Cause of wildfire appears accidental
CAMARILLO, Calif. (AP) — Investigators have ruled out arson as the cause of a huge Southern California wildfire that was 75 percent contained Sunday after burning through coastal mountains and threatening thousands of homes.
Continuing cool, moist air significantly reduced fire activity and helped firefighters build containment lines around the 44-square-mile fire at the western end of the Santa Monica Mountains.
Officials expected full containment late today.
Investigators said the cause of the fire was not considered suspicious. Instead, they believed it was started by a small, “undetermined roadside ignition of grass and debris” on the edge of U.S. 101 near Thousand Oaks, said Tom Piranio, a spokesman with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.
The area near an uphill incline is considered a collection point for fuel and ignition sources, and it’s possible a piece of debris fell into the tinder-dry brush early Thursday and sparked the fire, Piranio said.
Malaysia’s coalition keeps its power
KUALA LUMPUR, Malay-sia (AP) — Malaysia’s long-governing coalition has won national elections to extend its 56 years of unbroken rule, fending off the strongest opposition it has ever faced.
The Election Commission reported that Prime Minister Najib Razak’s National Front coalition captured 112 of Malaysia’s 222 parliamentary seats to win a simple majority Sunday. Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim’s three-party alliance seized 57 seats. Other races were too close to call.
It was the National Front’s 13th consecutive victory in general elections since independence from Britain in 1957. It faced its most unified challenge ever from an opposition that hoped to capitalize on allegations of arrogance, abuse of public funds and racial discrimination against the government.
Owner could face murder charges
DHAKA, Bangladesh (AP) — Bangladeshi police are investigating possible murder charges against the owner of a shoddily built factory that collapsed nearly two weeks ago after the wife of a garment worker crushed in the accident filed a complaint.
The legal development comes as officials said today that the death toll from the country’s worst industrial disaster had reached 645.
Sheuli Akter, the wife of Jahangir Alam, filed the complaint with Dhaka magistrate Wasim Sheikh, saying her husband and other workers were “pushed toward death” by building owner Mohammed Sohel Rana and two others.
Alam was employed in New Wave Styles Ltd., one of the five garment factories housed in the eight-story Rana Plaza that collapsed April 24.