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A veterinarian examines a small bird brought to the Huntington Beach Wetlands and Wildlife Care Center on Oct. 4. Photo: Mindy Schauer/MediaNews Group/Orange County Register via Getty Images

California Gov. Gavin Newsom has declared a state of emergency due to the oil spill in Orange County, with miles of popular beaches closed for what may be months.

Why it matters: The 127,000-gallon spill from an Amplify Energy pipeline about 5 miles offshore is among the largest spills in recent California history. It's causing oil to wash ashore, coating wildlife.

Where it stands: With an unusually high number of ships sitting offshore, waiting to bring their cargo into the Port of Long Beach, officials investigating the cause of the spill suspect that a ship's anchor may have caused the tear in the pipeline, and they hope to find out more about this possibility.

What we're watching: Federal and state officials opened a criminal investigation into the cause of the spill.

  • The full toll on wildlife is not yet known, but the region from Laguna Beach north to Huntington Beach is home to seals, whales, dolphins and birds, among other species.

Go deeper: In photos: Oil spill threatens Southern California shores

Go deeper

California wildfire jumps major highway as blaze swells to 13,400 acres

Firefighters from Los Padres National Forest monitor the Alisal Fire as it moves into Refugio Canyon, California, on Tuesday. Photo: Al Seib/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

About 100 Central California properties and a shuttered oil refinery were under threat overnight from a rapidly growing wildfire that forced the closure of a major highway near Santa Barbara, per the Los Angeles Times.

The big picture: The Alisal Fire that ignited near the Alisal Reservoir on Monday has grown to 13,400 acres with 5% containment, officials said. Nearly 800 firefighters are now battling the wind-driven blaze that caused thousands of people to evacuate.

Updated 35 mins ago - World

North Korea claims latest missile test new weapon launched from submarine

North Korean state media claims the country's military fired this missile on Tuesday. Photo: Korean Central News Agency

North Korean state media announced that a detected ballistic missile launch off its east coast on Tuesday was a newly developed weapon test-fired from a submarine.

Why it matters: Pyongyang's latest in a series of recent missile launches into the sea happened hours after U.S. officials emphasized their commitment to restart negotiations on North Korea's nuclear weapons program, which have stalled since talks broke down during the Trump administration, AP notes.

3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Manchin's massive means test

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) is offering progressives a trade: He'll vote for their cherished social programs if they accept strict income caps for the recipients, people familiar with the matter tell Axios.

Why it matters: Manchin’s plan to use so-called means-testing for everything from paid family medical leave to elder and disabled care would drastically shrink the size and scope of the programs. It also would bring a key moderate vote to the progressive cause.