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California Sets Record With 2M Acres Burned So Far This Year

Wildfires have burned more than 2 million acres in California this year, setting a state record even as crews battled dozens of growing blazes in sweltering temperatures Monday that strained the electrical grid and threatened power outages for millions. The most striking thing about the record is how early it was set, with the most dangerous part of the year ahead, said Lynne Tolmachoff, spokeswoman for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, or Cal Fire. “It’s a little unnerving because September and October are historically our worst months for fires,” she said. “It’s usually hot, and the fuels really dry out. And we see more of our wind events.” The previous high was 1.96 million acres (793,184 hectares) burned in 2018. Cal Fire began tracking the numbers in 1987. Firefighters struggled to corral several dangerous blazes ahead of dry, hot winds predicted to raise fire danger to critical levels in the coming days. Evacuation orders were expanded to more mountain communities as the largest blaze churned through the Sierra National Forest.  Members of the Laguna Hotshots, out of the Cleveland National Forest, walk on a road while fighting the Creek Fire, Sept. 6, 2020, in Big Creek, Calif.Debra Rios wasn’t home when the order came to evacuate her hometown of Auberry, just northeast of Fresno. Sheriff’s deputies went to her ranch property to pick up her 92-year-old mother, Shirley MacLean. They reunited at an evacuation center.”I hope like heck the fire doesn’t reach my little ranch,” Rios said. “It’s not looking good right now. It’s an awfully big fire.”  Mountain roads were filled with cars and trucks leaving the town of about 2,300 people.  Firefighters working in steep terrain saved the tiny town of Shaver Lake from flames that roared down hillsides toward a marina. About 30 houses were destroyed in the remote hamlet of Big Creek.  “About half the private homes in town burned down,” resident Toby Wait said. “Words cannot even begin to describe the devastation of this community. And it is a very close-knit community.” An elementary school, church, library, historic general store and a major hydroelectric plant were spared in the community of about 200 residents, Wait told the Fresno Bee.  Sheriff’s deputies went door to door to make sure residents were complying with orders to leave. Officials hoped to keep the fire from pushing west, possibly toward Yosemite National Park.The blaze dubbed the Creek Fire has charred more than 114 square miles (295 square kilometers) of timber after breaking out Friday. The 850 firefighters on the scene had yet to get any containment. On Saturday, rescuers in military helicopters airlifted 207 people to safety after flames trapped them in a wooded camping area northeast of Fresno.FILE – A burned structure in Yucaipa, Calif., Sept. 5, 2020. A couple’s plan to reveal their baby’s gender at a party went up in smoke in Yucaipa when a pyrotechnical device they used sparked a wildfire that has burned thousands of acres.Southern CaliforniaIn Southern California, crews scrambled to douse several fires that roared to life in searing temperatures, including one that closed mountain roads in Angeles National Forest. Cal Fire said a blaze in San Bernardino County called the El Dorado Fire started Saturday morning and was caused by a smoke-generating pyrotechnic device used by a couple to reveal their baby’s gender.  A fire in the Angeles National Forest forced the evacuation of Mount Wilson Observatory.  In eastern San Diego County, a fire destroyed at least 10 structures after burning 16 square miles (41.44 square kilometers) and prompting evacuations near the remote community of Alpine.  Record high temperaturesDaytime temperatures in fire zones neared or exceeded triple digits. Downtown Los Angeles reached 111 degrees (44 Celsius) on Sunday and a record-shattering high of 121 degrees (49.4 Celsius) was recorded in the nearby Woodland Hills neighborhood in the San Fernando Valley. It was the highest temperature ever recorded in Los Angeles County, according to the National Weather Service.  Meanwhile, downtown San Francisco set a record for the day with a high of 100 (37.7 Celsius) on Sunday, smashing the previous mark by 5 degrees. The exceptionally hot temperatures were driving the highest power use of the year, and transmission losses because of wildfires have cut into supplies. The California Independent System Operator that manages the state’s power grid warned that up to 3 million people could lose power Sunday if the if residents didn’t curtail their electricity usage.  The weather forecast called for more heat Monday and the grid operators again urged people to conserve power. Cooler temperatures were expected Tuesday but the weather change also was expected to bring winds that could fan wildfires. Pacific Gas & Electric, the state’s largest utility serving customers in Central and Northern California, warned customers that it might cut power starting Tuesday because of the increased fire danger. Some of the state’s largest and deadliest fires in recent years have been sparked by downed power lines and other utility equipment.  Cal Fire said 14,800 firefighters were battling 23 major fires in the state. California has seen 900 wildfires since Aug. 15, many of them started by an intense series of thousands of lightning strikes. There have been eight fire deaths and more than 3,300 structures destroyed. 

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Posted by Ukrap on

Трамп заявив про готовність підтримати припинення будівництва «Північного потоку-2»

Німеччини не виключає, що ситуація щодо отруєння Навального може позначитися на долі газопроводу – представник канцлера

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Posted by Ukrap on

40 довічних термінів отримав чоловік, який здійснив теракт у Стамбулі в новорічну ніч

Суд у Туреччині засудив до 40 довічних термінів і додатково 1368 років в’язниці народженого в Узбекистані Абдулкадира Машаріпова, який влаштував теракт у нічному клубі в Стамбулі 1 січня 2017 року, повідомляє Reuters.

Права на дострокове звільнення у нього не буде.

Під час процесу Машаріпов відмовився визнати свою провину.

У ніч на 1 січня 2017 року Машаріпов стріляв із автоматичної зброї в клубі Reina на березі Босфору. В результаті його дій загинули 39 людей, ще 65 зазнали поранень. Відповідальність за напад взяло на себе угруповання «Ісламська держава».

Машаріпов був затриманий через два тижні після теракту. Безпосередньо після злочину йому вдалося сховатися, переодягнувшись і змішавшись із натовпом відвідувачів, які тікали з клубу.

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Posted by Ukrap on

Суд у Росії продовжив на три місяці арешт українця Приходька

Південний окружний військовий суд у російському Ростові-на-Дону 7 вересня продовжив ще на три місяці термін тримання під вартою українського активіста з окупованого Криму Олега Приходька, обвинуваченого у підготовці теракту. Про це повідомляє у фейсбуці громадське об’єднання «Кримська солідарність».

За повідомленням, адвокат клопотав про розгляд доказів захисту, але суддя переніс їх розгляд на 16 вересня, «зважаючи на необхідність звільнити залу суду для інших підсудних».

На судовому засіданні був присутній консул України у Ростові-на-Дону Юрій Довгуля.

Олега Приходька затримали 10 жовтня 2019 року. Російська Федеральна служба безпеки звинуватила його в підготовці до терористичного акту і незаконному виготовленні вибухових речовин.

16 січня стало відомо, що Приходьку висунули нове звинувачення в «незаконному придбанні, передачі, збуті, зберіганні, перевезенні або носінні вибухових речовин або вибухових пристроїв».

А 5 лютого адвокат Назім Шейхмамбетов повідомив, що Олега Приходька також звинуватили в плануванні вибуху в будівлі генерального консульства Росії у Львові.

Прокуратура Автономної Республіки Крим відкрила кримінальне провадження за статтею «незаконне позбавлення волі» через арешт активіста в окупованому Криму.

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Posted by Worldkrap on

UK Judge Rejects Bid to Delay Assange Extradition Hearing

A British judge on Monday rejected a request by lawyers for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to delay his extradition hearing until next year to give his lawyers more time to respond to U.S. allegations that he conspired with hackers to obtain classified information.
The adjournment request came on the first day of a London court hearing where Assange is fighting American prosecutors’ attempt to send him to the U.S. to stand trial on spying charges.
U.S. prosecutors have indicted the 49-year-old Australian on 18 espionage and computer misuse charges over WikiLeaks’ publication of secret U.S. military documents a decade ago. The charges carry a maximum sentence of 175 years in prison.
Assange’s lawyers say the prosecution is a politically motivated abuse of power that will stifle press freedom and put journalists around the world at risk.
The U.S. Justice Department expanded its case against Assange in a new indictment announced in June, though it did not introduce new charges. But Assange attorney Mark Summers said it was “an impossible task” for the legal team to deal with the new allegations in time for Monday’s court hearing, especially since they had only “limited access” to the imprisoned Assange.
He said District Judge Vanessa Baraitser should excise the new American claims, which he said were sprung on the defense “out of the blue.”
The judge said no, saying she had offered the defense the chance in August to postpone the hearing, and “they declined to do so.” The defense then asked for the case to be adjourned until January. Baraitser refused, saying Assange’s lawyers had had “ample time” before Monday to make the request.
The case has already been held up for months because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Assange, who has spent 16 months in a British prison, sat in the dock at the Old Bailey criminal court and formally refused the U.S. extradition demand. Assange, who lawyers say has suffered physical and mental ill-health because of his ordeal, spoke clearly to confirm his name and date of birth.
Several dozen supporters, including fashion designer Vivienne Westwood and Assange’s partner, Stella Moris, gathered outside the courthouse, chanting, banging drums and calling his prosecution a threat to press freedom.
“Julian Assange is the trigger, he is shining the light on all the corruption in the world,” Westwood said.
American authorities allege that Assange conspired with U.S. army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning to hack into a Pentagon computer and release hundreds of thousands of secret diplomatic cables and military files on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The new June indictment accuses Assange of recruiting hackers at conferences in Europe and Asia, and of conspiring with members of hacking groups known as LulzSec and Anonymous. U.S. prosecutors say the evidence underscores Assange’s efforts to procure and release classified information, allegations that form the basis of criminal charges he already faces.
Summers accused U.S. prosecutors of filing the new indictment “in desperation” because “they knew that they would lose” with their existing case.
Assange’s lawyers argue that he is a journalist entitled to First Amendment protection and say the leaked documents exposed U.S. military wrongdoing. Among the files released by WikiLeaks was video of a 2007 Apache helicopter attack by American forces in Baghdad that killed 11 people, including two Reuters journalists.
Assange’s legal troubles began in 2010, when he was arrested in London at the request of Sweden, which wanted to question him about allegations of rape and sexual assault made by two women. He refused to go to Stockholm, saying he feared extradition or illegal rendition to the United States or to the U.S. prison camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
In 2012, Assange sought refuge inside the Ecuadorian Embassy, where he was beyond the reach of U.K. and Swedish authorities — but also effectively a prisoner, unable to leave the tiny diplomatic mission in London. The relationship between Assange and his hosts eventually soured, and he was evicted from the embassy in April 2019. British police immediately arrested him for jumping bail in 2012.
Sweden dropped the sex crimes investigations in November 2019 because so much time had elapsed, but Assange remains in London’s high-security Belmarsh Prison as he awaits the extradition decision.
Supporters say the ordeal has harmed Assange’s physical and mental health, leaving him with depression, dental problems and a serious shoulder ailment. The hearing is expected to include expert psychiatric evidence about his mental state.
Journalism organizations and human rights groups have urged Britain to refuse the extradition request. Amnesty International said Assange was “the target of a negative public campaign by U.S. officials at the highest levels.”
The extradition hearing opened in February but was put on hold when the U.K. went into lockdown in March to slow the spread of coronavirus. It is resuming with social distancing measures in court and video feeds so journalists and observers can watch remotely.
The case is due to run until early October. The judge is expected to take weeks or even months to consider her verdict, with the losing side likely to appeal.

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Portland Protesters Light Fire Near Police Precinct

A fire started outside a police precinct on Portland, Oregon’s north side resulted in about 15 arrests during protests Sunday night into Monday morning, police said.
Demonstrators protesting police brutality began marching at about 9 p.m. Sunday and stopped at the North Precinct Community Policing Center, the site of several volatile protests in recent months.
Officials warned demonstrators against entering the precinct property, saying they would be trespassing and subject to arrest.
Shortly after arriving, the crowd began chanting, among other things, “burn it down,” police said in a statement. Some in the group lit a mattress on fire just after 10 p.m.
“Because it was not an immediate threat to life safety or structures, officers remained far back and did not engage,” police said. “Another mattress was added to the fire, as was some yard debris. The larger fire began to send lit embers into the air.”
Since Multnomah County has a burn ban in effect due to extremely dry conditions, firefighters came in to extinguish the blaze.
Demonstrators moved to another side of the building and blocked some streets until dispersed by police. Most protesters were gone by about 1 a.m. Monday.
“Officers discovered one arrestee was in possession of a glass jar filled with flammable liquid,” police said. “Another had a bottle containing an accelerant and a slugging weapon known as a slung shot. Still another had an electronic control weapon (“stun gun”) and a baton. Two arrestees had ballistic vests, including one, marked with the word “press,” with rifle plates.”
Most of those arrested were from Portland. Others were from San Francisco; Sacramento, California; Mesa, Arizona; and two from Vancouver, Washington.
Charges included interfering with an officer, resisting arrest, reckless burning and possession of a destructive device.
On Saturday, hundreds of people gathered for rallies and marches.
Molotov cocktails thrown in the street during a march sparked a large fire and prompted police to declare a riot. Police confirmed that tear gas was deployed to defend themselves and said 59 people were arrested, ranging in age from 15 to 50.
Demonstrations in Portland started in late May after the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

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Philippine President Pardons US Marine Convicted in Killing of Transgender Woman

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday granted an absolute pardon to a U.S. Marine convicted in the 2014 killing of a transgender woman, days after his office blocked a court order for the marine’s early release.Lance Corporal Joseph Scott Pemberton was convicted of homicide in December 2015. In October the year before, he met Jennifer Laude at a bar in Olongapo, about 150 kilometers from the capital of Manila. They went to a nearby motel, and just 30 minutes after checking in, staff found Laude dead, slumped over the toilet.Duterte’s spokesman, Harry Roque, said that the pardon didn’t wipe out Pemberton’s conviction.“The president has erased whatever punishment that Pemberton still faced,” he said, according to The New York Times.  “What was never erased in the mind of the president is the conviction of Pemberton, who is a killer.”’
Roque, a former lawyer for Laude’s family, released a harsher statement last week when a trial court ordered Pemberton’s early release.“As former Private Prosecutor for the Laude family, I deplore the short period of imprisonment meted on Pemberton who killed a Filipino under the most gruesome manner,” Roque tweeted. “Laude’s death personifies the death of Philippine sovereignty.”Statement on the early telease of Pemberton: As former Private Prosecutor for the Laude family, I deplore the short period of imprisonment meted on Pemberton who killed a Filipino under the most gruesome manner. Laude’s death personifies the death of Philippine sovereignty— Harry Roque (@attyharryroque) September 2, 2020Foreign Minister Teodoro Locsin said the president’s pardon was meant “to do justice.”
“Cutting matters short over what constitutes time served, and since where he was detained was not in the prisoner’s control—and to do justice—the President has granted an absolute pardon to Pemberton,” tweeted Locsin.  Cutting matters short over what constitutes time served, and since where he was detained was not in the prisoner’s control—and to do justice—the President has granted an absolute pardon to Pemberton. Here at the Palace.— Teddy Locsin Jr. (@teddyboylocsin) September 7, 2020 
Lawyers for Laude’s family, alongside human rights advocates, criticized the move as an effort to curry favor with the U.S.“There is so much disrespect in the manner by which Jennifer was killed — reflective of the disrespect the U.S. has for the Philippines’ democracy and sovereignty,” said Virginia Lacsa Suarez, a lawyer for Laude’s family, according to The New York Times.Cristina Palabay, of human rights group Karapatan, told Reuters, “We view this as not only a mockery of justice but also a blatant display of servility to U.S. interest.”  
For his part, Duterte defended the decision as a fair one, in a televised address Monday. 
“If there is a time when you are called upon to be fair, be fair,” he said.

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Шість моряків повернулися в Україну після звільнення з піратського полону – ОП

Шестеро українських моряків – членів екіпажу судна Curacao Trader, які були звільнені з піратського полону 20 серпня, повернулися до України, повідомляє пресслужба президента.

«Наші моряки провели в полоні у піратів понад місяць, але нарешті повернулися до України і вже скоро зустрінуться зі своїми родинами. Хочу подякувати нашим дипломатам, Міністерству закордонних справ, які вели складні переговори щодо звільнення бранців. Ми весь час тримали ситуацію на контролі. Українці мають знати, що для нашої держави важливий кожен громадянин», – сказав Володимир Зеленський.

В Офісі президента нагадали, що 17 липня пірати здійснили напад на танкер Curacao Trader, який перебував біля узбережжя Беніну, та захопили 13 членів екіпажу, серед яких були українці.

20 серпня моряки були звільнені з полону, а 24 серпня нігерійські військові передали визволених громадян України представникам українського посольства у Нігерії.