Welcome to the Overnight News Digest with a crew consisting of founder Magnifico, regular editors side pocket, maggiejean, Chitown Kev, Interceptor7, Magnifico, annetteboardman, Besame and jck. Alumni editors include (but not limited to) Man Oh Man, wader, Neon Vincent, palantir, Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse (RIP), ek hornbook (RIP), ScottyUrb, Doctor RJ, BentLiberal, Oke (RIP) and jlms qkw.
OND is a regular community feature on Daily Kos, consisting of news stories from around the world, sometimes coupled with a daily theme, original research or commentary. Editors of OND impart their own presentation styles and content choices, typically publishing each day near 12:00 AM Eastern Time.
Please feel free to share your articles and stories in the comments.
I have not seen much anywhere on Daily Kos or even via google about the terrible flooding in Alaska. Here’s a link to a blogger who is there and experiencing the disaster.
Australia bushfire: Fraser Island residents told to leave immediately
Firefighters are battling to keep a large bushfire which has come within 700 metres of a small township on an Australian holiday island at bay.
Dozens of residents of Happy Valley were earlier urged to evacuate as the blaze raged east across Fraser Island.
For six weeks, firefighters have been struggling to control the blazes on the island - a popular tourist destination off the coast of Queensland.
However efforts have been thwarted by a continuing heatwave and dry ground.
The bushfire was sparked by an illegal campfire in mid-October and has burnt through over half of the island - about 83,000 hectares.
Fraser Island is the world's largest sand island and listed as a Unesco World Heritage site.
It has a population of fewer than 200 permanent residents, some of whom were evacuated weeks ago alongside the tourists.
Covid: Most of California faces strict new lockdown as cases surge
Large parts of the US state of California are facing a strict new lockdown, as Covid-19 cases surge across the state and the country.
More than half of the state's 40 million people will be subject to a stay-at-home order, as announced by Governor Gavin Newsom on Thursday.
Many businesses will be closed, and people will be banned from meeting anyone outside their household.
The order was triggered by intensive care capacity in hospitals shrinking.
The southern part of the state and its central valley will be the first areas to come under the new restrictions, at 23:59 local time on Sunday (07:59 GMT on Monday).
Other areas could follow within days. San Francisco will have its own local lockdown also starting on Sunday.
California's lockdown in March, in which all non-essential businesses were closed, was seen as an early model for the US at the beginning of the pandemic.
The measures come after the US reported on Saturday a record number of coronavirus cases in 24 hours for the third day in a row - 230,000.
Iran sends biggest ever fleet of oil tankers to Venezuela
Iran is sending its biggest fleet yet of tankers to Venezuela in defiance of U.S. sanctions to help the isolated nation weather a crippling fuel shortage, according to people with knowledge of the matter.
Some of the flotillas of about 10 Iranian vessels will also help export Venezuelan crude after discharging fuel, the people said, asking not to be named because the transaction is not public.
The Nicolas Maduro regime is widening its reliance on Iran as an ally of last resort after even Russia and China have avoided challenging the U.S. ban on trade with Venezuela.
The country’s fuel crunch follows decades of mismanagement, corruption and under-investment at state-owned Petroleos de Venezuela since the time of Maduro’s late mentor and predecessor, Hugo Chavez.
The country that was once a top supplier of crude to the U.S. and boasted one of the lowest domestic gasoline prices in the world, now can barely produce any fuel.
U.S. Navy official says ‘uneasy deterrence’ reached with Iran
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — The top U.S. Navy official in the Mideast said Sunday that America has reached an “uneasy deterrence” with Iran after months of regional attacks and seizures at sea, even as tensions remain high between Washington and Tehran over the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program.
Vice Adm. Sam Paparo, who oversees the Navy’s 5th Fleet based in Bahrain, struck an academic tone in comments to the annual Manama Dialogue hosted by the International Institute for Strategic Studies. He described having a “healthy respect” for both Iran’s regular navy and the naval forces of its paramilitary Revolutionary Guard.
“We have achieved an uneasy deterrence. That uneasy deterrence is exacerbated by world events and by events along the way,” the vice admiral said. “But I have found Iranian activity at sea to be cautious and circumspect and respectful, to not risk unnecessary miscalculation or escalation at sea.”
The New Yorkers clinging to the fantasy of a second Trump term
Hauppauge, New York – “Keep America Great” flags rippled in the wind. One woman clung to a cardboard cutout mask of United States President Donald Trump’s face. QAnon believers, far-right militia supporters and anti-vaxxers mingled.
Upwards of a hundred people, who gathered to denounce New York State safety guidelines aimed at containing the coronavirus pandemic, booed ongoing lockdown restrictions.
“We will not comply!” the crowd chanted. Virtually no one wore protective face coverings.
The spectre of “election fraud” hung heavy in the crisp autumn air. It was two weeks after Joe Biden was projected to become the 46th US president. But no one here was prepared to accept that.
“There’s election fraud,” Claribel Rodriguez, 36, told Al Jazeera.
The 36-year-old doula insisted the vote was marred by “statistical inconsistencies”.
“It would be nice to know exactly what happened – what the truth is,” she added. “There’s a lot of weird stuff going on.”
Millions Of Census Records May Be Flawed, Jeopardizing Trump's Bid To Alter Count
The Census Bureau has found irregularities in records for this year's national tally that, if left unfixed, could miscount millions of people.
This latest development enlarges the scale of an ongoing setback to President Trump's push to exclude unauthorized immigrants from a key census count — an unprecedented change that Trump may not be able to make, regardless of how the Supreme Court rules in a legal challenge over whether the president can alter numbers that federal law and the Constitution say must include the "whole number of persons in each state."
Leaked documents obtained by the House Oversight and Reform Committee previously confirmed that as of late last month, the bureau identified what it has described as "processing anomalies" that affect more than 1 million records for the 2020 census.
But the number of potentially flawed records has ballooned into the millions, according to a person familiar with census operations who was not authorized to speak for the bureau.
Brexit: Trade deal hangs 'on a knife-edge,' says Irish PM
There is a "50-50" chance that the UK and the EU will be able to reach a trade deal before the Brexit clock runs out, Ireland's prime minister said. Ursula von der Leyen and Boris Johnson set to talk again on Monday.
After expressing tentative hope for a post-Brexit trade deal, Irish Prime Minister Michael Martin struck a more pessimistic tone on Sunday, saying the chances of an agreement were not great.
"My gut instinct is that it's 50-50 right now and I don't think one can be overly optimistic about a resolution emerging," he told broadcaster RTE.
"My sense having spoken to some of the key principals here is that it is a very challenging issue to resolve, particularly around the level playing field [..]. Things are on a knife-edge here and it is serious," Michael said.
New York Times
California Men Declare Themselves Makers of Pine Mountain Monolith
For the first time, someone has taken credit for erecting one of the monoliths that have popped up in the last few weeks, riveting the world.
A group of four artists and fabricators unveiled themselves on Saturday as the creators of the stainless-steel curiosity that was placed atop Pine Mountain in Atascadero, Calif., on Tuesday — and shared a YouTube video of a newly made replacement going up after some young men unceremoniously toppled the original and put a cross in its spot, livestreaming themselves in the process.
“We intended for it to be a piece of guerrilla art. But when it was taken down in such a malicious manner, we decided we needed to replace it,” Wade McKenzie, one of the California monolith’s creators, said in an interview Sunday evening.
NPR (The happy ending of a story I reported on a few weeks ago)
'He Will Be A Happier Elephant': Vet Describes What It Was Like To Rescue Kaavan
Dr. Amir Khalil is no stranger to helping animals out of really bad situations. The 55-year-old Egyptian-born veterinarian, who works with the Vienna-based animal welfare group Four Paws International, has been rescuing animals from crumbling zoos and conflict zones such as Syria and the Gaza Strip for more than two decades.
Now he can add moving an elephant by plane between countries during a deadly global pandemic to his storied résumé. Khalil led the team that this week transferred a 37-year-old male Asian elephant named Kaavan from confinement in a decrepit zoo in Islamabad, Pakistan, to a conservation park in Cambodia.
Moving Kaavan was already a difficult mission logistically and politically, Khalil says, and the coronavirus pandemic made it even more challenging. The health and safety of the team was "the main priority," he says, as they worked to shift the 5-ton pachyderm from the ill-equipped Islamabad zoo that has been his home for over 30 years.