California lifts some water restrictions after storms and floods

Water conservation restrictions have been relaxed for nearly seven million people in Southern California after the state's 11th atmospheric river this season helped ease drought.

But experts cautioned drought remains a long-term concern for the state.

"Dry conditions could return as soon as next year," local officials said.

BBC reports excess heat in the atmosphere is taking more moisture out of the earth and worsening droughts, though not all droughts are caused by climate change.

Winter storm hits California with snow and central US with tornadoes

Residents in Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri and Texas were asked to seek shelter as severe weather makes its way to the region through Monday.

There were reports of damaged homes and knocked down power lines, leaving thousands without power.

At least 12 people have been reported injured as a result of the storm.

Severe weather is expected to continue to the upper Midwest later in the week.

Californians have already faced mass power outages, flooding and the closures of both motorways and beaches as the storm swept the US state.

Firenado rages in California

 Hot temperatures and strong winds formed a 'firenado' in California on Wednesday.

Hundreds of firefighters were called to tackle the blaze, which spread during a bush fire.

No one was harmed, and the Los Angeles County Fire Department said no structures were immediately threatened.


California governor declares monkeypox emergency

California, the nation's most populous state, has confirmed 827 monkeypox cases as of Monday, the second-largest state tally after the 1390 infections documented in New York, according to the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.

The first case of monkeypox in the United States was confirmed in Massachusetts on 20 May, with the first case in California, in a person who had travelled abroad, confirmed five days later.

Monkeypox, which spreads through close physical contact, tends to cause flu-like symptoms and pus-filled skin lesions, though it is rarely fatal.

Missing dog Zoey reunited with owners after 12 years

Zoey had been dumped from a vehicle at a rural property near Stockton and was found by someone who called police, saying she seemed old and ill.

An animal services officer scanned the dog's microchip and discovered she had been missing since 2010.

"I definitely didn't expect this to ever happen so I'm really excited," said Zoey's owner Michelle.

Zoey had been missing for so long the microchip company had listed her as dead since 2015, San Joaquin County Sheriff's Office said.

Body of father killed in California car accident to be returned to Tonga

The family said on Facebook this was the deceased’s wish that his body be buried at his parents’ burial place according to a report by Kaniva News.

The 45-year-old Latu Moli of Carmel Valley, Monterey County was killed after a crash on Southview Lane on his way to work on December 6.

According to reports, Moli’s vehicle veered off the road, past the guardrail, and down a steep hill for unknown reasons.

CHP responded and tragically pronounced Moli dead at the scene. Moli was an employee at Public Works Monterey Road District for 14 years.

Tongan brothers gunned down in the US laid to rest

The burial services for Suitileilani, 21 and Manasi Atiai Mēsui, 26, were held at Sunset View Cemetery in El Cerrito Friday Kaniva News reports.

Auhorities previously said the men apparently got into some kind of confrontation with some other men and were shot on September 27. They were pronounced dead at the scene, East Bay Times reported.

Police have yet to update their media statements after they said the suspects fled on foot before police arrived on the scene.

Police are trying to determine what the confrontation was about, the paper reported.

Two Tongan brothers killed, four wounded in US shootings

Four other people including a 17-year-old girl, were wounded in a pair of shootings early Sunday in different areas of East Oakland, authorities said.

While the names of the brothers, one 21 and the other 26, have not yet been officially released, family members shared their names on social media.

Kaniva News reports the brothers have been identified as ‘Atiai and Suiti Mēsui.  

They were shot about 1:55 a.m. Sunday outside their home in the 3700 block of High Street near Masterson Street.

California Gold Rush town 'destroyed' by state's largest wildfire

The estimated 800 residents of the northern California community were told to evacuate before the blaze tore through the downtown area.

Officials say some people may not have heeded the order to leave. There have been no reports of deaths or injuries.

The three-week old Dixie Fire is now the eighth largest in state history.

Pictures from the scene show tall trees that have caught on fire, and structures that have been scorched and hollowed out by flames.

One photographer tweeted a photo of a metal light pole that had melted due to the intense heat.

Eight killed in California rail yard shooting

The shooting took place at the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) rail yard in San Jose.

Officials say the victims include multiple transit employees. The suspect, an employee, is also dead.

The shooting broke out around 06:45 local time (14:45 GMT).

Officials say the suspect may have set his home on fire before the attack.

Across the US, there have been 230 mass shootings so far this year, according to the Gun Violence Archive. A mass shooting is defined by the group as a crime in which four or more people are fatally shot.