3 Compelling Stories from Home & Away
By Emily Maxwell
ALASKA – from ktoo.org
Officials: McKinley Fire has burned 51 homes, 3 businesses, 80 outbuildings
Officials dealing with the McKinley Fire burning between Willow and Talkeetna released an assessment Friday of damage since the blaze ignited last weekend.
Ken Barkley, director of emergency services for the Matanuska-Susitna Borough, told reporters outside the Curtis D. Menard Memorial Sports Center in Wasilla that 51 homes were lost to the wildfire. In addition, three businesses in the area also burned, along with approximately 80 outbuildings.
On Friday, officials with state and local agencies, as well as the American Red Cross, informed property owners from within the fire’s perimeter about the status of their homes. The sports complex, which is serving as an evacuation shelter, was closed to members of the press to protect people’s privacy.
“It’s very hard to find out that everything you own is gone,” Barkley said. “I’ve been doing this a long time, and it’s something you never want to have to do again.”
About 60 people have been staying at the Wasilla shelter overnight, with more staying in RVs and trucks in the parking lot.
Officials cautioned that the fire is still extremely active and could intensify on Saturday because of a shifting wind pattern. By Friday night, 380 firefighters are expected to be combating the blaze, aided by air assets.
NATIONAL – from Aljazeera.com
Trump administration moves to end limits on child detention
Immigrant advocates decry move, saying prolonged detention would traumatize immigrant children.
The Trump administration on Wednesday unveiled new rules that would allow officials to detain migrant families indefinitely while judges consider whether to grant them asylum in the United States.
The rules, which are certain to draw a legal challenge, would replace a 1997 legal agreement that limits the amount of time US immigration authorities can detain migrant children. That agreement is generally interpreted as meaning families must be released within 20 days.
Administration officials blame the so-called “Flores Settlement Agreement” for a spike in immigration, especially of Central American families, saying it encourages migrants to bring children with them so they can be released into the United States while their court cases are pending.
Families typically have to wait several months for their cases to work their way through immigration court, and the new rule would allow DHS to keep those families at detention facilities.
The settlement had placed limits on how long children could be held in detention, leading the administration to release tens of thousands of families pending the resolution of their cases.
INTERNATIONAL – from bbc.com
Amazon fires: G7 leaders close to agreeing plan to help, says Macron
International leaders gathering at the G7 summit are reportedly nearing an agreement to help fight fires in the Amazon rainforest.
French President Emmanuel Macron said on Sunday a deal to provide “technical and financial help” was close.
Leaders from the US, Japan, Germany, France, Italy, the UK and Canada continue their meeting in the seaside town of Biarritz on Monday.
It comes amid international tension over record fires burning in Brazil.
Critics have accused Brazil’s President, Jair Bolsonaro, of “green lighting” the Amazon’s destruction through anti-environmental rhetoric and a lack of action on deforestation violations.
The severity of the fires, and his government’s response, has prompted global outcry and protests.
President Macron last week described the fires as an “international crisis” and pushed for them to be prioritized at the G7 summit this weekend.
On Sunday he said the leaders are “all agreed on helping those countries which have been hit by the fires as fast as possible.
“Our teams are making contact with all the Amazon countries so we can finalize some very concrete commitments involving technical resources and funding.”
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Britain would provide £10m to protect the Amazon rainforest.