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Wildfire progress in SoCal...Taliban gains...Zika battle



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PHELAN, Calif. (AP) — A massive and ferocious wildfire in Southern California is beginning to yield to firefighters. The blaze was 40 percent contained by the end of Friday and many evacuees were allowed to return to their homes in the city of Phelan. But officials also released the latest damage estimates -- 96 homes and 213 outbuildings.

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — The Taliban have gained some ground in northeastern Afghanistan, seizing a district in Kunduz province today. Mohammadullah Bahej, spokesman for the provincial police chief, said the insurgents launched attacks from different directions on the district headquarters in Khan Abad. He says security forces are planning an operation to retake the area.

MIAMI (AP) — Local officials and business leaders in South Florida say they're optimistic the Zika outbreak will have only a minor, long-term impact on tourism. Transmission of the virus via mosquito has been confirmed in two sites in Miami-Dade County. Gov. Rick Scott has directed Florida's health department to offer mosquito spraying and related services at no cost to Miami-Dade County's hotels, restaurants and tourist attractions.

DENHAM SPRINGS, La. (AP) — It's not just the physical damage of the south Louisiana floods that's causing issues. Mental scars are already showing on the youngest victims of a disaster that prompted more than 30,000 rescues and left an estimated 40,000 homes damaged. Children who endured harrowing rescues are returning to homes filled with ruined possessions, damaged schools and daycare centers that are closed indefinitely. Gov. John Bel Edwards announced that FEMA will start paying for hotel rooms for many storm victims.

PHOENIX (AP) — A federal judge has ruled that another judge has ruled another judge will decide whether metro Phoenix Sheriff Joe Arpaio (ahr-PY'-oh) should be held in criminal contempt for prolonging his immigration patrols after a halt was ordered. U.S. District Judge Murray Snow says there is also probable cause to believe Arpaio intentionally failed to turn over records that he had promised, under oath, to give to the court.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

The Associated Press

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