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Firefighters are grappling with searing heat as they struggle to contain a huge wildfire in California as western states remain in the grip of a fierce heatwave.
It comes after a large part of the US west baked over the weekend in triple-digit temperatures which are expected to continue into the start of this week.
On Saturday, Death Valley in southeastern California’s Mojave Desert reached 53C (128F) according to National Weather Service’s reading at Furnace Creek.
The temperature was only slightly lower than the one recorded a day earlier when the location reached 54C (130F) – the highest there since 1913 when Furnace Creek desert hit 57C (134F), considered the highest temperature on Earth.
The growing wildfire along the state’s border with Nevada forced major highways to close, while state power operators urged people to conserve energy after a huge wildfire in neighboring Oregon disrupted the flow of electricity from three major transmission lines.
The California Independent System Operator, which manages the state’s power grid, asked consumers to “conserve as much electricity as possible” to avoid any outages.
Western US states including California are fast sinking deeper into drought, sending the risk of fire sky-high in many areas.
A small plane crashed on Saturday in Arizona during a survey of wildfire in rural Mohave County, killing both crew members.
The victims were identified as Air Tactical Group Supervisor Jeff Piechura, 62, a retired Tucson-area fire chief who was working for the Coronado National Forest, and Matthew Miller, 48, a pilot with Falcon Executive Aviation contracted by the US Forest Service.
Meanwhile, the Bootleg Fire in Oregon spread to 224 square miles as it raged through heavy timber in the Fremont-Winema National Forest, disrupting service on three transmission lines providing up to 5,500 megawatts of electricity to neighboring California.
The wildfire in California is the largest wildfire the state has seen this year.
Named the Beckwourth Complex Fire – a combination of two lightning-caused blazes burning north of Lake Tahoe – it grew by a third on Sunday to cover 134 square miles.
But firefighters working in temperatures that topped 38C (100F) were able to gain some ground and doubled containment to 20%.
People were warned to not stop and take pictures of the wildfires near the small town of Doyle in California’s Lassen County.
“You are going to impede our operations if you stop and look at what’s going on,” said the fire’s operations section chief Jake Cagle.
Elsewhere, a wildfire in southeast Washington grew to almost 60 square miles as it blackened grass and timber as it raced into the Umatilla National Forest.
And on Friday, Idaho’s governor Brad Little declared a wildfire emergency, sending the state’s National Guard to help fight fires sparked after lightning storms swept across the drought-stricken region.
A 65-year-old man was left with minor injuries after a reticulated python bit him while he was sitting on the toilet.
He was said to have felt a “pinch in the area of his genitals” before noticing a five foot (1.6 meters) snake beneath him in the toilet bowl at his home in the Austrian city of Graz.
The python, a constrictor native to Asia which can grow to a length of nearly 30ft (nine meters), is thought to have found its way into the toilet via the network of drains
“Shortly after he sat on the toilet the Graz resident – by his own account – felt a ‘pinch’ in the area of his genitals,” the police said in a statement.
The victim needed treatment in hospital for minor injuries.
Although the snake’s suspected route into the toilet could not be confirmed, it is thought to have escaped from a neighbors apartment.
A reptile expert contacted by the emergency services removed the snake from the toilet, cleaned it and returned it to its owner.
A 24-year-old neighbour, who owns 11 snakes, has been reported to the prosecutors’ office on suspicion of negligently causing bodily harm, the police added.
Reticulated pythons are the world’s largest snakes and do not attack humans by nature.
However, they will constrict or bite if they feel threatened or if they mistake something for food.
The death toll in the condo collapse in Surfside, Florida, rose to 90 on Sunday, officials said in a news conference.Seventy-one of the victims have been identified and their next of kin have been notified, Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said.
A son’s unanswered text message, two sisters buried together, a newlywed couple and a 60-year-old love story: What we know about the collapse victimsThere are now 217 people accounted for and 31 others “potentially unaccounted for,” she said.
Recovering the victims has been much swifter after the search operation shifted its focus from rescue to recovery. Levine Cava said teams are making “incredible progress,” and as of Sunday morning, more than 14 million pounds of concrete and debris have been removed from the site.
Ten additional victims, all of whom were recovered between July 6 and 9, were identified by Miami-Dade officials in a statement Sunday.
They were identified as Maria Gabriela Camou, 64; Julio Cesar Velasquez, 66; Lorenzo De Oliveira Leone, 5; Alfredo Leone, 48; Maria Torre, 76; Richard Augustine, 77; Luis Sadovnic, 28; Edgar Gonzalez, 42; Alexia Maria Pettengill Lopez Moreira, 9; and Anna Sophia Pettengill Lopez Moreira, 6.The recovery effort is still delicate work, Surfside Mayor Charles Burkett said, telling reporters that search and recovery workers have “even found unbroken wine bottles in the rubble and recovered them.”Miami-Dade Fire Chief Alan Cominsky echoed that statement. The process of removing debris is faster for the section of the building that remained standing after the collapse and was brought down in a controlled demolition last week amid concerns it posed a threat to search and rescue teams.
The evidence from the collapsed Surfside condo is growing by the day, but the investigation could take years “On the rubble pile where we’re still in our search and recovery, it’s still a methodical process,” Cominsky said. “The crews there, they’re monitoring, they’re hand digging, As we’re delayering, it’s a slow process. “Other personal belongings, like rings, continue to be recovered as well, Burkett said. Those items are being “returned to the site storage area, categorized, photographed and saved for the families.” Burkett and Cominsky both acknowledged disappointment as rescue teams have accessed the condo tower’s stairwells, which they had hoped would be an area of refuge and perhaps provide the best chance for voids in the rubble where someone could survive. “The stairwell is always a primary — the stability of how the stairwell is built, it’s hardened better than other areas per se. So with a collapse that’s where you have your greatest void space, your greatest possibility,” Cominsky said. “Unfortunately, with this type of collapse and everything coming down, it just minimized those opportunities.”
Some of the search and rescue task forces that had been deployed to Surfside from out of state or out of the country are beginning to leave, including a team from Israel. Levine Cava said the team would depart Sunday after she presented two of its leaders with keys to Miami-Dade County to recognize their service to the community.Comsinky said a team from Virginia is also in the process of demobilizing, and that teams from New Jersey and Ohio are on “standby” and may begin that process soon. Florida Task Force 1, Florida Task Force 2 and teams from Indiana and Pennsylvania remain on scene
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On today’s episode the host Blaq Hippie, Jitim Young, Corey CL Crockett and Lavar Hamlin are talking real life topics that goes thru both men and women mind, talking NFL and NBA first two weeks along with the CP3, Rondo Fight….. also how feel about the way Lebron James handled it. Tune in Mon-Fri @7pm and call in (708) 328-8923 #BlaqHippieRadioEnt #ProductOfChicago #LiveAndDirectShow
Genealogy Records May Indicate that J. Edgar Hoover Was African-American
Was founding FBI director J. Edgar Hoover an African-American man?
Nearly 40 years after the death of founding FBI director J. Edgar Hoover, research may reveal that the crime fighting bureau chief was actually African-American according to “The Washington Post.”
“My grandfather told me that this powerful man, Edgar, was his second cousin, and was passing for white,” says Millie McGhee, an African-American relative of Hoover’s. “If we talked about this, [Edgar] was so powerful he could have us all killed. I grew up terrified about all this.”
McGhee began to uncover facts about the possibility of Hoover’s Black ethnicity after she dug through altered court records, conducted oral interviews with both white and Black Hoovers and enlisted licensed genealogists who determined that Hoover was indeed a relative of hers.
The mystery of Hoover’s genealogy has become a topic of interest recently due to the the Clint Eastwood film “J. Edgar” released earlier this month. In the film, Eastwood makes no mention of Hoover’s race, much to the chagrin of his Black relatives such as McGhee.
“Since the movie has come out, so many people have asked me why my information about Hoover’s black roots was not included,” said McGhee who has authored two books on the topic, “Secrets Uncovered: J.Edgar Hoover-The Relative” and “Secrets Uncovered : J. Edgar Hoover Passing For White?”
Do you think McGhee’s research on J. Edgar Hoover’s genealogy should have been included in Eastwood’s film?
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CHICAGO — Gov. Bruce Rauner announced Monday a call to reinstate the death penalty in Illinois for mass murderers and those convicted of killing a police officer.
It was a surprise proposal that was part of public statements in Chicago about his amendatory veto of gun-control legislation that calls for expanding Illinois’ 72-hour wait period for hand guns to military-style assault weapons.
Rauner said he wants to expand the 72-hour wait period for all firearm sales, not just assault weapons, a ban on so-called “bump stocks” and authorizing restraining orders for taking away guns from “dangerous individuals.”
As governor, Rauner can either veto legislation sent to his desk outright, or propose changes to it, called an amendatory veto.
Rauner’s changes to HB 1468, which concerns waiting periods, create a new category of homicide called “death penalty murder.” It would apply to offenders 18 and over that prosecutors charge with killing peace officers or two or more people without lawful justification.
Legislators can now turn his changes of the gun-control bill into law through a simple majority vote, or override the veto with a two-thirds majority vote, which would make the original language of the legislation the law of the land.