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Firefighters worked overnight since the blazes in Texas burned across about 655 sq. miles, and it forced hundreds of evacuations, destroyed at least 60 homes and one firefighter was killed on Friday.

Eastland Mayor Mark Pipkin said that the firefighter, Gregory M. Simmons, 51, died while battling a 3,000-acre blaze Friday afternoon near Eastland, a town about 130 miles west of Dallas. Simmons was overcome by smoke, fell in a ditch and was consumed by the fire, according to the Star Tribune.

According to the KTXS, due to a massive wildfire, Residents who were told to evacuate Saturday were not being allowed home at this time.

Rob McCorkle, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department spokesma, said that the fire was really a bad one and this was unusual to have this many fires going across the state at the time, the Star Tribune reported.

The Star Tribune also reported that three large fires burning in Wichita County, about 150 miles northwest of Dallas near the Oklahoma border, had destroyed about 20 homes in the Iowa Park area. Also, eight more people were lost in Wichita Falls and people in surrounding communities were being told to stay alert to the fast-changing situation.

However, beside the firefighter's death, no other injuries have been reported, the Star Tribune reported.

Tornadoes destroyed South

Everything just splintered including trees and houses, at least 45 people were killed, and hundreds were injured or left homeless after tornadoes struck Oklahoma on Thursday, then swept through Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina and Virginia before moving out to sea Sunday.

One victim, Angelina McCaizie told The Associated Press she had been cooking when she saw the winds and rain mount to frightening proportions. She shepherded her children, nephew and brother into the kitchen and squatted on the floor. They waited until the storm had passed. Then she went outside and saw neighbors were bleeding or nursing broken limbs, the New York Times reported.

According to emergency management officials in the state tornadoes roared through North Carolina Saturday afternoon and evening, killing at least 22 people, and sending 130 to hospitals, some with critical injuries. The storm also destroyed 60 homes and heavily damaged 400 more, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Patty McQuillan, a public information officer for the state's Division of Emergency Management, told the New York Times that the series of tornadoes was the worst to strike the state since March 1984, when 42 people were killed.

According to the Wall Street Journal, after struck North Carolina, the storm system caused severe weather in eastern Virginia and also heavy rain in the New York City region before heading out to sea Sunday.

Utah sex offender is released due to his incompetency

A Utah judge released a registered sex offender who faces about 21 charges of child sex abuse because he is mentally incompetent to stand trial on Thursday.

According to the CNN, the 38-year-old sex offender, Lonnie Johnson, has been diagnosed with a cognitive disorder. Doctors who examined Johnson said his competency could not be restored and he is not a danger to society.

James Taylor, the Fourth District Judge, said at the Thursday's hearing that he was following a Utah statute requiring the release of anyone deemed incompetent to stand trial and who has not been convicted of a crime and there were no legal grounds for holding Johnson, the CNN reported.

Johnson currently faces five counts of rape of child, six counts of sodomy on a child and 10 counts of aggravated sexual abuse of a child, the CNN reported the record from the court documents. Also, in 2006, he was convicted of raping a teenage girl in Washington State and he sent to prison for third-degree rape and served less than a year. He is now required to register as a sex offender.

The Star Tribune used the Associated Press's report saying Craig Johnson, the Deputy Utah County District Attorney, encouraged the Judge Taylor allowed them to have a review in six months. Also, Taylor ordered Johnson to meet with new doctors to evaluate him again in October and a new hearing will be held on Nov.17.

Cindy Lorenz, Johnson's sister said she believes Johnson's civil and medical privacy rights had been violated, the Star Tribune reported. Johnson's family has said he is innocent of the charges. They said the accusations are related to a bitter divorce between Johnson and his wife.

Christy Danner, the mother of one alleged victim, think Johnson is faking incompetence, the CNN reported. She also said that is not the way the system works and she hopes to get Johnson back in the state of Utah and find him competent.

Utah Gov. Gary R. Herbert said that he was outraged that a convicted child sex offender could be release without being tried for current charges, the CNN reported.

After a hole opened on top of the aircraft Friday in Arizona, Southwest Airlines cancelled about 600 flights on Saturday and Sunday to continue the inspection of 79 of its Boeing 737 planes.

The Star Tribune quoted the Associated Press saying Southwest Airlines has about 3,400 flights each day. Therefore, it was about 9 percent decrease of the total number of flights on each of the two days.

CNN reported that the flight which took off from Phoenix bound for Sacramento, California, made an emergency landing in Yuma, Arizona after the hole was discovered, and the hole that opened up was 5 feet long and 1 foot wide

A National Transportation Safety Board member Robert Sumwalt told CNN that the flight data recorder indicated the plane dropped from 36,000 feet to 11,000 feet within 4 1/2 minutes when it depressurized.

Sumwalt told CNN that the first inspection found that "clear evidence that the skin separated at the lower rivet line" where "the skin comes together on the aircraft. However, the inspections of the remaining planes will not be completed until late Tuesday.

Passengers were in shock by this incident. One passenger Debbie Downey told CNN that they were in row 16 and her husband and she could see blue sky and it was terrifying.

The company provide some compensation to the passengers in this incident. Dallas-based Southwest issued a release Saturday said that the passengers on board Flight 812 have received a full refund along with an apology and two complimentary round-trip passes on Southwest for future flights, according to the Star Tribune quoted the Associated Press.

Thousands people from different industries with their supporters marched together in Downtown Los Angeles Saturday morning to fight for better jobs and higher wages.
According to the Los Angeles Times, police estimate 5,000 to 8,000 teachers, nurses, Teamsters, electricians, actors attended the protest and it ended in a packed rally at Pershing Square. The protest was response to the Wisconsin Legislature's approval of a bill this month that curtails the collective bargaining rights of many unions.
Mahlon Mitchell, the president of the Professional Fire Fighters of Wisconsin, shouted in the protest that the similar policies will be introduced by politicians in California soon and it struggle for an estimated $26-billion deficit. This is an injury for all of them, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Maria Elena Durazo, the head of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, hoped the march and rally reinforced their message that "we have a broad, strong, powerful coalition that supports collective bargaining. She called it was the only way get the worker's voice be heard, according to the Huffington Post.
The Los Angeles Times reported one protester ,Ruben Najara, 49, saying the Wisconsin law will cause that the union collective bargaining power will be steadily eroded throughout the country.
According to the Huffington Post, the LA County Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO coordinated the event and plans to organize more throughout the country.

14 passengers were killed in bus crash in NYC

On Saturday night, a serious bus crash killed 14 people when the bus was returning to Manhattan's Chinatown after a quick overnight trip to the Mohegan Sun casino.
According to the Huffington Post, the official said the passengers said they didn't feel anything hit on them and they didn't see the bus get hit either. The driver Ophadell Williams remained hospitalized in stable condition Sunday and about 20 passengers were treated at hospitals at St. Barnabas Hospital and Jacobi Medical Center. Most of them were in critical condition.
The New York Times reported the driver told the authorities that his bus was clipped by a passing tractor-trailer, which sped away, but police assert that it was under investigation. Many of victims are older Asian and Hispanic people. Some of the 31 passengers were still asleep when the bus crashed.
The crash had a devastating effect in the Chinese community in New York. They said if they did not know someone on the bus, they feared that they did, the New York Times reported.

Gay marriage bill in Maryland failed

The gay marriage bill had failed in Maryland and but the Democrats swore that they would try again next year to pass legislation of gay marriage.
According to the Star Tribune, homosexual marriage is legal in Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont and the District of Columbia. This time Maryland failed to become the sixth state to legalize same-sex marriage.
The Star Tribune reported that the Democratic legislators failed to cooperate together to gain enough votes to passed the law. The opposition of this bill is Republicans and some religious groups, including the Catholic church and many black communities.
According to the New York Times, the Democrats hold 98 of the House's 141 seats. The vote should be enough to overcome the Republican opposition. However, about a third of all Democrats turned out to oppose it.
Delegate Anne Kaiser, D-Montgomery, one of the chamber's openly gay members, said that many people had promised them the votes but ultimately changed their mind, the Star Tribune reported.
Don H. Dwyer Jr., a Republican delegate, told the New York Times that the victory would not be successful without the cooperation of the Democrats who also want to against the bill.
However, the bill's supporter will not give up. Michael E. Busch, the speaker of Maryland's Democratic-controlled House of Delegates, said that they will come back next year and takes a strong look at it, the New York Times reported.

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