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Tens of millions still under dangerous heat warnings. Go indoors and hydrate

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Tens of millions still under dangerous heat warnings. Go indoors and hydrate


PHOENIX (AP) — Extreme heat alerts continued for tens of millions of people in the United States on Tuesday as cities including Chicago broke records at the start of a week of sweltering weather.

States in the Midwest started to bake Monday in what the National Weather Service called a dangerous and long duration heat wave that was expected to stretch from Iowa to Maine into at least Friday.

On Monday, Chicago broke a 1957 temperature record with a high of 97 degrees Fahrenheit (36.1 degrees Celsius). Hot and muggy conditions will continue this week with peak heat indexes near 100 F (37.7 C) at times, the National Weather Service in Chicago said in a post on social platform X.

The heat didn’t stop people in Chicago’s Grant Park from ordering the hottest dishes off the menu at the food truck where Emmanuel Ramos is a cook, WBBM-TV reported.

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“They be ordering the hottest stuff on the hottest day,” he said. “They order ramen, corn — they just want everything hot. I don’t know why,” said Ramos. “Right now, something that would be good is the smoothies.”

Wyatt Seymore pours the last drops of liquid from a water bottle into his mouth as he takes a break from unloading a stiflingly hot trailer of fireworks outside Powder Monkey Fireworks ahead of the opening of the stand, Monday, June 17, 2024, in Weldon Spring, Mo. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

The U.S. last year saw the most heat waves, consisting of abnormally hot weather lasting more than two days, since 1936. Officials warned residents to take precautions.

Much of the Midwest and Northeast were under heat warnings or watches with officials announcing the opening of cooling centers and urging people to limit outdoor activities when possible and to check in with family members and neighbors who may be vulnerable to the heat.

The heat has been especially dangerous in recent years in Phoenix, where 645 people died from heat-related causes in 2023, which was a record. Temperatures there hit 112 F (44.4 C) on Saturday. Weather service forecasters say the first two weeks of June in Phoenix were the hottest start to the month on record there.

A meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Phoenix, Ted Whittock, advised reducing time outdoors between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m., staying hydrated and wearing light, looser fitting clothing. More than 100 cooling centers were open in the city and surrounding county, including two new overnight ones.

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In Southern California, firefighters increased their containment of a large wildfire in mountains north of Los Angeles on Monday after a weekend of explosive, wind-driven growth along Interstate 5.

The warming temperatures come amid growing concern about the effects of extreme heat and wildfire smoke. The nonprofit Center for Biological Diversity on Monday sent a petition to the Federal Emergency Management Agency asking it to recognize extreme heat and wildfire smoke as major disasters.

The agency did not immediately issue a specific response to the petition. A FEMA spokesperson for the western U.S. states said there was nothing that would preclude an emergency declaration for extreme heat, but noted that there would need to be an immediate threat to life and safety that local authorities could not respond to.

While much of the U.S. swelters, late-season snow was forecast for the northern Rockies on Monday into Tuesday. Parts of Montana and north-central Idaho were under a winter storm warning. As much as 20 inches (51 centimeters) was predicted for higher elevations around Glacier National Park.

Meanwhile, a fresh batch of tropical moisture was bringing an increasing threat of heavy rain and flash flooding to the central Gulf Coast.

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Hurricane season this year is forecast to be among the most active in recent memory.



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San Diego, CA

San Diego Zoo announces public debut date for new giants pandas

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San Diego Zoo announces public debut date for new giants pandas


SAN DIEGO (KGTV) – The San Diego Zoo on Friday announced the official public debut date for the giant pandas Yun Chuan and Xin Bao.

Zoo officials said guests can get their first in-person look at the panda pair starting Thursday, Aug. 8.

There will be three ways for Zoo guests to see the pandas:

  • On the day of their visit, guests can obtain a complimentary “Giant Panda Timed Ticket”
  • Guests can enter a standby line on the day they visit the Zoo
  • Guests can make reservations for an exclusive “60-Minute Early Morning with Pandas Walk Tour”

Visit https://zoo.sandiegozoo.org/giant-pandas for more information on how to see the pandas.

Yun Chuan and Xin Bao arrived at their new home on June 27 from China. They are the first pandas to enter the U.S. in 21 years.

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Since their arrival, Zoo officials said the pandas have been getting used to their new surroundings in the newly reimagined Panda Ridge.

Zoo officials described Yun Chuan as “an almost five-year-old male identifiable by his long, pointy nose.”

Xin Bao was described as “a nearly four-year-old female best recognized by her large, round face and big, fluffy ears.”





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Widespread technology outage disrupts flights, banks, media outlets and companies around the world

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Widespread technology outage disrupts flights, banks, media outlets and companies around the world


WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — A widespread Microsoft outage disrupted flights, banks, media outlets and companies around the world on Friday.

Escalating disruptions continued hours after the technology company said it was gradually fixing an issue affecting access to Microsoft 365 apps and services.

The website DownDectector, which tracks user-reported internet outages, recorded growing outages in services at Visa, ADT security and Amazon, and airlines including American Airlines and Delta.

News outlets in Australia reported that airlines, telecommunications providers and banks, and media broadcasters were disrupted as they lost access to computer systems. Airlines in the U.K., Europe and India reported problems and some New Zealand banks said they were offline.

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Microsoft 365 posted on X that the company was “working on rerouting the impacted traffic to alternate systems to alleviate impact in a more expedient fashion” and that they were “observing a positive trend in service availability.”

The company did not respond to a request for comment. It did not explain the cause of the outage further.

New Zealand’s acting prime minister, David Seymour, said on X that officials in the country were “moving at pace to understand the potential impacts” of the global problem.

“I have not currently received any reporting to indicate these issues are related to malicious cyber security activity,” Seymour wrote. The issue was causing “inconvenience” for the public and businesses, he added.

Israel’s Cyber Directorate that it was among the places affected by the global outages, attributing them to a problem with the cybersecurity platform Crowdstrike. The outage also hit the country’s post offices and hospitals, according to the ministries of communication and health.

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Meanwhile, major disruptions reported by airlines and airports grew.

In the U.S., the FAA said the airlines United, American, Delta and Allegiant had all been grounded. Travelers at Los Angeles International Airport slept on a jetway floor, using backpacks and other luggage for pillows, due to a delayed United flight to Dulles International Airport early on Friday.

Airlines, railways and television stations in the United Kingdom were being disrupted by the computer issues. The budget airline Ryanair, train operators TransPennine Express and Govia Thameslink Railway, as well as broadcaster Sky News are among those affected.

“We’re currently experiencing disruption across the network due to a global third party IT outage which is out of our control,’’ Ryanair said. “We advise all passengers to arrive at the airport at least three hours before their scheduled departure time.”

Edinburgh Airport said the system outage meant waiting times were longer than usual. London’s Stansted Airport said some airline check-in services were being completed manually, but flights were still operating.

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Widespread problems were reported at Australian airports, where lines grew and some passengers were stranded as online check-in services and self-service booths were disabled. Passengers in Melbourne queued for more than an hour to check in, although flights were still operating.

Airline operations in India were disrupted, affecting thousands.

The privately-owned IndiGo airlines told the passengers on X that the Microsoft outage on Friday impacted airline operations in India, inconveniencing thousands of passengers.

Several airlines made statements on X saying that they were following manual check-in and boarding processes and warned of delays due to technical problems.

Hong Kong’s Airport Authority said in a statement that the outage was affecting some airlines at the city’s airport and they had switched to manual check-in.

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Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport said on its website that the outage was having a “major impact on flights” to and from the busy European hub. The outage came on one of the busiest days of the year for the airport, at the start of many people’s summer vacations.

In Germany, Berlin Airport said Friday morning that “due to a technical fault, there will be delays in check-in.” It said that flights were suspended until 10 a.m. (0800GMT), without giving details, German news agency dpa reported.

Zurich Airport, the busiest in Switzerland, suspended landings on Friday morning but said flights headed there that were already in the air were still allowed to land. It said that several airlines, handling agents and other companies at the airport were affected, and that check-in had to be done manually in some cases, but that the airport’s own systems were running.

At Rome’s Leonardo da Vinci airport, some US-bound flights had posted delays, while others were unaffected.

Australia appeared to be severely affected by the issue. Outages reported on the site DownDetector included the banks NAB, Commonwealth and Bendigo, and the airlines Virgin Australia and Qantas, as well as internet and phone providers such as Telstra.

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Hospitals in Britain and Germany also reported problems.

Several practices within the National Health Service in England reported that the outage had hit their clinical computer system that contains medical records and is used for scheduling.

“We have no access to patient clinical records so are unable to book appointments or provide information,” Church Lane Surgery in Brighouse in Northern England said on the social media platform X. “This is a national problem and is being worked on as a high priority.”

The NHS did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

In northern Germany, the Schleswig-Holstein University Hospital, which has branches in Kiel and Luebeck, said it had canceled all elective surgery scheduled for Friday, but patient and emergency care were unaffected.

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News outlets in Australia — including the ABC and Sky News — were unable to broadcast on their TV and radio channels, and reported sudden shutdowns of Windows-based computers. Some news anchors broadcast live online from dark offices, in front of computers showing “blue screens of death.”

In South Africa, at least one major bank said it was experiencing “nationwide service disruptions” as customers reported they were unable to make payments using their bank cards at grocery stores and gas stations.

The New Zealand banks ASB and Kiwibank said their services were down.

An X user posted a screenshot of an alert from the company Crowdstrike that said the company was aware of “reports of crashes on Windows hosts” related to its Falcon Sensor platform. The alert was posted on a password-protected Crowdstrike site and could not be verified. Crowdstrike did not respond to a request for comment.

___

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Kurtenbach reported from Bangkok. Associated Press journalists Danica Kirka and Brian Melley in London, Stefanie Dazio in Los Angeles, Rod McGuirk in Melbourne, Kanis Leung in Hong Kong, Geir Moulson in Berlin, Michael Corder in the Netherlands, Ashok Sharma in New Delhi, Gerald Imray in Cape Town and Nicole Winfield in Rome contributed.



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County breaks ground on East County crisis center in El Cajon

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County breaks ground on East County crisis center in El Cajon


Leaders gathered at what was once a county assessor’s office Thursday to break ground on East County’s first stand-alone crisis stabilization unit designed to provide up to 24 hours of respite for those with urgent mental health care needs.

When complete in 2025, the 14,000-square-foot, $28 million facility will be the county’s seventh such location. Existing units are already operating in Vista, Oceanside, Escondido, Chula Vista, Hillcrest and at the San Diego County Psychiatric Hospital.

Though their particulars vary slightly, all follow the same general model, offering multiple recliners in quiet rooms where people coping with severe symptoms of psychiatric distress can be evaluated by medical professionals for up to 24 hours.

The key feature of crisis-stabilization centers is their ability to divert patients, often picked up on “5150” holds, from the region’s busy emergency departments where they would otherwise be taken for evaluation. These holds are often performed by law enforcement officers when a person is thought to possibly be a danger to themselves or others or gravely disabled.

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Thursday, and in other recent presentations, county officials have said that the two newest crisis centers in Vista and Oceanside have reduced local emergency visits for mental health care by 40 percent since 2022.

Supervisor Joel Anderson said during Thursday’s ground-breaking event that the El Cajon unit is expected to relieve pressure on the very-busy emergency department of Sharp Grossmont Hospital in La Mesa.

“I believe this is going to allow them to provide better care by not clogging their emergency room with things that we can do at this crisis stabilization unit,” Anderson said.

With an opening day anticipated in the fall of 2025, the new facility will include 16 recliners for patients. Services provided will include patient assessment, medication assistance, peer support and referral to outside services.

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