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News Brief: Week of Nov. 18-24


Camp Fire contained

Heavy rains in Northern California on Thursday and Friday helped to contain 100 percent of the Camp Fire, the wildfire which killed at least 87 and destroyed thousands of homes and businesses in the city of Paradise earlier this month.

As rain approached the area on Wednesday, officials urged Paradise evacuees sheltered in tents outside of a Walmart in the nearby city of Chico to seek more permanent shelter.

The death toll rose from 76 to 87 throughout the week as rescue workers searched for bodies amid burnt debris. Nearly 500 people remain unaccounted for.

Trump supports Saudi Arabia

President Donald Trump issued a statement on Tuesday in support of Saudi Arabia, saying there is no conclusive evidence linking Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman to the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

After thanking Saudi Arabia for investing in American infrastructure and keeping oil prices low, Trump stated “we may never know” the full facts surrounding the murder of Khashoggi.

The statement drew widespread criticism from House Democrats,  they plan to examine the intelligence community’s assessment of the Khashoggi killing and compare it to statements made by Trump.

On Nov. 16, the CIA determined Salman ordered the killing of Khashoggi, according to the Washington Post.

On Oct. 2, Khashoggi visited the Saudi Turkish consulate to obtain documents certifying he had divorced his former wife so he could marry his fiancé. Security footage shows he never exited the building.

American killed by remote tribe

An American evangelist and adventurer was killed Nov. 17 after attempting to make contact with an isolated, endangered tribe.

Police from the Indian Andaman and Nicobar Islands say 27-year-old John Allen Chau paid local fishermen to take him to the North Sentinel Island, home to one of the last remaining uncontacted tribes on earth, the Sentinels.

According to anthropologists, the Sentinels number between 40 and 400 and violently reject contact with the outside world. Due to their desire to be left alone and potential susceptibility to outside diseases, it is illegal for outsiders to enter within a five nautical-mile radius of the island.

The fishermen who transported Chau were arrested and will face manslaughter charges, according to local officials. The Sentinelese will not face prosecution.

Chau attended high school in southwestern Washington state, and graduated from Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, OK in 2014.


Archdiocese ramps up safety

The Archdiocese of Oklahoma City is working to prevent future cases of abuse by instituting new safety guidelines.

The changes come three weeks after Rev. James Mickusa pastor who worked at churches in Chandler and Stroudwas accused of sexual abuse of a minor and removed from his position Nov. 4.

Recently approved measures include requiring all staff and volunteers to undergo training on child and youth safety and creating a computerized database of abuse data.

The Archdiocese is also hoping to create a public online database of priests with credible abuse claims against them, spokeswoman Diane Clay said. (NewsOK)

Fires on the rise

A recent dry spell is causing an increased number of grass fires in the Oklahoma City area.

Fire crews have responded to 80 grass and brush fires so far in November, according to an Oklahoma City Fire Department (OCFD) spokesman.

A fire near Memorial and Macarthur in Northwest Oklahoma City burned four acres and threatened homes and apartment complexes Nov. 18. Crews were able to put out the blaze before it caused any damage.

OCFD officials say residents should be careful discarding burned cigarettes and never leave burn piles unattended. (NewsOK)


Students and faculty have an opportunity to participate in two holiday-themed campus traditions this week.

Lighting of the Commons, featuring the Soundings Christmas Market, pictures with Santa and Christmas carols, will kick off at 6:00 p.m. in the Lawson Commons.

Beginning at 7:00 p.m. Thursday night, the Department of Music will perform a holiday-themed concert and offer free hot chocolate at Cocoa and Carols.

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