An official says the massive California wildfire that is still burning was “human-caused.” However, deputy incident commander Carlton Joseph has said there are many possibilities as to how the fire began and there are no clues yet that show how it started, AP.
The death toll from the earthquake that struck 150 miles from Jakarta has been raised to at least 35. The toll is expected to rise as a landslide triggered by the quake destroyed many houses, BBC News.
Next Wednesday, President Obama will address a joint session of Congress to speak about his healthcare reform plan. Rumors have been circulating that the White House is planning on dropping the public option from the plan, but officials have not confirmed this. Three House committees have passed healthcare reform bills, but the Senate has not been able to reach a compromise, Washington Post.
Hot Topic: How to Win in Afghanistan.
A car bomb exploded earlier today outside NATO headquarters in Kabul, Afghanistan. 7 people have died and 90 are injured. Violence is increasing ahead of Afghanistan’s presidential election on August 20, Voice of America.
Britain has suspended the government of Turks and Caicos Islands due to systematic corruption. The governor of Turks and Caicos Islands, who is directly appointed by Queen Elizabeth, usually only acts on the advice of cabinet, but will now take over decision-making, CNN International.
U.S. Senator Jim Webb, who is on a tour of Southeast Asia, met with Burmese pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi for about 45 minutes today. Webb’s office later released a statement saying American John Yettaw, who sparked the current legal problems for Aung San Suu Kyi when he visited her uninvited at her home, will be released rather than serve a sentence of seven years, Reuters.
A fire at a wedding in Kuwait has killed 41 women and injured 76 more. The wedding spread through a tent that the women were inside of, CNN.
Wealthy Americas are scrambling to report offshore bank accounts after a U.S. deal with Swiss banks to turn over the names of 52,000 Americans with up to $15 billion hidden in secret accounts, AP.
In his weekly address, U.S. President Barack Obama discussed media distortion of the healthcare debate and emphasized that constructive conversations are happening at town hall meetings around the country, transcript.