Los Angeles County authorities have ordered new evacuations as unpredictable winds push a destructive bushfire out of forest land toward homes near the Antelope Valley. Residents of some areas of Acton south of State Route 14 were told to leave as the massive blaze moves to the northeast after destroying 18 homes near Santa Clarita. Officials didn't say how many people would be affected. Officials warn winds could strengthen as the day goes on, creating more challenges for crews working in steep, inaccessible terrain at the edge of Angeles National Forest. At least 1500 homes remain evacuated in the Santa Clarita area, where 18 houses were gutted by fast-moving flames yesterday. Smoke from the 88 sq km fire is visible across the region. It's just 10 per cent contained.
2 Shooter's friend questioned
Munich police say they have taken in for questioning a friend of the shooter who might have known of his attack plans. DPA reported that the 16-year-old boy had gone to police himself after the deadly rampage. The 18-year-old who killed nine people in Munich has been identified by police only as David S and as Ali David Sonboly in media reports. Police have described him as a withdrawn loner who was obsessed with playing killer video games and had panic attacks set off by contact with other people. The shooter killed himself after the rampage near a Munich mall. The spokesman for Munich prosecutors' office says the suspect had received psychiatric treatment last year. Investigators say he spent more than a year preparing his attack. Bavarian investigator Robert Heimberger said the shooter visited the site of a previous school shooting in the German town of Winnenden and took photographs.
3 Come to Papa
For the first time in its 36-year history, a Hemingway has won a competition seeking the man who most looks like literary giant Ernest Hemingway. Dave Hemingway was named the winner of the "Papa" Hemingway Look-Alike Contest in Key West, Florida. The winner said he is not related to the late author. The contest, which attracted 140 entrants, is the highlight event of the annual Hemingway Days festival that celebrates the author's legacy. Hemingway, who won the contest in his seventh attempt, wore a wool, cream-coloured turtleneck sweater similar to what the late author favoured. "Even though this sweater is really hot, it was part of my strategy. And I think it worked really well."
A new crisis hit France's Government when a senior policewoman claimed the Interior Ministry pressured her to alter a report into security at the Nice fireworks display where 84 were killed when a man rammed a lorry into the crowd. The Interior Minister, Bernard Cazeneuve hit back at the "grave accusations", saying he would sue for defamation. Sandra Bertin, who is in charge of Nice's system of security cameras, told the
she had been "harassed for an hour" by an unnamed Interior Ministry official on the phone after a ministry "commissioner" came to see her the day after the attack. She said she had been told to detail the presence of the local police at the Bastille Day fireworks event and also to report "that the national police had also been deployed at two points". Bertin said: "The national police were perhaps there, but I couldn't see them on the video. He ordered me to put in (the report) the specific positions of the national police which I had not seen on the screen." Last week, the
reported that only one local police car was barring the entry to the seafront pedestrian zone.
5 Call for hostages
Al-Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri is calling on fighters to take Western hostages and exchange them for jailed jihadists, the monitoring service Site Intelligence Group says. In a recording posted online, Al-Zawahiri called on the global militant network to kidnap Westerners "until they liberate the last Muslim male prisoner and last Muslim female prisoner in the prisons of the Crusaders, apostates, and enemies of Islam", according to Site.