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California Fire Threatens Yosemite And San Francisco Water Supplies



GROVELAND — Firefighters are still struggling to contain the intense wildfire raging north of Yosemite National Park in California. Some 2,800 firefighters are battling the so-called Rim Fire, which covers 133,980 acres.

Yosemite Park spokesman Tom Medena told CBS News that the fire is edging closer to the source of San Francisco’s famously pure drinking water, known as the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir. Californian Governor Jerry Brown has declared a state of emergency for the city, as the reservoir supplies the city with 85% of its water.

InciWeb (Incident Information System, which monitors fires in the western U.S.) reported that the fire was just seven percent contained. “It remained fairly active overnight in most all divisions,” the website added, and it showed “rapid rates of spread, torching and spotting” on its eastern edge.

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Photo: Elias Funez - Modesto Bee/ZUMA

It “is expected to continue to exhibit very large fire growth due to extremely dry fuels and inaccessible terrain,” according to InciWeb.

The BBC reports that the flames remain 20 miles away from Yosemite’s main tourist area. The park authorities thus have no plans to close as most of it is unaffected by the fire, though areas on the park’s northwestern edge have been closed throughout the week.

Investigators are trying to determine how the fire started Aug. 17 at Stanislaus National Forest, which, along with Yosemite, is the state’s primary natural tourist attraction. The Rim Fire is the most critical of a dozen burning across California.

Reuters video:

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The Demagogue's Biggest Lie: That We Don't Need Politics

Trashing politics and politicians is a classic tool of populists to seduce angry voters, and take countries into quagmires far worse than the worst years of democracy. It's a dynamic Argentina appears particularly vulnerable to.

Photograph of Javier Gerardo Milei making a speech at the end of his campaign.​

October 18, 2023, Buenos Aires: Javier Gerardo Milei makes a speech at the end of his campaign.

Cristobal Basaure Araya/ZUMA
Rodolfo Terragno


BUENOS AIRES - I was 45 years old when I became a politician in Argentina, and abandoned politics a while back now. In 1987, Raúl Alfonsín, the civilian president who succeeded the Argentine military junta in 1983, named me cabinet minister though I wasn't a member of his party, the Radicals, or any party for that matter. I was a historian, had worked as a lawyer, wrote newspapers articles and a book in 1985 on science and technology with chapters on cybernetics, artificial intelligence and genetic engineering.

That book led Alfonsín to ask me to join his government. My belated political career began in fact after I left the ministry and while it proved to be surprisingly lengthy, it is now over. I am currently writing a biography of a molecular biologist and developing a university course on technological perspectives (futurology).

Talking about myself is risky in a piece against 'anti-politics,' or the rejection of party politics. I do so only to make clear that I am writing without a personal interest. I am out of politics, and have never been a member of what Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni calls la casta, "the caste" — i.e., the political establishment.

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