• Reinsurers’ quarterly catastrophe budgets could be exhausted if storm-related losses top $12 billion, according to Credit Suisse. That’s in part because the hurricane is following a string of disasters, including Hurricane Isaias, California wildfires and the disastrous “derecho” storms that hit the Midwest.
• Many oil refineries, representing over 20 percent of U.S. refining capacity, and petrochemical plants are squarely in Laura’s path, according to the data firm IHS Markit. About 84 percent of oil production in the Gulf of Mexico — 15 percent of overall U.S. output — has been shut, according to estimates by the Bureau of Safety and Environment Enforcement.
Laura also highlights the growing cost of relocating flood-prone neighborhoods. The Times reports that the practice, previously criticized as an expensive use of taxpayer funds, is becoming more common as storms become more powerful and more frequent.
Here’s what’s happening
Vice President Mike Pence warned of lawlessness under a Biden administration. In a speech accepting the Republican vice-presidential nomination last night, Mr. Pence cited looting in Kenosha, Wis., during protests against police brutality. The final night of the Republican convention will include speeches by Ben Carson, the secretary of housing and urban development; Senator Mitch McConnell, the majority leader; Ivanka Trump; and President Trump, who will accept his party’s presidential nomination.
The F.D.A. gave emergency approval to a $5 test for Covid-19. The antigen test from Abbott Laboratories could be delivered in a doctor’s or nurse’s office and provides results in about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, Dr. Anthony Fauci, America’s top infectious disease expert, said the White House coronavirus task force had discussed changes to C.D.C. testing guidelines while he was having surgery.
Facebook is pressuring Apple on forthcoming advertising restrictions. The social media giant protested the iPhone maker’s plans to limit advertisers’ ability to track iOS device users, arguing that it would hurt companies who use its ad tools, including publishers and game makers. It escalates tensions between the two companies, as Apple fends off pressure on other fronts from Epic Games, Microsoft and others.
The White House may act to prevent airline furloughs. Mark Meadows, the White House chief of staff, said that the Trump administration is weighing an executive action to help out carriers after American Airlines warned of potentially huge job cuts. But it’s unclear how much President Trump can do without cooperation from Congress.