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November 10, 2018

CALIFORNIA WILDFIRES-THE LATEST

The Latest: Deadly Northern California fire grows overnight

PARADISE, Calif. (AP) — Officials say a deadly blaze that leveled a Northern California town has spread overnight but crews also got some control of the flames.

The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said Saturday that the wildfire grew to 156 square miles (404 square kilometers) but it’s 20 percent contained.

Cal Fire says the blaze that started Thursday in the hills near the town of Paradise destroyed 6,453 homes and 260 businesses. An additional 15,000 structures are threatened. At least nine people have died.

Officials say more than 3,000 firefighters are battling the blaze, which is California’s most destructive wildfire since record-keeping began.

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA WILDFIRES

Wind respite may help Southern California wildfire fight

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. (AP) — Firefighters hope a narrow window of calm will give them a chance to block Southern California wildfires that are marching on a path of destruction toward the sea.

Winds that drove the flames through bone-dry hills and canyons north and west of downtown Los Angeles are expected to die down Saturday. But forecasters expect them to build up again Sunday, reaching 35 mph or higher.

Officials say the respite may give firefighters a chance to attack the edges of two fires that in just two days have destroyed more than 150 homes and prompted evacuation orders for more than a quarter-million residents.

The fires that erupted Thursday hit especially hard in Thousand Oaks, the Ventura County town still reeling from a deadly attack this week on a local bar that left a dozen people and the gunman dead. Even as residents grieve, the mayor says most of the town has emptied.

WWI-CENTENNIAL-THE LATEST

The Latest: Leaders of France and Germany visit armistice site

PARIS (AP) — The leaders of France and Germany have held an intimate commemoration at the site north of Paris where the vanquished Germans and victorious but exhausted Allies put an end to World War 1.

President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel used the occasion Saturday to laud European peace and to demonstrate, in person, how countries that were once bitter enemies need not stay that way.

Merkel even snuggled her head against Macron’s head as they stood in front of a somber memorial. The two leaders also climbed aboard a replica of the train wagon where the armistice was signed a century ago Sunday. Macron affectionately took Merkel’s hand after they signed a guestbook.

Afterward, talking to young people in the crowd, Macron said he and the German chancellor wanted to mark the centenary because “We owe it to our soldiers who fell, to those young men who were your age or just a little bit older.”

WWI-TRUMP-THE LATEST

The Latest: US, NATO consulting on Russia nuclear pact

PARIS (AP) — French officials say the Trump administration has agreed to consult with NATO partners on its plan to pull out of a arms control treaty with Russia.

Aides to French President Emmanuel Macron said the decision was made during a meeting between President Donald Trump and Macron in Paris on Saturday.

The White House did not immediately comment. But Trump’s national security adviser, John Bolton, told reporters in Paris on Friday that the U.S. is in “very close consultation” with allies on the treaty issue and are “very optimistic about a common position.”

The U.S. and NATO have accused Russia of violating the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces treaty.

Trump’s decision to exit the pact has worried many in Europe, where the treaty is seen as a cornerstone of the post-Cold War era. Macron has warned that if its scrapped and Russia deploys such missiles, they could easily reach Europe but not the U.S.

AP-US-ELECTION-2018-FLORIDA

Vote tallies due in Florida’s hotly contested elections

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — Unofficial vote tallies in Florida’s elections are due by midday Saturday.

Razor-thin margins may prompt Secretary of State Ken Detzner to order recounts in the hotly contested races for governor and U.S. Senate.

The unofficial results show that Republican former U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis led Democratic Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum by less than 0.5 percentage points in the governor’s race, which will require a machine recount of ballots.

In the Senate race, Republican Gov. Rick Scott’s lead over Democratic incumbent Bill Nelson is less than 0.25 percentage points, which will require a hand recount of ballots in which tabulation machines couldn’t detect a vote.

WAR POSTERS-REDISCOVERED

Trove of war posters discovered at New Hampshire library

ROCHESTER, N.H. (AP) — Nearly 200 propaganda posters from World War I and World War II have been found in the basement of a New Hampshire library.

Some of the posters discovered at the Rochester Public Library were aimed at promoting the war effort at home while others championed American troops serving overseas and encouraged people to donate books and other items. Still others were aimed at bolstering our allies in Europe or vilifying the Nazis.

Library director Brian Sylvester said the stash of posters were most likely in the basement for decades. They were only discovered last year as staff began organizing an area filled with old periodicals and local history books. The posters, mostly in good condition, benefited from the good humidity and low light in the room.

EGYPT-ANTIQUITIES

Egypt’s newly discovered tombs hold mummies, animal statues

SAQQARA, Egypt (AP) — A top Egyptian antiquities official says local archaeologists have discovered seven Pharaonic Age tombs near the capital Cairo containing dozens of cat mummies along with wooden statues depicting other animals and birds.

Mostafa Waziri told reporters Saturday that the discovery at Saqqara also includes mummies of scarabs, the first ever to be found in the area.

Of the statues found, those depicting cats were the majority, reflecting the reverence ancient Egyptians showed the felines, whose God Bastet was worshipped. Other statues depicted a lion, a cow and a falcon.

Egypt has been whipping up publicity for its new historical discoveries in the hopes of reviving a devastated tourism sector still recovering from the turmoil following a 2011 uprising that toppled longtime autocrat Hosni Mubarak.

BRITAIN-SPICE GIRLS

Spice Girls add 2 shows as ticket demand skyrockets

LONDON (AP) — It seems British fans can’t get enough of the soon-to-be reunited Spice Girls.

The “girl power” band that peaked in the 1990s has added two more shows to their planned reunion tour next summer after fans complained they couldn’t buy tickets.

The band on Saturday added extra gigs in London and Manchester. The reunion tour will now begin at Etihad Stadium in Manchester on May 31.

The band also added a date at London’s Wembley Stadium on June 15.

The dates were added after fans struggled to buy tickets online for the existing shows. Many complained of long waits in electronic queues.

The Spice Girls will be performing without Victoria Beckham, who has launched a successful career as a fashion designer.

IMMIGRATION-ASYLUM SEEKERS

Trump’s new move to limit asylum challenged in court

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump has issued a proclamation to deny asylum to migrants who enter the country illegally, tightening the border as caravans of Central Americans slowly approach the United States. The plan was immediately challenged in court.

Trump invoked the same powers he used last year to impose a travel ban that was upheld by the Supreme Court. The new regulations are intended to circumvent laws stating that anyone is eligible for asylum no matter how he or she enters the country. About 70,000 people per year who enter the country illegally claim asylum.

The American Civil Liberties Union and other legal groups swiftly sued in federal court in Northern California to block the regulations, arguing the measures were illegal.

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