In our news wrap Friday, Oregon's Bootleg Fire — the largest of dozens of wildfires now burning in the U.S.— became so intense that fire crews had to pull back overnight for their own safety. Russia warned that the U.S. military withdrawal from Afghanistan is causing chaos across the wider region. A federal judge in Texas found the DACA program was created illegally by former President Obama.
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In the day's other news: Britain reported 51,000 new cases of COVID-19, the most since January.
And the country's top medical adviser warned that hospitalizations could reach what he called quite scary levels. For now, however, England is set to scrap almost all COVID restrictions on Monday. Scotland and Wales will keep mask mandates in place for now.
Devastating floods across Western Germany and Belgium claimed more victims today, at least 125 dead, with hundreds still unaccounted for. Thousands more have been forced to flee after what would typically be two months of rainfall falling in two days in some places.
We will take a closer look after the news summary.
In the Western U.S., an inferno in Southeast Oregon destroyed nearly 200 homes and outbuildings overnight and threatens 5,000 more. The Bootleg Fire is the largest of dozens of wildfires now burning in the U.S. It is so intense that fire crews had to pull back overnight for their own safety.
Russia warned today that the U.S. military pullout from Afghanistan is causing chaos across the wider region. The warning came at a conference in Uzbekistan. American envoy Zalmay Khalilzad acknowledged that Taliban forces have captured dozens of Afghan districts, and he called for a cease-fire.
Zalmay Khalilzad, U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan Conciliation: The speed with which and the amount of territory that they have acquired is unexpected. But I believe that there is no military solution, despite the progress that the Talibs have made. For the war to end, there has to be a political agreement.
Separately, a Reuters news photographer, Danish Siddiqui, was killed today in fighting between Afghan troops and Taliban fighters along the Pakistan border.
His images of Rohingya refugees in Myanmar won a Pulitzer Prize in 2018. He also covered protests in Hong Kong and unrest in India. Danish Siddiqui was 38 years old.
Back in this country, a federal judge in Texas found the DACA program was created illegally by then-President Obama. It bars deportations of those brought into the U.S. illegally as children. The ruling does not affect the 650,000 people who are already protected under DACA, at least for now. It does block approval of new applications.
Federal prosecutors in California have charged two men with plotting to blow up the Democratic Party's state headquarters in Sacramento. They allegedly planned to attack a string of Democratic targets after the 2020 presidential election.
And on Wall Street today, stocks gave ground as tech companies and banks led the way lower. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 299 points to close at 34687. The Nasdaq fell nearly 116 points. The S&P 500 slipped 32.