Worsening Wildfire Seasons Tax The Forest Service

This has been one of the worst — and most expensive — wildfire seasons ever in the Northwest, where climate change and a history of suppressing wildfires have created a dangerous buildup of fuels.With fires burning hotter and more intense, there are renewed calls to change how the federal government pays to fight the biggest fires."These large and intense fires are a natural disaster in much the same way a hurricane or a tornado or a flood is," U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says. ...
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Park Service Borrows Drone To Guide Olympic Rainforest Wildfire Fight

Multiple times this summer, the sighting of a wayward hobbyist drone has grounded aerial firefighting aircraft at Western wildfires. But unmanned aircraft have the potential to be useful at wildfires too.
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A police officer was shot and killed in a suburb north of Chicago this morning and local and federal authorities are now conducting a manhunt for three suspects.

The officer radioed to dispatchers that he was going to check on suspicious activity around 8 a.m. local time in the city of Fox Lake, Lake County sheriff's office spokesman Christopher Covelli said at a news conference. The officer, who has not yet been identified, then said he was in a "foot pursuit," before losing contact.

The Islamist militant group al-Shabab ambushed a base for African Union peacekeepers in southern Somalia early Tuesday.

The base, some 60 miles south of the Somali capital Mogadishu, is the second to be attacked this summer by the al-Qaida-linked militant group, NPR's Gregory Warner tells our Newscast unit. He says it raises questions about the success of the eight-year peacekeeping mission.

Trying to divine what the future holds is an ancient human preoccupation. And for centuries, soothsayers have sought answers in the bottom of a teacup.

Amy Taylor was 18 when she stumbled into the practice of reading tea leaves. Now 46 and a professional tea-leaf reader, she remembers looking into her stepsister's teacup at a Toronto restaurant, and saying, "Oh, that's funny, that looks like a tree." She says she looked at all of her family's cups that night, and saw things in all of them. "I just thought that was really odd," she says.

Ever since the U.S. and its partners finalized the nuclear deal with Iran in July, Secretary of State John Kerry has tried to downplay what diplomats call the possible military dimensions of Iran's nuclear program.

"We're not fixated on Iran specifically accounting for what they did at one point in time or another. We know what they did," Kerry said this summer. "We have absolute knowledge with respect to the certain military activities they were engaged in. What we're concerned about is going forward."

For novelist Jonathan Franzen, writing isn't just an escape from himself, it's an "escape from everything." He tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross, "It's like having this dream that you can go back to, kind of on demand. When it's really going well ... you're in a fantasy land and feeling no pain."

At a festival on the Danish island of Fyn, Claus Holm, a fast-talking Danish celebrity chef, is sniffing and mixing into a pot of stew an ingredient he calls "totally forbidden." It's cream, and it expires today.

Danes' increasing willingness to buy and consume items like just-expired dairy products has helped make them, arguably, the world champions in the fight against food waste. According to a recent report from the Danish government, Danes now throw away 25 percent less food than they did five years ago.

In a resolution that could have wide effects, California's prison system has agreed to change how it handles solitary confinement — and to review the cases of nearly 3,000 prisoners who are currently in solitary. The changes are part of the terms of a newly settled class-action lawsuit.

As part of the settlement, the state is agreeing to a central demand of the plaintiffs: to stop placing inmates in solitary confinement solely because of a gang affiliation.

"Lawyers for the prisoners say more than 1,500 people could be moved out of solitary," NPR's Carrie Johnson reports.

Russian tabloids and TV channels had a field day this week with newly released pictures of President Vladimir Putin working out at a gym with his prime minister.

About 25 to 30 percent of people prescribed statins dump them within a year. I flunked Lipitor after a few wretched months.

Statins are prescribed to lower cholesterol in people who show risk factors for cardiovascular disease or diabetes, or who already have them. Side effects can include muscle weakness, diabetes onset and, rarely, permanent muscle damage. These risks are higher in women, with age, and with certain heart and blood pressure drugs.

Police in Thailand have arrested a second foreign man — who Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha said is the main suspect — in connection with the deadly Bangkok bombing on Aug. 17, Michael Sullivan reports for NPR.

Prayuth told reporters the man arrested Tuesday was taken into custody in eastern Thailand, near the border with Cambodia, and that the suspect may have been attempting to flee the country, Sullivan reports.

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