California lifts some water restrictions after storms and floods

Water conservation restrictions have been relaxed for nearly seven million people in Southern California after the state's 11th atmospheric river this season helped ease drought.

But experts cautioned drought remains a long-term concern for the state.

"Dry conditions could return as soon as next year," local officials said.

BBC reports excess heat in the atmosphere is taking more moisture out of the earth and worsening droughts, though not all droughts are caused by climate change.

Winter storm hits California with snow and central US with tornadoes

Residents in Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri and Texas were asked to seek shelter as severe weather makes its way to the region through Monday.

There were reports of damaged homes and knocked down power lines, leaving thousands without power.

At least 12 people have been reported injured as a result of the storm.

Severe weather is expected to continue to the upper Midwest later in the week.

Californians have already faced mass power outages, flooding and the closures of both motorways and beaches as the storm swept the US state.

Firenado rages in California

 Hot temperatures and strong winds formed a 'firenado' in California on Wednesday.

Hundreds of firefighters were called to tackle the blaze, which spread during a bush fire.

No one was harmed, and the Los Angeles County Fire Department said no structures were immediately threatened.


California governor declares monkeypox emergency

California, the nation's most populous state, has confirmed 827 monkeypox cases as of Monday, the second-largest state tally after the 1390 infections documented in New York, according to the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.

The first case of monkeypox in the United States was confirmed in Massachusetts on 20 May, with the first case in California, in a person who had travelled abroad, confirmed five days later.

Monkeypox, which spreads through close physical contact, tends to cause flu-like symptoms and pus-filled skin lesions, though it is rarely fatal.

Missing dog Zoey reunited with owners after 12 years

Zoey had been dumped from a vehicle at a rural property near Stockton and was found by someone who called police, saying she seemed old and ill.

An animal services officer scanned the dog's microchip and discovered she had been missing since 2010.

"I definitely didn't expect this to ever happen so I'm really excited," said Zoey's owner Michelle.

Zoey had been missing for so long the microchip company had listed her as dead since 2015, San Joaquin County Sheriff's Office said.

California Gold Rush town 'destroyed' by state's largest wildfire

The estimated 800 residents of the northern California community were told to evacuate before the blaze tore through the downtown area.

Officials say some people may not have heeded the order to leave. There have been no reports of deaths or injuries.

The three-week old Dixie Fire is now the eighth largest in state history.

Pictures from the scene show tall trees that have caught on fire, and structures that have been scorched and hollowed out by flames.

One photographer tweeted a photo of a metal light pole that had melted due to the intense heat.

Eight killed in California rail yard shooting

The shooting took place at the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) rail yard in San Jose.

Officials say the victims include multiple transit employees. The suspect, an employee, is also dead.

The shooting broke out around 06:45 local time (14:45 GMT).

Officials say the suspect may have set his home on fire before the attack.

Across the US, there have been 230 mass shootings so far this year, according to the Gun Violence Archive. A mass shooting is defined by the group as a crime in which four or more people are fatally shot.

Most of California faces strict new lockdown as cases surge

More than half of the state's 40 million people will be subject to a stay-at-home order, as announced by Governor Gavin Newsom on Thursday.

Many businesses will be closed, and people will be banned from meeting anyone outside their household.

The order was triggered by intensive care capacity in hospitals shrinking.

The southern part of the state and its central valley will be the first areas to come under the new restrictions, at 23:59 local time on Sunday (07:59 GMT on Monday).

Children aged six and 13 confirmed dead at food festival shooting

Fifteen were injured when the suspect, named by police as Santino William Legan, 19, opened fire at the Gilroy Garlic Festival on Sunday evening.

Police say the suspect used an assault rifle that he purchased legally in neighbouring Nevada this month.

The gunman was shot dead by police, who are looking into a possible accomplice.

Six-year-old Stephen Romero is the first of the dead to be identified by local media. His mother and grandmother were wounded.

Police confirmed a man in his 20s was also killed. None of the victims have been officially named.

Shots fired at California garlic festival

The Gilroy Garlic Festival was about to finish for the weekend on Sunday evening, when shots were fired at the site.

There was "a white man in his early to mid-30s firing a rifle," eyewitness Julissa Contreras told NBC.

Video posted on social media showed people running away from the festival site amid general confusion.

The Santa Clara County Medical Center has so far admitted two victims, CBS reports.

"It was just rapid firing," Ms Contreras told NBC Bay Area. "I could see him shooting in just every direction. He wasn't aiming at anyone specifically.