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Thousands on California coast ordered to leave ahead of possible mudslides

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Authorities on southern California’s Pacific coast ordered thousands of residents to evacuate their homes on Tuesday to avoid possible mudslides caused by rain on hills denuded by wildfires of vegetation.

Santa Barbara County residents who live near the site of the Thomas, Sherpa and Whittier fires last winter were told to leave by noon, county officials said in a statement.

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“We could experience localized flooding and road closures which are not isolated to the burn areas. The threat of rock falls, mud slides and debris flow is high,” said Rob Lewin, director of the county’s Office of Emergency Management.

The order is the latest for the affluent area northwest of Los Angeles this year as they heeded warnings about wildfires and then, weeks later, mudslides caused by torrential rains.

“Man, I SO do not want to evacuate again – – fifth time in four months!” said Robin LaFevers, an author who lives in the area, on Twitter early on Tuesday.

The storm could produce 5 to 10 inches (12-25 cm) of rain with downpours between 0.5 inches to 0.75 inches per hour from Tuesday to Thursday, the National Weather Service said.

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The winter wildfires were the largest in California’s history. They left the scenic coastline vulnerable to mudslides because they burned grass and shrubs that hold soil in place and baked a waxy layer into the earth that prevents rainwater from sinking deeply.

 Some 21 people were killed and dozens injured in mudslides on Jan. 9 after rain in and around the Santa Barbara County community of Montecito, 85 miles (137 km) northwest of Los Angeles.
County officials said this week’s storm is expected to produce significantly more rainfall than the January storm.

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Reporting by Brendan O’Brien in Milwaukee; Editing by Matthew Mpoke Bigg

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

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Foreign diplomats preparing for the worst — another Trump win in 2020: ‘People don’t want to be stupid twice’

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According to a report from Politico, foreign diplomats are not so sure Donald Trump will be beaten in the 2020 election and are making contingency plans for how they will deal with him should he be re-elected.

The report notes that the win by the New York businessman in 2016 caught foreign governments by surprise with former French ambassador to the United States, Gerard Araud admitting, "In 2016, nobody believed he was going to be elected. People don’t want to be stupid twice.”

According to Politico, "There’s no known scientific survey on the topic — few foreign officials would participate in one given diplomatic norms that preclude them from commenting on another country's internal politics. But none who talked to POLITICO were willing to say that Trump will lose. Instead, they pointed to three key advantages for Trump: He’s the incumbent, the U.S. economy is strong and the Democrats have no definitive front-runner to challenge him."

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Trump Twitter-rages at ‘evil propaganda machine’ New York Times

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President Donald Trump kicked off his Sunday morning by going on a multi-tweet rant about the New York Times where he blamed them for his poor poll numbers and called them "an evil propaganda machine.'

Trump began with, "The Failing New York Times, in one of the most devastating portrayals of bad journalism in history, got caught by a leaker that they are shifting from their Phony Russian Collusion Narrative (the Mueller Report & his testimony were a total disaster), to a Racism Witch Hunt....., " before adding, "'Journalism' has reached a new low in the history of our Country. It is nothing more than an evil propaganda machine for the Democrat Party. The reporting is so false, biased and evil that it has now become a very sick joke...But the public is aware! #CROOKEDJOURNALISM."

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Trump suggests hitting France with 100 percent tariff on wine over dispute with Macron

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According to a report from Bloomberg, President Donald Trump publicly suggested that he would consider a 100 percent tariff on wines coming from France.

The report states that the president recently made the suggestion as part of his trade war that has crippled American manufacturers and farmers while at the same time hitting American consumers' wallets.

Trump's comments came during a recent Long Island fundraiser and were tied to his unhappiness with President Emmanuel Macron and his tax on multinational technology companies.

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