Tropical Atlantic begins to awaken as October looms

Twenty-three named storms have whirled their way across the Atlantic basin so far this season, exhausting the naming list used by meteorologists and forcing then to dip into the Greek alphabet for only the second time in history. While the majority of systems have been relatively weak and unremarkable, some, like Category 4 Laura and Category 2 Sally, have caused significant damage.

Now, October promises to bring another round of weather that must be watched, as a combination of large-scale atmospheric circulations overlap to enhance tropical weather activity. The focus is already on the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico, which tend to prove to be autumn hot spots for storms. In fact, one or two weather systems there could already be in the works.

System to watch for the Yucatán Peninsula; heavy rainfall possible in Florida

On Wednesday, a strip of low pressure oriented from south to north was sauntering

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As a helium shortage looms, “vacuum balloons” could save physics, medicine, and birthday parties

Helium balloons are a quintessential party favor, a fixture of any birthday, wedding or anniversary party. But few consumers seem to know that helium is a limited resource — and one which physics experiments and medical imaging tools rely on to work. Worse, once a helium balloon pops, that gas is lost forever — it floats upwards and escapes into space, never to be seen on Earth again. 

Now, with the specter of a recent helium shortage still looming, consumers are being asked to ration their helium in order to save science and medicine. The idea that party supply companies and consumers can’t give up helium balloons in order to save these more worthy enterprises might seem a tad selfish; but this is how the market thinks. Yet a few inventors around the country have a brilliant compromise: what if we could make a “balloon” that needed no helium gas

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Judge set to rule in TikTok case as deadline looms

A federal judge readied a crucial decision Sunday on whether to allow or block a Trump administration ban on downloads of the popular video-sharing app TikTok.

US District Judge Carl Nichols, who has promised to rule on a TikTok request to block the president’s order before it takes effect at 11:59 pm Sunday (0359 GMT Monday), heard arguments on the free-speech and national security implications of the Trump ban on the Chinese-owned app in a rare Sunday telephone hearing.

TikTok lawyer John Hall said a ban would be “punitive” and close off a public forum used by tens of millions of Americans.

In a written brief filed ahead of the hearing, TikTok lawyers said the ban was “arbitrary and capricious” and “would undermine data security” by blocking updates and fixes to the app used by some 100 million Americans.

The company also said the ban was unnecessary because negotiations were

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TikTok Judge Schedules Sunday Hearing as Trump’s Ban Looms

(Bloomberg) — A federal judge scheduled an unusual Sunday morning hearing to decide whether the U.S. can go through with its ban on the video-sharing app TikTok.



a close up of a cell phone: The logo for ByteDance Ltd.'s TikTok app is arranged for a photograph on a smartphone in Hong Kong, China, on Tuesday, July 7, 2020. TikTok, which has Chinese owners, announced it would pull its viral video app from Hong Kong's mobile stores in the coming days even as President Donald Trump threatened to ban it in the U.S.


© Photographer: Bloomberg/Bloomberg
The logo for ByteDance Ltd.’s TikTok app is arranged for a photograph on a smartphone in Hong Kong, China, on Tuesday, July 7, 2020. TikTok, which has Chinese owners, announced it would pull its viral video app from Hong Kong’s mobile stores in the coming days even as President Donald Trump threatened to ban it in the U.S.

ByteDance Ltd., TikTok’s Chinese owner, has asked the court to block the ban, set to begin on Sunday night, even as it pursues approvals from the government for the sale of a stake in its U.S. operations to Oracle Corp. and Walmart Inc. under pressure from President Donald Trump.

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Trump cited national security last month in announcing a ban on

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