California firefighters battling wildfires face hot, windy weather

Inmate firefighters file off to construct a fire break while battling the Soberanes Fire in Carmel Highlands(Reuters) - Crews battling a deadly wildfire in rugged drought-stricken terrain north of Los Angeles on Wednesday face a second consecutive day of scorching weather and erratic winds that could hinder their efforts. The National Weather Service forecast of near-triple-digit temperatures and 20 mph wind gusts that could make attempts difficult to further extinguish the so-called Sand Fire, a wildfire that erupted 40 miles north of Los Angeles that has destroyed 18 homes and claimed one life. As of Tuesday night, some 3,000 firefighters hacked through dense brush and chaparral and had extended containment lines around 25 percent of the fire, which has charred 59 square miles since Friday, officials said.

Climate change risk threatens 18 U.S. military sites: study

FILE PHOTO - Former recruits march past drill instructors after graduating from Parris Island.By Valerie Volcovici WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Rising sea levels due to hurricanes and tidal flooding intensified by climate change will put military bases along the U.S. East Coast and Gulf Coast at risk, according to a report released on Wednesday. Nonprofit group the Union of Concerned Scientists analyzed 18 military installations that represent more than 120 coastal bases nationwide to weigh the impact of climate change on their operations. Faster rates of sea level rises in the second half of this century could mean that tidal flooding will become a daily occurrence for some installations, pushing useable land needed for military training and testing into tidal zones, said the report titled "The U.S. Military on the Front Lines of Rising Seas." By 2050, most of these sites will be hit by more than 10 times the number of floods than at present, the report said, and at least half of them will experience daily floods.

Transgender student asks U.S. high court to keep out of bathroom case

A sign protesting a recent North Carolina law restricting transgender bathroom access in Durham, North CarolinaIn court papers, lawyers for the student, Gavin Grimm, urged the Supreme Court to leave in place a lower court's order in favor of Grimm while the litigation goes on. The case is the first time the fight over transgender bathroom rights has reached the Supreme Court. Last year, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) sued on behalf of Grimm to challenge the Gloucester County School Board's bathroom policy, which requires transgender students to use alternative restroom facilities.

Black-footed ferrets return to where they held out in wild

FILE - This Oct. 1, 2014, file photo shows a black-footed ferret peeking out of a tube after being brought to a ranch near Williams, Ariz. The endangered weasel is returning to an area of western Wyoming where the critter almost went extinct more than 30 years ago. Biologists plan to release 35 black-footed ferrets Tuesday, July 26, 2016, near Meeteetse, Wyo. Scientists thought the black-footed ferret was extinct until a dog brought a dead one home near Meeteetse in 1981. (AP Photo/Felicia Fonseca, File)MEETEETSE, Wyo. (AP) — A nocturnal species of weasel with a robber-mask-like marking across its eyes has returned to the remote ranchlands of western Wyoming where the critter almost went extinct more than 30 years ago.

New Indonesia Cabinet includes reformer, rights abuser

Indonesia's new cabinet ministers, from left to right, Minister of Villages, Disadvantaged Regions and Transmigration Eko Putro Sandjojo, Industry Minister Airlangga Hartarto, Minister of Administrative and Bureaucratic Reform Asman Abnur, Trade Minister Enggartiasto Lukita, Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati, Coordinating Minister for Legal, Security and Politics Wiranto, Education Minister Muhadjir Effendy, Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi and Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources Archandra Tahar pose for photographers during the announcement of the new cabinet line-up at Merdeka Palace in Jakarta, Indonesia, Wednesday, July 27, 2016. Indonesian President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo announced a new Cabinet line-up on Wednesday that returns a reformist to the Finance Ministry and puts a former head of the military in charge of security. (AP Photo/Tatan Syuflana)JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Indonesian President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo announced a new Cabinet on Wednesday that puts a retired general linked to human rights abuses in charge of security and returns a popular reformist to the finance ministry.

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