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High winds batter southern California

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LOS ANGELES — Winds gusting up to 140 miles per hour (160 kph) triggered power outages, felled trees and caused traffic chaos Thursday in California and blasted several neighboring states, meteorologists said.

The powerful gales — expected to continue Friday — were the “strongest easterly wind event in the past several years,” said the National Weather Service, forecasting “widespread” damage.

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More than 300,000 Californians were left without power, Los Angeles international airport was briefly closed Wednesday evening and there was traffic gridlock as trees and debris blocked roads and traffic lights were out.

Winter storm, high wind or “red flag” wildfire risk warnings were in place in the neighboring states of Nevada, Utah, Arizona and New Mexico.

“Strong and potentially damaging easterly winds are impacting the southwestern US and are expected to continue through at least Friday,” the NWS said in an online warning.

“Wind gusts in excess of 140 mph have been recorded along the Sierra Crest. Santa Ana wind gusts as high as 80 mph are anticipated in southern California today, including higher-elevation areas near Los Angeles.

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“This is forecast to be the strongest easterly wind event in the past several years,” it said.

Los Angeles was particularly hard hit by the Santa Ana winds, a meteorological phenomenon which brings dry winds down from the high mountains east of the coastal areas.

More than 210,000 customers of Southern California Edison were without power, while the city Department of Water and Power said nearly 90,000 of its 1.4 million customers were without electricity.

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City Hall in downtown Los Angeles — the center of attention in recent days as police cleared out a two-month old anti-Wall Street protest camp — was also without power for some time, although it was later restored.

Photo credit: Thomas Pintaric


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Trump encourages China to take advantage of Jay Powell and Fed: They ‘don’t have a clue’

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President Donald Trump launched a new attack against his own Federal Reserve chairman in a pair of Monday morning tweets.

The president has been publicly pressuring Fed chairman Jerome Powell to lower interest rates in hopes of staving off a recession, but the Trump appointee has so far resisted his calls.

"Producer prices in China shrank most in 3 years due to China’s big devaluation of their currency, coupled with monetary stimulus," Trump tweeted. "Federal Reserve not watching? Will Fed ever get into the game? Dollar strongest EVER! Really bad for exports. No Inflation...Highest Interest Rates..."

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Internet pummels Trump for frantic demand to investigate Obama instead: ‘This is not the tweet of an innocent man’

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President Donald Trump jealously raged against Barack Obama's post-presidency business deals, which includes a production agreement with Netflix -- and other social media users ridiculed his apparent envy.

Trump questioned that deal and others in a pair of tweets complaining about an impeachment inquiry launched against him last week by the House Judiciary Committee, and he suggested Congress look at Obama's business since he left the White House.

....work that way. I have a better idea. Look at the Obama Book Deal, or the ridiculous Netflix deal. Then look at all the deals made by the Dems in Congress, the “Congressional Slush Fund,” and lastly the IG Reports. Take a look at them. Those investigations would be over FAST!

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Is the Trump administration squelching a whistleblower — and a major scandal?

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America's system of government has always worked on the honor system. With so few Senate-confirmed Cabinet and federal agency heads, and so many “acting” officials working in the Trump administration, people who are constantly forced to audition for permanent positions are now under tremendous pressure to protect a president hellbent on breaking every norm of good governance. Now a new possible political scandal could be brewing in the Trump administration that tests the loyalty of these “acting” officials — pitting their allegiance to the nation against their desire to impress their boss.

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