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Raked by ferocious Santa Ana winds, explosive wildfires on the edge of Los Angeles and in the foothills outside the city burned a psychiatric hospital and scores of other structures Tuesday and forced the evacuation of tens of thousands of people from their homes. County fire officials said one of the blazes broke out Monday in Ventura County and grew wildly to more than 70 square miles in a matter of hours. It was fanned by winds clocked at more than 60 mph. A smaller fire erupted on the northern edge of Los Angeles, threatening the Sylmar and Lakeview Terrace neighborhoods, where residents scrambled to get out. It was estimated at more than 6 square miles. About 2,500 homes were ordered evacuated. Just weeks ago, wildfires broke out some 400 miles to the north in wine country and other parts of the state, killing 44 people and destroying 8,900 homes and other buildings. Officials said at least 150 structures burned in the Ventura County fire. TV news reports showed homes in flames, along with Vista del Mar Hospital, which treats patients with mental problems or substance abuse, including veterans with post-traumatic stress syndrome.

The federal investigator probing alleged Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election asked Deutsche Bank for data on accounts held by President Donald Trump and his family. According to a person close to the matter, Germany’s largest bank received a subpoena from Special Counsel Robert Mueller several weeks ago to provide information on certain money and credit transactions, adding key documents had been handed over in the meantime. Deutsche Bank loaned the Trump Organization hundreds of millions of dollars for real estate ventures and is one of the few major lenders that has given large amounts of credit to Trump in the past decade. One U.S. official with knowledge of Mueller’s probe said one reason for the subpoenas was to find out whether Deutsche Bank may have sold some of Trump’s mortgage or other loans to Russian state development bank VEB or other Russian banks that now are under U.S. and European Union sanctions. Mueller is investigating alleged Russian attempts to influence the election, and potential collusion by Trump aides. Russia has denied U.S. intelligence agencies’ conclusion that it meddled in the campaign and Trump has said there was no collusion with Moscow.

The Supreme Court has fully reinstated the third version of President Trump's travel ban while legal challenges move through the courts, giving Trump a victory after mixed success fighting challenges to earlier versions over the summer. The 9th Circuit of Appeals had upheld a lower court ruling against Trump's restrictions on travel by people from six Muslim majority nations — Iran, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, and Chad — unless they had a legitimate relationship with an individual or organization in the U.S. The American Civil Liberties Union, representing groups challenging the order, said it was simply a disguised reworking of the first two bans. Solicitor General Noel Francisco said Trump merely exercised his broad powers to control immigration.

Democrat John Conyers, the longest-serving member of the U.S. House of Representatives, announced his retirement on Tuesday, amid accusations of sexual harassment, and endorsed his son to take his place in Congress. Conyers said in an interview with a Detroit radio station. “I am in the process of putting my retirement plans together and will have more on that very soon ... I am retiring today. I have a great family here and especially in my oldest boy, John Conyers III, who incidentally I endorse to replace me in my seat in Congress." The House Ethics Committee last week opened an investigation into the 88-year-old Conyers after he said his office had resolved a harassment case of a former staffer with a payment but no admission of guilt. Conyers, who was first elected to the House in 1964, is the first major U.S. politician to step down since the recent wave of sexual harassment allegations. He has denied the accusations and continued to do so in the interview on Tuesday.

A federal judge in Florida on Monday sentenced former Democratic Rep. Corrine Brown to five years in federal prison for her conviction on corruption charges. Defense attorney James Smith, who argued Brown should get probation, said she would appeal the decision. Brown, 71, was found guilty in May of raising $800,000 with a scam charity and spending the donations on personal expenses. Her longtime chief of staff, Ronnie Simmons, received a 48-month sentence, and the founder of the One Door for Education charity, Carla Wiley, got 21 months. U.S. District Judge Timothy Corrigan told Brown the "outpouring of support" she received was "a tribute to all the work you've done over the years. That's what makes this all the more tragic."

President Trump told Palestinian and Jordanian leaders on Tuesday that he intends to move the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, their representatives said, amid a growing outcry across the Middle East against any unilateral U.S. decision on the ancient city. Senior U.S. officials have said Trump is likely on Wednesday to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital while delaying relocating the embassy from Tel Aviv for another six months, though he is expected to order his aides to begin planning such a move immediately. The officials said, however, that no final decisions have been made. U.S. endorsement of Israel’s claim to all of Jerusalem as its capital would break with decades of U.S. policy that the city’s status must be decided in negotiations with the Palestinians, who want East Jerusalem as the capital of their future state. The international community does not recognize Israeli sovereignty over the entire city.

Just one month after announcing his resignation, Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri has formally withdrawn that resignation. He declared his official decision after a Cabinet meeting Tuesday near Beirut, at which Lebanon's president and high-ranking ministers endorsed his call for the country to stay out of the affairs of other Arab countries. Reaffirming that policy of neutrality — first issued in 2012 — had been a priority for Hariri, whose perplexing statement of resignation last month specifically criticized Hezbollah for interfering in neighboring nations' affairs. The Iran-backed Shiite militant group shares power in Lebanon's tenuously balanced coalition government with Hariri, who heads a predominantly Sunni political party, as well as President Michel Aoun, a Maronite Christian. Hezbollah also has men fighting for Shiite interests in Syria, Iraq, and Yemen — placing it at loggerheads with Sunni Saudi Arabia, which has been waging a regional cold war of competing interests with Iran. In his comments Tuesday, Hariri stressed that whatever the future may hold for the region, Lebanon must remain aloof.

Former Illinois congressman John Anderson, who left the Republican party to run for president as an independent in 1980, has died, his family confirmed Monday. He was 95. Anderson originally sought the 1980 Republican presidential nomination but never finished better than second in a primary. He went on to run in the general election as an independent, billing himself as an honest, moderate alternative to Democratic President Jimmy Carter and Republican challenger Ronald Reagan. He drew support from moderate to liberal Republicans and liberal Democrats and college students, receiving 7 percent of the vote. "He really, really believed the two-party system was broken in 1980," his daughter, Diane Anderson, said. "He wanted to express that, and he did."

Netflix confirmed Monday that it would resume production of House of Cards in early 2018 and complete an eight-episode sixth and final season without star Kevin Spacey, who was sidelined after several men accused him of sexual assault and harassment. "We are excited to bring closure to fans," Netflix content chief Ted Sarandos said. Production company Media Rights Capital shut down production in November after the allegations surfaced against Spacey, who plays the ruthless politician Frank Underwood in the show. The final season, which originally was to include 13 episodes, will star Robin Wright, who plays Spacey's equally devious wife, Claire Underwood.

As we continue the first week of December for this podcast, I am asking each of you to kindly consider making a small monthly donation to support the cost of producing this recording and keep the podcast commercial free. If you click the link on the landing page " become a patron" you can make a secure monthly pledge through Stripe or PayPal. Several thousand of you are followers of this podcast and if 10 percent of you made a 1 or 2 dollar monthly donation, it would solve all financial issues, and eliminate the possibility of adding advertising to support production. Thank you for listening and for supporting this podcast. I'm Larry Rice and I hope you have a wonderful day.

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