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5 things for October 12: No end in sight
The death toll keeps rising, the number of missing remains large and the fires are still raging largely uncontained in California. Twenty-three people have died in the wildfires that have ravaged Northern California's wine country this week. But at least 285 people are still missing, and the weather isn't cooperating at all. High winds and low humidity, coupled with dry conditions, are making it tough for firefighters to get a handle on the blazes. And no rain is in the forecast either. More than 170,000 acres have been scorched and 3,500 structures burned in California by 22 fires.
And stories of heartbreak and survival are starting to emerge. Like the grade-school sweethearts -- married for 75 years -- who perished in the fire. But there's also tales such as the dog in Santa Rosa who saved the lives of her owners.
It's been three weeks since Hurricane Maria slammed into Puerto Rico, and the recovery is going painfully slow. Forty-five people are dead; at least 113 people are missing. A staggering 89% of the island still doesn't have power. Almost half of the island doesn't have phone service, and 43% of Puerto Rico's 313 banks are still closed. Hospitals are running low on medicine and fuel. People have been drinking water from creeks contaminated by dead animals, which has led to at least two people dying from leptospirosis, a disease that spreads when the urine of infected animals gets into drinking water.
Nevertheless, the Trump administration continues to say that things are going well and that the recovery will take some time given the hurricane's magnitude. The acting head of the Department of Homeland Security will make a second trip to the island today. And House Speaker Paul Ryan will lead a bipartisan delegation there on Friday.
The first lawsuit connected to the mass shooting that killed 58 people has been filed as questions continue to swirl about the timeline of events. A California college student who was injured in the shooting sued MGM, which owns Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino and the concert venue that hosted the Route 91 Harvest music festival. The suit asks why MGM didn't notice the behavior of gunman Stephen Paddock and claims it didn't respond quickly enough when Paddock shot a security guard six minutes before the massacre began.
As for the timeline of what happened, Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo said authorities' account of the shooting, which was changed Monday to reflect the fact that the security guard was shot before Paddock opened fire on the concertgoers, could possibly change again as more information becomes available. "Nobody's trying to be nefarious. Nobody's trying to hide anything," Lombardo said.
The Department of Homeland Security is reportedly looking at ways to change the nation's immigration system -- without waiting on Congress. Multiple sources say the department is considering subtle changes that would have big consequences, such as limiting protections for unaccompanied minors who come to the United States illegally, expanding the use of speedy deportation proceedings and tightening visa programs in ways that could limit legal immigration. The Trump administration has asked Congress to OK a tough overhaul of the nation's immigration laws.
The girls can start joining the boys at the campground and on the hiking trail. The board of the Boy Scouts of America voted to allow girls to join its programs. And older girls will be able to earn the prestigious rank of Eagle Scout. The Boy Scouts said it made this decision after numerous requests over the years from girls and their families. The Girl Scouts of America isn't happy about this at all (no surprise) and says no group is better qualified to lead young girls than Girl Scouts. The president of the Girl Scouts has also said that the Boy Scouts are doing this to prop up sliding enrollment numbers.
"This was a different side of a person who I and many others had known in the past."
Hillary Clinton, telling CNN's Fareed Zakaria that she was "sick" and "shocked" at the sex assault allegations against media mogul Harvey Weinstein. The former presidential candidate also said she would donate the money Weinstein gave to her political campaigns to charity.
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The eyes have it
One long table and a pair of giant eyes. That's all you need (plus food and drink) to have a giant picnic down on the border.
Amazon's finally made a waterproof Kindle, because we all need access to reading material, whether under the ocean or in the bathtub.
A true treasure
This Leonardo da Vinci painting of Christ sold for $60 in 1958. It's expected to fetch $100 million at an auction next month. Now that's a nice return on an investment.
A college student accidentally outed herself to her dad on National Coming Out Day, but then she got a bigger surprise.
Actor Craig Robinson dropped the pounds by working out, going vegan and giving up alcohol.
It's almost Halloween, and you know what that means -- dressing up poor helpless dogs in ridiculous costumes. (Click to view.)