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Good evening. Here’s the latest.
CreditJim Wilson/The New York Times
1. Deadly late-season wildfires burned out of control in Northern and Southern California, killing at least five and forcing thousands of people from their homes.
The bodies of five people were found “in vehicles that were overcome” by the fire in Paradise, Calif., above, a retirement community of 27,000 people, officials said.
In Southern California, at least 75 homes were destroyed in and around Thousand Oaks, the city already grieving from the deadly nightclub shooting earlier this week.
Gavin Newsom, California’s governor-elect, declared a state of emergency and requested federal assistance.
CreditJenna Schoenefeld for The New York Times
2. Investigators delved into the life of the gunman who killed 12 people at the Thousand Oaks, Calif., club in a search for a motive.
The gunman, identified by police as Ian Long, spent time in Afghanistan as a Marine, and speculation has centered on whether he may have suffered from PTSD. But no evidence has been made public that it was diagnosed or that he was treated.
Even before his deployment, say those who knew him, there may have been signs of trouble. A high school track coach recalled Mr. Long as defiant and angry, and said he once assaulted her on the track.
Among the victims of the mass shooting: A recent graduate of one college and a freshman at another. Above, a memorial near the club.
CreditTodd Heisler/The New York Times
3. Walking miles in flip-flops, eating handouts from strangers, and sleeping on the hard ground: after weeks of traveling in the migrant caravan toward the United States, one family had no complaints.
President Trump has used the caravan to ignite anti-immigrant sentiment and to justify the deployment of thousands of troops at the southwest border. On Thursday, the administration enacted strict new rules on asylum. Above, walking through Mexico.
But for the migrants with the caravan, which arrived in Mexico City this week, those are problems for later. “I’m focused on the journey, on survival on the road,” said one.
CreditTimes Photo Service CreditErin Schaff for The New York Times
5. Democratic leaders, including Nancy Pelosi, above, are promising action on gun legislation when the party takes control of the House in January.
One possibility: a revival of a bill written in the wake of the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre that would subject almost all gun sales to a federal background check.
A number of Democrats campaigned on strengthening gun laws, and the issue motivated many younger voters to turn out for the midterm elections.
But a handful of other Democrats have warned against legislation that would curtail gun owners’ rights. “I think some of these things can be accomplished without infringing on the Second Amendment,” said one.
CreditTodd Heisler/The New York Times
6. Americans voted on Tuesday at rates not seen in a midterm election since at least 1970, experts tell us. In some counties, more people voted in the midterms than in the last presidential election. That’s almost unheard-of.
Texas, which had the nation’s lowest percentage turnout in 2014, saw the biggest increase this year: 63 percent more people voted than in the last midterm elections. Above, campaigning in Austin.
“People will vote when they believe their vote matters,” said one researcher.
CreditScott McIntyre for The New York Times
7. Three days after the elections, results in three key Florida races are too close to call, and lawsuits are flying.
Gov. Rick Scott, the Republican nominee for Senate, sued two Broward County election officials, both elected Democrats, charging “rampant fraud” — an accusation echoed on Twitter by President Trump.
His opponent, Senator Bill Nelson, has sued in federal court, challenging the procedures for validating signatures on mail-in or provisional ballots.
The close count in that race, the race for governor and for agriculture secretary could prompt recounts.
8. No work can go forward on the Keystone XL oil pipeline until the government more fully studies its impact on the environment, a federal judge ruled.
The controversial project, a 1,200-mile pipeline from Canada to Gulf Coast refineries, had been blocked by the Obama administration over environmental concerns. Reviving it was one of President Trump’s first acts as president. Above, a pipeline storage depot in North Dakota.
The ruling, in the United States District Court for Montana, says the Trump administration “simply discarded” the pipeline’s effect on climate change. The administration had no immediate comment.
9. Seats are smaller and coach cabins are getting more crowded as carriers try to squeeze on more passengers.
But airlines have found that some passengers are willing to pay more for a better experience, so they have created Premium Economy, with a bit more space and other perks.
We have a guide on what to expect (and what not to) if you decide to upgrade on your next flight.
CreditChang W. Lee/The New York Times
10. Finally, this is your periodic reminder that it’s not all bad news out there.
New York City was reset to Standard Time by its official clock master, above, the man who for four decades has adjusted, oiled and repaired the city’s iconic timekeepers. Scientists took a step toward a powerful flu vaccine using antibodies created by llamas. And a study showed that dogs’ sensitive noses — experts at detecting explosives, drugs and other contraband — can also be trained to sniff out malaria.
Have a wonderful weekend.
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