In our news wrap Friday, the plague of wildfires across California has now claimed six lives and forced evacuation orders for more than 100,000 people. Some 12,000 firefighters are battling the blazes, pleading with residents to get out of harm’s way. Also, doctors in Russia agreed to let dissident Alexei Navalny, who is in a coma, be taken to Germany for treatment. Supporters say he was poisoned.
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In the day's other news: The pandemic's official death toll in the U.S. reached 175,000, as new data underscored that it may be much higher.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that, nationwide, there were up to 215,000 more deaths than usual through July. The Associated Press reported that half of the victims were people of color.
The plague of wildfires across California has now claimed six lives and forced evacuation orders for more than 100,000 people. Three clusters of fires burned again today in Northern and Central California, threatening thousands of homes.
Firefighters pleaded with people to get out of harm's way.
We do have the evacuations in place, and they're in place for a very good reason, not only for the public safety and the safety of our first responders.
But, with that, when people do stay behind and do try to take matters into their own hands with trying to suppress fires, it creates a bigger issue for our first responders.
One fire has burned within a mile of the University of California-Santa Cruz. Some 12,000 firefighters are battling the fires.
The U.S. Gulf Coast could be facing two big storms next week. Tropical Storm Laura formed in the Eastern Caribbean today, and may reach Florida and the Gulf as a hurricane next week. Another system off Honduras is tracking toward Texas and Louisiana, and may also become a hurricane.
In Iraq today, protests boiled over in the south, in the worst violence since October. Demonstrators in Basra battled police and burned Parliament offices. They demanded the governor resign, after two activists were gunned down in the past week.
Doctors in Russia have agreed to let dissident leader Alexei Navalny be taken to Germany for treatment, after he fell into a coma. Supporters say that he was poisoned. Doctors in the Siberian city of Omsk say they found no poison. They refused at first to let him be flown to Berlin, but later relented.
Anatoly Kalinichenko (through translator):
After multiple requests by the relatives to allow the transportation of the patient, we understand that, nevertheless, there is a certain risk, but the relatives are ready to take those risks.
We have taken a decision that we do not oppose transferring the patient to another clinic.
Navalny's supporters say that the doctors stalled until the poison could no longer be traced.
Back in this country, California's Golden State Killer, Joseph DeAngelo, was sentenced today to life in prison without parole. The former police officer admitted to 26 murders and rapes in the 1970s and '80s in a deal to avoid the death penalty. He is now 74, and was in a wheelchair for today's hearing in Sacramento. He said he was — quote — "truly sorry" for everyone he hurt.
DeAngelo was finally caught in 2018, with the help of DNA.
Actress Lori Loughlin was sentenced today to two months in federal prison in a college admissions scandal. Her husband, fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli, got five months. They pled guilty to paying $500,000 in bribes to get their two daughters into the University of Southern California.
And Wall Street ended the week on a high note. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 190 points to close at 27930. The Nasdaq rose 46 points, and the S&P 500 added 11.