California oil spill: Gov. Gavin Newsom declares state of emergency; criminal, civil investigations underway
Crews along Southern California’s coast deployed skimmers and attempted to corral oil-slicked ocean waters in booms Monday while wildlife experts scrambled to protect birds and fish from an enormous oil spill that threatened to close beaches for months. Officials are looking into whether a ship’s anchor may have struck a pipeline on the ocean floor, causing the leak of crude, authorities said Monday. The head of the company that operates the pipeline, Amplify Energy CEO Martyn Willsher, said a cargo ship’s anchor was “one of the distinct possibilities” behind the leak. Willsher added that he expected there would be a clearer picture of what caused the damage by Tuesday. California Gov. Gavin Newsom proclaimed a state of emergency in Orange County, directing state agencies “to undertake immediate and aggressive action to clean up and mitigate the effects” of the spill. Late Monday, a state spokesman also told USA TODAY that numerous government probes of the company’s actions and of the spill have begun.
- The massive California oil spill was reported Friday: But nobody told the millions who went to the beaches
- Graphic explainer: How pipeline breach off California coast closed beaches, killed wildlife
Massive cleanup begins after California oil spill
Since a pipeline spilled crude off the California coast this weekend, just a handful of oiled birds have been recovered in what environmental advocates said could be a hopeful sign for the region’s wildlife. (Oct. 4)
Facebook whistleblower to testify before Senate panel
Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen is scheduled to testify Tuesday morning at a Senate Commerce consumer protection panel. Haugen leaked documents to The Wall Street Journal and to lawmakers that she says showed Facebook lied to the public about its efforts to root out hate speech, misinformation and violence. Haugen, 37, was employed at Facebook for nearly two years. She worked on the civic integrity team as a product manager to combat election interference and misinformation. According to her written testimony, Haugen will compare Facebook to tobacco companies. “When we realized tobacco companies were hiding the harms it caused, the government took action. When we figured out cars were safer with seatbelts, the government took action,” Haugen’s testimony says. “I implore you to do the same here.”
- Apps go down: Outage of Facebook, Facebook Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp, one of the longest in Facebook’s history
- Would you take a Facebook or Instagram break? Why civil rights groups want you to log out
Facebook whistleblower: Why Frances Haugen calls platform “dangerous”
Whistleblower Frances Haugen says she leaked the documents because she wants to fix Facebook.
CBS, USA TODAY Handout
Biden heads to Michigan to promote infrastructure, budget packages
President Joe Biden will travel to Howell, Michigan, on Tuesday to promote his $3.5 trillion budget bill and $1 trillion infrastructure package. The town is in the district of Rep. Elissa Slotkin, D-Mich., a moderate House Democrat who has said she will “very seriously” examine a final reconciliation package and called “threatening” from progressives “unproductive.” Though a majority of Democratic lawmakers and the president support both bills, the party’s razor-thin majorities in both chambers of Congress mean that any small group of lawmakers could jeopardize the passage of a bill. Later this week, Biden will host lawmakers from different factions of the party for talks over the spending bills, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement Saturday.
- Congress is still at odds over Biden’s infrastructure, budget plan. What would a deal mean for the president?
- ‘Close the deal’: Biden struggles to unite Democrats behind his economic agenda
Biden expresses frustration as agenda stalls
President Joe Biden on Saturday acknowledged frustrations as Democrats strain to rescue a scaled-back version of his $3.5 trillion government-overhaul plan after frantic negotiations failed to produce a deal. (Oct. 2)
Red Sox and Yankees face off in winner-take-all wild card matchup
After 162 regular season games, MLB’s postseason arrives Tuesday. Longtime American League East rivals, the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees, kick off the playoffs with the AL Wild Card game Tuesday night (8: 08 p.m. ET, ESPN). Both teams won their games Sunday to finish with identical 92-70 records, locking them into their playoff positions. Since the Red Sox won the season series over the Yankees in 2021, taking 10 out of 19 games, Tuesday’s winner-take-all matchup will be played at Fenway Park in Boston. The winner of the wild card game will face another AL East foe in the American League Division Series, the Tampa Bay Rays, who finished with 100 regular season wins and Major League Baseball’s third best record.
- MLB’s frenzied finish: Yankees, Red Sox punch AL wild card tickets, as Giants stave off Dodgers
- Lost games, lost money and other ways COVID-19 impacted MLB season
- MLB team grades: How each team fared during the regular season
AL wild-card game: Yankees-Red Sox showdown
SportsPulse: The Yankees and Red Sox meet in the winner-take-all AL wild-card game
Winner of Fat Bear Week announced
America, who is the chonkiest bear in all the land? The champion of Fat Bear Week, a competition put on by the Katmai National Park and Preserve in southwest Alaska, will be announced Tuesday. This year’s contenders are some of the chonkiest the annual celebration has seen, with five of the seven past winners competing again. The celebration started off as a singular day in 2014, and it wasn’t long until it captivated the country. Although the celebration is all in fun, it raises awareness of how bears are dealing with climate change The reason these bears can gain all the weight is because of the abundance of salmon in the area. If the salmon were to disappear, the bears would be in great danger. Here are some of the bears vying for this year’s title.
- Looking back at 2020: ‘Earl of Avoirdupois,’ bear 747, beats ‘Chunk’ in Fat Bear Week championship
- Video: Brown bears master synchronized napping in adorable footage
Fat Bear Week 2021: Who will win as the ‘chonkiest’ bear?
Fat Bear Week is sponsored by the Katmai National Park & Preserve in southwest Alaska, which is home to an estimated 2,200 brown bears.
USA TODAY, Storyful
Contributing: The Associated Press