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California wildfires, Florida recount and Veterans Day: 5 things you need to know Monday

California wildfires, Florida recount and Veterans Day: 5 things you need to know Monday

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Editors, USA TODAY
Published 3:40 a.m. ET Nov. 12, 2018

California’s inferno continues

The National Weather Service has issued Red Flag warnings until Monday morning for vast swaths of Northern California as wildfires continued to burn after killing at least 31 people throughout the state, destroying thousands of homes and forcing 250,000 to flee. In Northern California, the Camp Fire in Butte County laid waste to the town of Paradise, a community of 30,000 people 90 miles north of Sacramento. The fire burned so hot it peeled the paint off firetrucks, melted tires and blew out windows. “It just looked like Dante’s Inferno,” said evacuee John Yates, 65. In Southern California, the Woolsey Fire had burned at least 177 buildings, sparing not the glitzy Malibu homes of stars such as actor Gerard Butler. Gusty winds were forecast through Tuesday and picked up again Sunday.  


Ferocious flames in southern California neared coastal homes along the famed Pacific Coast Highway in the Malibu area. Footage of the wind-driven wildfire was taken by a crew on board a Los Angeles County Fire Department Firehawk helicoper.

Recount underway in Florida’s Senate, governor races

A statewide recount of more than 8 million votes continues in Florida on Monday for three seats including the closely watched governor and U.S. Senate races. In the Senate race, the Republican challenger, Gov. Rick Scott, claimed victory Tuesday, but the incumbent, Democrat Bill Nelson, never conceded the race. Scott led Nelson by just 12,000 votes Saturday, when the recount was ordered. In the race for governor, Republican Ron DeSantis led Democrat Andrew Gillum by fewer than 34,000 votes. Gillum withdrew his concession Saturday.


Florida Democrat Senator Bill Nelson insists that when “every legal ballot is counted, we’ll win this election.” His comments came amid legal challenges to the tight U.S. Senate race between Nelson and his challenger Republican Gov. Rick Scott. (Nov. 9)

Pipe bomb suspect to appear in court

U.S. Magistrate Judge Robert Lehrburger scheduled a Nov. 12 hearing for Cesar Sayoc, the suspect accused of mailing 16 explosive devices to critics of President Donald Trump. Last week, Sayoc was ordered held without bail after making his initial appearance at a hearing in Manhattan federal court. Federal authorities accused the suspect of waging a domestic terrorist attack, charging him with five federal crimes, including interstate transportation of an explosive, illegal mailing of an explosive and threats against former presidents. If convicted on the current criminal charges, Sayoc faces a maximum sentence of 48 years in prison. 


Boca Raton Police Services released body camera video of officers questioning Cesar Sayoc over an unrelated matter weeks before his suspicious packages arrest.

Federal offices closed for Veterans Day  

Thanks to Veterans Day falling on Sunday this year, it’s observed as a federal holiday on Monday. Federal offices are generally closed, but state and local governments, including schools, may determine for themselves whether to close or remain open. Businesses generally remain open, and the period around Veterans Day has become a time for sales and offers extending through Monday. Here’s a full list of places where vets can get freebies and meal deals. 


Discovery the origins of Armistice Day, now Veterans Day, from National Museum of American History curator Frank Blazich.

‘The Grinch’ who stole the box office 

Final figures are expected Monday after Dr. Seuss’ “The Grinch” sledded past mixed reviews and made off with $66 million to top the weekend North American box office, according to studio estimates. Last week’s top film, the Queen biopic “Bohemian Rhapsody,” starring Rami Malek as Freddie Mercury, drops to second place with a $30.9 million weekend that brings its overall take to $100 million. The Christmas theme of “The Grinch” could sustain it through the holidays but big rivals loom soon, including “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald” next week and “Ralph Breaks the Internet” on Nov. 21. 


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Contributing: Associated Press

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