A California wildfire that killed two people and destroyed 200 homes in the southern Sierra Nevada burned away from neighborhoods Monday, clearing the way for some residents to return to homes that survived the savage flames.
But hot, dry winds continue to stroke wildfires in the West, CBS News' Mireya Villarreal reported.
Currently, 22 large fires are burning across eight states. The biggest, east of Bakersfield, California, has scorched over 45,000 acres.
The fire grew to more than 70 square miles, but was it 40 percent contained as it burned in steep terrain south of Lake Isabella. Houses could be vulnerable if winds blow the fire back toward some of the communities in the popular recreation area, Fire Chief Brian Marshall said.
"There's still more threats out there," Marshall said. "This is going to go down as the most destructive wildfire in Kern County history."
Sallie Keeling had seen enough photos of destruction over four days to know what to expect when she returned Monday to the fire-ravaged neighborhood where she and her husband had lived for 13 years.
Cadaver dogs searched through the rubble of devastated neighborhoods for more possible casualties, though remains found over the weekend were identified as an animal, Kern County sheriff's spokesman Ray Pruitt said.
The fire began Thursday and quickly exploded in dry brush and bore down on small communities of houses and mobile homes that surround Lake Isabella, a dammed section of the scenic Kern River popular for fishing, whitewater rafting and other outdoor activities.
In addition to the destroyed homes, another 75 were damaged. Evacuations were still in place Monday, but residents who lived in areas with limited fire damage were being allowed to return at noon.
As summer visitors flock to Hawaii for sun, sand and surf, the militaries of more than two dozen nations will be in and around the islands for five weeks of war games.
The Rim of the Pacific exercise, hosted every two years by the U.S. Pacific Fleet, claims to be the world’s largest international maritime maneuvers. The Navy says the exercise, best known as RIMPAC, provides a unique training opportunity that fosters relationships vital to “ensuring the safety of sea lanes and security on the world’s oceans.”
The massive exercise also comes with controversy, drawing fire from Hawaii residents and environmental groups who say the games harm the ocean and marine life. Many of the activities will be far offshore, and won’t noticeably affect tourists.
This year’s exercise — kicks off Thursday and continues until Aug. 4. It will include 26 nations, 45 ships, more than 200 aircraft, five submarines and 25,000 personnel in and around the Hawaiian islands and in Southern California.
The US national security industry is planning for the impact of an unprecedented global food crisis lasting as long as a decade, according to reports by a government contractor.
The studies published by CNA Corporation in December 2015, unreported until now, describe a detailed simulation of a protracted global food crisis from 2020 to 2030.
The simulation, titled ‘Food Chain Reaction’, was a desktop gaming exercise involving the participation of 65 officials from the US, Europe, Africa, India, Brazil, and key multilateral and intergovernmental institutions.
The scenario for the ‘Food Chain Reaction’ simulation was created by experts brought in from the State Department, the World Bank, and agribusiness giant Cargill, along with independent specialists. CNA Corp’s Institute for Public Research, which ran the simulation, primarily provides scientific research services for the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Held from November 9-10 in 2015, the “game” attempted to simulate a plausible global food crisis triggered by “food price and supply swings amidst burgeoning population growth, rapid urbanization, severe weather events, and social unrest.”
By 2024, the scenario saw global food prices spike by as much as 395 percent due to prolonged crop failures in key food basket regions, driven largely by climate change, oil price spikes, and confused responses from the international community.
“Disruptions affected developed and developing countries alike, creating political and economic instability, and contributing to social unrest in certain areas,” the project’stechnical report states.
The report notes that at the end of the simulation, the teams highlighted the important role of “extreme weather events” and “food insecurity” in exacerbating “instances of significant internal and external migration and social unrest.” These, in turn, greatly “contribute to conflict.”
Plans for 'a closer European Union' have been branded an attempt to create a 'European superstate'.
Germany's foreign minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier and his French counterpart Jean-Marc Ayrault today presented a proposal for closer EU integration based on three key areas - internal and external security, the migrant crisis, and economic cooperation.
But the plans have been described as an 'ultimatum' in Poland, with claims it would mean countries transfer their armies, economic systems and border controls to the EU.
Zaoralek added that the four eastern members had reservations about the proposed common security policy.
Eastern members have become increasingly jittery on security issues since Moscow used so-called "hybrid warfare", or undeclared covert tactics - to annex the Crimean peninsula from Ukraine in 2014.
Poland's public TVP described the Franco-German proposal as an "ultimatum" designed to create a European "superstate dominated by large nations."
Ayrault described the Franco-German proposal as a "contribution", adding that there would be "others".
According to the Daily Express, the nine-page report has 'outraged' its foreign minister Witold Waszczykowski.
He said: 'This is not a good solution, of course, because from the time the EU was invented a lot has changed.
'The mood in European societies is different. Europe and our voters do not want to give the Union over into the hands of technocrats.'
The Express reports the document says France and Germany will 'strive for a political union in Europe' and 'invite the next Europeans to participate'.
It comes after the UK voted to leave the EU in a landmark referendum last week, causing shockwaves across Europe.
The result has prompted right-wing European parties in France and Eastern Europe to suggest similar votes, with the EU criticised for its 'federalism' and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker blamed for Brexit within the organisation.
In a joint statement tonight the leaders of Germany, France and Italy say the European Union 'must dedicate itself to the worries expressed by its citizens.'
In their statement Monday, the three leaders said that the EU is a success and that the bloc is indispensable in securing 'the economic and social progress for our people, and to assert Europe's role in the world.'
But German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Hollande and Italian Premier Matteo Renzi acknowledged that the EU can only advance if it is supported by its people.
Trading in several of Britain’s biggest firms was suspended amid fresh stock market turmoil.
Barclays and Royal Bank of Scotland were among those whose stock was frozen after a sudden drop.
Automatic circuit breakers kick in when a company’s share price falls - or rises - by more than 8%.
All trading in its shares are suspended for five minutes to try to take the heat out of the situation.
Shares in some of the UK’s biggest builders - Taylor Wimpey, Barratt and Berkeley Group - were also put on hold, along with budget airline easyJet and Legal & General.
However, the tactic failed to stop a further slide in their share prices.
Barclays remained down nearly 13%, and RBS by more than 15%.
Thousands of lives might someday depend on this stockpile, which holds all kinds of medical supplies that the officials would need in the wake of a terrorist attack with a chemical, biological or nuclear weapon.
The location of these warehouses is secret. How many there are is secret. (Although a former government official recently said at a public meeting that there are six.) And exactly what's in them is secret.
"If everybody knows exactly what we have, then you know exactly what you can do to us that we can't fix," says Burel. "And we just don't want that to happen."
What he will reveal is how much the stockpile is worth: "We currently value the inventory at a little over $7 billion."
But some public health specialists worry about how all this would actually be deployed in an emergency.
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