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Natural Disasters

Trump's drug czar nominee withdraws from consideration

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WASHINGTON The U.S. lawmaker who was President Donald Trump's pick for drug czar withdrew on Tuesday after a report he spearheaded a bill that hurt the government's ability to crack down on opioid makers flooding the market with the addictive painkillers. | Video

Crews push to contain California fires, search for bodies

SANTA ROSA, Calif. Crews fought their way across rugged, steep terrain on Tuesday in a push to gain full control of the deadliest wildfires in California history, as search-and-rescue teams picked through an ashy moonscape of destroyed homes looking for victims.

U.S., Environment, Oct 17 2017

Portugal's government faces no-confidence vote over forest fires

LISBON A Portuguese opposition party launched a motion of no-confidence in the Socialist government on Tuesday over its failure to prevent the loss of human lives in this week's lethal wildfires, the second such disaster in four months. | Video

Environment, Oct 17 2017

Insurance payouts may not cover all wildfire damage for California wineries

Wineries damaged by wildfires tearing through Northern California are starting insurance claims, and at least some of the smaller vintners are likely to find limits in their policies mean payouts fall short of rebuilding costs.

U.S., Environment, Oct 17 2017

Cuban food output stagnates, may decline in 2017

HAVANA Cuban food output stagnated during the first half of 2017, the government reported this week, and may decline this year because of damage from Hurricane Irma.

Environment, Cuba, Oct 17 2017

Wildfires kill at least 39 in Portugal and Spain

LISBON/MADRID At least 36 people died in wildfires raging through parched farmlands and forests in Portugal and another three in neighboring northwestern Spain on Sunday and Monday. | Video

Environment, World, Spain Oct 16 2017

Three dead as Storm Ophelia batters Ireland

LAHINCH, Ireland Three people died as Tropical Storm Ophelia battered Ireland's southern coast on Monday, knocking down trees and power lines and whipping up 10-metre (30-foot) waves. | Video

World, Ireland, Environment Oct 16 2017

Vietnam braces for typhoon Khanun after floods kill 72

HANOI Vietnam braced for typhoon Khanun on Monday after destructive floods battered the country's north and center last week, killing 72 people, the disaster prevention agency said.

Environment, World, Oct 16 2017

Asia oil buyers turn to U.S. in hunt for cheap supply

SINGAPORE/NEW YORK Asia is set to ramp up crude oil imports from the United States in late 2017 and early next year, with buyers searching out cheap supplies after hurricanes hit U.S. demand for the commodity at a time of rising production in the country.

Oct 16 2017

Pot farmer's dreams go up in smoke during California wildfires

SANTA ROSA, Calif. Andrew Lopas' plans to bring his marijuana business out of the black market with a legal, profitable and organic pot farm went up in smoke in the wildfires that have scorched Santa Rosa, California.

U.S., Environment Oct 15 2017

China economic reforms may result in $14.4 trillion GDP, growth at 6 percent – Asia Society report

Sweeping economic reform initiated by China President Xi Jinping in November 2013 marked a turning point for the world's second biggest economy. If implemented fully, China's potential GDP growth can be sustained at 6 percent through 2020. One risk: Falling short of that growth rate could result in growth at half that projection, or worse, leading to a new economic crisis, according to a new study.