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Firefighters are trying to contain numerous blazes raging in Northern and Southern California; Cyprus opens the first new border crossing in years.
The battle against the California fires rages on
- At least 31 people were confirmed dead in the California wildfires as of Monday afternoon, with many officials calling Camp Fire the deadliest blaze in the state’s history. [NYT / Matthew Bloch and Jugal K. Patel]
- The Northern California fire has already torched more than 6,400 homes and is responsible for 29 of the deaths reported in the past few days. Fierce winds are also expected to fuel two major wildfires west of Los Angeles, including one that has already killed two people in Malibu. [CNN / Holly Yan and Susannah Cullinane]
- Cal Fire, the state’s fire protection agency, reports that only 25 percent of Camp Fire has been contained, though it continues to rage across 113,000 acres. The city of Paradise is “pretty much” destroyed. [Sacramento Bee / Michael McGough and Ryan Sabalow]
- In Malibu, some 370 structures were torched, including the homes of several celebrities like Miley Cyrus, Neil Young, Gerard Butler, and Robin Thicke. All of them went on social media to express their gratitude for the firefighters’ prompt response. [Washington Post / Amy B. Wang]
- Many, however, condemned President Trump’s rhetoric around the fires, as he attributed the deadly blazes to poor forest management. On Saturday, Trump warned against the “gross mismanagement of the forests,” threatening to cut Federal Reserve System payments if the so-called mishandling is not resolved. [Twitter / Donald J. Trump]
- California wildfires are not a new phenomenon; in fact, they are considered some of the most destructive in all of American history. Though 2017 was generally marked as the worst year on record for the state’s wildfires, some think the total casualties from the current calendar year may be higher. [Slate / April Glaser]
A landmark border crossing in the bitter feud between Cyprus and Turkey
- New border crossings opened for the first time in eight years between the Greek and Turkish sides in Cyprus, a landmark decision that could be followed by peaceful negotiations over the nation’s divisive territorial disputes. [Greek Reporter / Nick Kampouris]
- UN peacekeepers have patrolled a buffer zone since hostilities between the island’s two sides ceased in 1974. Though the Republic of Cyprus is recognized as a sovereign state, its northern part is under a Turkish de facto administration and guarded by Turkey’s armed forces. [BBC]
- Greek Cypriots have long hoped to reclaim the land first taken over by the British and now controlled by Ankara. However, the common view in the past decade has been that a de facto partition is permanent and a deal for reunification will never be drawn due to substantial territorial disagreements. [NYT / Sewell Chan]
- An ad for Trumpy Bear, a stuffed toy sporting Trump’s signature comb-over and a secret pocket that reveals an American flag blanket, aired on Fox News. Now people are questioning if it’s real. [Huffington Post / Jenna Amatulli]
- Fifteen years after being booed by Academy members and guests at the Oscars ceremony, documentary filmmaker Michael Moore was given the chance to finish his speech on George W. Bush’s war on Iraq. [A.V. Club / Sam Barsanti]
- Stan Lee, the visionary behind the Marvel comic book franchise, died Monday. He was 95 years old. [Entertainment Tonight / Josh Boone]
- Canada is rolling out a new $10 bill featuring a portrait of Viola Desmond, the woman who launched a civil rights movement after she refused to leave the whites-only section of a movie theater. [Global News via the Canadian Press / Alex Cooke]
“I’m gonna tattoo this to my forehead.” [After actor Mark Hamill unknowingly quotes an Ariana Grande song lyric, the pop star tweets about the event / Mashable]
Watch this: Jazz deconstructed: John Coltrane’s “Giant Steps”
Why this classic jazz song is so legendary. [YouTube / Estelle Caswell]
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