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    Neverland Ranch Threatened by ‘Lake Fire’ in California

    The fire erupted on Friday near Zaca Lake, northeast of Los Olivos, Calif. As of Sunday, it had burned more than 16,000 acres and was zero percent contained.A wildfire that erupted in the mountains of Santa Barbara County in Southern California has burned more than 16,000 acres, prompting an evacuation order and threatening ranches, including Michael Jackson’s former Neverland Ranch, the authorities said.The fire, called the Lake Fire, broke out shortly before 4 p.m. on Friday near Zaca Lake, just northeast of Los Olivos, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.The cause of the fire, which was zero percent contained as of Sunday, remained under investigation.The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office issued an evacuation order for an area near the Los Padres National Forest that includes the property once known as Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch, a 2,700-acre property in Los Olivos, about 150 miles northwest of Los Angeles.About 100 residents were affected by the evacuation order, said Kenichi Haskett, a public information officer for Cal Fire. No structural damage, injuries or fatalities have been reported so far.Winds were blowing the blaze southeast. Neverland Ranch and other ranches were in immediate danger on Sunday, Mr. Haskett said.Mr. Jackson bought the ranch for about $17 million in 1988 and transformed it into a private entertainment complex, complete with a zoo, a train and an amusement park that included a Ferris wheel and a 50-seat theater.We are having trouble retrieving the article content.Please enable JavaScript in your browser settings.Thank you for your patience while we verify access. If you are in Reader mode please exit and log into your Times account, or subscribe for all of The Times.Thank you for your patience while we verify access.Already a subscriber? Log in.Want all of The Times? Subscribe. More

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    Hurricane Beryl Batters Jamaica After Pummeling 2 Other Islands

    The island confirmed its first death amid a surge of water, damaging winds and flooding. The storm is barreling toward the Cayman Islands and the Yucatán Peninsula in Mexico.Jamaica was hammered by a surge of water, damaging winds and flooding rainfall on Wednesday as Hurricane Beryl delivered a glancing blow when it passed just south of the coast, claiming at least one life on the island. The effects of the storm, a Category 4, struck Jamaica just days after it swept through the eastern Caribbean, killing at least seven other people.Virtually every building on the islands of Carriacou and Petite Martinique in Grenada lay in ruins after the storm made landfall there earlier this week, leaving hospitals and marinas destroyed, rooftops torn away and tree trunks snapped like matchsticks across the drenched earth.“We have to rebuild from the ground up,” said Dickon Mitchell, prime minister of Grenada.Ahead of the hurricane, Jamaica closed its airports and issued an evacuation order for low-lying and flood-prone areas. The storm was the strongest to approach the island in over a decade. The last time a major hurricane passed within 70 miles of Jamaica was in 2007, and it has been even longer since one made landfall.Workers boarding up an office building on Wednesday in Kingston, Jamaica.Marco Bello/ReutersThe first confirmed death in Jamaica because of the storm came when a woman was killed as a tree fell on her house in the western parish of Hanover, the head of the country’s disaster agency, Richard Thompson, said.A rescue team was also searching for a 20-year-old man who had been swept away in a gully in Kingston after trying to retrieve a ball that he and friends had been playing with, according to a senior police officer, Michael Phipps.We are having trouble retrieving the article content.Please enable JavaScript in your browser settings.Thank you for your patience while we verify access. If you are in Reader mode please exit and log into your Times account, or subscribe for all of The Times.Thank you for your patience while we verify access.Already a subscriber? Log in.Want all of The Times? Subscribe. More

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    13,000 Are Ordered to Evacuate as Wildfire Spreads in Northern California

    A wildfire that began in Butte County, Calif., on Tuesday morning has burned more than 3,000 acres and threatened residents of the city of Oroville.The authorities in Northern California ordered about 13,000 people in Butte County to evacuate on Tuesday night as a wildfire spread, burning more than 3,000 acres as of Wednesday morning.California’s firefighting agency, Cal Fire, said that the fire began on Tuesday morning and that its cause was under investigation. It was not clear how many structures had been damaged by the blaze, called the Thompson fire, but photos showed several homes and vehicles engulfed in flames. No fatalities had been reported as of Wednesday morning.Sheriff Kory Honea of Butte County said at a news conference on Tuesday night that about 13,000 people had been ordered to evacuate. Many of the evacuation orders affected the city of Oroville, Calif., which is about 68 miles north of Sacramento and has a population of about 20,000 people.Track Wildfires in the U.S.See where wildfires are currently burning.The fire risk in Northern California has been made worse this week by low humidity and gusty winds, which can cause fires to rapidly spread. Red flag fire warnings, meaning that the risk for wildfires is heightened by weather conditions, were in place in more than a dozen counties on Tuesday and Wednesday.There is also a dangerous heat wave in Northern California, with temperatures on Wednesday expected to reach 110 and higher in cities including Sacramento, Chico and Redding. The National Weather Service issued an excessive heat warning that affects most of Northern California, including Oroville.Butte County was the site of the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in the state’s history. The Camp fire in 2018 killed at least 85 people and destroyed more than 90 percent of the homes in Paradise, a small town about 20 miles north of Oroville.Last week, residents of the nearby town of Palermo were ordered to evacuate because of the Apache fire, which burned 691 acres and has been contained. More

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    F.B.I. Offers Reward for Information About New Mexico Wildfires

    The agency said it was offering up to $10,000 for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of those “responsible for starting the fires.”The Federal Bureau of Investigation is offering an award for information about two wildfires in southern New Mexico that left two people dead, prompted the evacuation of thousands and scorched more than 24,000 acres.The agency is offering up to $10,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the “person or persons responsible for starting the fires” near the village of Ruidoso, N.M, the agency said in a statement.The F.B.I. asked for the public’s help in identifying what sparked the blazes.Margot Cravens, a spokeswoman for the F.B.I.’s field office in Albuquerque, declined to comment on Sunday evening but confirmed that the agency was assisting with the investigation.The South Fork and Salt fires began on June 17 amid sweltering temperatures and were still burning on Sunday evening. Extreme temperatures, low humidity and heavy rain in the area have complicated efforts to extinguish the fires, which are burning in the Mescalero Apache tribal area, on U.S. Forest Service land and in areas around Ruidoso.The South Fork fire, the larger of the two wildfires, has burned more than 17,000 acres and was only 31 percent contained on Sunday, according to New Mexico Fire Information, a website run by federal and state agencies.The Salt fire has burned more than 7,000 acres of tribal land in mostly inaccessible mountain terrain and remains only 7 percent contained, the authorities said.The two people who died were found on Tuesday in or near Ruidoso, according to the New Mexico State Police. One of them, a 60-year-old man, was found with burns on the side of a road near a motel, the police said. The other victim was found in the driver seat of a burned vehicle on a road.About 1,400 structures have been destroyed, and about 8,000 people from Ruidoso and the surrounding areas were forced to evacuate, the authorities said.Ruidoso announced it would be lifting evacuation orders for full-time residents, permitting them to return beginning 8 a.m. Monday. Some homes may be without gas, water and electricity, and air quality may be poor because of smoke and ash, according to a statement on the village’s website. Residents are being advised to bring a week’s worth of groceries and water.Some areas will remain off-limits because they are considered crime scenes and are “undergoing recovery efforts,” the statement said.Reporting was contributed by More

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    Floods Force Rescues in Iowa and South Dakota

    Parts of the Upper Midwest remained under flood warnings on Sunday morning, after days of heavy rain pushed some rivers to record levels.More than a million people in the Upper Midwest were under flood warnings early Sunday morning, after days of heavy rain caused major flooding, forced evacuations and led to rescues in Iowa and South Dakota.The flood warnings were in place for rivers in parts of Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, Minnesota, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wisconsin. Some of the warnings were scheduled to end later on Sunday; others were in effect until further notice. A flood warning means that flooding is imminent or already occurring.In Iowa, several rivers have been peaking above levels reported during a 1993 flood that left 50 dead across the Midwest, according to that state’s governor, Kim Reynolds. She declared a disaster for 21 counties on Saturday, calling the flooding “catastrophic” on social media.In South Dakota, torrential rain has fallen across the central and eastern parts of the state for three days, and some areas have received up to 18 inches.Gov. Kristi Noem of South Dakota told reporters on Saturday that the worst flooding was expected to occur in the state on Monday and Tuesday as water coursed downstream and into rivers. She added that the Big Sioux River, one of the state’s major waterways, was expected to reach record levels.Other parts of the United States are grappling with a heat wave that has coincided with a spike in heat-related illnesses over the past week in some regions. Dulles, Va., and Baltimore are among the cities that have broken temperature records. Dangerously hot conditions were forecast for parts of Delaware, New Jersey and Pennsylvania until Sunday evening, the National Weather Service said.The flooding in the Midwest has caused devastation in Rock Valley, Iowa, where the Rock River rose to a record level early Saturday. That led city officials to issue emergency evacuation orders for many of the city’s 4,000 residents. The city was without clean water because its wells had been contaminated by floodwaters, the local authorities said on social media.Sioux City Fire Rescue, which helped to evacuate people from Rock Valley, said on social media that many people and animals stranded in floodwaters in the city had been rescued by emergency teams with boats. In neighboring Nebraska, Gov. Jim Pillen said in a statement that he had authorized a military helicopter to help with search and rescue operations.Volunteers stacking sandbags in Hawarden, Iowa, a town of about 2,000 where some residents were evacuated.Tim Hynds/Sioux City Journal, via Associated PressAbout 15 miles southwest of Rock Valley, parts of Hawarden, Iowa, were also evacuated, city officials said on social media. Hawarden has a population of about 2,000.In Sioux Falls, S.D., emergency services rescued nine people from floodwaters, Regan Smith, the city’s emergency manager, said at a news conference on Saturday. Emergency services responded to five stranded drivers, 30 stalled vehicles in water, 10 calls about water problems and 75 traffic accidents, he added. More

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    ICJ Orders Israel to Halt Its Military Incursion Into Rafah

    The International Court of Justice has no means to enforce its order in the Gazan city, but the ruling added pressure on the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel.The International Court of Justice on Friday ordered Israel to “immediately” halt its military offensive in the city of Rafah in southern Gaza, dealing another blow to the country as it faces increasing international isolation and a drumbeat of criticism over its conduct in the war.The court has few effective means of enforcing its order, and it stopped short of ordering a cease-fire in Gaza, with some of the court’s judges arguing that Israel could still conduct some military operations in Rafah under the terms of their decision.But the order added more pressure on the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has faced domestic and external calls to reach a cease-fire deal with Hamas that would lead to the release of hostages held in Gaza.“The court considers that, in conformity with obligations under the Genocide Convention, Israel must immediately halt its military offensive, and any other action in the Rafah governorate, which may inflict on the Palestinian group in Gaza conditions of life that could bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part,” the court’s president, Nawaf Salam, said in reading the 13-2 ruling.The court, based at The Hague, also specified the need for open land crossings, in particular the Rafah crossing, as part of its request for “the unhindered provision” of humanitarian assistance and services. Israel has controlled the Rafah crossing for more than two weeks, and very few aid trucks have entered the enclave since, according to United Nations data.The Israeli government said in a statement that its military “has not and will not” take actions that would lead to the partial or complete destruction of the Palestinian population of Rafah. In effect, it said that the court’s decision has no bearing on Israel’s offensive because the prohibited acts are not occurring. We are having trouble retrieving the article content.Please enable JavaScript in your browser settings.Thank you for your patience while we verify access. If you are in Reader mode please exit and log into your Times account, or subscribe for all of The Times.Thank you for your patience while we verify access.Already a subscriber? Log in.Want all of The Times? Subscribe. More

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    Russia Presses Attacks in Northeast Ukraine, Seeking Buffer Zone on Border

    Advances by Russian forces have raised fears that they could bring their artillery in range of Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second largest city.Russian forces continued to press a grinding advance on Saturday into northeastern Ukraine, moving closer to a village about 10 miles from the outer ring of Kharkiv and raising fears that the city, Ukraine’s second largest, could soon be within range of Russian artillery.The Ukrainian Army said on Saturday that Russian troops had tried to break through its defenses near the village of Lyptsi, which lies directly north of Kharkiv. It said the attacks had been repelled, but maps of the battlefield compiled by independent groups analyzing publicly available video of the fighting showed that Russian troops had almost reached the outskirts of the village.Ukraine’s Khartia Brigade, which is defending Lyptsi, posted a video on Telegram on Friday afternoon that it said showed Russian soldiers advancing on the village on foot, and attacking in small groups between tree lines. The brigade said it had targeted the Russians with rockets, forcing them to withdraw.Russian troops opened a new front in Ukraine’s northeast a week ago, surging across the border and quickly capturing about 10 settlements in what Ukrainian officials and military analysts described as an attempt to stretch Ukraine’s already outnumbered forces.The Khartia Brigade, for example, has been redeployed from another hot spot on the front, around Ocheretyne, a village in the southeast. Russian forces captured Ocheretyne last month, creating a breach in Ukrainian defenses.But experts say that another, perhaps more immediate, goal for Russia could be to advance deep enough into Ukrainian territory to push Kyiv’s forces away from the border, creating a buffer zone that would prevent the Ukrainians from targeting Russian towns and cities with artillery. President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia said on Friday that that was the goal of the current offensive.We are having trouble retrieving the article content.Please enable JavaScript in your browser settings.Thank you for your patience while we verify access. If you are in Reader mode please exit and log into your Times account, or subscribe for all of The Times.Thank you for your patience while we verify access.Already a subscriber? Log in.Want all of The Times? Subscribe. More

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    As Israel Steps Up Attacks, 300,000 Gazans Are on the Move

    Many say there is nowhere to go, and even the “humanitarian zone” recommended by Israel is neither safe nor equipped to handle all of them, the U.N. says.Around 300,000 Palestinians in southern and northern Gaza are being forced to flee once again, the United Nations says, as Israel issued new and expanded evacuation orders on Saturday. But many are unsure where to find secure shelter in a place devastated by war.The expanded evacuation orders apply to the city of Rafah at Gaza’s southernmost tip, where more than a million Gazans have gathered after fleeing Israeli bombardment elsewhere over the past seven months. They have deepened fears that the Israeli military is set to proceed with an invasion of Rafah, which Israeli leaders have long promised, a prospect that international aid groups and many countries have condemned.Some 150,000 people have already fled Rafah over the past six days, according to UNRWA, the United Nations agency that aids Palestinians.“It’s such a difficult situation — the number of people displaced is very high, and none of them know where to go, but they leave and try to get as far away as possible,” said Mohammad al-Masri, a 31-year-old accountant who is sheltering with his family in a tent in Rafah. “Fear, confusion, oppression, anxiety is eating away at people.”Charles Michel, president of the European Council, criticized the expanded evacuation order on Saturday on social media, saying, “Evacuation orders for civilians trapped in Rafah to unsafe zones are unacceptable.”Israel seized control of the Gaza side of the Rafah border crossing with Egypt on Monday in what it called a “limited operation,” and stepped-up bombardment and fighting have continued in and around the city since then.We are having trouble retrieving the article content.Please enable JavaScript in your browser settings.Thank you for your patience while we verify access. If you are in Reader mode please exit and log into your Times account, or subscribe for all of The Times.Thank you for your patience while we verify access.Already a subscriber? Log in.Want all of The Times? Subscribe. More