Miami-based National Hurricane Center warned of life-threatening storm surges, flooding and isolated tornadoes as Tropical Storm Elsa began lashing the islands off the southern tip of the US state of Florida.
Florida state lawmakers give final passage to a gun-safety package that raises the legal age for buying rifles and imposes a three-day waiting period on all firearms sales, while also allowing the arming of some public school personnel.
The armed officer on duty at the Florida school where a shooter killed 17 people never went inside to take on the gunman. Suspended without pay and placed under investigation, he has since resigned.
Freezing weather strikes the US east coast, as residents in Georgia say they haven't seen this much snow in 30 years.
Irma continues to bring with it gale force winds and heavy rains that have stranded scores of people and knocked out power to over 2 million homes and businesses in Florida.
While the hurricane is forecast to weaken, Irma is still expected to remain powerful as it moves near or along the west coast of Florida, the National Hurricane Center warns.
Irma moves toward Florida on Friday after lashing the Caribbean with devastating winds and torrential rain, leaving 17 people dead.
Parts of the Caribbean were preparing for the hurricane while others were counting the cost, with at least 14 dead across the Caribbean.
Suspect is identified as an Iraq war veteran who has been taken into custody by security forces.
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