Tuesday morning news: November 13, 2018

California wildfires continue to burn » The death toll from the so-called Camp fire in Northern California continues to rise. The wildfire has now claimed at least 42 lives in and around the town of Paradise in the Sierra Nevada foothills.

The dead were found in burned-out cars, in the smoldering ruins of their homes, or next to their vehicles.

Cal Fire Chief Scott Jalbert said with so much dry tinder feeding the flames, there’s only so much firefighters can do.

JALBERT: They’re dealing with 100-150 trees in addition to 30 foot brush. The fuel loading is just tremendous. 

Nearly 230 people remained unaccounted for by the sheriff’s reckoning on Monday, four days after the fire swept over the town of 27,000, practically wiping it off the map.

Meantime, in Southern California, several fires have forced hundreds of thousands of residents to evacuate.

WORLD reporter Angela Lu Fulton is near the Woolsey fire where her parents were among those driven from their homes in the Castle Peak area. She said they saw plumes of smoke in the hills behind their house and quickly evacuated.  

FULTON: Later that evening, we drove back to check up on the house and we could see the entire Castle Peak just covered in flames. It looked like a volcano. It reminded me of Mordor. It was really terrifying. 

Angela Lu Fulton speaking from Pasadena, California. Her family’s home and those around it were spared. But officials have expressed concern strong winds in the area could cause another flare up.

Democrats pad lead in House, pull ahead in AZ U.S. Senate race » Election officials continue to tally votes in numerous races that were too close to call on Election Day last week. WORLD Radio’s Leigh Jones reports.

LEIGH JONES, NEWS EDITOR: Democrat Kyrsten Sinema appears to be the victor in Arizona’s U.S. Senate race. As mail-in ballots are tallied Sinema pulled ahead of Republican Martha McSally by more than 30,000 votes. The Associated Press called the race for Sinema last night.

Assuming her lead holds, Democrats would have 47 seats in the upper chamber. That means unless the recount in Florida’s tight U.S. Senate race reverses the results there, Republicans will have at least a 52-seat majority.

One other Senate race remains undecided. Mississippi will hold a runoff election on November 27th.

Meanwhile, Democrats continue to pad their newfound majority in the House. Harley Rouda claimed victory this week in California’s 48th Congressional District, unseating a 15-term incumbent Republican Congressman Dana Rohrabacher.

Democrats thus far have gained 32 House seats for a total of 227 compared to the GOP’s 198.

Ten U.S. House races are still undecided.

Reporting for WORLD Radio, I’m Leigh Jones.

Fighting continues in Gaza Strip » Palestinian militants launched dozens of rockets and mortar shells at Israel on Monday while Israeli warplanes bombarded targets throughout the Gaza Strip.

Lt. Colonel Jonathan Conricus of the Israeli Defense Forces said Monday.

CONRICUS: In response to these attacks, the IDF has targeted over 70 military targets belonging to Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist organizations all over the Gaza Strip. 

The fighting appeared to be the most intense in the area since 2014. Palestinian officials said at least three people, including two militants, were killed by Israeli fire. Nine more were wounded.

In Israel, the national rescue service said at least seven people were wounded, including a 19-year-old man who was in critical condition. The fighting followed an overnight security raid in Gaza by the Israeli military.

Last of those kidnapped in Cameroon released » A group that kidnapped nearly 80 students and several adults from a Presbyterian school in Cameroon has freed the final four hostages.

The kidnappers freed 77 boys and girls from the school in Bamenda last Wednesday. Early reports indicated the group was still holding two hostages, but in fact four people remained captive.

It’s still unclear who the kidnappers are. Cameroon’s government blames Anglophone rebels. But the separatists say they are not behind the abductions.

NHL concussion lawsuit » The NHL has reached a tentative settlement agreement with retired players over concussions and other head injuries. WORLD Radio’s Kristen Flavin has more.

KRISTEN FLAVIN, REPORTER: More than 100 former players sued the NHL saying the league failed to better prevent head trauma or warn players of risks while promoting violent play that led to their injuries.

The total value of the potential settlement was not disclosed. It’s expected to be far less than the billion-dollar agreement reached between the NFL and its former players on the same issue. According to a settlement document posted by Forbes last week, the total value is about $19 million.

As part of the deal, the NHL said it would not acknowledge any liability for any of the players’ claims.

Reporting for WORLD Radio, I’m Kristen Flavin.

Marvel Comics creator Stan Lee dies » Comic-book pioneer Stan Lee died Monday. He was 95. Lee was the co-creator of Spider-Man, Hulk, Iron Man and many other beloved Marvel Comics characters.

He made frequent cameo appearances in Marvel Comics movies, like 2007’s Spider-Man 3.

LEE: Ya know, I guess one person can make a difference.

Lee was born Stanley Lieber to Romanian immigrants in New York City. He started at Timely Comics, later renamed Marvel, in 1939. In his first comic publication, he signed his name “Stan Lee” because he didn’t want his real name on something so trivial. He wanted to write the great American novel.

Lee served in the Army during World War II, then returned to the comic book world. He became publisher of Marvel in 1972. Disney bought the company in 2009 for more than $4-billion.

Lee is survived by his daughter, Joan Celia Lee.

(AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu) A firefighter battles a fire along the Ronald Reagan (118) Freeway in Simi Valley, Calif., Monday, Nov. 12, 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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