Outside the Outbreak: Hurricane Laura hits U.S., Huntsman won’t mount write-in bid for Utah governor

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Boycott: NBA playoff games called off amid player protest

Referees huddle on an empty court at game time of a scheduled game between the Milwaukee Bucks and the Orlando Magic for Game 5 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series, Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (Kevin C. Cox/Pool Photo via AP)

Making their strongest statement yet in the fight against racial injustice, players from six NBA teams decided not to play postseason games on Wednesday in a boycott that quickly reverberated across other professional leagues.

Also called off: Some games in Major League Baseball, Major League Soccer and the three WNBA contests, as players across four leagues decided the best way to use their platform and demand change was to literally step off the playing surface.

Players made the extraordinary decisions to protest the shooting by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin on Sunday of Jacob Blake, a Black man, while three of his children looked on.

Laura thrashes Louisiana, nearby states face tornado threats

Buildings and homes are flooded in the aftermath of Hurricane Laura Thursday, Aug. 27, 2020, near Lake Charles, La. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

One of the strongest hurricanes ever to strike the U.S., Laura barreled across Louisiana on Thursday, shearing off roofs and killing at least 18 people while carving a destructive path hundreds of miles inland.

A full assessment of the damage wrought by the Category 4 system was likely to take days, and the threat of additional damage loomed as new tornado warnings were issued after dark in Arkansas and Mississippi even as the storm weakened into a depression.

Huntsman will not mount write-in bid for Utah governor

In this Jan. 31, 2020, file photo, Republican ex-Russia ambassador Jon Huntsman Jr. speaks during a debate for Utah’s 2020 gubernatorial race, in Salt Lake City. Some speculated that Huntsman would attempt a write-in campaign after losing to Spencer Cox, but he recently announced he will not. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)

Former Utah governor Jon Huntsman says he will not attempt a write-in campaign to reclaim his old job.

Huntsman made the announcement Friday evening in a Facebook message.

“While we respect the concerned voices of Utahns from every corner of the political spectrum, our earlier words also still hold true — the primary voters have spoken,” wrote Huntsman, who narrowly lost the GOP primary contest to Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox. “Even the closest of races like ours are subject to rules, and we respect that outcome.”

Huntsman had until Monday to file as a write-in candidate for the general election against Cox and Democratic candidate Chris Peterson. He lost to Cox in the primary by just over 6,000 votes.

Shinzo Abe — aka ‘Super Mario’ — loses out on Olympics

In this Aug. 21, 2016, file photo, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe appears as the Nintendo game character Super Mario during the closing ceremony at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Abe was a star of the closing ceremony of the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics, parading before a 70,000 sellout at the Maracana stadium as Nintendo game character Super Mario. It was Abe’s humorous invitation to the next Olympics in Tokyo. (Yu Nakajima/Kyodo News via AP, File)

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was a star at the closing ceremony of the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics, parading before a sellout crowd at the Maracana Stadium as Nintendo game character Super Mario.

Abe’s humorous invitation to the next Olympics in Tokyo was a big hit among Brazilian fans and to a worldwide television audience.

It turns out that Abe won’t be around — at least not in an official capacity — when the postponed Olympics are set to open on July 23, 2021. He announced on Friday he intends to step down because of a chronic health problem.

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