It’s been a brutally hot, dry summer in the West, with hundreds of heat records broken and an unprecedented drought that has created a tinderbox for ferocious wildfires. Firefighters battle the Tamarack Fire in the Markleeville co
Sometimes, wildfires can create their own weather — pyrocumulus clouds, thunderstorms, dry lightning and even fire tornadoes.…
The effects of the wildfires are also being felt across the country as cities along the East Coast experienced smoky skies this week.
The wildfires have scorched nearly 4,000 square miles, an area larger than the states of Delaware and Rhode Island put together.

This cauldron of misery has been exacerbated by a sprawling heat dome that's wandered around the West this summer, sending temperatures skyrocketing.
A heat dome occurs when the atmosphere traps hot air like a lid or cap.…

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More from @USATODAY

21 Jul
The lambda variant has been identified in less than 700 cases in the United States.

Here's what you should know.…
About 83% of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. are from the delta variant and the vast majority of hospitalizations are among unvaccinated people, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
However, the World Health Organization in June called lambda a "variant of interest," meaning it has genetic changes that affect the virus' characteristics and has caused significant community spread or clusters of COVID-19 in multiple countries.
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30 Jun
Donald Rumsfeld dies at age 88. The defense secretary during 9/11 was known as the architect of the Iraq war. Text: Donald Rumsfeld, 1932 - 2021 Photo: Outgoing Defense S
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Here's a collection of Rumsfeld's most famous — and sometimes infamous — quotes.…
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30 Jun
A majority of states introduced bills this year that would bar transgender students from girls' and women's sports. A USA TODAY investigation found supporters rely on specious claims and half-truths.…
Rather than responding to a problem, bill sponsors cited work by Alliance Defending Freedom - a conservative, legal nonprofit that has been involved in litigation, drafted model legislation and lobbied for these bills.
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18 Jun
Confused about how to tell others you’re vaccinated? So is the rest of the nation. But creative options exist, from rubber wrist bands to social media announcements.…
“I don’t have an issue showing someone my vaccination card if I’m going to a concert, but I don’t feel like asking people to share that to attend our wedding,” says Katie McKalip, 31. Instead she and her fiancé are “strongly encouraging” guests to get vaccinated. A young woman and young man stand on top of rocks on a balco
With no federal vaccine tracking system, states have taken different approaches – from New York’s digital Excelsior app to Texas and Florida banning businesses from asking for proof of vaccine.…
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17 Jun
Can your employer require you to get vaccinated? Houston Methodist became a case study when hospital workers sued to stop a vaccine mandate but lost.…
The culture war going on across America took root at Houston Methodist hospitals, where the requirement that all employees get vaccinated led to a petition, protests and a lawsuit. 🎥: @jaspercolt
@USATODAY reporter @davidhth went to Houston to see firsthand what was happening there.…
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It’s June 1, the official start of #Pride2021. USA TODAY has a month of coverage planned, but first we want to share some of the illuminating, thoughtful and educating pieces from recent coverage on the LGBTQ+ community.
Last month, Demi Lovato announced they were nonbinary and changed their pronouns to they/them. Reporter @doliver8 wrote up this informative explainer breaking down what it means to identify as nonbinary:…
A story about transgender, nonbinary and other gender-nonconforming people worldwide who have given birth from reporter @grace_hauck, who writes “at the heart of the question is real families living ordinary lives.”…
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