Good morning. NFL football is back. The season kicks off tonight with a matchup between the defending Super Bowl Champion Kansas City Chiefs and the Houston Texans.
“With the right kind of coaching and determination you can accomplish anything.”
“Unprecedented” Wildfires In Western U.S.
As of Wednesday, the NICC – the federal body that coordinates wildfire resources across the U.S. – identified 30 large, uncontained fires across 14 states, burning an area roughly the size of 22 New York Cities.
A deeper dive…
Compared to the day before, the overall size of the wildfires grew 28.5% to encompass 4.43M acres as of Wednesday afternoon, with smoke, poor air quality, and low visibility combining to form a hellish landscape (photos).
Across the west coast, thousands of people have evacuated over the past 48 hours, with thousands more under standby orders to do so. The governors of California and Oregon declared states of emergency this week due to the ongoing blazes.
Over one hundred thousand people are without power in Oregon, while PG&E shut off power to 170,000 California homes and businesses on Wednesday in hopes of reducing the probability its power lines would trigger a wildfire.
What’s Next? Evacuation orders are expected to increase across the West Coast as officials work to contain the significant number of large, ongoing fires.
Late Wednesday, OR Gov. Kate Brown said five Oregon towns were all but destroyed, and warned residents to “expect to see a great deal of loss, both in structures and human lives.”
So… what are people saying?
Fighting wildland fires during the COVID pandemic, Part 2
Questions about the rating system we use? Learn more
Share Today’s Dose of Discussion
According to a DHS whistleblower, acting Homeland Security Chief Chad Wolf told him an intelligence notification on Russian interference should be “held” because “it made the President look bad.” Left Center | Right Center
According to journalist Bob Woodward’s new book, obtained by CNN, in a Feb. 7 interview, Pres. Trump said that coronavirus is “more deadly than even your strenuous flu.” In a March interview, Trump said, “I wanted to always play [the coronavirus] down. I still like playing it down because I don’t want to create a panic.” Later Wednesday, Trump defended his remarks, calling the book a “political hit-job.” Left Center | Right Center
U.S. Troops To Withdraw From Iraq
U.S. Gen. Frank McKenzie said Wednesday morning that the U.S. would cut troops in Iraq to 3,000 from 5,200 by the end of this month. Gen. McKenzie said the decision was due to the Iraqi military’s increased ability to “operate independently” in preventing an ISIS resurgence.
Worth Noting: Two Uighur Muslim organizations accused China of mass detention and torture in an official complaint to the ICC, marking the first time a minority group in China has sought the help of international law to hold Beijing accountable for mistreatment. Go deeper.
💨 Too Cool For Juul… A federal report released Wednesday revealed that teen vaping rates have fallen significantly this year.
💃Keep Away… after 14 years, 20 seasons, and 12 spinoffs, Keeping Up With the Kardashians will officially end in 2021.
LVMH Goes MIA
Louis Vuitton owner LVMH is pulling out of its $16.2B acquisition of Tiffany, citing the threat of U.S. tariffs on French goods and Tiffany’s request to extend the deal deadline to the end of the year. Per the WSJ, Tiffany has filed a lawsuit asking a Delaware court to either enforce the agreement or award damages.
Blackstone Takeover Goes South
U.S. railroad operator Kansas City Southern rejected a $20B takeover offer from the infrastructure arm of private-equity giant Blackstone. The news comes a week after KC Southern reportedly rejected a Blackstone offer valuing the company at around $18B. The two sides aren’t in active discussions, per the WSJ.
In For A Penney, In For A Pound
J.C. Penney reached a tentative agreement to sell its business to a group of mall owners and lenders that include Simon Property Group and Brookfield Property Group. The deal would save the department store chain from liquidating more than 600 locations and cutting 70,000 jobs. Separately, J.C. Penney announced plans to liquidate 232 stores.
📱 The Last Dance? Per the WSJ, ByteDance is discussing possible arrangements with the U.S. government that would allow the company to avoid a full sale of its U.S. TikTok business.
📈On The Rise… all three major U.S. stock indexes surged on Wednesday – Dow +1.6% | S&P +2% | Nasdaq +2.7% – as the tech sector experienced its best day since April.
New Product Launch: Microsoft confirmed that its new Xbox Series S ($299) and Series X ($499) models will launch on Nov. 10.
One Hair-Brained Scheme
Last year, when Dr. Terrance Newton became principal of Warner Elementary School in Wilmington, DE, he was troubled by the school’s high rate of suspensions and behavioral write-ups. Determined to get to the root of the issue, he began calling students down to his office – not to punish them, but to give them a haircut.
As the head of school, Dr. Newton established a fully-functioning barbershop in the building, funded by his own money and donations from the community. There, the personable principal gives his students free haircuts and talks with them about their lives. Dr. Newton’s unique program is just the makeover Warner Elementary needed – last year, the school issued only four out-of-school suspensions, down from 103 the previous academic year.
How We Met Our Mother
When a pregnant stray dog named Georgia was brought into Sunshine Dog Rescue in Phoenix, AZ, last month, the poor pup was starving and had entered premature labor due to her malnourishment. The clinic’s veterinarians performed an emergency C-section to save Georgia’s life, but none of the puppies in her litter survived. Georgia awoke from the operation in a panic, tearing up her hospital mattress as she desperately searched for her babies.
Recognizing the devastated dog’s grief, the founder of Sunshine Dog Rescue introduced Georgia to a newborn litter of kittens. Although the rescue facility’s staff was initially skeptical of the unique pairing, Georgia was immediately taken with the kittens, and now cares for them as if they were her own puppies (photos).
Ring Around The Roses
In 1983, Paula Walter of Plymouth, England, was playing catch with her son when she lost her wedding ring in her garden. Paula, who had married her husband, Joe, just three years earlier, was devastated when the 18-carat gold band slipped off of her finger and disappeared into the dense underbrush, where it remained hidden for almost four decades.
Last month, a local landscaping company struck gold (heh) while performing lawn care for Paula, when they found the missing wedding ring – returning it to the blissful bride just days before the Walters’ wedding anniversary. Although Paula had previously turned over her yard several times to look for the ring over the years, the misplaced band was found precisely where she had been standing when she lost it.
Primary Care For Your Home
Home care can be overwhelming. It’s often hard to know where to start.
And that’s where we come in… Like a primary care physician, Homepoint uses the latest technology to diagnose your home’s health, plan to optimize its condition, and get the necessary work done cost-effectively.
Spend your time enjoying your home, not taking care of it. Visit http://gohomepoint.com to learn more. Let us know the DONUT sent you and we’ll throw in an extra handyman hour for free!
⛪ Second To Nun… Sister Denise Bergon, the young mother superior of the Convent of Notre Dame de Massip in Toulouse, France, saved 83 Jewish children from the Nazis by hiding them among the students at her convent.
🍬 The Candyman Can… known as “The Candyman,” the creator of Jelly Belly – who now owns a separate candy company – announced a nationwide ‘golden ticket’ treasure hunt where entrants compete for a key to one of his new company’s candy factories.