5 things for Wednesday, August 17: Donald Trump, Louisiana, Olympics

Trillions of gallons of rain in Louisiana. A big shakeup in the Trump camp. And Simon Biles soars again. It’s Wednesday, and here are the 5 things you need to know to Get Up to Speed and Out the Door.

1. Campaign 2016

A major staff shakeup just three months before the election isn’t a good sign, but plummeting poll numbers, especially in swing states, isn’t a good look either. So, the Trump campaign’s bringing in Steve Bannon, who runs Breitbart News, and Kellyanne Conway, a Republican pollster and a close friend. Does this mean we’ll see a more subdued, more nuanced Donald Trump? Probably the opposite. Both are big fans of the Trump’s combative style.

2. Louisiana flooding

The flooding that has swallowed swaths of Louisiana is catastrophic. Here’s an idea of the breadth of the calamity:

6.9 trillion

The gallons of rain that fell in one week


The number of homes damaged


The number of people rescued


The number of people who have died

3. California wildfire

This fire is most definitely wild. Just 12 hours after it started, the Blue Cut fire in Southern California has already burned through 18,000 acres. And it’s 0% contained, so about 82,000 residents in San Bernardino County are evacuating. Waves of wildfires have it California this summer — eight large blazes had already been burning — fueled by dry conditions, heat and dead brush.

4. Mexican kidnapping

Was El Chapo’s son the true target of armed men who kidnapped six people from a Puerto Vallarta restaurant? Jesus Alfredo Guzman, the jailed drug lord’s 29-year-old son, was among those taken Monday night from a trendy eatery on the beach resort town’s main drag. Guzman is said to be part of the Sinaloa drug cartel, which has been battling a new rival, the Jalisco New Generation cartel, in a turf war.

5. Olympics

Four golds and a bronze. That’s what Simone Biles is leaving Rio with, after a near-flawless floor routine (and we apologize for incorrectly saying she won a silver in yesterday’s newsletter). Meanwhile, a Jamaican won gold on the track, but just not the one you’re thinking. Omar McLeod won the 110-meter hurdles, and he promised to celebrate by eating “as much ice cream and cake as I can.” Here’s what else happened on Day 11, and check out a preview for Day 12.

Derek Drouin won the high jump gold medal, clearing 2.38 meters, or 7 feet 9 inches. Here’s who he could’ve jumped over.


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Just like the Terminator

Those geniuses at MIT have created tattoos that can work with our smartphones, probably the first step in us all becoming cyborgs.

Leave the driving to nobody

Self driving cars — no steering wheels, brakes or gas pedals — will be here in five years, Ford predicts. So sit back and enjoy (or be terrified by) the ride.

Making googly eyes

Yes it looks like some kind of Happy Meal toy, but this cute little fella actually exists off the coast of Southern California.

Goodbye, Cait

Caitlyn Jenner won’t be hanging out on E! anymore. Her groundbreaking show, “I Am Cait,” was canceled after two seasons.

Stripped down

The rest of the Riviera Hotel and Casino, one of the last, great older casinos left on the Vegas Strip, was imploded to make room for, yes, more development.



A dog is dressed up like Pac-Man and plays a real-life version of the arcade classic. It’s either genius or torture. We can’t decide which.

Hundreds rescued from burning ferry off Puerto Rico
Fast-moving California wildfire forces 82,000 to evacuate

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