Alaska wildfire rages
About 600 people and several sled dogs were evacuated as a massive wildfire in Alaska marched toward homes in communities northeast of Fairbanks, fire officials said on Monday. Heavy plumes of black smoke hampered the ability of firefighters to deploy water-dropping aircraft or make much progress in containing the flames, which spread north and northwest to threaten 750 homes and about 150 other structures. Whipped by strong winds, the so-called Stuart Creek 2 fire grew by 25 percent over the weekend and blackened 259km2 as of Monday morning, said InciWeb, the inter-agency fire information Web site run by the US Forest Service.
Five held over corruption
President Nicolas Maduro said that five officials from a development fund financed by China have been arrested in connection with the alleged embezzlement of US$84 million. In 2008, Caracas and Beijing created the fund to finance projects between the countries. It is run by the state Economic and Social Development Bank of Venezuela. Maduro did not provide details about the alleged embezzlement.
Toilet peeper arrested
A man remained jailed on Monday on a peeping complaint after authorities discovered him inside a septic tank beneath a women’s bathroom at a water park. Kenneth Enslow, 52, was arrested on Sunday after a woman called police. She had taken her seven-year-old daughter to the bathroom and noticed a man looking up at her from inside the toilet, Tulsa County Sheriff’s Major Shannon Clark said. Enslow, who was covered in human waste, was helped from the septic tank by members of the Keystone Fire Department, who sprayed him off with a fire hose and then transported him to a hospital for evaluation, according to a sheriff’s report.
Dogs inspire cancer test
Researchers said on Monday they have devised a test that can detect bladder cancer from odors in the urine. The technique was inspired by reports about how dogs may be able to sniff out certain cancers, said researchers from the University of Liverpool and University of the West of England. If studies can confirm the test’s effectiveness, the technique could offer a new way to test early for a cancer that is often costly to detect and treat.
Snowden bid confirmed
President Nicolas Maduro said on Monday his government had received an asylum application from US intelligence leaker Edward Snowden and the fugitive must now decide if he wants to fly to Caracas. “We have received the asylum request letter,” Maduro told reporters from the presidential palace.