The Latest: Southern California buildings burned top 400
PARADISE, Calif. (AP) — Authorities picking their way through burned-out neighborhoods say a Southern California wildfire has now destroyed at least 435 buildings, most of them homes.
The new figures released Monday evening come as a wildfire continues to burn its way through scenic but drought-stricken canyonlands in and around Malibu, where celebrity homes have burned along with modest mobile homes.
Fire officials say the immense fire, which stretches from north of Los Angeles to the Pacific Ocean, is only 30 percent contained — although that is significant progress from only a few days earlier.
Fire crews also had to stamp out two new smaller fires.
Thousands of homes are still at risk, and forecasters expect gusty Santa Ana winds that drove the flames to continue into Wednesday.
A week later, Democrats’ midterm success sinking in
NEW YORK (AP) — No it wasn’t a blue wave. But a week after the voting, Democrats are riding higher than they thought on Election Night.
As vote counting presses on in several states, the Democrats have steadily chalked up victories across the country, firming up their grip on the U.S. House of Representatives and statehouses. The slow roll of wins has given the party plenty to celebrate.
Democrats picked up at least 32 seats in the House of Representatives — and lead in four more — in addition to flipping 7 governorships and 8 state legislative chambers. They are on track to lose perhaps two seats in the Senate.
Taken together, the results in the first nationwide election of the Trump presidency represent the Democratic Party’s best midterm performance since Watergate.
The Latest: UN, Egypt working to end Gaza fighting
JERUSALEM (AP) — The United Nations says it is working with Egypt to broker an end to the latest round of fighting in Gaza.
The office of the U.N.’s Mideast envoy, Nickolay Mladenov, said Monday that efforts were underway “to ensure that Gaza steps back from the brink.”
It called for an end to rocket fire, and for restraint “by all.”
Palestinians militants fired dozens of rockets and mortar shells at southern Israel on Monday, as the Israeli military responded with a wave of airstrikes. The violence was triggered by a botched Israeli military raid in Gaza on Sunday in which seven Palestinian militants and an Israeli officer were killed.
Roger Stone associate expects to be charged in Mueller probe
WASHINGTON (AP) — An associate of longtime Trump confidant Roger Stone says he expects to be indicted by a federal grand jury in the special counsel’s Russia investigation.
Conservative conspiracy theorist Jerome Corsi said on his YouTube show Monday that negotiations fell apart with special counsel Robert Mueller’s team and he expects to be charged with making false statements in the coming days.
Mueller’s team has questioned Corsi as part of an investigation into Stone’s connections with WikiLeaks during the 2016 presidential election. American intelligence agencies have assessed that Russia hacked the emails of Democratic groups, including Hillary Clinton’s campaign, and provided that material to WikiLeaks for release.
Corsi was formally the Washington bureau chief of the conspiracy theory outlet InfoWars.
ELECTION 2018-FLORIDA-THE LATEST
The Latest: Gillum angry about emailed votes, Trump tweet
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum has expressed outrage that some voters in hurricane-ravaged Bay County had been allowed to vote by email against state rules.
Gillum spoke Monday evening at an African-American church in Boynton Beach.
Elections Supervisor Mark Andersen in heavily Republican Bay County told the Miami Herald earlier on Monday that he allowed about 150 people to cast ballots by email, which is illegal under state law.
“These are the stories that we know,” Gillum said. “Imagine the ones that we don’t.”
President Donald Trump tweeted earlier Monday that the election should be called for Gillum’s Republican opponent, Ron DeSantis, and Gov. Rick Scott, who is running for U.S. Senate. Trump said an honest vote count is no longer possible.
Gillum disagreed with the tweet, saying, “Not one supervisor, not one governor, not one president — if that’s what we want to call him— should be able to take away our sense of hope.”
Gillum questioned the Republicans’ rush to stop counting votes when the new governor won’t be sworn in until January.
Bishops will delay votes on steps to combat sex abuse crisis
BALTIMORE (AP) — In an abrupt change of plans, the president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops opened the group’s national meeting Monday by announcing it will delay for at least several months any action on proposed new steps to address the clergy sex abuse crisis that is rocking the church.
Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston said Monday that the delay was requested by the Vatican, which asked that the U.S. bishops wait until after a Vatican-convened global meeting on sex abuse in February.
DiNardo told the U.S. bishops that “I remain hopeful that this additional consultation will ultimately improve our response to the crisis we face.”
They are meeting through Wednesday in Baltimore and had been expected to consider several steps to combat abuse, including a new code of conduct for themselves.
A universe of flawed heroes: Stan Lee was ahead of his time
Stan Lee, who died Monday, could easily be dismissed as thewisecracking grandpa of the American comic book, a past-his-prime gimmick who cameoed alongside Earth’s angstiest superheroes in the high-grossing Marvel blockbusters of the past decade.
But he was far more than that.
It’s no stretch to say that Lee helped redraw the world of American fiction. And he certainly made sure everyone knew it.
From the ashes of pulp magazines and the radioactive raw material of postwar uncertainty about science and power, he summoned — not singlehandedly, but certainly without parallel or peer — a textured, self-sustaining universe of imperfect heroes.
The father of Marvel presented comic-book America with a pantheon of deeply flawed protagonists.
They are schmoes who inadvertently, or negligently, wandered into the traffic of destiny.
Ohtani wins AL Rookie of the Year; Acuna wins NL honor
NEW YORK (AP) — Los Angeles Angels two-way star Shohei Ohtani has been voted American League Rookie of the Year after becoming the first player since Babe Ruth with 10 homers and four pitching wins in the same season.
Atlanta Braves outfielder Ronald Acuna Jr. was an overwhelming pick for the National League honor, easily beating Washington outfielder Juan Soto.
Ohtani, a 24-year-old right-hander who joined the Angels last winter after five seasons with Japan’s Nippon Ham Fighters, received 25 first-place votes and four seconds for 137 points from the Baseball Writers’ Association of America in balloting announced Monday.
A pair of New York Yankees infielders followed. Miguel Andujar was second with five firsts and 89 points, and Gleyber Torres was next with 25 points.
Ohtani was 4-2 with a 3.31 ERA and 63 strikeouts over 51 2/3 innings in 10 starts, limited by a torn elbow ligament that required surgery on Oct. 1 and likely will prevent him from pitching next year. As a designated hitter, he batted .285 with 22 homers and 61 RBIs and a .925 OPS in 367 plate appearances. He became the first player with 15 homers as a batter and 50 strikeouts as a pitcher in the same season.
Ohtani is the first Japanese player to win the honor since Seattle’s Ichiro Suzuki in 2001.
Andujar hit .297 with 27 homers and 92 RBIs in 149 games. The 23-year-old third baseman set a Yankees rookie record with 47 doubles, three more than Joe DiMaggio in 1936, and tied the AL rookie mark for doubles set by Boston’s Fred Lynn in 1975.
Torres, 21, began the season at Triple-A after missing the second half of 2017 with a torn ligament in his non-throwing arm. The second baseman made his big league debut April 22 and hit .271 with 24 homers and 77 RBIs.
The 20-year-old Acuna received 27 first-place votes and three seconds for 144 points. Soto got two firsts and 89 points, and Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Walker Buehler was next with one firsts and 28 points.
Acuna started the season at Triple-A and made his debut on April 25, the youngest player in the majors then at 20 years, 128 days. The Venezuelan hit .293 with 26 homers, 64 RBIs and 16 steals with a .917 OPS. He set a Braves record with eight leadoff homers this season and tied a franchise mark by homering in five straight games from Aug. 11-14.
Soto debuted on May 20 at 19 years, 207 days, although in a quirk the Dominican is credited with a home run from five days before his debut — he went deep on June 18 against the New York Yankees in the completion of the May 15 suspended game. Soto hit .292 with 22 homers, 70 RBIs and a .923 OPS.
Buehler, a 23-year-old right-hander, was 8-5 with a 2.62 ERA in 23 starts and one relief appearance.
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US trial to tell epic tale of Mexican drug lord “El Chapo”
NEW YORK (AP) — A U.S. jury is set to hear an epic tale about the notorious Mexican drug lord known as “El Chapo.”
Opening statements at the trial of Joaquin Guzman are to begin Tuesday morning in a New York City courtroom under tight security.
The evidence will include the testimony of more than a dozen cooperating witnesses who prosecutors say are risking retribution by taking the stand. There also will be evidence about multiple murders committed in drug wars in Mexico, about cocaine smuggled in jalapenos cans and Guzman’s brazen escapes from jail.
His arrest and extradition to New York City shook up Mexico’s drug underworld and remains a big story there.
He could face life in prison if convicted of drug-trafficking charges. His lawyers say he’s being framed by the cooperators.
DRUG CRISIS-SPIRITUAL SPECIALISTS
Spiritual first responders hit the streets amid drug crisis
Some clergy members have become spiritual first responders in the opioid crisis.
In Newburgh, New York, it means Catholic friars leading sidewalk prayers. In New Bedford, Massachusetts, it means pleas to struggling souls to surrender to God. And in Winchester, Virginia, it means funerals for members of their flock who didn’t make it.
Though their faiths differ, the clergy approach people with addictions as equals. No Bible-thumping, no blaming. Quite a few are in recovery themselves. They want troubled souls to seek treatment and take comfort in faith.
The work means trips to hospital rooms and fresh graves. But clergy say there are flashes of light in the darkness, too.