By Curtis Skinner SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Firefighters battling two deadly wildfires in drought-stricken California have gained more ground and some displaced people were allowed to go home, officials said on Friday, even as the search went on for people reported missing. Two men and an elderly, disabled woman have been killed by the so-called Valley Fire, which has scorched 73,700 acres (29,825 hectares) just north of Napa County's wine-producing region, according to the Lake County Sheriff's Office. Authorities were still searching on Friday for people who had been reported missing, said Lake County Undersheriff Chris Macedo, although he could not provide an exact tally. Two more people, who authorities said defied evacuation orders, lost their lives in the separate Butte Fire, still burning more than a week after it erupted more than 100 miles (160 km) to the east in the Sierra Nevada foothills, in California's Gold Rush country. Ranking as the most destructive wildfires in California this year, the two conflagrations together have blackened roughly 145,000 acres (58,000 hectares), laid waste to more than 950 homes, and forced some 23,000 people to evacuate. Cooler conditions, rain and lighter winds have helped firefighters gain additional ground in recent days, though higher temperatures forecast for coming days could pose a challenge, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) said. Containment of the Valley Fire, a measure of how much of its perimeter has been enclosed within buffer lines carved through vegetation by ground crews, was at 45 percent. Several communities forced to flee the massive blaze were allowed to return home starting late Friday, Lake County officials said. In the Sierra foothills to the east, the Butte Fire was 63 percent contained late Friday, Cal Fire said. Fire officials say the two blazes are emblematic of an intense wildfire season that is shaping up as one of the state's fiercest on record, with much of September and all of October, historically the worst two months of the year, still ahead. Property losses from the Valley Fire - 585 homes and hundreds more buildings - stand as the highest among the thousand of wildfires that have raged across the entire drought-stricken western United States this summer. The Butte Fire alone has destroyed 365 homes. In addition to the five deaths attributed to the two blazes, four firefighters were hospitalized with burns on Saturday in the first hours after the Valley Fire broke out. (Reporting by Curtis Skinner; Editing by Daniel Wallis and Jamse Dalgleish)
- The Telegraph
The joy of receiving a note from a member of the Royal Family, in response to a card or a letter, has long been keenly felt by well wishers from across the globe. But the Duke and Duchess of Sussex now face a scramble to make new arrangements for their correspondence after the Prince of Wales withdrew his financial support for the mail service provided by his team at Clarence House. The couple’s decision not to return to the royal fold as working members of the family means that all professional ties will be severed from the end of next month. For practical reasons, that will include arrangements relating to their mail, the Sunday Telegraph understands, meaning that well wishers might have to start posting their cards to the US instead. The Correspondence Section at Clarence House, comprising around four members of staff, has traditionally handled the Sussexes’ mail, as well as that of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall.
- Business Insider
Trump begins settling scores with Republican opponents by endorsing a former aide's primary challenge to an Ohio congressman who backed impeachment
Trump weighed in for the first time after he indicated he would play an active role on the campaign trail during the 2022 midterm elections.
- Martha Stewart Living
Prince Harry Just Revealed Exactly When He Knew Meghan Markle Was the One: "We Went from Zero to 60"
The Duke of Sussex candidly shared more about his married life in a recent interview with James Corden—watch it here.
A harmless side effect of the shot can be swollen lymph nodes. That means the vaccine is working, but could cause false alarm, so you should wait.
From buying whole, fresh beans to nailing the perfect water-to-coffee ratio, coffee connoisseurs have plenty of tips for better at-home brewing.
- The Week
Democrats decry Biden's airstrikes in Syria as unconstitutional. Republicans praise them as 'proportional.'
Democrats are calling the Biden administration's airstrikes in Syria unconstitutional. President Biden on Thursday ordered airstrikes against facilities in eastern Syria used by Iranian-backed militant groups, his first military action since taking office. The strikes were in response to several rocket attacks against U.S. targets in Iraq. While Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said the limited scope of the airstrikes "aims to de-escalate the overall situation in both eastern Syria and Iraq," many Democrats expressed concerns on Friday that the move has done just the opposite, and argued it wasn't legally justified. "Some Democrats said that Congress has not passed an authorization for the use of military force specifically in Syria," reports CNN. Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) said "there is absolutely no justification for a president to authorize a military strike that is not in self-defense against an imminent threat without congressional authorization ... we need to extricate from the Middle East, not escalate." Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) agreed, calling for an immediate congressional briefing and saying "offensive military action without congressional approval is not constitutional absent extraordinary circumstances." Republicans, however, were seemingly largely pleased with the move. Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas), the top Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, called the U.S. response a "necessary deterrent" to tell Iran that attacks on U.S. interests "will not be tolerated," reports CNN. As Fox News notes, Republican Sens. Marco Rubio (Fla.) and Lindsey Graham (S.C.), among others, also applauded the strike, calling it "proportional." White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki defended the action as "necessary," and said Biden "has the right to take action" as he sees fit. She said "there was a thorough, legal response" and the Defense Department briefed congressional leadership in advance. More stories from theweek.comBiden in the quagmireBen Sasse on Matt Gaetz: 'That guy is not an adult'Newly confirmed Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm is 'obsessed' with creating 'clean-energy jobs'
- Business Insider
Go back to the place you got your first shot if you lose your paper card, and make sure to take a photo of the vaccine card after your first dose.
The golfer received successful "follow-up procedures" following Tuesday's serious car crash in LA.
It's been 40 years since Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer announced their engagement with a televised interview.
- Yahoo News Video
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said she won't take AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine because she is too old, a comment that comes as millions of Germans refuse to take the vaccine because they do not trust it.
Jill Biden said on "The Kelly Clarkson Show" that her daughter, Ashley, was the first to tell her that the Valentine's Day scrunchie sparked a trend.
- Business Insider
Trump supporters and right-wing reporters wouldn't stop heckling CNN's Jim Acosta during second day of CPAC
A crowd of Trump supporters and right-wing reporters were filmed following Jim Acosta around CPAC while chanting "CNN sucks!"
Residents of an Indian slum thought they were getting vaccinated like everyone else but were unknowingly part of a clinical trial
After a white van advertised COVID-19 vaccines to a central-Indian slum, many of its residents feel duped after finding out they were in a trial.
- The Week
Prince Harry and James Corden tour L.A., crawl through the mud, discuss Harry's thoughts on The Crown
Prince Harry evidently thought he was going to be on "Carpool Karaoke." "This is subtle — where's the Range Rover?" he asked James Corden when Corden arrived in an open-air bus for a tour of Los Angeles on Thursday's Late Late Show. The non-working-royal prince did rap the theme to The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, but there was no singing on the tour. There was, however, high tea, an ill-advised real estate push invoking Meghan Markle, and a military-style obstacle course. Prince Harry seemed to enjoy parts of the tour: He said he's never been allowed to ride on an open-top bus and has always wanted to go sight-seeing, and since he and his wife arrived in the U.S. during coronavirus lockdown, "this is the first time I've had a chance to see L.A." He described a typical day in his quasi-royal Santa Barbara household, starting with breakfast from a waffle-maker gifted to son Archie by his great-grandmother, the queen, and ending with him and the duchess in bed watching Jeopardy! or "a little bit of Netflix." "And how do you feel about The Crown?" Corden asked. Unlike his brother, Harry has watched the show, and he had thoughts about how his family is portrayed: "They don't pretend to be news, it's fictional, but it's loosely based on the truth. Of course it's not strictly accurate," but "loosely, it gives you a rough idea about what that lifestyle, what the pressures of putting duty and service above family and everything else, what can come from that. I'm way more comfortable with The Crown than I am seeing the stories written about my family or my wife or myself," because one is "obviously fiction" and the latter is "being reported on as fact." When asked, Harry said he wants Damian Lewis to play him when his storyline starts in The Crown. Corden nominated himself to play Prince William, earning a dubious stare from Harry. "It's not great casting, but it is casting," he said. You can watch him get the last laugh below. More stories from theweek.comBiden in the quagmireBen Sasse on Matt Gaetz: 'That guy is not an adult'Newly confirmed Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm is 'obsessed' with creating 'clean-energy jobs'
- Associated Press
A woman who ran away from London as a teenager to join the Islamic State group lost her bid Friday to return to the U.K. to fight for the restoration of her citizenship, which was revoked on national security grounds. Shamima Begum was one of three east London schoolgirls who traveled to Syria in 2015. Begum's lawyers appealed,, saying her right to a fair hearing was harmed by the obstacles of pursuing her case from the camp.
- Business Insider
Merkel says she won't take AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine because she's too old, as 1.4 million jabs are left unused
The German chancellor said she wasn't eligible because the vaccine isn't approved for people over 65 in Germany.
TikTokers tried to prove that snow in Texas was 'fake' as weather conspiracy theories ran wild online
From "fake snow" to Bill Gates, conspiracy theories about the Texas storm are spreading. Right-wing pundits and politicians aren't helping.
Prince Harry knew he and Meghan Markle had something 'pretty special' by their second date. Here's a complete timeline of their relationship.
The couple's royal love story began in 2016 when they were set up on a blind date by a mutual friend.
Ben Affleck says his divorce from Jennifer Garner and other 'life experience' shaped him into a better actor
In a new interview as part of The Hollywood Reporter's Actor Roundtable series, Affleck spoke about Garner and the three kids they share.
Former Sen. Kelly Loeffler is out as owner of WNBA team, and the new owners include former star player who retired to fight for social justice
One month after WNBA players helped oust Kelly Loeffler from the Senate, the league announced that it had approved sale of the franchise she co-owned.