California

Northeast wildfire destroys 8 homes

A pair of wildfires burning without restraint about 8 miles apart in northeast California became the focus of state and federal firefighters Sunday as authorities reported that one of the blazes had destroyed eight homes and prompted the precautionary evacuation of a small long-term care hospital. The two fires, among 14 burning in the state, started within a day of each other in Lassen National Forest and had expanded into private property and scorched 90 square miles as of Sunday, up from 39 square miles a day earlier. California Gov. Jerry Brown to declared a state of emergency Saturday.

 

Maryland

1 dead, 20 sick in drug overdoses

A 20-year-old North Carolina man died and 20 others were hospitalized after a rash of apparent drug overdoses at an electronic music concert in Maryland on Friday night, police said. Tyler Fox Viscardi, of Raleigh, was rushed from the Mad Decent Block Party at Meriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia and was pronounced dead at Howard County General Hospital a short time later, police said. A 17-year-old from Virginia remained in critical condition at the same hospital on Saturday.

 

Syria

8 Lebanese soldiers killed in clashes

Lebanon’s army says eight soldiers have been killed in clashes with Syrian rebels in and around an eastern Lebanese border town. The military’s statement on Sunday updated an earlier toll from fighting that began the day before and was still ongoing, and which marked one of the most serious spillovers of the three-year-old Syrian conflict into the tiny neighboring country.

Afghanistan

Presidential vote audit delayed again

In a new setback to Afghanistan’s troubled presidential election process, plans to resume a suspended full-ballot audit Saturday were abruptly aborted when one of the two finalists refused to participate, instead demanding more changes in the examination aimed at rooting out alleged widespread fraud in the June 14 polling. The move embarrassed U.N. officials, who had just announced confidently that the inspection would begin immediately after three weeks of disputes and delays. Over the weekend, hundreds of international monitors arrived in the Afghan capital to monitor the audit.

 

Ukraine

Army advances on rebel stronghold

Fighting raged on the western outskirts of Donetsk as the advancing Ukrainian army tried to seize control of the rebel stronghold. In danger of being encircled, the separatists renewed their calls for Russia to send troops to their aid. To support their operations, the pro-Russian fighters have been confiscating vehicles and food from residents and businesses in Donetsk. The center of the major industrial city is all but deserted.

 

China

Gang is blamed for deadly violence

Nearly 100 people were killed in recent clashes in the province of Xinjiang, China said, making it the deadliest incident of ethnic unrest in the country since 2009. After days of secrecy shrouding the violence last week in Shache, the official New China News Agency said that 37 civilians were killed by a gang that ambushed vehicles on the main road of the city, near the Tajikistan-Afghanistan border.

news services