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Wildfires rage in California; the fate of the missing Malaysia Airlines plane remains a mystery.

California is burning (again)

Massive Wildfire Spreads To 80,000 Acres, Scorches Homes Near Redding, CAJustin Sullivan/Getty Images
  • Eight people have died and more than 200,000 acres of land have burned in four active wildfires in California. [LA Times / Sonali Kohn]
  • Most of these deaths have come from the Carr Fire, the largest blaze, in Shasta County in the northern part of the state. The oldest person who has died was 81; the youngest was 4. [KQED / Bianca Hernandez, Ryan Levi, and Michelle Wiley]
  • In all, there are 17 wildfires burning in California right now. At once. 2017 was the worst year on record for wildfires in the state, but 2018 is shaping up to be worse. [Pacific Standard / Kate Wheeling]
  • Fire season doesn’t even usually start until August. This year, there were two major fires burning in the first week of July — and experts are starting to wonder if there even is such a thing as “fire season” anymore, or if every season is fire season. [Sacramento Bee / Dale Kasler]
  • So what makes this year so much worse? A deadly combination of drought, record heat, and high winds. [NYT / Julie Turkewitz]
  • It’s hard to say whether any individual fire is the result of climate change. But across the United States, climate change is increasing the frequency and size of wildfires. [Vox / Umair Irfan]

The fate of MH370 is still a mystery

  • The official Malaysian government inquiry into what happened to the infamous Malaysia Airlines flight that vanished in 2014 is in. And the verdict is … we still don’t know really know what happened. [CNN / Carly Walsh and Sol Han]
  • The report mostly reiterated what was already known about MH370, which vanished from the skies in March 2014 with 239 people aboard while headed from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing: We don’t know where exactly the plane went down. No wreckage or remains have turned up. [NYT / Austin Ramzy]
  • Someone shifted the plane off its flight course manually. Someone turned off the transponder that transmits its position. Was it one of the pilots or one of the passengers? That will likely remain a mystery. [Washington Post / Cleve R. Wootson Jr.]
  • MH370’s disappearance left a lingering effect on the media landscape. CNN’s much-mocked (and much-watched) ‘round the clock coverage of the plane’s disappearance set a precedent for how it would cover other big stories: by going “all in” and keeping them on the air, even if there’s nothing new to report. [Daily Beast / Clive Irving]


  • A senior executive at FEMA, the government agency handling natural disasters, allegedly harassed women for years, including hiring some because he thought they’d have sex with male employees. [Washington Post / Lisa Rein]
  • Scientists have discovered the portion of our brain that regulates how we differentiate our pitches to discern phrases like “the strippers, Bill Clinton, and George Bush” from “the strippers, Bill Clinton and George Bush.” [NPR / Sara Kiley Watson]
  • A Scottish artisanal ice cream shop has invented the world’s most divisive new treat: mayonnaise-flavored ice cream. [Independent / Rachel Hosie]
  • A lawsuit has exposed the dark underbelly of what it takes to get into Harvard. [NYT / Anemona Hartocollis, Amy Harmon, and Mitch Smith]


“I do not believe that Bigfoot is real, but I don’t want to alienate any Bigfoot voters.” [GOP congressional candidate Denver Riggleman tries to address the strangest issue in the midterms so far: Bigfoot erotica]

Watch this: The Israel-Palestine conflict, explained

The conflict is really only 100 years old. [YouTube / Johnny Harris and Max Fisher]

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