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Massive California wildfire destroys 150 homes, more threatened

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A massive wildfire burning out of control in the foothills of central California has left at least 150 homes in ruins and damaged another 75, officials said on Saturday, warning that more residents may be forced to flee the advancing flames.

The so-called Erskine fire, which broke out on Thursday some 40 miles (64 km) northeast of Bakersfield in Kern County, has already claimed at least two lives, sent three firefighters to the hospital and forced thousands of people to evacuate their homes.

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More than 1,100 firefighters have been deployed to battle the blaze, which has blackened some 35,700 acres and was zero percent contained as of Saturday afternoon. California Governor Jerry Brown has declared a state of emergency for Kern County.

“It is a vicious wildfire. We are going to be committed to this for some time,” Captain Tyler Townsend of the Kern County Fire Department told CNN. “A lot of communities are still in danger.”

Crews were working in steep, rugged terrain, fighting flames that were fueled by hot, dry weather and brush, grass and chaparral left bone dry by California’s devastating five-year drought.

Officials have not identified the two people killed in the huge conflagration, one of the worst in an already intense fire season in California.

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The Los Angeles Times reported that investigators had found what they believed to be the remains of a third victim at a mobile home in the community of South Lake.

“We are treating it like a crime scene. It appears to be one set of human remains, pretty badly burned,” Kern County Sheriff’s spokesman Ray Pruitt told the paper.

Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood told a Friday evening press conference that more fatalities could be discovered once authorities are able to search burned-out neighborhoods with cadaver dogs.

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Authorities say the cause of the fire remains unknown.

“My heart goes out to everyone here who has lost a home and my heart goes out to the family that perished yesterday in the fire,” Sergeant Henry Bravo of the sheriff’s office told evacuees at a community meeting on Saturday.

On Friday, authorities warned the more than 3,000 residents of the community of Lake Isabella on the shore of a reservoir to be prepared to evacuate.

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Southeast of Lake Isabella, dozens of burned-out homes and car frames were left behind in a neighborhood reduced to a field of mangled metal and collapsed roofs.

To the south, firefighters were struggling to manage the so-called San Gabriel Complex fire in the foothills of Los Angeles County. There were two fires that started on Friday and cover a combined 5,285 acres, fire officials said. Containment was at nearly 50 percent for both blazes.

(Reporting by Jon Herskovitz in Austin, Texas, Curtis Skinner in San Francisco and Dan Whitcomb in Los Angeles; Editing by David Gregorio and Tom Brown)

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Trump’s ‘white superiority complex’ undermines the rule of law in America: black former Republican

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Gregory Cheadle, a black former Republican who attended a Trump rally in 2016 and was infamously praised by then-candidate Donald Trump as “my African American," appeared on MSNBC on Monday to explain why he can no longer support the GOP.

Cheadle said that he doesn't believe the president flat-out hates black people like former KKK leader David Duke, but he does believe Trump has what he described as a "white superiority complex" that only makes minorities feel the system is rigged against them.

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Meghan McCain roasts Laura Ingraham for fat-shaming her: ‘I’m on The View — and you’re not’

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Meghan McCain mocked former Fox News colleague Laura Ingraham after the conservative broadcaster shamed her as too fat for television.

"The View" panelists discussed a viral video of "Late Late Show" host James Corden calling out HBO's Bill Maher for shaming overweight people, and McCain discussed her own struggles with weight.

"I want to say if I weren't fat-shamed, I wouldn't have a career," McCain said. "Laura Ingraham said I was too plus-sized to have a career. Shout out, Laura -- I'm on 'The View' and you're not."

The audience cheered her slam on Ingraham, and she said that same dynamic had worked at the start of her tenure on the talk show.

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The ‘divine right’ presidency: Trump has identified the USA with himself and claimed unprecedented powers to do whatever he wants

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Trump’s latest use of our government to cover up his mistakes, this time about weather forecasting, is revealing about the nature of his Presidency.

No government weather maps showed Hurricane Dorian threatening Alabama. On Thursday, August 29, Trump was briefed in the Oval Office on the Hurricane by the head of FEMA, which released a photo of him looking at a map of where Dorian had been and where it was headed. A white curved line showed the areas that Dorian might possibly hit. Not Alabama.

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