Man threatens Obama
An armed man was arrested in Seattle, Washington, on Tuesday for allegedly sending an e-mail that threatened President Barack Obama, a justice official said. “When the Secret Service and local police went to his apartment to investigate, they discovered that he was armed, he was taken into custody without incident,” said Emily Langlie, a spokeswoman for the US Attorney’s Office in Washington state. Law enforcement officers were searching the house for weapons and suspicious material, Langlie said.
Fire destroys 50 buildings
Fifty buildings were destroyed by a 8,700 hectare wildfire raging in Northern California that has forced the evacuation of about 3,000 people near the small town of Manton, fire officials said late on Tuesday. Dubbed the Ponderosa Fire, the lightning-sparked blaze roared through brush and heavy timber in Tehama and Shasta counties, about 200km north of the state capital, Sacramento, since it started on Saturday. Firefighters were finally able to survey the damage from the air in one of the more heavily populated areas affected on Tuesday.
Woman dead with 31 cats
A woman has been found dead in her suburban home, where she lived with 31 cats. Maricopa County sheriff’s deputies were forced to wear breathing equipment to enter the residence in Mesa, Arizona, early on Tuesday. They had been called to check on 64-year-old Maria Elena Cimino. It is unclear how long Cimino had been dead, but authorities say she apparently died of natural causes. Sheriff’s officials say it appears the woman was a hoarder and the home was in poor condition. The sheriff’s office and the Humane Society are trying to rescue as many of the 31 feral cats and kittens as possible and decide where to keep them. Authorities say many are severely underweight and appear to have upper respiratory infections and conjunctivitis.
US$1bn of pot uprooted
More than 578,000 cannabis plants, worth more than US$1 billion, have been uprooted from forests and national parks in a major operation in the west, the Justice Department said on Tuesday. The two-month enforcement operation, which began on July 1 in seven states — California, Arizona, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Utah and Washington — was led by the nation’s anti-drug and forest authorities.
Poll set for April next year
The country, rocked two months ago by the ouster of former president Fernando Lugo, will hold general elections in April next year, the superior court of electoral justice said on Tuesday. “Some 3.5 million people are registered to vote,” in the April 21 polls, court head Alberto Ramirez said during a ceremony attended by President Federico Franco, who came to power in June after Congress sent Lugo packing. “It has been rumored that this government would not organize elections, or that it intended to delay them to stay in power for a longer time,” Franco said. “The process will be completed when the new president takes office on Aug. 15,” next year, Franco said, pledging to step down on that date. Congress had accused Lugo, a leftist, of “improperly fulfilling his duties” in connection with a deadly land dispute, and quickly moved to remove him from office. His ouster was widely criticized by Latin American leaders, who say the president did not have time to mount a defense.