Thursday morning news: November 22, 2018


California rains bring relief and more danger » Much needed Rainfall in a fire-ravaged area of Northern California is good news for firefighters. But it’s also raising the risk of flash floods, debris flows, and mudslides.

Cal Fire Director Ken Pimlott says they’ll be watching the situation closely over the next couple of days.

PIMLOTT: So our watershed emergency response team has completed initial evaluation, and they’re providing information to the county and local officials about where the impacts could occur. 

National Weather Service meteorologist Johnny Powell says it’s been months since the town of Paradise and the surrounding region has seen substantial rainfall.

POWELL: This is the first one since like mid-April, so this is the first time it’s been raining in like 270-something days.

In addition to safety risks, the rain is complicating search efforts. Officials worry they may never find the remains of some victims of the Camp wildfire as water sweeps away the ashes. At least 81 people died in the flames.

But as of Wednesday the Camp fire was more than 75 percent contained and the rain may finally put it out.


Health officials warn of E. coli outbreak from romaine lettuce » Officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are warning Americans and Canadians to stop eating romaine lettuce after another E. coli outbreak this week. Dozens of people in 11 states and another 18 people in Canada became ill after eating the leafy greens.

Laura Gieraltowski is head of the Foodborne Outbreak Response Team at the CDC. She urged consumers on Wednesday…

GIERALTOWSKI: Check your refrigerators. If you have any kind of romaine lettuce, go ahead and throw it away and don’t eat it. Don’t buy any romaine lettuce or any salad mixes that could contain romaine.

Infections from E. coli can cause severe stomach cramping, diarrhea, and vomiting.

FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said on Tuesday the agency doesn’t have enough information about the source of the contamination to issue a recall. But he suggested supermarkets and restaurants to stop selling romaine lettuce for now.

Restaurant owner Lee Goodfriend said she got the alert in the middle of her lunch rush.

GOODFRIEND: I panicked. Then I ran around and took salads off people’s plates and told them they had to get something else, and we pulled all the romaine out of the restaurant. 

An E. coli outbreak caused by romaine lettuce earlier this year originated in Yuma, Arizona, and stemmed from tainted irrigation water. It sickened about 200 people and killed five. No deaths have been reported from the current outbreak.


Chief Justice Roberts responds Trump remark about federal judge » Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts is pushing back against a remark President Trump made about a federal judge. WORLD Radio’s Sarah Schweinsberg reports.

SARAH SCHWEINSBERG, REPORTER: The president lamented a ruling this week by District Judge Jon Tigar. That decision halted an executive order blocking asylum claims for migrants who enter the country illegally.

The president said of Tigar, who was appointed under the previous administration—quote—“This was an Obama judge.”

But in a statement Wednesday, Chief Justice Roberts said the U.S. does not have “Obama judges or Trump judges, Bush judges or Clinton judges.”

He went on to say an “independent judiciary is something we should all be thankful for.”

The president fired back on his Twitter account Wednesday saying: “Sorry Chief Justice John Roberts, but you do indeed have ‘Obama judges.’ He went on to say “It would be great if the 9th Circuit was indeed an “independent judiciary.” But, he suggested, it’s not, and that’s why its rulings are often overturned.

Reporting for WORLD Radio, I’m Sarah Schweinsberg.


Mutilation case » A federal judge has declared a law barring mutilation of female genitalia is unconstitutional.

The ruling effectively dismisses many charges against a pair of doctors in Michigan and six other people who allegedly subjected young girls to the cutting procedure. The defendants are part of Muslim sect that considers the mutilation a religious rite of passage.

U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman called the practice “despicable,” but said Congress overstepped its authority in passing the two-decade old federal law. Friedman said it’s a matter for states to regulate.

Twenty states have laws that define the practice as a criminal offense.


Missionary killed by remote Indian tribe » An isolated Indian tribe often hostile to outsiders has killed an American Christian missionary from Alabama. WORLD Radio’s Paul Butler has that story.

PAUL BUTLER, REPORTER: Indian police identified the missionary Wednesday as 26-year-old John Allen Chau. He reportedly paid local fishermen to help him get to North Sentinel Island, part of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands in the eastern Indian Ocean.

As many as 150 tribesmen live there, and it is illegal to visit the island. The Sentinelese tribesmen shot arrows at Chau once he set foot on the island on Saturday. Local police said they arrested seven fishermen for helping Chau make the trip.

Reuters reports that before traveling to the island, Chau wrote that he was—quote—“doing this to establish the kingdom of Jesus on the island. Do not blame the natives if I am killed.”

Reporting for WORLD Radio, I’m Paul Butler.


(AP Photo/Noah Berger, File) In this Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018 file photo, firefighters battle the Camp Fire as it tears through Paradise, Calif. 

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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