• Though the official death toll is 45, the real count may be as high as 500 in Puerto Rico in the wake of Hurricane Maria.  90% of the island’s citizens remain without power and 35% do not have access to potable water three weeks after the storm devastated the U.S. territory.  Trump recently told Puerto Rico that the U.S. could not keep aid workers in the area “forever” despite the continuing humanitarian crisis.  [Vox]
  • Producer and Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein has been forced from his own company and driven into hiding following a cascade of sexual assault allegations this week.  So far, 32 40 separate woman have accused Weinstein of harassment or assault. [The Cut]
  • President Trump is reportedly deeply disturbed by his difficult tenure in the White House, and has expressed that he “hate[s] everyone” in the administration.  His former chief strategist and sentient lump of discarded chicken fat, Steve Bannon, has been reported as saying that Trump has a 30% chance of successfully finishing his full term. [Vanity Fair]
  • An American/Canadian couple and their family were freed by the Taliban Thursday after five years.  During this period, the couple had three children who were also released with their parents. The release was the result of negotiations between the Trump Administration and the Pakistani government. [New York Times]
  • Fires blazing across Northern California have burned at least 57,000 acres and caused more than 20,000 people to evacuate the area.  At least 31 are dead and hundreds are missing.  [CNN; Washington Post]

FACT OF THE WEEK: While the superstitions associated with Friday the Thirteenth may date to the Middle Ages, and may originate with the story of Jesus’ last supper at which thirteen individuals dined before Jesus was crucified on Good Friday, or with Norse legends concerning the unlucky characteristics of the number thirteen, there is no known historical reference to Friday the Thirteenth as unlucky until the 1800s.  [University at Buffalo; National Geographic]