FILE - An American flag stands in front of a home destroyed after a wildfire tore through Santa Rosa, Calif., Oct. 15, 2017.
The most destructive complex of wildfires in California history wreaked most of its damage and deaths among housing subdivisions in this San Francisco Bay Area bedroom town, leaving survivors with little but white ash and hard choices: Rebuild quickly as things were, rebuild defensively against future fires, or abandon some burned neighborhoods entirely as lethal mistakes in the country's most wildfire-prone state.   With $3.3 billion in insured losses so far and 8…
Local man Frank Lesjean repaints the names of fallen U.S. soldiers of the First World War’s 371st infantry regiment, an African American unit, onto a granite monument near the eastern French village of Ardeuil-et-Montfauxelles, Nov. 3, 2017.
In a half-forgotten field in France stands a worn monument to a regiment of U.S. soldiers who faced down racism at home and in their ranks to become World War I’s most decorated unit of African American soldiers.In the run up to Veterans’ Day on Nov. 11, campaigners say the record of the 371st infantry regiment needs to be fully recognized. One man is trying to have one of the unit’s soldiers finally decorated with the Medal of Honor — the U.S. military…
Workers hang a poster of outgoing Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri with Arabic words that read "We are all Saad," on a seaside street in Beirut, Lebanon, Nov. 9, 2017. Hezbollah has called on Saudi Arabia to stay out of Lebanese affairs, saying the resi
The United States is calling for a de-escalation of tensions between Saudi Arabia and Lebanon, following the resignation of Saad al-Hariri as Lebanon's prime minister while in Saudi Arabia.On Thursday, Saudi Arabia asked its citizens in Lebanon to leave the country as soon as possible.The U.S. State Department said it was "monitoring the situation very closely."State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said Thursday: "We would call for no kind of escalation of…
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Thu, 11/09/2017 - 21:55
A U.S. Air Force F-16 takes off during a joint international aerial training exercise hosted by Israel and dubbed "Blue Flag 2017" at Ovda military air base in southern Israel, Nov. 8, 2017.
The U.S. Air Force pilot crisis has grown, with the force's numbers short by about 10 percent. Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson told reporters at the Pentagon Thursday that as of last month, the Air Force was about 2,000 pilots short, in a force that is supposed to have about 20,000 pilots. "We are too small for all of the missions we are being asked to carry out on behalf of the nation, and as a result we're burning out our people," Wilson…
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Thu, 11/09/2017 - 21:45
Sue Finley, 80, is still working at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. She started there in 1958 as a human "computer," calculating trajectories for rockets. (M O'Sullivan/VOA)
Sue Finley, now 80 years old and NASA’s longest-serving female employee, recalls her early days with the space agency when she worked as a human “computer,” calculating rocket trajectories by hand at a time when computers were huge and expensive to operate.Finley arrived at Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California, in January 1958, one week before the U.S. Army launched Explorer 1, America's first earth satellite.  “It was a…
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Thu, 11/09/2017 - 21:30
From left, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, President Donald Trump's top economic advi
A House committee voted along party lines Thursday to send a Republican tax reform bill to the entire House of Representatives for a final vote. Meanwhile, the Republican-led Senate Finance Committee unveiled its version of tax reform Thursday, one that has some major differences from the House bill. Because no Republican proposal is likely to get any Democratic support, it is up to the Republicans to put together a single bill that they can pass and the…
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Thu, 11/09/2017 - 21:15
FILE - Bullet holes were marked by police at the front of the building as law enforcement officials continue to investigate the scene of a shooting at the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs in Sutherland Springs, Texas, Nov. 7, 2017.
The Texas church where a gunman opened fire during Sunday services, killing 26 and injuring 20, may not reopen.Pastor Frank Pomeroy of the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs told leaders of the Southern Baptist Convention earlier this week that it would be too painful to continue using the church as a place of worship.Pomeroy, who lost his own 14-year-old daughter in the massacre, proposed turning the site into a memorial and building another church on a different…
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Thu, 11/09/2017 - 21:02