In our news wrap Monday, coastal North and South Carolina braced for Hurricane Isaias. The storm is a minimal hurricane but will still challenge residents with another disruption during the coronavirus pandemic. Also, thousands of people in Southern California spent another day under evacuation orders as a wildfire burned east of Los Angeles. It began Friday and exploded in size over the weekend.
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In the day's other news: The Atlantic Coast along the Carolinas braced for the storm named Isaias to strike inland this evening as a minimal hurricane.
Beachgoers made a last visit to the surf, as skies grew cloudy and the sea choppy.
North Carolina's Governor Roy Cooper said, it is yet another challenge for his state.
Gov. Roy Cooper:
Now, I know that North Carolinians have had to dig deep in recent months to tap into our strength and resilience during pandemic. And that hasn't been easy.
But with this storm on the way, we have to dig a little deeper. Lets keep each other safe from the wind and water, as well as from the virus.
States all the way north to Maine are also under storm warnings and watches.
In Southern California, thousands of people spent another day under evacuation orders, as a wildfire burned in mountains east of Los Angeles. It began Friday and exploded in size over the weekend to more than 41 square miles. Crews have been battling in triple-digit heat to contain a small part of the fire.
In Eastern Afghanistan, government forces have retaken a prison after a day-long fight with Islamic State group attackers. At least 39 people were killed. Fighters stormed the prison in Jalalabad, trying to free hundreds of ISIS prisoners. Witnesses described the chaos.
Khan Gul (through translator):
I saw the attackers who walked out of the Corolla cars, and shot the guards of the prison. Then the windows of the nearby buildings exploded over us. I started running away from the area, and then gunfire began.
A provincial official said later that nearly 400 ISIS prisoners were freed in the attack.
Meanwhile, the Taliban said that its chief negotiator and U.S. Secretary of State Pompeo held a video call tonight. He gave no details.
Back in this country, a prosecutor in New York now says that President Trump's tax returns may hold evidence of illegal activity by the Trump Organization. In a court filing, Manhattan district attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. cites public records of — or, rather, public reports of — quote — "extensive and protracted criminal conduct." Vance also says that the investigation goes beyond hush money payments to women.
A federal judge spoke out today for the first time since a gunman killed her son and wounded her husband at her New Jersey home last month. In a video statement, Judge Esther Salas called for protecting the privacy of those on the bench, since their rulings inevitably anger some people.
That comes with the territory, and we accept that. But what we cannot accept is when we are forced to live in fear for our lives because personal information, like our homes addressed, can easily be obtained by anyone seeking to do us or our families harm.
The attacker, who later killed himself, was a lawyer and a self-described anti-feminist. Authorities say he had information on about a dozen other female judges as well.
In economic news, the nation's oldest retailer, Lord & Taylor, is the latest big department store to file for federal bankruptcy protection in the face of pandemic losses. Other new casualties include the company that owns JoS. A. Bank and Men's Wearhouse. In all, dozens of retailers have filed for Chapter 11 protection this year, more than all of last year.
Despite this, on Wall Street, upbeat reports on manufacturing in the U.S. and Europe pushed stocks higher. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 236 points to close at 26664. The Nasdaq rose 157 points, and the S&P 500 was up 23.
A second Major League Baseball team has canceled games due to COVID-19. The Saint Louis Cardinals' four-game series with the Detroit Tigers was put off today. Seven Cardinals players and six staff members have tested positive for the virus. The Miami Marlins also had an outbreak, but are due to resume play tomorrow.
And workers in Paris have begun the four-year job of restoring the huge pipe organ in fire-damaged Notre Dame Cathedral. The process involves dismantling, cleaning and reassembling the instrument and its 8,000 pipes. The 18th century organ survived last year's devastating fire, but is now coated in toxic lead dust.