California's Bay Area is simultaneously experiencing three fires, including the second- and third-largest wildfires in the state's history. All three, which have consumed a combined 1,100 square miles, were sparked by a lightning storm (see 101) that swept through the region last week.
The LNU Lightning Complex—named after the local fire unit and the cause of the fire—has burned through more than 341,000 acres just miles north of Napa and was 20% contained as of this morning. The SCU Lightning Complex has burned 340,000 acres east of San Jose and is at 10% containment. The CZU Lightning Complex has burned 74,000 acres north of Santa Cruz and is 8% contained, while forcing more than 60,000 people to evacuate. At least five people have died; see a live map of the fires here.
The fires have charred
mostly unpopulated land while blanketing Bay Area cities with smoke and ash. More lightning—spawned by Hurricane Genevieve—may be on the way. Watch harrowing video taken from a car driving through one of the blazes here.
Two storm systems are projected to hit Louisiana early this week, reaching the coast at or close to hurricane status and separated by just two days. Tropical Storm Marco, downgraded from a Category 1 hurricane, is expected to make landfall tonight (see trajectory). Tropical Storm Laura—which pounded Puerto Rico yesterday—is expected to arrive as a possible Category 2 overnight Wednesday (see trajectory). Two
hurricanes have never been observed at the same time in the Gulf (records go back to 1900), and the last time two tropical storms appeared at the same time was 1959. The presence of two systems has made forecasting tricky, with a large degree of uncertainty in models.
The 2020 Atlantic hurricane season has been one of the most active on record, and forecasts estimate up to 25 named storms in total (the average is 12). Three
to six Category 3 hurricanes are expected, with storm frequency peaking sharply between mid-August and mid-October.
Prison Time in Varsity Blues Case
Actress Lori Loughlin will serve two months in prison while her fashion designer husband, Mossimo Giannulli, will serve five months after the pair pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges as part of a massive college admissions fraud scandal. Prosecutors say Loughlin and Giannulli paid $500K to secure their two daughters' admission into the University of Southern California using fraudulent athletic achievements.
Under the scheme (see overview), at least 33 parents paid a total of $25M to William Singer, CEO of college prep company The Key. Singer would then disburse funds to exam officials, coaches, and school administrators to fraudulently boost the accomplishments of undeserving students to improve their odds of admission into elite schools. Loughlin and Giannulli originally fought the allegations before prosecutors tacked on money laundering charges.
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Politics & World Affairs
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Historybook: Mount Vesuvius erupts, killing about 15,000 (79); Thomas
Edison invents motion picture camera (1891); Amelia Earhart is first woman to fly nonstop across the US (1932); HBD Dave Chappelle (1973); Windows 95 released (1995).
"Genius is 1 percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration."
- Thomas Edison
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