Egypt extends state of emergency
Egypt’s interim president on Thursday extended a nationwide state of emergency for two more months, citing continued security concerns, as a senior Egyptian official warned of more terrorist attacks in the wake of a failed assassination attempt against the interior minister and suicide bombings in the Sinai Peninsula.
The nearly month-old state of emergency, which is due to expire within days, preserves greater powers for security forces amid a crackdown on supporters of ousted President Mohammed Morsi and increasing violence by Islamic militants. It was first declared in mid-August after authorities cleared two protest encampments of Morsi supporters, unleashing violence that claimed the lives of nearly 1,000 in subsequent days.
Calif. bill: Minimum wage would be $10
California’s minimum wage would rise to $10 an hour within three years under a bill that is all but certain to head to Gov. Jerry Brown on Thursday, giving the state one of the highest rates in the nation.
Washington state currently has the top minimum wage at $9.19 an hour, an amount that is pegged to rise with inflation. Some cities, including San Francisco, have slightly higher minimum wages.
The bill would raise California’s minimum wage gradually from the current $8 an hour to $10 by 2016.
Hawaii to let nature clean molasses spill
Officials responding to a spill of 1,400 tons of molasses in Hawaii waters plan to let nature clean things up, with boat crews collecting thousands of dead fish to determine the extent of environmental damage.
The crews already have collected about 2,000 dead fish from waters near Honolulu Harbor, and they expect to see more in the coming days and possibly weeks, said Gary Gill, deputy director of the Hawaii Department of Health.
California wildfire destroys 68 homes
In the hours before fire crews were able to corral a wildfire in rural far Northern California, wind-driven flames fueled by dry grass and brush tore through communities at an estimated 500 acres an hour, giving residents just minutes to grab what they could and escape.
Sixty-eight residences were destroyed, officials said Thursday, nearly doubling the initial estimate of home losses in Shasta County from the Clover Fire, which began three days earlier around the community of Igo about 150 miles north of Sacramento. Authorities warned that the number could rise further.
Life sentence for teen who killed baby
A Georgia teen convicted of fatally shooting a baby in a stroller was sentenced Thursday to spend the rest of his life in prison with no chance of parole after the grieving mother asked a judge to punish the gunman for taking “the love of my life.”
De’Marquise Elkins, 18, stood silent and showed no emotion as he was sentenced in a courtroom less than two weeks after a jury found him guilty of murder in the slaying of 13-month-old Antonio Santiago during a robbery attempt.
The baby was in his stroller and out for a walk with his mother when he was shot between the eyes March 21 in the Georgia coastal city of Brunswick. West and a younger teenager charged as an accomplice both testified at trial that Elkins killed the baby after his mother refused to give up her purse.