Northern California fire spreads to 52,000 acres. KY floods: Death toll rises to 28, more expected. Pelosi begins Asia trip, Taiwan stop uncertain.
Northern California fire spreads to 52,000 acres
The McKinney fire sprang up late last Friday in the Klamath National Forest in Siskiyou County, CA. The fire quickly overtook the Oak Fire to become the state’s worst wildfire this year. Aided by winds, lightning, drought conditions and dry foliage, the fire has so far burned 52,000 acres and remains completely uncontained. It is spread over about 80 square miles. Some 2,000 people in the remote area near the Oregon border are under evacuation orders. At the same time, firefighters are fighting three other smaller fires in Siskiyou county.
Meanwhile, the heatwave affecting much of the Pacific Northwest has been linked to 7 deaths in recent days.
KY floods: Death toll rises to 28, more expected
Over the weekend, the death toll in the eastern Kentucky floods rose to 28. Gov. Andy Beshear believes there will be still more found over the coming days. Rescue and recovery efforts are still underway even as the area received yet more rain over the weekend. In Knott County, four children were killed, the eldest in second grade.
Fifteen shelters have opened in the area to accommodate people and families who have lost everything. FEMA is bringing in supplies of food and fresh water. The long-term recovery prospects in the flooded out areas is bleak. Since the area is not typically flood-prone, many residents do not have flood insurance. Beshear has opened a fundraiser to help support the victims.
Pelosi begins Asia trip, Taiwan stop uncertain
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is beginning her controversial Asian tour, though her office has not confirmed a potential stop in Taiwan. Pelosi’s office said her itinerary included Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea and Japan, but made no mention of Taiwan. Last week, President Biden had a heated phone call with Chinese President Xi Jinping, who warned of consequences should Pelosi visit Taiwan.
Biden also indicated that his military advisers thought a trip to the island by Pelosi is “not a good idea right now”. Over the weekend, China carried out military exercises off Taiwan’s coast in a show of force. Last last week, US military sources disclosed they were making plans in preparation for a potential visit by the Speaker. If Pelosi does decide to go to the island, the US military might mobilize its assets in the region, including fighter jets, ships, and other military systems, to protect Pelosi during her flight and any time on the ground there.
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