Photo: Gerald Herbert / AP

Amid criticism of the Trump administration's response to the devastation in Puerto Rico resulting from Hurricane Maria, FEMA administrator Brock Long said the priorities were to "take care of people and stabilize the situation and do everything we can to sustain life."

"This is a logistically challenging and very unique event that the United States hasn't seen for a very long time, if ever," Long said. He cited the strength of the storm, Puerto Rico's weak infrastructure and the fact that as an island, and with airports heavily damaged, Puerto Rico is harder to reach with resources. Airlifts are supplying some areas that remain cut off after the storm.

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Gulf Coast braces for Zeta after storm strengthens into hurricane

Hurricane Zeta's forecast path. Photo: National Hurricane Center

Louisiana Gov. Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) declared a state of emergency Monday as Zeta strengthened into a hurricane and threatened Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula as it moved towards the U.S. Gulf Coast.

The state of play: Zeta was expected to make landfall on the northern part of the Yucatan Peninsula Monday night, bringing with it a "dangerous storm surge" and "heavy rainfall" as it moved into the Gulf of Mexico, the National Hurricane Service said.

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Coronavirus dashboard

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  1. Politics: The swing states where the pandemic is raging — Pence no longer expected to attend Barrett confirmation vote after COVID exposure.
  2. Health: 13 states set single-day case records last week
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  4. Education: The dangerous instability of school re-openings.
  5. World: Restrictions grow across Europe.
  6. Media: Fox News president and several hosts advised to quarantine.

Supreme Court rejects request to extend Wisconsin absentee ballot deadline

Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

The Supreme Court in a 5-3 decision Monday rejected an effort by Wisconsin Democrats and civil rights groups to extend the state's deadline for counting absentee ballots to six days after Election Day, as long as they were postmarked by Nov. 3.

Why it matters: All ballots must now be received by 8 p.m. on Election Day in Wisconsin, a critical swing state in the presidential election.