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News Wrap: Rapid wildfire sparks California emergency

In our news wrap Thursday, officials in Northern California ordered an entire town of 27,000 people to evacuate as high winds drove fast-moving flames. Also, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg suffered three broken ribs after falling in her court office. The court’s public information officer says the 85-year-old was taken to the hospital for observation and treatment.

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  • Judy Woodruff:

    In the day's other news: A new wildfire exploded to life in Northern California, and officials ordered an entire town of 27,000 people, including a hospital, to evacuate.

    High winds drove the fast-moving flames toward Paradise. It's 180 miles northeast of San Francisco. Witnesses described homes engulfed by the fire. With the fire growing rapidly, the state has now declared an emergency in the region.

    U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was in a Washington hospital today, after she fractured three ribs. Ginsburg is 85. A spokeswoman said she fell in her office last night, and was hospitalized early this morning. The justice broke two ribs in 2012, and had other health problems, but she has never missed Supreme Court arguments.

    In Justice Ginsburg's absence, the court went ahead with a ceremony welcoming new Justice Brett Kavanaugh, who was sworn in last month. President Trump attended today's event, along with the first lady. The seven other justices and new acting attorney general, Matthew Whitaker, also attended.

    Several major races remained undecided today from Tuesday's elections. In Georgia, Republican Brian Kemp stepped down as secretary of state after claiming victory in the governor's race, but Democrat Stacey Abrams has not conceded. Legal challenges proceeded today, while the two sides jousted at separate events in Atlanta.

  • Brian Kemp:

    We're in court this morning, still dealing with a lot of these, quite honestly, ridiculous lawsuits, and we're going to continue to fight that. The votes are not there for her. I certainly respect the hard-fought race that she ran.

  • John Chandler:

    How can anyone claim a victory when there are enough votes that have not been counted that could cause a run-off here? We believe that everybody is entitled to have their vote counted, and we will not stop.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    Meanwhile, in Florida, the top two races in the state appear headed for recounts. In the Senate contest, Republican Rick Scott has a tiny lead over Democratic incumbent Bill Nelson. In the governor's race, Republican Ron DeSantis has a shrinking lead over Democrat Andrew Gillum, who conceded Tuesday night.

    Both margins are small enough to trigger recounts under state law.

    In Arizona's Senate race, Republicans are suing over how mail-in ballots are being counted in the Senate race, where Republican Martha McSally holds a slim lead over Democrat Kyrsten Sinema.

    There are new questions about President Trump's confrontation with CNN correspondent Jim Acosta. His White House pass was revoked after yesterday's news conference. Press Secretary Sarah Sanders claimed that Acosta put his hands on an intern who was trying to take the microphone from him, and she tweeted out video to support her claim.

    Slowed down, the original video captured Acosta's hand brushing across the woman's arm. To some viewers, the version tweeted by Sanders appeared to make the gesture look more aggressive.

    In Pakistan, a Christian woman accused of blasphemy against Islam has been released from a prison. Asia Bibi was set free a week after a court threw out her death sentence. The announcement touched off fresh protests today by radical Islamists.

    The foreign office said she is still in Pakistan, but it wouldn't say where.

  • Mohammad Faisal:

    She is a free woman now. Her writ is being heard. When a decision is made, she will go wherever she wants to go. It is a free country. She is a free national.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    Bibi has been offered asylum by the European Parliament.

    The captain of a tourist boat that sank in Missouri, leaving 17 people dead, was indicted today. Kenneth Scott McKee faces 17 federal counts of misconduct or negligence. The so-called duck boat capsized during a storm in July. McKee allegedly failed to assess the weather or tell passengers to put on life jackets.

    Google will now overhaul, it says, how it handles sexual misconduct allegations. The company announced today that it will end forced arbitration for those making complaints, and will require training for all employees. Last week, some 20,000 Google employees around the world walked off the job to protest how the company deals with sexual misconduct.

    In economic news, the Federal Reserve today kept its benchmark interest rate unchanged. But it signaled that an increase is likely next month.

    The news had little effect on Wall Street. The Dow Jones industrial average gained less than 11 points to close at 26191. The Nasdaq fell almost 40 points, and the S&P 500 slipped seven.

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