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Sun, 13 Jun 2021
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Red Flag

Severe drought heightening fire danger across US West

With parts of California emerging from one of the driest winters in more than a century, the fire devouring Lake Tahoe's south shore might be a harbinger of what's in store for the western United States during the long, hot summer ahead, experts warned Tuesday.

Rainfall in Southern California has dwindled to near record lows this year, while the little moisture Northern California received already is giving way to dry forests and brittle, golden grasses.

Red Flag

Wildfire Jumps Fireline in Lake Tahoe



©AP Photo/Ben Margot
Firefighters on Highway 89 discuss how best to deal with the Angora fire after it jumped firelines

MEYERS, Calif. - Firefighters trying to tame a raging wildfire that has destroyed some 200 homes near Lake Tahoe Tuesday suffered a setback when the blaze jumped a fireline, forcing a new round of evacuations, authorities said.

Cloud Lightning

Flash Flood Stalls Motorists, Soaks Chicago

The commute home was a nightmare on Tuesday, as a heavy downpour left flash flooding in its way, closing viaducts, expressway off-ramps and leaving some streets under water.

©Amaris Granado

Showers and thunderstorms developed along a cold front and as it reached 90-degree temperatures in the city, and the storms spurred a flash flood throughout some parts of the Chicago area.

Question

Shark Bite Leads to Reproduction Mystery

Veterinarian Bob George sliced open the dead shark and saw the outline of a fish. No surprise there, since sharks digest their food slowly.

Then George realized he wasn't looking at the stomach of the blacktip reef shark, but at her uterus. In it was a perfectly formed, 10-inch-long shark pup that was almost ready to be born.

George was dumbfounded.

He had been examining the shark, Tidbit, to figure out why she reacted badly to routine sedatives during a physical and died, hours after biting an aquarium curator on the shin. Now there was a bigger mystery: How did Tidbit get pregnant?

"We must have had hanky panky" in the shark tank, he thought.

Cloud Lightning

Cyclone kills 14 people along Pakistan's Arab Sea coast

A powerful cyclone that swept along Pakistan's Arab Sea coast Tuesday killed 14 people and injured dozens, local TV companies reported citing various sources.

A tropical storm called Yemyin-03B hit the province of Balochistan at about 11:00 a.m. local time (06:00 a.m. GMT) flooding roads, tearing roofs from houses, and leaving several districts without electricity.

The cyclone caught several fishing boats while at sea. Unofficial sources said two fishing boats had sunk. Coast guard vessels currently searching for people have already rescued 25 people, but over 30 fishermen are still missing.

Magic Wand

Spider Webs Help Plant Surveys

If you want to find out what sorts of plants live in a place, you can painstakingly hunt down every species or you can check with the local spiders, suggest a team of Chinese, Indian and British researchers.

A study of pollen captured in spider webs of southern and central Yunnan, China, shows that the sticky webs do a darned good job at capturing and hanging onto pollen grains from local plants. The method may be useful in plant surveys worldwide.

Bulb

Deadly heat wave in southern Europe

A heat wave has claimed two lives in Greece and killed six more people in Romania as temperatures soared to 46 degrees Celsius (114.8 Fahrenheit) in parts of southeast Europe.

Turkey and Cyprus also reported deaths blamed on the intense heat, while three people drowned in Bulgaria swimming in unsupervised dams and beaches at the weekend as temperatures climbed well above early summer averages.

Cloud Lightning

Floods kill three in Britain, southern Europe hit by heatwave

Torrential downpours around Britain left three dead and hundreds stranded on Monday as storms continued to batter Russia and a heatwave in southern Europe led to further deaths and sparked fires.

Red Flag

Spain hit by plague of blood-sucking black flies

A plague of black flies has prompted authorities in north-eastern Spain to issue warnings on TV and fliers advising people to cover up and avoid riverside areas in the early morning and dusk.

The insect has been quickly breeding - and sucking blood - along the rivers and reservoirs of Catalonia and Aragon, causing alarm in small towns.

Only two to three millimetres long, the fly is much smaller and harder to spot than most mosquitoes, but its voracious bite sent more than 2,000 people to hospital last year in Catalonia alone. Its vigorous jaw, which releases a cocktail of chemicals, can produce allergic reactions.

Attention

Wildfire Update: State of Emergency Declared for Lake Tahoe Area

California officials declared a state of emergency Monday in the area near Lake Tahoe where firefighters battled a raging forest fire that has destroyed 225 buildings and forced the evacuation of hundreds more.