Damage from Yosemite fire assessed

Sacramento, Calif.

Damage from Yosemite fire assessed

As a gigantic wildfire in and around Yosemite National Park entered its fourth week Saturday, environmental scientists moved in to begin assessing the damage and protecting habitat and waterways before the fall rainy season.

Members of the federal Burned Area Emergency Response team were hiking the rugged Sierra Nevada terrain even as thousands of firefighters were battling the blaze, now the third-largest wildfire in modern California history.

Federal officials have amassed a team of 50 scientists, more than twice what is usually deployed to assess wildfire damage. With so many people assigned to the job, they hope to have a preliminary report in two weeks so remediation can start before the first storms, a spokesman said.

Team members are working to identify areas at the highest risk for erosion into streams, the Tuolumne River and the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir, San Francisco's water supply.

Cambodia

Election board ratifies win by ruling party

Cambodia's government-appointed election board has ratified the victory of Prime Minister Hun Sen's ruling party in July's parliamentary balloting.

The results announced on state television today handed 68 National Assembly seats to Hun Sen's Cambodian People's Party and 55 to the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party.

The opposition has contested the outcome of the July 28 election, but its legal challenges were rejected. It has threatened street protests and a boycott of the assembly unless its demand for an independent inquiry is met.

New York

Suspect charged in shooting of baby

A man who allegedly shot a 1-year-old boy to death in his stroller on a Brooklyn street was held without bail Saturday on a charge of second-degree murder.

Daquan Breland, 23, pleaded not guilty at his arraignment. Police say the child's father was the target, and the Sept. 1 shooting may have been gang-related.

Elsewhere

Tunisia: Tens of thousands of Tunisians on Saturday called for the resignation of the Islamist-led government in one of the largest opposition demonstrations to date. The opposition says the government has failed to ensure security or manage the economy.

Libya: Prime Minister Ali Zidan faced increasing calls for his ouster on Saturday as strikes by government employees at oil export terminals have cost the North African country more than $5 billion in losses. Zidan has struggled to reign in tribal feuds, disgruntled employees and renegade militias fueling the crisis.

Israel: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Saturday he was "unimpressed" that new Iranian President Hasan Rouhani issued greetings for the Jewish New Year last week on Twitter. "The Iranian regime will be judged only by its actions and not by its greetings," he said.

Somalia: Two bombings killed 15 people Saturday at a popular restaurant in Mogadishu, the Somali capital, the latest in a series of attacks that have undercut security gains, officials said.

Times wires

Damage from Yosemite fire assessed 09/07/13 [Last modified: Sunday, September 8, 2013 12:07am]

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