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Democrats Leave Few Seats Unchallenged in Quest for House Control

But Democrats are clamoring to enter the ring.“I started seeing changes to U.S. policy that concern me,” said Sara Dady, one of the candidates. “I’ve been practicing immigration law under three administrations. I have a client who has a green card. He did everything right. He was denied boarding. To me that is not the America I know and love.”Democrats are investing in candidates like Ms. […]

California Today: California Today: A Special Fires Edition

Supported byU.S.California Today: A Special Fires EditionGood morning.(Want to get California Today by email? Here’s the sign-up.)PhotoFirefighters in Ventura, Calif., on Tuesday.Credit Jae C. Hong/Associated PressThe year-end fires sweeping Southern California this week have raised a worrisome question: Where is the rain?The rainy season typically starts in October and lasts through April, with the heaviest rain coming from December through March. Precipitation has been at or above-normal in Northern California, but there has been little rain in the south.Since Oct. 1 just 2.3 inches have fallen in Los Angeles, and 1.15 inches in San Diego, which is way below the normal rainfall for that period, according to the California Department of Water Resources.That lack of precipitation is one reason fires have exploded across Southern California this week, officials said. Thousands of people were evacuated across Los Angeles County and in the path of another fire in Ventura.Continue reading the main storyIt is too soon to ring any drought alarm bells. Still, the memory of the long, punishing drought that ended last year — the worst in this state’s modern history — remains fresh. And a report earlier this week by the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory said that atmospheric conditions caused by global warming, including the creation of a resilient, water-blocking atmospheric ridge, means even less rain in the future.Continue reading the main storyContinue reading the main story“I still have a drought hangover so I wake up worried about drought,” said Felicia Marcus, the head of the state Water Resources Control Board.Southern California is dealing with the same collection of forces that accounted for the intensity of the wine country fires: an unusually wet winter led to extensive brush growth and a record-hot October baked the growth into kindling. The final ingredient was the heavy Santa Ana winds whipping across Southern California.“It was sort of a trifecta for Napa and Sonoma,” Ms. […]

California Today: California Today: A Special Fires Edition

Supported byU.S.California Today: A Special Fires EditionGood morning.(Want to get California Today by email? Here’s the sign-up.)PhotoFirefighters in Ventura, Calif., on Tuesday.Credit Jae C. Hong/Associated PressThe year-end fires sweeping Southern California this week have raised a worrisome question: Where is the rain?The rainy season typically starts in October and lasts through April, with the heaviest rain coming from December through March. Precipitation has been at or above-normal in Northern California, but there has been little rain in the south.Since Oct. 1 just 2.3 inches have fallen in Los Angeles, and 1.15 inches in San Diego, which is way below the normal rainfall for that period, according to the California Department of Water Resources.That lack of precipitation is one reason fires have exploded across Southern California this week, officials said. Thousands of people were evacuated across Los Angeles County and in the path of another fire in Ventura.Continue reading the main storyIt is too soon to ring any drought alarm bells. Still, the memory of the long, punishing drought that ended last year — the worst in this state’s modern history — remains fresh. And a report earlier this week by the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory said that atmospheric conditions caused by global warming, including the creation of a resilient, water-blocking atmospheric ridge, means even less rain in the future.Continue reading the main storyContinue reading the main story“I still have a drought hangover so I wake up worried about drought,” said Felicia Marcus, the head of the state Water Resources Control Board.Southern California is dealing with the same collection of forces that accounted for the intensity of the wine country fires: an unusually wet winter led to extensive brush growth and a record-hot October baked the growth into kindling. The final ingredient was the heavy Santa Ana winds whipping across Southern California.“It was sort of a trifecta for Napa and Sonoma,” Ms. […]

Harvey Live Updates: Death Toll Rises in Texas

• Flooding remained severe in eastern Texas and western Louisiana, but the storm is starting to lose its tropical characteristics as it moves toward the Ohio Valley, according to the National Weather Service.• Anxiety about another hurricane is growing as Irma builds strength on the open Atlantic. Forecasters warned that it was still far too early to know whether its path would lead it toward the United States.• The electricity provider Entergy said about 61,000 customers without power in eastern Texas on Friday morning, down from a peak of 84,000. About 9,500 customers in western Louisiana were also without electricity.• There were about 136,000 flooded structures just in Harris County, the state’s most populous, the county Flood Control District estimated on Thursday night.• Nationally, the average price of a gallon of regular gasoline continues to hit new highs for the year, reaching $2.52 on Friday morning, up from $2.45 on Thursday, according to the AAA motor club.• About 42,000 people were housed overnight at Red Cross and partner shelters in Texas, Suzy DeFrancis, a spokeswoman for the American Red Cross told CNN Friday, an increase since the day before. She said that the organization would probably be in an emergency relief mode until at least Thanksgiving.• In Beaumont, the Neches River was expected to crest on Friday more than seven feet higher than the previous record, and to remain above the old record for several days, the National Weather Service reported. […]

Another Afghan District Falls as Trump Prepares to Roll Out War Plan

But the Taliban now control or dominate 48 of the country’s roughly 400 administrative areas, the most they have held since being ousted from power in 2001, based on data provided by the United States military to the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction. The inspector general’s last quarterly report to Congress listed 45 such districts, based on data through the end of June, and the Taliban have made a net gain of three districts since then.Among the most recent to fall was Jani Khel, in Paktia Province close to the eastern border with Pakistan, which the insurgents took on Aug. 10. That district has changed hands at least three times since 2016 and twice just this month, underlining its importance to both sides as a transit area for the Haqqani network, a powerful Taliban faction, to and from its Pakistani sanctuaries. Government officials claim that neither side really controls the district, where fighting continues.On Aug. 13, the Taliban took the center of Ghormach District in Faryab Province in the north, although the Afghan National Army retains control of a base in the district, which is under Taliban siege and being resupplied by helicopter. “If reinforcements don’t reach them, the situation will get badly worse,” said the district governor, Abdullah Waqif, who estimated that as many as 500 Afghan soldiers were at the base.GraphicThe Taliban Still Control Large Parts of Afghanistan and ISIS Has Established a FootholdAfghanistan continues to struggle to maintain security in the face of the Taliban insurgency and a growing Islamic State presence.OPEN GraphicOn Monday, a government spokesmen said the soldiers were still trapped there, but that heavy Afghan airstrikes had killed 80 insurgents and destroyed a dozen of their motorcycles.On Aug. 6, what was asserted to be a combined force of Taliban and Islamic State militants overran the strategic valley of Mirza Olang in Sar-e-pul Province in the north. Hundreds of the valley’s Shia residents fled amid claims that the insurgents, who are Sunni, were beheading Shias and enslaving and raping women. […]

No unborn baby is safe from toxic pollutants

It is frightening how easily pesticides and other chemicals can infiltrate the body’s protective barriers — and the damage they do. […]

Wanna Get Lucky? – Deborah Coonts

Wanna Get Lucky? Deborah Coonts Genre: Women Sleuths Publish Date: June 13, 2015 Publisher: Deborah Coonts Seller: DEBORAH COONTS A young woman plunges from a Las Vegas sightseeing helicopter, landing in the Pirate’s lagoon in front of the Treasure Island Hotel in the middle of the 8:30 Pirate Show.  Almost everyone writes her off as another Vegas victim.  But Lucky O’Toole smells a rat.  She’s head of Customer Relations at The Babylon, the newest, most opulent mega-casino and resort on the Strip, so she’s got a lot on her plate: the Adult Film industry’s annual awards banquet, a spouse-swapping convention, sex toy purveyors preying on the pocket-protector crowd attending ElectroniCon….  Still, Lucky can’t resist turning over a few stones.  When a former flame is one of the snakes she uncovers, Lucky’s certain she’s no longer dealing with an anonymous Sin City suicide.  To top it all off, Lucky’s best friend Teddie—Las Vegas’ finest female impersonator—presses to take their relationship to the next level.  Leave it to Lucky to attract a man who looks better in a dress than she does. Lucky must manage the Babylon’s onslaught of outrageous festivities, solve a murder, and struggle to keep her life and libido from spinning out of control… not to mention keep her balance in six inch heels.  […]