Editor's Note:¬†Superstorm Sandy smashed ashore last night, triggering floods, fires and devastation. At least 33 people are known to have died in the United States and one in Canada, adding to the storm‚Äôs earlier toll of 67. Millions are without power. Floods have hit homes and the New York subway system. Here is the¬†full story and below is the latest news as we learn it.
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[Update 11:02 p.m.]¬† Superstorm Sandy continues to weaken over Pennsylvania. It is some 50 miles east-northeast of Pittsburgh, according to an 11 p.m. advisory from the National Hurricane Center. The storm is expected to move northward into Canada on Wednesday.
Three things you need to know today.
President visits Puerto Rico: President Barack Obama makes a rare presidential visit to Puerto Rico on Tuesday, spending about five hours there on a trip aimed as much at Puerto Ricans on the mainland as those on the island.
The roughly 4 million residents of the U.S. Caribbean territory are American citizens but can't vote for president, while the almost 5 million Puerto Ricans living in the 50 U.S. states have full voting rights, and Obama needs strong support in 2012 from what traditionally has been a largely Democratic constituency.
In particular, an influx of Puerto Ricans has moved in recent years to central Florida, a key swing state in Obama's re-election campaign. Other states with large Puerto Rican communities include New York and Connecticut.
Obama's trip, the first official presidential visit to Puerto Rico in 50 years, shows "the importance the Hispanic vote has in his re-election campaign," said political analyst Angel Rosa.