NOAA via AP

Hurricane Irma is now the most powerful storm ever recorded in the Atlantic Ocean, per the AP. As of this afternoon, it had maximum sustained winds of 185 mph. At its peak, Harvey had winds of around 130 mph.

  • President Trump has approved disaster declarations for Florida, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, all of which are at risk of being hit head on.
  • Irma is approaching Barbuda and several small islands. An official statement from the government of Barbuda ended with, "May God protect us all."
  • Per AP: "If it stays on the forecast track and reaches the Florida Straits, the water there is warm enough that the already 'intense' storm could become much worse with wind speeds potentially reaching 225 mph, warned Kerry Emanuel, an MIT meteorology professor." That could be catastrophic for the Florida Keys.
  • Another tropical storm, Jose, formed today in the Atlantic.

Go deeper

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
55 mins ago - Economy & Business

Investors are betting the future is priced in euros

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

It's the euro's time now — at least that's how investors have been positioning recently.

What's happening: Speculators have raised their bets to the highest in nine years that the dollar will fall and increased bullish bets that the euro will rise to the highest level on record, Reuters reported citing data from the CFTC.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

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Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 7 a.m. ET: 20,317,087 — Total deaths: 742,035— Total recoveries: 12,602,544Map.
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  4. Health care: Trump administration buys 100 million doses of Moderna's coronavirus vaccine.
  5. Business: Moderna reveals it may not hold patent rights for vaccine.
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Mike Allen, author of AM
2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

3 keys to Joe Biden picking Kamala Harris

Photo: Jeff Kowalsky/AFP via Getty Images

Three quick points about Joe Biden's historic selection of Sen. Kamala (pronounced COMMA-luh) Harris of California as his running mate — and clues they give us to how Biden would govern:

  1. She was always at the top of his list. As I look back through my text threads with top Dems over the past five months, she was always assumed to be the most likely pick.