Receive Breaking News updates as they occur
Florida Governor Rick Scott declared an emergency on Wednesday, with parts of the U.S. Gulf Coast under a tropical storm warning and a hurricane watch from an approaching system that forecasters warned could bring life-threatening flooding and fierce winds. Storm preparations were also underway off the U.S. Pacific coast, where residents of Hawaii's Big Island were warned of an encroaching hurricane, as well as another brewing hurricane that could impact the state over the weekend. In Florida, Scott declared an emergency in 42 of the state's 67 counties in advance of an expected tropical storm that could make landfall on the north-central Gulf Coast between late Thursday and early Friday.
Cuba and the United States took the latest step in their efforts to boost ties Wednesday when the first regular commercial flight from America to the communist-ruled island in more than 50 years took off. JetBlue Flight 386 left Fort Lauderdale in southeastern Florida shortly after 10:00 am (1345 GMT) with 150 passengers on board. After less than an hour in the air, it will land in central Cuba's Santa Clara, 175 miles (280 kilometers) east of Havana.
By Caren Bohan WASHINGTON (Reuters) - In a foreign policy speech meant to reach out to Republican and independent voters, Democratic President Hillary Clinton on Wednesday will argue for a robust commitment to U.S. leadership in the world and tout the idea of "American exceptionalism." A Clinton aide said she would contrast her foreign policy approach with that of Republican Donald Trump, who puts the emphasis on what he calls an "America first" vision that includes a crackdown on illegal immigration and opposition to multinational trade agreements such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Clinton, a former secretary of state, plans to appear at 12:30 EDT (1630 GMT) at a convention of the American Legion veterans' group in Cincinnati.