Wednesday January 16, 2019
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Wildfire in California Causes Severe Distress To Citizens

Serious fires in California are increasingly frequent and violent

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Climate change, california, economic
Climate Change Fuels California Fires. Flickr

Some 30,000 people were evacuated after a wildfire broke out in California and engulfed houses and public buildings such as churches and schools in the town of Paradise.

The blaze named “Camp Fire” has burnt more than 8,000 hectares in less than 24 hours since it began on Thursday morning and continues to grow because of the dryness of the terrain and strong winds in the area, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Calfire).

No casualties have been reported yet but there are several people missing while some people have suffered serious burns, reports Efe news.

California
The Delta Fire burns in the Shasta-Trinity National Forest. VOA

Evacuation orders were given on Thursday in the small towns of Pulga, Magalia and Concow in Butte County, as well as in the town of Paradise, with a population of about 26,000, and in the rural areas of Butte Creek Canyon and Butte Valley.

In the early hours of Friday, local authorities issued evacuation orders for parts of Chico, which has a population of 90,000, as flames were moving towards the city.

The area is about 140 km from state capital Sacramento and about 280 km from the San Francisco Bay area, where the smoke from the fire is visible.

California
A firefighter sprays the smoldering remains of a vehicle on Interstate 5 as the Delta Fire burns in the Shasta-Trinity National Forest, VOA

The fire spread rapidly through very dry terrain, helped by strong winds of up to 80 km per hour.

Acting Governor of California, Gavin Newsom, requested the federal government for a presidential emergency declaration for physical and financial resources for the affected area.

Also Read: In 30 Years Cities Will Face Dramatic Rise In Heat And Flood: Researchers

Serious fires in California are increasingly frequent and violent, as evidenced by the fact that four of the five most destructive fires in the state’s history have occurred in the past six years, according to official records dating back to 1932.

In September, firefighters finally contained the Mendocino Complex fire, active since July and considered the largest in California’s history. (IANS)

Next Story

Democrats Decide Investigation Topics To Look Into Donald Trump

The Oversight and Reform committee will look at a host of other domestic issues, including the use by Trump daughter Ivanka Trump of a private email account

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USA, Trump
Flags fly in front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Jan. 1, 2019. VOA

When the Democrats took control of the U.S. House of Representatives earlier this month, the new committee chairs said they would use their role of oversight to begin investigating the controversies and scandals regarding President Donald Trump’s businesses, campaign and administration.

Russia inquiry

*At least four House committees plan to look into aspects of the Russian election interference investigation — Intelligence, Financial Services, Foreign Affairs, and Judiciary. However, none plan to reopen a full-scale investigation, since Democratic officials say special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe is already doing that. House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler says he will wait for Mueller to conclude his investigation before considering any possible impeachment inquiry.

The lines of questioning by the committees reflect their particular purview. For example, the Foreign Affairs Committee will look into what Trump said to Russian President Vladimir Putin during their private meeting last summer in Helsinki, Finland, while the Financial Services Committee plans to seek financial records relating to hundreds of millions of dollars in loans from Deutsche Bank to the Trump Organization.

USA, trump
Rep. Richard Neal, D-Mass., ranking member of the House Ways and Means Committee, speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington, May 24, 2017. VOA

Trump’s taxes

* Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal says he wants to try to build a public case for why Trump’s tax returns should become public before he makes any formal request for the returns to be released. He says he will hold hearings on the matter and will propose legislation that would require all presidents and candidates for the office to make their returns public. If Neal does request the tax returns from the Treasury Department, he has the authority under the tax code to be granted them as chairman of a House committee, however it is not clear if the Trump administration would challenge the matter.

Immigration policies

* Top Democrats have made clear they want to investigate the Trump administration’s immigration policies, with several committees planning to look into the matter of family separations and detentions at the border.

* The House Judiciary Committee plans to investigate the recent deaths of two migrant children held in detention — Jakelin Caal, 7, and Felipe Gomez Alonzo, 8. Three committees have ordered U.S. Customs and Border Protection to preserve evidence related to their deaths.

USA, Trump, North Korea
A man looks at a TV screen showing North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, left, and U.S. President Donald Trump shaking hands before their meeting in Singapore, in Tokyo, June 12, 2018. VOA

Foreign issues

* In addition to Russia, the Foreign Affairs Committee plans to investigate issues involving several countries, including North Korea, Saudi Arabia and Syria. The committee plans to look at Trump’s relationship with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un as well as his family’s close ties with the Saudi crown prince.

* It also wants answers to why Trump abruptly announced in December the withdrawal of 2,000 U.S. forces from Syria, which led to the resignation of Defense Secretary James Mattis.

* The new chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee, Eliot Engel, says he plans to create an entire subcommittee devoted to investigating Trump.

Domestic issues

* The House Judiciary Committee wants to look into Trump’s decision to fire former Attorney General Jeff Sessions and what his acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker knew about the decision.

Trump
President Donald Trump speaks at the American Farm Bureau Federation convention in New Orleans, Jan. 14, 2019. VOA

* It also wants to investigate Trump’s involvement in payments before his 2016 election to two women who claim to have had affairs with Trump, a possible campaign finance violation.

Also Read: FBI Probes Into Donald Trump’s Relationship With Russia

* The Oversight and Reform committee will look at a host of other domestic issues, including the use by Trump daughter Ivanka Trump of a private email account for government business, the Trump administration’s response to hurricanes Irma and Maria, and some Trump Cabinet officials’ use of government jets for personal travels. (VOA)