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Los Angeles mayor: "Talk to a firefighter if you think that climate change isn't real"

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti on Sunday rebuked President Trump's claims that the California wildfires are simply a result of poor forest management, telling CNN's "State of the Union": "This is climate change and this is an administration that's put its head in the sand."

Why it matters: There's a scientific consensus that climate change and the hotter and drier conditions it brings are among the forces that increase fire risks and severity. President Trump has questioned the existence of human-caused climate change and has sought to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris Climate Accords.


What they're saying: "I listen to fire professionals, not the president of the United States or politicians when it comes to what actually causes these fires," Garcetti said. "It's been very clear that years of drought, whether it's too much water and too much rain in parts of our country, or too little. This is climate change."

  • "Talk to a firefighter if you think that climate change isn't real. And it seems like this administration, the last vestiges of the Flat Earth Society of this generation," he continued.
  • "We need real action. We need to reduce the carbon emissions that we have. And we need to make sure we can manage that water. And this is not about just forest management or raking. Anybody that lives in California is insulted by that, quite frankly. And he keeps perpetrating this lie."

The big picture: Trump plans to visit California on Monday after facing criticism for weeks of silence about the devastating West Coast wildfires, which have razed record amounts of land and forced hundreds of thousands of people from their homes.

White House plots "full-court press" for $1.9 trillion relief plan

The Biden White House is deploying top officials to get a wide ideological spectrum of lawmakers, governors and mayors on board with the president’s $1.9 trillion COVID relief proposal, according to people familiar with the matter.

Why it matters: The broad, choreographed effort shows just how crucially Biden views the stimulus to the nation's recovery and his own political success.

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Scoop: Sudan wants to seal Israel normalization deal at White House

Three months after Sudan agreed to normalize relations with Israel, it still hasn't signed an agreement to formally do so. Israeli officials tell me one reason has now emerged: Sudan wants to sign the deal at the White House.

Driving the news: Israel sent Sudan a draft agreement for establishing diplomatic relations several weeks ago, but the Sudanese didn’t reply, the officials say. On Tuesday, Israeli Minister of Intelligence Eli Cohen raised that issue in Khartoum during the first-ever visit of an Israeli minister to Sudan.

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Netanyahu doesn't want a fight with Biden over Iran — yet

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, hoping to avoid an immediate clash with President Biden over Iran, will give dialogue a chance, Israeli officials say.

Why it matters: Biden intends to try to resume the 2015 nuclear deal, which Netanyahu vehemently opposes. The two are on a collision course, and memories are fresh of the crisis in U.S.-Israel relations when Netanyahu was publicly campaigning against Barack Obama's attempts to reach a deal — including in a speech to Congress.

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The Doomsday Clock is kept unchanged at 100 seconds to midnight

In its annual update on Wednesday morning, scientists announced the Doomsday Clock would be kept at 100 seconds to midnight.

Why it matters: The decision to keep the clock hands steady — tied for the closest it has ever been to midnight in the clock's 74-year history — reflects a picture of progress on climate change and politics undercut by growing threats from infectious disease and disruptive technologies.

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Biden's climate orders to include halt on new oil-and-gas leases on public lands

President Biden will signnew executive actions today that provide the clearest signs yet of his climate plans — and will begin an intense battle with the oil industry.

Driving the news: One move will freeze issuance of new oil-and-gas leases on public lands and waters "to the extent possible," per a White House summary.

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