Western wildfire battles aided by weather but losses grow

Western wildfire battles aided by weather but losses grow

INDIAN FALLS: Weather conditions Tuesday were helping at least temporarily to calm two gigantic wildfires in the West but there was bad news for a tiny California community savaged by flames last weekend, and property losses increased in Oregon. Damage assessment teams have so far tallied 36 structures destroyed and seven damaged in Indian Falls, said Nick Truax, an incident commander for the massive Dixie Fire in the mountains of Northern California. The assessment was about half complete, Truax said during an online briefing Monday night. The ability to safely tally damage depends on fire activity. The Dixie Fire had…
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Inside a KKK murder plot: ‘Do you want him six feet under?’

Inside a KKK murder plot: ‘Do you want him six feet under?’

PALATKA: Joseph Moore breathed heavily, his face slick with nervous sweat. He held a cellphone with a photo of a man splayed on the floor; the man appeared dead, his shirt torn apart and his pants wet. "KIGY, my brother," Moore said to another man who drove up in a blue sedan. It was shorthand for "Klansman, I greet you." Moore showed the photo to David "Sarge" Moran, who wore a camouflage-print baseball hat emblazoned with a Confederate flag patch and a metal cross. "Oh, shit. I love it," Moran said. "Motherf----- pissed on himself. Good job." It was 11:30…
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Cardinal in Vatican fraud trial: My conscience is ‘tranquil’

Cardinal in Vatican fraud trial: My conscience is ‘tranquil’

VATICAN CITY: A fraud and embezzlement trial over alleged mismanagement of the Holy See's investments began Tuesday in Vatican City, with a once-powerful cardinal among the 10 defendants saying he remains "obedient" to Pope Francis, who stripped his privileges to bring him before the tribunal. ''He wanted me to be on trial, and I'm coming to the trial. I'm serene. I feel tranquil in my conscience,″ Cardinal Angelo Becciu, one of two defendants who attended the largely procedural, seven-hour session, told reporters afterward. Becciu, a former longtime Vatican diplomat, is charged with embezzlement, abusing his office and with pressing a…
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Explosion in Germany: 1 person dead, 4 still missing in German chemical explosion, Leverkusen | World News

Explosion in Germany: 1 person dead, 4 still missing in German chemical explosion, Leverkusen | World News

BERLIN: An explosion at an industrial park for chemical companies in Germany killed at least one person Tuesday, with 16 injured and four still missing. Fire officials who tested the air said there did not appear to be a danger to nearby residents after authorities initially urged people to shelter inside. The explosion at the waste management facility of the Chempark site in the city of Leverkusen, near Cologne, sent a large black cloud into the air. It took firefighters almost four hours to extinguish the fire that took hold after the explosion. Germany's Federal Office for Civil Protection and…
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China Sandstorm: Over 100 meters high sandstorm engulfs China’s Dunhuang | World News

China Sandstorm: Over 100 meters high sandstorm engulfs China’s Dunhuang | World News

BEIJING: A wall of sand over 100 metres high swallowed a city on the fringes of the Gobi desert in northwestern China, in scenes reminiscent of a disaster film. Dunhuang, a tourist draw with a colourful history as a Silk Road outpost, momentarily disappeared in the dust clouds as the storm hit on Sunday. A resident surnamed Zhang told local media Jimu News that the sandstorm came abruptly and swept through the city in five or six minutes. "I couldn't see the sun," he said, adding that the city in Gansu province had not experienced such a sandstorm in several…
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Covid-19: Iran hits new record for second straight day

Covid-19: Iran hits new record for second straight day

TEHRAN: Iran recorded over 34,900 new coronavirus infections on Tuesday, setting the nation's single-day record for cases as vaccinations lag and public complacency deepens. The previous record of 31,814 infections had been set only a day earlier, providing a sense of how quickly Iran's latest surge, fueled by the contagious delta variant, is mounting. Health authorities recorded 357 Covid-19 fatalities on Tuesday, bringing the total death toll to 89,479, which is the highest in the Middle East. The alarming spread of the variant prompted new anti-virus restrictions last week. The government ordered the closure of state offices, public places and…
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First person charged under HK security law found guilty of terrorism, inciting secession

First person charged under HK security law found guilty of terrorism, inciting secession

HONG KONG: The first person charged under Hong Kong's national security law was found guilty on Tuesday of terrorism and inciting secession in a landmark case with long-term implications for how the legislation reshapes the city's common law traditions. An alternative charge of dangerous driving causing grievous bodily harm was not considered. The High Court will hear mitigation arguments on Thursday and sentencing will be announced at a later date. Former waiter Tong Ying-kit, 24, was accused of driving his motorcycle into three riot police while carrying a flag with the protest slogan "Liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our times,"…
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Israel minister to discuss Pegasus scandal on France visit

Israel minister to discuss Pegasus scandal on France visit

JERUSALEM: Israeli defence minister Benny Gantz will meet his French counterpart in Paris this week for talks that will include an "update" on the Pegasus spyware scandal, his office said Tuesday. A defence ministry statement said Gantz will leave Wednesday for talks with French defence minister Florence Parly on topics including the crisis in Lebanon, nuclear negotiations with Iran and the Pegasus malware made by Israeli firm NSO, which was allegedly used to target President Emmanuel Macron.
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China reports 71 new Covid-19 cases as Delta outbreak hits Nanjing

China reports 71 new Covid-19 cases as Delta outbreak hits Nanjing

BEIJING: China reported 71 new Covid-19 cases on July 26, the national health authority said on Tuesday, as an outbreak of the highly contagious Delta variant threatens the eastern city of Nanjing. Local infections accounted for 31 of the new cases, down from 40 a day earlier, the National Health Commission said in a statement. All of the local cases were reported in the eastern province of Jiangsu, where Nanjing is the capital, it said. Based on the genetic testing results on patients, the virus strain that caused Nanjing's coronavirus outbreak is the Delta strain, a Nanjing city government official…
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Hundreds rally in Washington against Cuban govt

Hundreds rally in Washington against Cuban govt

WASHINGTON: Hundreds of Cuban Americans, political refugees and activists marched on the US capital Monday to protest against the Cuban government and its crackdown on anti-communist demonstrations earlier this month. Cubans from across the United States waving "freedom" signs and Cuban and American flags gathered outside the White House to demand President Joe Biden take action against the island's regime. Human rights groups accuse Cuba's rulers of using censorship and fear tactics to repress historic anti-government demonstrations -- the biggest protests since the revolution that brought Fidel Castro to power in 1959. "We decided to come to get the attention…
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