Merrit Kennedy

Updated at 10:15 p.m. ET

Hurricane Maria is barreling toward the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico as a "potentially catastrophic" Category 5 hurricane and is forecast to hit those islands on Wednesday.

On the island of Dominica, which was raked by the storm late Monday, the prime minister says that "initial reports are of widespread devastation. So far, we have lost all what money can buy and replace."

Advisories issued by the National Hurricane Center carry increasingly ominous warnings.

Iraqi authorities have moved a group of more than 1,300 foreign women and children — the family members of suspected ISIS fighters — and a refugee agency is raising the alarm about their precarious situation and the specter of retribution.

"The families had been held in a camp in Kurdish-controlled territory while Iraq figures out what to do with them," NPR's Jane Arraf reports.

The Vatican says it has recalled a priest from its diplomatic mission in Washington, D.C., and launched an investigation into allegations of child pornography.

The priest, who has not been named, is currently in Vatican City, according to a statement from the Vatican. It says the U.S. State Department informed Vatican officials on August 21 "of a possible violation of laws relating to child pornography images by a member of the diplomatic corps of the Holy See accredited to Washington."

Systematically paying women less than men. Promoting them more slowly. And denying them opportunities.

These are the allegations in a lawsuit against Google filed Thursday in San Francisco on behalf of three female former employees.

They're seeking class-action status to sue on behalf of all women employed by Google in California over the past four years. "The lawsuit appears to be the first to make class action sex bias claims against Google," according to Reuters.

Snow leopards are no longer endangered, according to the global authority for assessing risks to species. However, the situation is looking dire for five species of ash tree, now listed as critically endangered.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature announced the changes to its Red List on Thursday.

Let's start with the good news.

San Diego has started washing its downtown streets with bleach in an effort to combat an outbreak of hepatitis A that has killed at least 15 people and infected nearly 400.

The infectious disease has largely infected homeless people in the coastal California city, and part of the issue is an apparent shortage of public restrooms in areas where the population congregates.

There's good news on three primary U.S. economic benchmarks: the poverty rate, income level and number of people covered by health insurance.

New figures released by the Census Bureau Tuesday show median household income in 2016 was $59,039 — more than 3 percent higher than in 2015.

And because last year also saw income growth, "these are two consecutive years of strong income gains," the Census Bureau's Trudi Renwick told reporters.

Crowds poured into the streets in major cities across France to protest changes that President Emmanuel Macron wants to make to the country's labor code, waving flares and brandishing signs with sarcastic slogans such as "slackers of all nations unite."

The show of opposition, led by the far-left union CGT, is seen as the first major test for the recently elected leader.

Pollinators such as bees play a key part of producing the beans that go into your morning cup of coffee.

In fact, they are responsible for about 20 to 25 percent of coffee production by increasing the plants' yield, Taylor Ricketts, the director of the University of Vermont's Gund Institute for Environment, tells The Two-Way. Bees actually increase the quality of the beans by making their size more uniform.

It sounds like a bit of a head-scratcher: Department store giant Nordstrom says its new concept store won't actually have any clothing in stock.

Instead, Nordstrom Local will focus on free consultations with personal stylists, who will advise customers and then have the merchandise brought in. People can also get manicures and curbside pickup.

Prospective customers will be able to make appointments "online, over the phone or in-person," the retailer says.

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