California cleans up after heavy rains, mudslides

Californians cleaned up Saturday from a major storm that soaked the drought-stricken state.

Perhaps the biggest job was in Camarillo, about 50 miles northwest of Los Angeles, where a Friday mudslide besieged houses, making 13 uninhabitable. The debris flowed down a hillside burned by wildfire last year.

Cleanup also was under way in South Los Angeles, where a small – and rare – tornado touched down, ripping parts off roofs and knocking down trees.

The cleanup came as more rain was forecast for coming days, though the National Weather Service said that precipitation shouldn’t cause the same amount of damage as the recent storm. Weather experts say many more storms are needed to pull the state out of its water crisis.

On Saturday, crews restored power to nearly everyone who lost it, though roads including a stretch of the Pacific Coast Highway remained closed. In the mountains, ski resorts welcomed up to a foot of snow.


Person of interest in shooting is gang member

Portland police say a 22-year-old man arrested in connection with a shooting outside a high school has gang ties.

Sgt. Pete Simpson said Saturday that Lonzo Murphy is a “person of interest” in the Friday shooting, but officers aren’t prepared to say whether he was the gunman.

Simpson says authorities are looking for two other people connected to the shooting near Rosemary Anderson High School. Three people were hospitalized, including a 16-year-old girl who was critically wounded, and a fourth person was grazed by a bullet.

Simpson says two of the victims have ties to gangs. The victims are students or in affiliated job training programs.

Murphy was arrested on a parole violation.


Islamic State militants down Iraqi military helicopter

Islamic State group militants shot down an Iraqi military helicopter, officials said Saturday, killing the two pilots onboard and raising fresh concerns about the extremists’ ability to attack aircraft amid U.S.-led coalition airstrikes.

The attack happened late Friday in the Shiite holy city of Samarra. A senior Defense Ministry official told The Associated Press the Sunni militants used a shoulder-fired rocket launcher to shoot down the EC635 helicopter on the city’s outskirts.

An army official corroborated the information. Both spoke on condition of anonymity as they weren’t authorized to speak to journalists.

Some fear the militants may have captured ground-to-air missiles capable of shooting down airplanes when they overran Iraqi and Syrian army bases this summer.

Many commercial airlines have changed their flight plans to avoid Iraqi airspace.


U.S. Embassy asks French to halt sale of sacred artifacts

The U.S. Embassy in Paris is asking a French auction house to suspend the planned sale Monday of Navajo and Hopi artifacts.

The embassy said Saturday that U.S. Ambassador Jane Hartley asked the auction house to withdraw the “sacred and culturally significant objects” to allow representatives from the two to determine provenance and see whether they can be reclaimed.

The Hopis have been unsuccessful in the past, with court rulings in Paris declaring such sales legal. The tribe routinely has opted out of purchasing any items auctioned in Paris.

The objects for sale by the Drouot auction house include masks believed to have been used in Navajo wintertime healing ceremonies.

– From news service reports