Crews tackle Wildfires in north, south
Crews scrambled Thursday to corral a wildfire that burned two homes in Southern California and threatened hundreds of others as an older, larger blaze endangered more homes in rural Northern California. A blaze that erupted before noon prompted the mandatory evacuation of 200 homes in central San Diego County near the mountain town of Julian. Firefighters attacked the 150-acre blaze in the air and on the ground. The fire destroyed two homes and an outbuilding and was 15 percent contained, state fire Capt. Kendal Bortisser said. Meanwhile, the fire in Northern California's Napa County grew to more than 6.5 square miles as the fire raced uphill. The blaze had scorched more than 4,300 acres by its third day, state fire spokesman Daniel Berlant said. It has damaged nine structures, including the two homes.
House drops trip reporting change
In an abrupt retreat, the House Ethics Committee said Thursday that it was dropping changes it had made in how lawmakers publicly report trips they take that are financed by interest groups. The bipartisan panel said House members will have to continue filing brief information about privately financed trips in the public reports they file annually on their personal finances. Just Tuesday, news organizations reported that the ethics committee would no longer require that information on those forms.
Clashes occur on Morsi anniversary
Police and soldiers clamped a tight security lid on sensitive sites in the capital and elsewhere on Thursday, the one-year anniversary of the overthrow of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi. Scattered clashes between protesters and security forces left at least one demonstrator dead, state media reported. Two other people were reported to have been killed in the town of Kerdasa, a few miles outside Cairo. Both were suspected militants who were apparently preparing a homemade bomb that went off prematurely, officials said.
President changes military leadership
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko shook up his faltering military Thursday. He won quick approval for his choice of former top police official Valery Heletey as defense minister, replacing Mikhailo Koval. He also tapped Lt. Gen. Viktor Muzhenko as chief of the military's general staff and Yury Kosyuk, an agriculture magnate and one of Ukraine's richest men, to oversee defense issues in the presidential administration and to help "purge the army of thieves and grafters."
Washington: A new study says that Gliese 581 g, a planet outside our solar system thought to be in the so-called Goldilocks zone, is not even a real planet, but a cosmic masquerade.
Honduras: An official withdrew his report that eight miners had been rescued from a small, wildcat gold mine in southern Honduras, saying late Thursday that all 11 men were still trapped after a cave-in the previous day.
Afghanistan: The European Union called on Thursday for a more extensive investigation into allegations of irregularities in Afghanistan's presidential election, citing "highly worrying indications of potentially widespread fraud."