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Happening Today: Fire Tornado, Christopher Watts, Generic EpiPen, Aretha Franklin, Juelz Santana

What to Know

  • In the history of California wildfires there has never been anything like it: A deadly, churning tornado filled with fire
  • Regulators cleared the first generic competitor to Mylan's EpiPen, after a long delay that many said contributed to the drug's rise in price
  • Aretha Franklin often used her talent, fortune and platform to inspire millions of black Americans and support the fight for racial equality

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2,700 Degree Fire Tornado Killed Firefighter, Report Claims

In the history of California wildfires there has never been anything like it: A churning tornado filled with fire, the size of three football fields. An official report describes in chilling detail the intensity of the rare fire phenomenon and how quickly it took the life of Redding firefighter Jeremy Stoke, who was enveloped in seconds as he tried to evacuate residents on July 26. Three videos released with the report show the massive funnel of smoke and flames in a populated area on the edge of Redding, about 250 miles north of San Francisco. The smoke-and-fire tornado was about 1,000 feet wide at its base and shot approximately 7.5 miles into the sky; it reached speeds of up to 165 mph, with temperatures that likely exceeded 2,700 degrees Fahrenheit said the report by the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

Bodies of Missing Wife, Daughters Found in Colorado

After his pregnant wife and two daughters disappeared, Christopher Watts stood on his porch in Colorado and lamented to reporters how much he missed them. He longed for the simple things, he said, like telling his girls to eat their dinner and gazing at them as they curled up to watch cartoons. Watts was in jail after being arrested on suspicion of killing his family, probably before he spoke those words. Authorities did not offer a motive. The body of 34-year-old Shanann Watts was found on property owned by Anadarko Petroleum, one of the state's largest oil and gas drillers, where Christopher Watts worked, police said. Investigators found what they believe are the bodies of 4-year-old Bella and 3-year-old Celeste nearby.

FDA Approves Teva’s Generic EpiPen After Yearslong Delay

U.S. regulators cleared the first generic competitor to Mylan's EpiPen, after a yearslong delay that many said contributed to the emergency allergy drug's rapid rise in price. Teva Pharmaceuticals received Food and Drug Administration approval for generic versions of both the EpiPen and EpiPen Jr, the agency said in a statement. The products are the first competitors cleared by the FDA that are direct generic copies of the EpiPen and could be substituted for the brand-name product by a pharmacist. Other versions of epinephrine auto-injectors, such as the Adrenaclick and Auvi-Q, are on the market, but aren't considered EpiPen generics. Teva shares rose 6 percent to $37.66 on the news. Mylan introduced its own authorized generic form of the EpiPen in late 2016, after an uproar about the branded version's price, which rose more than 400 percent over a decade.

CT K2 Overdoses Top 100, Drug May Have Been Given Out for Free, Officials Say

For a third day in a row, New Haven emergency crews responded to multiple overdoses on the New Haven Green that are possibly linked to the synthetic drug K2. City officials said they have reports of a person handing out the drug for free, possibly to get people addicted. The total number of overdoses this week is now over 100 without any fatalities. New Haven Emergency Operations Director Rick Fontana said that from 10:15 p.m. Wednesday through 8:30 p.m. Thursday, there have been 36 suspected overdose calls. Fontana said emergency crews are looking into whether these most recent incidents are connected with the nearly 80 overdoses that took place in a 24-hour period Tuesday night and during the day on Wednesday.

Queen of Soul Also Leaves Powerful Civil Rights Legacy

Aretha Franklin, who was born and rose to fame during the segregation era and went on to sing at the inauguration of the first black president, often used her talent, fortune and platform to inspire millions of black Americans and support the fight for racial equality. "She not only provided the soundtrack for the civil rights movement, Aretha's music transcended race, nationality and religion and helped people from all backgrounds to recognize what they had in common," said longtime civil rights leader the Rev. Joseph E. Lowery. Franklin, who died at 76, was a close confidante of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and a financial lifeline to the civil rights organization he co-founded, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. The Queen of Soul's commitment to civil rights was instilled by her father, the Rev. C.L. Franklin, who also knew King and preached social justice from his pulpit at New Bethel Baptist Church in Detroit. The church, in fact, was the first place King gave his "I Have a Dream" speech in 1963.

Rapper Juelz Santana Pleads Guilty to New Jersey Airport Gun Charge

Rapper Juelz Santana admitted in court he tried to get a gun onto a plane at a New York-area airport earlier this year. Santana, whose real name is LaRon James, pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and carrying a weapon on an aircraft. The 36-year-old Totowa resident faces up to 20 years in prison when he is sentenced Dec. 12. Santana was arrested in March after security staff at New Jersey's Newark Liberty International Airport found a loaded .38-caliber handgun and nonprescription oxycodone pills in a carry-on bag containing his identification on March 9. Santana left the area, leaving two bags behind, but turned himself in three days later. He has been free on bail while awaiting trial.

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