California blaze spawns fire tornado


California blaze spawns fire tornado

SAN FRANCISCO

A deadly Northern California wildfire burned so hot in dry and windy conditions that it birthed a record-breaking tornado of flame, officials said Friday.

They also warned of worsening conditions throughout the region.

Winds in the “fire whirl” created July 26 near Redding reached speeds of 143 mph, a speed that rivaled some of the most destructive Midwest tornados, National Weather Service meteorologist Duane Dykema said. The whirl uprooted trees and tore roofs from homes, Dykema said.

The whirl measured a 3 on the 5-level Enhanced Fujita scale, which scientists use to classify the strength of tornados, he said. California has not recorded a tornado of that strength since 1978.

Senate Democrats to begin meeting with Kavanaugh

WASHINGTON

After weeks of refusing to meet with Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, Democrats in the Senate plan to begin meeting with him when they start returning to Washington in mid-August, a senior Democratic aide said Friday.

The aide said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the top Democrat on the Judiciary Committee tasked with having hearings for Kavanaugh, will be among those meeting with him.

Only one Democratic senator, Joe Manchin of West Virginia, has met with Kavanaugh as lawmakers sparred over access to records from the nominee’s time as White House staff secretary under President George W. Bush.

Astronauts picked for SpaceX, Boeing capsule test flights

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla.

NASA on Friday assigned the astronauts who will ride the first commercial capsules into orbit next year and bring crew launches back to the U.S.

SpaceX and Boeing are shooting for a test flight of their capsules by the end of this year or early next, with the first crews flying from Cape Canaveral, Fla., by next spring or summer.

Nine astronauts were named to ride the SpaceX Dragon and Boeing Starliner capsules – five on the first crew flights and four on the second round of missions to the International Space Station.

“For the first time since 2011, we are on the brink of launching American astronauts on American rockets from American soil,” said NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine, who made the introductions at Johnson Space Center.

US appeals court upholds California bullet stamping law

SAN FRANCISCO

A California requirement that new models of semi-automatic handguns stamp identifying information on bullet casings when fired is a “real-world solution” to help solve gun crimes, a divided U.S. appeals court said Friday in a decision that upheld the novel law.

The stamping requirement and two measures intended to make guns safer did not violate the 2nd Amendment because they left plenty of firearms for sale in California and were reasonable to further the state’s goal of keeping people safe, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said in a 2-1 decision.

Gun-rights advocates had argued that manufacturers didn’t have the technology to implement the stamping requirement, so the law was effectively a ban on the sale of new guns in the state.

Associated Press

Don't Miss a Story

Sign up for our newsletter to receive daily news directly in your inbox.