Also trending on your TGIF: Administration blocks "urgent" whistleblower disclosure said to involve Ukraine, toothache medicine turns woman's blood blue, man moves in with shelter dog to help her get adopted.
Imelda leaves 2 dead in Texas, others stranded and trapped
CHINA, Texas (AP) — The slow-churning remnants of Tropical Storm Imelda that flooded parts of Texas left at least two people dead and rescue crews with boats scrambling to reach stranded drivers and families trapped in their homes during a relentless downpour that drew comparisons to Hurricane Harvey two years ago.
By Thursday night, floodwaters had started receding in most of the Houston area, said the city's mayor, Sylvester Turner. Law enforcement officers planned to work well into the night to clear freeways of vehicles stalled and abandoned because of flooding, Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo said.
Officials in Harris County, which includes Houston, said there had been a combination of at least 1,700 high-water rescues and evacuations to get people to shelter as the longevity and intensity of the rain quickly came to surprise even those who had been bracing for floods. The storm also flooded parts of southwestern Louisiana.
More than 900 flights were canceled or delayed in Houston. Further along the Texas Gulf Coast, authorities at one point warned that a levee could break near Beaumont in Jefferson County. During Harvey, Beaumont's only pump station was swamped by floodwaters, leaving residents without water service for more than a week.
Imelda's remnants on Thursday led to the deaths of two men. A 19-year-old man drowned and was electrocuted while trying to move his horse to safety, according to a message from his family shared by the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office. Crystal Holmes, a spokeswoman for the department, said the death occurred during a lightning storm.
A man in his 40s or 50s drowned when he tried to drive a van through 8-foot-deep floodwaters near Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston during the Thursday afternoon rush hour, Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said.
The National Weather Service said preliminary estimates suggested that Jefferson County was deluged with more than 40 inches (102 centimeters) of rain in a span of just 72 hours, which would make it the seventh wettest tropical cyclone in U.S. history.
Even when Houston was finally rid of the worst, downtown highways remained littered with abandoned cars submerged in water. Thousands of other drivers were at a practical standstill on narrowed lanes near flooded banks.
"The water kept rising. It kept rising. I couldn't believe it," said Ruby Trahan Robinson, 63. She uses a wheelchair and had a portable oxygen tank while getting settled into a shelter at City Hall in the small town of China, just outside Beaumont.
"It rolled in like a river," she said.
Tens of thousands join climate protests before UN summit
CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Tens of thousands of protesters joined rallies on Friday as a day of worldwide demonstrations calling for action against climate change began ahead of a U.N. summit in New York.
Some of the first rallies in what is being billed as a "global climate strike" were held in Australia's largest city, Sydney, and the national capital, Canberra. Australian demonstrators called for their nation, which is the world's largest exporter of coal and liquid natural gas, to take more drastic action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Organizers estimate more than 300,000 protesters took to Australian streets in what would be the largest demonstrations in the country since the Iraq War began in 2003.
Similar rallies were planned Friday in cities around the globe. In the United States more than 800 events were planned, while in Germany more than 400 rallies were expected.
In New Delhi, one of the world's most polluted cities, dozens of students and environmental activists chanted "We want climate action" and "I want to breathe clean" at a rally outside the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs.
They carried banners with some displaying messages like "There is no Earth B."
Hundreds of people marched in Thailand's capital and staged a "die-in" outside the Ministry of Natural Resources to demand the government declare a climate emergency, ban coal energy by 2025 and completely replace fossil fuel energy with renewable energy by 2040.
In Hong Kong, where near-daily protests all summer have demanded greater democracy, about 50 people found a different reason to demonstrate: climate change.
Carrying banners and posters, they chanted "Stop the pollution" as they marched along the harbor front under a blazing sun.
The protests are partly inspired by the activism of Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg, who has staged weekly demonstrations under the heading "Fridays for Future" over the past year, calling on world leaders to step up their efforts against climate change. Many who have followed her lead are students, but the movement has since spread to civil society groups.
Similar coordinated protests in March drew crowds around the world.
Administration blocks 'urgent' whistleblower disclosure said to involve Ukraine
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration plunged into an extraordinary showdown with Congress over access to a whistleblower's complaint about reported incidents including a private conversation between President Donald Trump and a foreign leader. The blocked complaint is "serious" and "urgent," the government's intelligence watchdog said.
The administration is keeping Congress from even learning what exactly the whistleblower is alleging, but the intelligence community's inspector general said the matter involves the "most significant" responsibilities of intelligence leadership. A lawmaker said the complaint was "based on a series of events."
The Washington Post and The New York Times reported Thursday that at least part of the complaint involves Ukraine. The newspapers cited anonymous sources familiar with the matter. The Associated Press has not confirmed the reports.
The inspector general appeared before the House intelligence committee behind closed doors Thursday but declined, under administration orders, to reveal to members the substance of the complaint.
The standoff raises fresh questions about the extent to which Trump's allies are protecting the Republican president from oversight and, specifically, if his new acting director of national intelligence, Joseph Maguire, is working with the Justice Department to shield the president from the reach of Congress.
Trump, though giving no details about any incident, denied Thursday that he would ever "say something inappropriate" on such a call.
Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said he was prepared to go to court to try to force the Trump administration to open up about the complaint.
"The inspector general has said this cannot wait," said Schiff, describing the administration's blockade as an unprecedented departure from law. "There's an urgency here that I think the courts will recognize."
Schiff said he, too, could not confirm whether newspaper reports were accurate because the administration was claiming executive privilege in withholding the complaint. But letters from the inspector general to the committee released Thursday said it was an "urgent" matter of "serious or flagrant abuse" that must be shared with lawmakers.
The letters also made it clear that Maguire consulted with the Justice Department in deciding not to transmit the complaint to Congress in a further departure from standard procedure. It's unclear whether the White House was also involved, Schiff said.
Because the administration is claiming the information is privileged, Schiff said he believes the whistleblower's complaint "likely involves the president or people around him."
Trump dismissed it all.
"Another Fake News story out there - It never ends!" Trump tweeted. "Virtually anytime I speak on the phone to a foreign leader, I understand that there may be many people listening from various U.S. agencies, not to mention those from the other country itself. No problem!"
He asked, "Is anybody dumb enough to believe that I would say something inappropriate with a foreign leader while on such a potentially 'heavily populated' call."
House Democrats are fighting the administration separately for access to witnesses and documents in impeachment probes. Democrats are also looking into whether Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani traveled to Ukraine to pressure the government to aid the president's reelection effort by investigating the activities of potential rival Joe Biden's son Hunter, who worked for a Ukrainian gas company.
During an interview Thursday on CNN, Giuliani was asked whether he had asked Ukraine to look into Biden. Giuliani initially said, "No, actually I didn't," but seconds later he said, "Of course I did."
Later, Giuliani tweeted, "A President telling a Pres-elect of a well known corrupt country he better investigate corruption that affects US is doing his job."
A numbing medicine turned a woman's blood blue
(CNN) -- A 25-year-old woman walked into an emergency department in Providence, Rhode Island, complaining of generalized weakness, fatigue, shortness of breath ... and an unusual symptom you don't see every day.
She was turning blue. Literally.
Drs. Otis Warren and Benjamin Blackwood wrote about the case in a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine on Thursday. Their patient, they wrote, looked "cyanotic," the clinical term for appearing blue.
They attributed her blueness to a numbing agent the woman was using, which deadens nerve endings in the skin.
"She reported having used large amounts of topical benzocaine the night before for a toothache," the two co-authors wrote.
Warren, an emergency medicine physician at Miriam Hospital in Providence, told CNN he'd only ever seen one other "blue" patient while completing his residency. It stuck with him, so he was immediately able to identify the woman's condition.
"It's one of those rare cases that we're taught about, you study for, you take tests on, but you rarely ever see," he told CNN.
Her condition kept blood from tissue
Warren diagnosed her with "acquired methemoglobinemia," a reaction caused by certain medicines that stops blood from carrying oxygen to tissue, he said.
Oxygen-rich blood is typically associated with a bright-red color. But even though blood appears blue in patients with methemoglobinemia, oxygen levels are actually quite high, Warren said.
Blood "selfishly binds" with oxygen and doesn't release it to the tissue where it's needed. And thus, the patient appears blue.
It's fitting that the antidote is a brilliant blue, too. Methylene blue returns a missing electron to the hemoglobin molecule that restores oxygen levels and helps release oxygen back into tissue, he said.
"In my field, emergency medicine, when you can cure a patient with a single antidote--that's a rare thing for us," he said.
Numbing medication caused her reaction
In his patient's case, her reaction was caused by benzocaine, an active ingredient found in over-the-counter toothache and cold sore medicine. And while hers is a rare side effect, it warranted a warning from the Food and Drug Administration, which cautioned against its use in children under 2, who sometimes take the medicine to soothe teething pain.
Warren's patient recovered after two doses of methylene blue and an overnight stay at the hospital. But when levels of the mutated blood rise 50% or higher, patients can enter a coma or develop heart and brain complications from the lack of blood to tissue. Any amount over 60% can cause death, he said.
A Delta flight plunged 30,000 feet in minutes
(CNN) -- Don't read this if you're traveling any time soon.
Passengers on a Delta flight this week were terrified when their plane plunged mid-air, dropping nearly 30,000 feet.
The flight experienced a "cabin pressurization irregularity" during the journey, the airline said in a statement. It was going from Atlanta to Fort Lauderdale but was diverted to Tampa out of caution.
The plane landed safely there, the airline said.
"Air masks, the oxygen masks dropped from the top of the plane," passenger Harris Dewoskin told CNN affiliate WSB. "Chaos sort of ensued amongst the passengers."
One of the flight attendants repeatedly told passengers over the intercom not to panic, he said.
But that didn't work.
"Obviously it's a hectic moment so the passengers around me, a lot of people were kind of hyperventilating, breathing really hard," Dewoskin said.
One passenger was so scared he began hugging his son and telling his family he loves them, the affiliate reported.
"There was a scary 60 to 90 seconds where we didn't really know what was going on. At 15,000 feet in the air, it's a scary moment for sure," Dewoskin said.
The aircraft was being evaluated by maintenance technicians Thursday, the airline said.
A man moved in with a Kansas shelter dog to help her get adopted
(CNN) -- Queen, a 3-year-old terrier mix, has been sitting at the Great Plains SPCA shelter in Kansas for more than a year.
But she's not sitting alone anymore.
Scott Poore moved into the dog's enclosed space in the Merriam shelter on a baby-sized twin mattress --- and he'll stay there until his friend finds a forever home.
(Faith in humanity: restored.)
"I've got my laptop, my desk, my lamp and I brought a plant in," Poore told CNN affiliate KCTV. And he'll need them, because Poore won't be taking time off his job during his shelter stay. He oversees Mission Driven LLC,, a clothing brand bringing awareness to shelter pets and the importance of adoption, according to the company's website.
"This is my office," he told the affiliate.
Poore's made it his life mission to bring awareness to the issue. He spends a big part of each week in animal shelters and creates fundraisers to help them meet their needs, the company's website says.
"Queen is really speaking for all long-term shelter dogs and shelter cats, they're kind of the forgotten ones," Poore told KMBC.
The dog came into the shelter more than 400 days ago. Before that, she had been living behind a dumpster and had suffered an injury similar to a torn ACL, KCTV reported.
After her surgery, Poore noticed she'd "been slowly declining in the shelter environment," he told KMBC. So that's when he decided to move in with her.
"It's something I see in their eyes because this dog would jump up, get up on the window,' he told KCTV. "Every time I came, she got so excited, but the last couple months she won't even get out of bed."
"She keeps getting looked over and that's the thing that's driving me crazy," he said.
How big of a problem is this?
Queen isn't the only dog that goes unnoticed. Only 1 out of every 10 dogs that are born find a forever home, according to the non-profit DoSomething.org.
About 6.5 million animals enter American animal shelter every year, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, but only 3.2 million are adopted each year.
And we're not necessarily saying you should pack up your pajamas and toothbrush and start calling an animal shelter your temporary home to help with adoptions but really... how cool does that sound?