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Jeff Sessions, Ursula K. Le Guin, Academy Awards: Your Wednesday Briefing

#briefing-market-module.interactive-embedded .interactive-caption { display: none; } Market Snapshot View Full Overview Smarter Living Tips, both new and old, for a more fulfilling life. • Get over your infatuation […]

In Deadly Bronx Blaze, Responders Battled Fire and Ice

“The ice builds up on our tools, our ladders, which becomes a safety problem,” Mr. Fitzgerald said. “And inside the building it can become like an ice-skating rink. It adds a whole bunch of different obstacles for us to fight the fire and to make rescues.”Continue reading the main storyFire officials said there were also instances when ladders froze and were unable to extend.Emergency responders in other cities have encountered similar issues during frigid winter months […]

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. […]

For Ravaged Vieques, Solitude, Once an Allure, Is Now a Curse

The local ice factory is not working, so when a refrigerated ice truck rolls off an arriving ferry, people follow it through the tree-strewn streets. […]

Facing Months in the Dark, Ordinary Life in Puerto Rico is ‘Beyond Reach’

“People will start going nuts pretty soon,” said Miguel A. Soto-Class, president of the Center for a New Economy, a nonpartisan research organization. “I don’t think it will be ‘Mad Max,’ but people will be looking for diesel and gasoline, more than water even.”The water supply was also becoming a problem. Even in San Juan, people need electricity to access water, and water is also critical to running some air-conditioning systems. At Centro Medico, a major hospital outside San Juan in Río Piedras, the emergency unit was treating patients but had no air-conditioning, said Dr. Johnny Rullán, a physician.But the biggest long-term obstacle was the prospect of months without power.Puerto Ricans are the first to say they can improvise — resolver — when a drought dries them up or a terrible storm knocks them down. […]

One Week After Harvey, Texas Residents Exhausted, Still Stranded

HOUSTON — A week after Texas was slammed by Hurricane Harvey, this region was still engulfed in crisis on Saturday, with weary residents of Houston searching for ways to repair swamped homes and salvage possessions even as others faced new orders to evacuate. In cities and small towns to the east, thousands of others remained stranded by rising waters and were still without dry shelter.After seven days, frustration and exhaustion had set in for many […]

As Waters Rise in Beaumont, Houston Starts to Head Home

In and around Houston, people by the thousands took to trucks and boats to get a glimpse of the homes they had evacuated. Some stayed, others just picked up medications and family photos before heading back to shelters, and most simply could not bear to wait any longer to find out: How bad is it?On Thursday, Larry and Suzette Cade, getting their first post-Harvey glimpse of their northwest Houston home, found that their blue car had floated about 20 feet from where they had parked it, and rested against a tree. Ten massive logs that the couple had never seen before were scattered on one side of their lawn. There was no trace of the mailbox.The Cades have owned their brick house for a quarter century, yet it felt unfamiliar. As Mr. Cade tried to pry open the swollen front door, Ms. Cade peeked through the window of the family room. Even through a film of dirt, she could see everything was upended. The water had reached well over five feet in the house.They stood at their front door holding hands — and crying.“I just feel so sad and empty,” Mr […]