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International news brief: Ian makes landfall in southwest Florida as Category 4 storm and more

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Washington, Sep 29: Hurricane Ian, a powerful Category 4 storm, has made landfall in Southwest Florida near Cayo Costa on Wednesday afternoon.

Nearly 2.5 million people had been ordered to evacuate southwest Florida before the storm hit the coast with maximum sustained winds of 150 mph (241 kph). The storm was heading inland, where it was expected to weaken, but residents in central Florida could still experience hurricane-force winds.

Hurricane Ian, a powerful Category 4 storm, has made landfall in Southwest Florida near Cayo Costa

Before making its way through the Gulf of Mexico to Florida, Hurricane Ian tore into western Cuba as a major hurricane Tuesday, killing two people and bringing down the country's electrical grid. Later, the storm weakened to a Category 3 hurricane with maximum sustained winds around 115 mph.

Biden to oil industry: Don't raise prices as hurricane nears
President Joe Biden on Wednesday warned oil and gas companies against increasing prices for consumers as Hurricane Ian neared landfall along Florida's southwest coast.

"Do not, let me repeat, do not use this as an excuse to raise gasoline prices or gouge the American people," Biden said at the start of a conference on hunger in America.

UK central bank scrambles as pound tanks, debt costs soarUK central bank scrambles as pound tanks, debt costs soar

Biden said that the hurricane "provides no excuse for price increases at the pump" and if it happens, he will ask federal officials to determine "whether price gauging is going on." "America is watching. The industry should do the right thing," Biden added.

India can play stabilising, bridging role: Jaishankar
India can play a stabilising and a bridging role at a time when in the world is not an "optimistic picture" and there is a worried international community, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar has said.

He said India can also contribute towards de-risking of the global economy and in political terms, in some way, help depolarise the world.

"The big picture, quite honestly, in the world is not an optimistic picture. I think we have a very worried international community," Jaishankar told a group of Indian reporters at a news conference here on Wednesday.

Jaishankar said there are more than opportunities for India, because it's a very difficult situation.

At least 6 people wounded in shooting at school in Oakland

At least six people were wounded in a shooting at a school in Oakland on Wednesday, officials said. The scene of the shooting was "no longer active," according to Alameda County Sheriff spokesperson Lt. Ray Kelly. Paramedics had transported six patients to hospitals, all with gunshot wounds, according to Oakland Fire Department spokesperson Michael Hunt.

Hurricane Ian makes landfall in FloridaHurricane Ian makes landfall in Florida

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf tweeted that all of the wounded were adults and the shooting happened at Sojourner Truth Independent Study, an alternative K-12 school that is located on the same block as three other schools.

Scientists honoured for COVID-19 tracker, prenatal test

A Johns Hopkins University scientist who created a website to track COVID-19 cases worldwide is the recipient of this year's Lasker award for public service.

The $250,000 awards, announced Wednesday by the Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation, recognize achievements in medical research.

The public service award went to Lauren Gardner, an engineer who studies the spread of diseases. She worked with her lab team to develop the COVID-19 tracker as the coronavirus began spreading worldwide in January 2020. The dashboard became a key resource and now tracks global cases, deaths, vaccines and more. Through it all, the team has made the tracker freely available to the public.

(with PTI inputs)

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