Aug 17, 2018

Wildfire smoke from U.S., Canada blazes reaches Europe

Satellite loop showing wildfire smoke drifting across the Atlantic, towards Western Europe. Credit: Data: RAMMB / CIRA; GIF: Harry Stevens/Axios

Smoke from devastating wildfires burning from California to British Columbia has traveled all the way across the Atlantic Ocean, having hitched a ride with west-to-east moving storm systems.

Why it matters: The sighting of North American wildfire smoke in Western Europe indicates how major disasters in one country can affect people thousands of miles away.

The big picture: This fire season has already unleashed California's largest wildfire on record, as well as its largest wildfire complex (combination of two fires burning in close proximity). Air quality in the West has been so poor that it's violated federal standards in multiple states. Combined with smoke pouring out of fires in British Columbia, a plume of smoke is spreading across the northern tier of the U.S., out into the North Atlantic and on towards Europe.

Satellite image on Aug. 17, 2018, with arrows pointing to areas of wildfire smoke. Photo: Colorado State University/CIRA/RAMMB

On August 16, a NOAA satellite image captured smoke surrounding Subtropical Storm Ernesto in the North Atlantic.

While firefighters have recently made gains in containing California's wildfires, continued hot and dry weather is expected to lead to more dangerous fire weather conditions through October, which is typically the busiest part of the season there.

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Deadly clashes erupt in Delhi ahead of Trump's visit

Rival protesters over the Citizenship Amendment Act in Delhi, India, on Monday. Photo: Yawar Nazir/ Getty Images

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal called for calm Tuesday as deadly clashes erupted in the city's northeast between supporters and opponents of India's controversial new citizenship law.

Why it matters: Per the BBC, a police officer and six civilians "died in the capital's deadliest day" since last year's passing of the Citizenship Amendment Act — which allows religious minorities but excludes Muslims from nearby countries to become citizens if they can show they were persecuted for their religion — hours before President Trump and members of the U.S. first family were due to visit the city as part of their visit to India.

Go deeper: India's citizenship bill continues Modi's Hindu nationalist offensive

South Carolina paper The State backs Buttigieg for Democratic primary

Democratic presidential candidate and former South Bend Pete Buttigieg speaks at an event in Charleston, South Carolina on Monday. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

South Carolina newspaper The State endorsed former Southbend Mayor Pete Buttigieg on Monday night for the state's Democratic primary.

Why it matters: It's a welcome boost for Buttigieg ahead of Tuesday's Democratic debate in South Carolina and the state's primary on Saturday.

White House requests $2.5 billion to fight coronavirus as U.S. cases rise

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

The Trump administration sent a letter to Congress Monday requesting a funding commitment of at least $2.5 billion to help combat the spread of the novel coronavirus, as the number of confirmed cases in the U.S. rose to 53.

The big picture: As South Korea and Italy stepped up emergency measures in efforts to thwart the spread of the virus, WHO expressed concern about infections with no clear link to China. COVID-19 has killed at least 2,699 people and infected more than 80,000 others, with all but 27 deaths occurring in mainland China.

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