News Wrap: Caldor Fire intensifies, prompts mass evacuations by Lake Tahoe

In our news wrap Tuesday, nearly 4,000 firefighters in Northern California are racing to defend the Lake Tahoe resort area from the massive Caldor Fire. Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf issued a mask mandate for all public and private schools and child care facilities in the state. Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam granted posthumous pardons to seven Black men executed in 1951 for the rape of a white woman.

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  • Judy Woodruff:

    In the day's other news: Nearly 4,000 firefighters in Northern California are racing to defend the Lake Tahoe resort area from the massive Caldor Fire.

    The raging inferno is just 16 percent contained, and has destroyed nearly 700 structures. Traffic out of the area was heavy, as thousands of residents and tourists evacuated.

  • Mike Johnstone, South Lake Tahoe Resident:

    I have a home right in the danger area. And I'm getting out as soon as I secure this area, which is my business that I have had, I don't know, 40 years now.

  • Glen Naasz, South Lake Tahoe Resident:

    It's more out of control than I thought. And I can't believe that California is going to just let the jewel just burn up. I don't see any planes, and I don't see any helicopters.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    Next door, Nevada has also warned its residents near the California state line to prepare for possible evacuations.

    On the pandemic, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf has issued a mask mandate for all public and private schools and child care facilities due to a surge in COVID-19 hospitalizations.

    Meanwhile, in Colorado, all health care workers in assisted living facilities, nursing homes and hospitals must now be vaccinated by the end of October.

    That comes as the White House COVID response coordinator said the nation's vaccination rate is improving.

  • Jeff Zients, White House COVID-19 Response Coordinator:

    Today, we are averaging 900,000. That's an 80 percent increase in the number of shots we are getting into arms each and every day.

    Importantly, we have accelerated the pace of first shots. In August, we got over 14 million. That's almost four million more first shots in August compared to the prior month, July.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    The European Union is also celebrating its progress. The E.U. announced that it's met its goal of fully vaccinating 70 percent of adults in the 27-nation bloc by the end of the summer.

    In Texas, a sweeping GOP bill to rewrite the state's election laws is now headed to the governor's desk. Both the state House and Senate gave it final approval today. The bill will restrict voting hours and empower partisan poll watchers, among other things. Governor Greg Abbott has said he will sign it into law.

    Virginia Governor Ralph Northam granted posthumous pardons today to seven Black men executed in 1951 for the rape of a white woman. He said that, back then, the state's death penalty for rape was almost exclusively applied to Black people. The so-called Martinsville Seven were convicted by all-white juries. Northam abolished Virginia's death penalty in March.

    Jury selection got under way today in the fraud trial for Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes. Her now-defunct Silicon Valley start-up company is accused of deceiving investors and patients by falsely claiming that its technology could run an array of medical tests using just a few drops of blood. She arrived at a federal court in San Jose, California, where around 170 prospective jurors will be interviewed.

    The 37-year-old has pleaded not guilty.

    More top personnel changes at the popular TV game show "Jeopardy." Amid a backlash over past crude comments that executive producer Mike Richards made about women, Jewish people, and others, Sony Pictures television announced Richards' ouster today, and said that he will also no longer be the executive producer of "Wheel of Fortune."

    All this comes more than a week after Richards was dropped as the newly named on-air host of "Jeopardy," after being named to succeed the late Alex Trebek.

    Home prices surged at a record annual pace in June, as homebuyers competed for a limited number of houses. That's according to a leading home price survey out today. Prices spiked more than 19 percent compared to a year earlier. Phoenix, San Diego, and Seattle recorded the biggest jumps.

    And stocks gave up a bit of ground on Wall Street today. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 39 points to close at 35361. The Nasdaq fell nearly seven points and the S&P 500 slipped six.

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