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A radar view of Hurricane Maria. Photo: NOAA

Hurricane Maria has strengthened into an "extremely dangerous" Category 5 hurricane as it bears down on Caribbean islands already ravaged by Hurricane Irma, per the National Hurricane Center.

  • In its path: Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the British Virgin Islands are all under a hurricane warning with Maria's effects expected Tuesday into Wednesday.
  • The effects: Potentially a Category 5 storm by the time it hits Puerto Rico, Maria could dump around a foot of rain, along with a massive storm surge of six to nine feet. Maria's winds will likely top 130 mph — but, in one bit of good news, its strongest winds remain confined to a small area near the eye.
  • Not a surprise: National Geographic points out that — though this hurricane season was forecast to be more active than usual thanks to atmospheric and thermal conditions — it's not exactly out of the ordinary for the Atlantic.

Go deeper

Journalism enters dangerous new era

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

The Capitol attack on Jan. 6 resulted in at least nine physical assaults against journalists and at least five arrests, per the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker's top editor.

Why it matters: President Trump's harsh rhetoric towards the press has empowered leaders abroad and locally in the U.S. to continue to attack press that they don't like.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

The beginning of the beginning for Biden's climate push

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Joe Biden's inauguration and the days right after will bring a rat-tat-tat burst of climate policy moves, but keep this in mind amid the splashy pledges: pushing through most of his agenda will be a long, uncertain slog.

Why it matters: Biden's climate plan is far more expansive than anything contemplated under President Obama. But for all the immediate pledges, it will take years to see how far Biden gets.

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
4 hours ago - Economy & Business

Biden's inflation danger

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

President-elect Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion stimulus proposal has economists and bullish market analysts revising their U.S. growth expectations higher, predicting a reflation of the economy in 2021 and possibly more booming returns for risk assets.

Yes, but: Others are warning that what's expected to be reflation could actually show up as inflation, a much less welcome phenomenon.