Good Friday afternoon, and happy weekend. Two newsletters on hot topics are joining the Axios family:
1 big thing: Florence is here
Hurricane Florence has claimed her first victims, a mother and her child who were killed when a tree fell on their house in Wilmington, N.C.
The big picture: Florence's potential rainfall would be enough to fill the Chesapeake Bay, the AP reports.
- The storm is dumping an astonishing 3 to 7 inches per hour in some parts of North Carolina, where The National Weather Service issued a discussion warning of "catastrophic" flash flooding, Axios' Andrew Freedman emails.
- There will likely be a new state rainfall record by tomorrow for any tropical storm or hurricane in North Carolina.
- Some high-resolution computer models are projecting 40+ inches, closer to 50 inches in some spots.
- This is similar to Hurricane Harvey's rainfall totals in Texas last year.
- More than 600,000 people are currently without power in the state.
- Florence brought Wilmington its highest winds since 1958, with a gust of 105 mph recorded.
- The eye of the storm is just over the coast, but a large portion of the hurricane remains over the open water, spraying spiral bands of extremely heavy rainfall at the coast.
- Storm surge flooding will continue on Friday and Saturday in the Carolinas.
What's next: Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, which is the opposite of how such storms normally move in this region.
The bottom line: The winds may have eased, but the water has just begun.
- Florence wallops Carolinas with surge and catastrophic rain
- P.S. A far stronger storm has struck the Philippines, as Super Typhoon Mangkhut made landfall today with winds up to 165 mph.
Bonus: Photo du jour
Paul Manafort pleaded guilty today to new charges by Robert Mueller, and entered into a "cooperation agreement" with the Justice Department. Read the charges.
2. What you missed
- Kleiner Perkins is splitting up: It's one of the oldest and most successful Silicon Valley venture capital firms, but most of its recent success has been tied to its later-stage deals. Go deeper.
- Jemele Hill is leaving ESPN: She previously referred to President Trump as a "white supremacist."
- Deep dive on Hurricane Maria: A consortium of media outlets (AP, Quartz and Puerto Rico's Center for Investigative Journalism) have released their findings from interviewing 204 families of victims of Hurricane Maria. Go deeper.
- Trump's "reversal-by-tweet" methodology has shredded any remaining credibility Steve Mnuchin had in Beijing, Axios' Bill Bishop writes. Go deeper.
3. 1 📺 thing
Your cord-cutting's budgetary benefit is shrinking, the WSJ's Drew Fitzgerald reports.
- "AT&T Inc.’s DirecTV Now streaming service recently raised its basic channel plan by $5 over the summer, bringing its starting monthly cost to $40... [t]he company is considering additional price increases for the service."
- "Market leader SlingTV this summer raised the price of its basic package by $5 to $25 a month, with its owner Dish Network Inc. blaming higher channel programming fees."
- "Alphabet Inc.’s YouTube TV service... raised its monthly price to $40 earlier this year after it tacked on additional channels like TNT and TBS."