The Wider World

FBI: Russia wants to sway voters

IS THE RUSSIAN government under Vladimir Putin trying to influence the 2016 election? FBI Director Christopher Wray thinks so (Shutterstock).

Here we go again.

FBI Director Christopher Wray told Congress Thursday that the Russian government was strongly involved in trying to influence this year’s U.S. presidential election in favor of President Donald Trump.

According to United Press International, Wray told the House committee on Homeland Security that “We certainly have seen very active efforts to influence our elections in 2020.” He said the methods were mostly by using social media platforms and Russian media. Their chief goal is to discredit Democratic nominee Joe Biden and other segments of what was seen by Moscow as “a kind of anti-Russian establishment.”

He also confirmed intelligence agency findings in August that Russia was attempting to interfere with the election.

A Congressional report concluded earlier this year that Russian government had attempted to influence the 2016 election, although without making any conclusions about how effective those efforts were.

Lightning strikes fuel the wildfires

LIGHTNING is seen as major causes of the recent wildfires (Flickr).

When we think of forest fires, there is often the image of a careless camper who forgot to splash water on those still-glowing coals. Although such actions to do start some blazes, many are caused by lighting bolts striking the earth and igniting dry grass and shrubbery.

The Associated Press is reporting that such strikes may have been the match that started the wave of wildfires that have burned millions of acres in Oregon, Northern and Central California.

Those blazes have been among the most destructive in recorded history. “What was really jaw-dropping for people was the fact that this really changed the paradigm that people had in terms of their security,” said Jim Gersbach, spokesman for the Oregon Department of Forestry.

An estimated 7,000 square miles have been burned and at least 34 people killed so far, according to the AP.

In the news: Judge issues mail delivery ruling

A federal judge in Washington state issued a national preliminary injunction seeking to block changes in postal services that have slowed delivery. The changes were a “politically motivated attack on the efficiency of the Postal Service” in advance of the November election, said Judge Stanley Bastian. • Wall Street had another red ink day on Thursday, as all three major stock indexes showed declines. The Dow was down 130.40 points, and the S&P 500 dropped by 28.48. Nasdaq slipped 140.19 points. • RealClearPolitics.com’s average of recent presidential polls shows Democratic nominee Joe Biden leading with 49 percent support to President Trump’s 43.2. That’s a margin of 5.8 percent, and it shows a small narrowing. FiveThirtyEight.com’s average has Biden ahead 50.2 percent to Trump’s 43.6, also a smaller margin than previous.

Weather: Haze and more haze

It may not rain often in West Orange County, but that doesn’t mean the skies are clear all day. Haze from the many California wildfires continued Thursday, although with some letup. Tonight’s low should be around 65. Friday should also be hazy and warm, according to the National Weather Service, with a daytime high of 87 and an overnight low of 66. The haze should clear by Saturday – fingers crossed – with patchy fog giving way to sunny conditions. Highs should be cooler near the beach with a Friday high of 78 and a Saturday high of 77.

Dodgers and the Angels each hit well and post big victories

Here is a schedule of games for area pro sports teams. Times are Pacific. Results will be posted as they are available.

  • Dodgers 9, Colorado Rockies 3: Continuing to be the premier road warriors in the MLB, the Dodgers won their 20th away game against seven defeats in Denver. Corey Seager homered and has three hit and Edwin Rios also went deep for the team. The game was close until LA broke it open with six runs in the seventh. The Dodgers are now 36-15 and are closing on the NL West pennant.
  • Angels 7, Diamondbacks 3: Mike Trout drove in two runs and Anthony Rendon smacked a two-run homer as the Halos won Thursday night in Anaheim. They rattled 14 hits around the Big A and got a strong pitching performance from Griffin Canning (1-3), who worked five innings and gave up just one run. He struck out seven batters and walked two. The Angels are now 21-30 and remain in fourth place in the AL West.

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