Monday morning news: November 12, 2018


Wildfire cause death and destruction in California » Fast spreading wildfires in California have killed at least 25 people. And that death toll is likely to rise.  

More than 8,000 firefighters spent the weekend battling three large fires burning in Northern and Southern California.

The worst of the blazes was up north in the Sierra Nevada foothills. It started small on Thursday, but wind gusts of 50 miles an hour fueled the fire and drove flames through the town of Paradise, consuming almost everything in its path.

AUDIO: 6,453 single family residence destroyed. 

Captain Steve Kaufman with Cal Fire.

27,000 people lived in the town which now lays in smouldering ruins. The so-called Camp fire is now the most destructive in state history. Officials are blaming that fire for 23 confirmed deaths as of Sunday.

The sheriff’s department compiled a list of another 110 people unaccounted for. Officials are hoping many are safe but simply have been unable to contact their loved ones yet.

Farther south, the Woolsey fire has forced residents to evacuate almost 170,000 homes near Los Angeles. Ventura County Fire Chief Mark Lorenzen offered this plea on Sunday…  

LORENZEN: We do not want to have to go in to protect lives, but we will. Please heed all of the public safety officials out there and listen, and we ask you to leave, please leave. 

All told, an estimated 300,000 people statewide were under evacuation orders as of last night.


Florida recounts underway » Officials in Florida have begun re-counting millions of votes cast in last Tuesday’s election to decide the state’s next governor and U.S. senator.

The Florida secretary of state ordered recounts on Saturday. By state law, if the winner’s margin of victory is less than one half of one percent, the votes must be recounted.

Republican Ron DeSantis appeared to have edged out Democrat Andrew Gillum in the governor’s race. In fact Gillum conceded on Tuesday night, but…

GILLUM: I am replacing my words of concession with an uncompromised and unapologetic call that we count every single vote.

Votes in the governor’s race will be recounted by machines. The final tally is due 3 p.m. Thursday.

But the margin in the Senate race between Republican Governor Rick Scott and Democratic incumbent Senator Bill Nelson is smaller than two-tenths of one percent. That means some of those ballots will have to be recounted by hand and won’t be due back until Sunday.

Governor Scott told Fox News…

SCOTT: Every supervisor of the election has reported their results. I’m up by, I think about 12,500 votes. There’s never been a recount that has changed in Florida or any other state any sort of win like that. So while we’re going through the recount, we won, the citizens of this state won. 

The campaigns have filed multiple lawsuits over the process with both sides accusing the other of trying to steal the election.


World leaders mark Armistice Day in Paris » President Trump joined about 70 world leaders in Paris on Sunday to mark the centenary of the end of the first World War.

French President Emmanuel Macron hosted the event and he used the occasion to warn about the dangers of nationalism with remarks some saw as a swipe at President Trump. Macron said for a country to put its own interests first, above the greater good is the “betrayal of patriotism.” He went on to say of nationalism—quote—“The old demons are rising again, ready to complete their task of chaos and of death.”

If Trump felt singled out by Macron’s remarks, he didn’t show it. He later described the commemoration as “very beautiful.”

AUDIO: [Taps]

After the ceremony, the president spoke at the Suresnes American cemetery outside Paris. And he took a moment to recognize a group of World War II veterans in attendance.

TRUMP: America is forever in debt, and we are forever in your debt. And we really appreciate you being here. 

The Suresnes cemetery contains the remains of more than 1,500 Americans who died in World War I and 24 unknown dead of World War II.


Trump’s asylum order already challenged in court » The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a lawsuit in federal court in San Francisco in effort to stop an order President Trump issued last week. That order would limit asylum claims to immigrants who come to the country legally.

The Trump administration says the president is well within its authority if he determines the restriction to be in the national interest.

The ACLU lawsuit claims the new rules violate the law and put families in danger. The legal challenge asks the judge to stop the new rules from going into effect while the lawsuit is pending.


The Grinch brings cheer to weekend box office » TRAILER: Merry Christmas to you

At the weekend box office, The Grinch kicked off the holiday blockbuster season in a big way.  

TRAILER: I know what to do. I’m going to steal their Christmas.

The animated feature took in $66 million. That bumped Bohemian Rhapsody to second place. The biopic of the rock group Queen took in another $31 million, crossing the $100 million mark overall.  

You can find WORLD’s reviews of current films—along with ratings and content information—at WNG.org/movies.


(AP Photo/Richard Vogel) A firefighting DC-10 makes a fire retardant drop over a wildfire in the mountains near Malibu Canyon Road in Malibu, Calif. on Sunday, Nov. 11, 2018. 

WORLD Radio transcripts are created on a rush deadline. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of WORLD Radio programming is the audio record.

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