became the favorite in the race after former President Trump endorsed him in June. The seat was previously held by Steve Stivers, who left in May to become president and CEO of the Ohio Chamber of Commerce.