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November 25, 2018

The Camp Fire in Northern California's Butte County, which killed at least 85 people and destroyed more than 18,000 buildings, is 100 percent contained, officials said Sunday.

The fire broke out on Nov. 8, sweeping through the town of Paradise. Officials say the blaze scorched more than 153,000 acres and burned down 14,000 homes. It was the deadliest fire in California history, and there are 249 people still missing.

More than 1,000 firefighters are still on site, with most taking part in search and recovery efforts and clearing hazards from roadways. Rain in the area helped extinguish hot spots, and despite the concerns of officials, did not trigger any mudslides. Catherine Garcia

11:07 a.m.

Joe Biden is a candidate of habit.

When Biden was in the Senate, he was often its poorest member — a designation he's proudly touted even on the 2020 campaign trail. Yet Biden turned his finances around after his time as vice president, and seemingly hasn't figured out a creative way to use his fortune.

Since leaving office, the 2020 frontrunner has pulled in "millions of dollars largely from book deals and speaking fees that ranged to as much as $200,000 per speech," The Washington Post reports via public documents. And at every one of those events, Biden has maintained one very major demand: Pasta. Contracts required that his speech hosts serve him "angel hair pomodoro, a caprese salad, topped off with raspberry sorbet with biscotti," the Post reports. He'd wash it down with "Coke Zero, Regular Coke, Orange Gatorade and black coffee," all of which had to be in his dressing room, the Post continues.

Those requests only applied to Biden's paid speaking gigs, but his 2020 campaign stops have so far come with similar perks. Sponsors have so far picked up the tab for "VIP hotel suites, town cars and professional drivers, chartered flights and travel expense reimbursements," the Post reports.

Biden's campaign declined to comment to the Post on this story, or on why he's replaced his signature ice cream with a much more lavish dessert. Kathryn Krawczyk

11:02 a.m.

It's always nice to appreciate yourself and all your hard work, especially when nobody else does.

President Trump makes sure to do that when he can. In a Tuesday morning tweet, Trump boasted about the stock market's success in June. And who else was there to thank for such good fortune, but himself?

This is not the first self-congratulatory tweet Trump has posted about the stock market. The president sent out a nearly identical tweet on Saturday.

He has similarly deemed himself everyone's "favorite president" on multiple occasions. The presidency is a tough gig, after all, so a little self-esteem boost is warranted from time to time. Tim O'Donnell

10:34 a.m.

Boris Johnson is the heavy favorite to take over as the United Kingdom's next Prime Minister, and, what with Brexit and all, he probably won't have much time to relax.

For Johnson, the former Foreign Secretary and Mayor of London, that means he won't get to ... paint as many buses as he'd like. Johnson revealed in an interview with the U.K.'s Talkradio that he blows off steam by taking wooden crates and transforming them into a wholesome scene — as he puts it, he paints passengers "enjoying themselves on the wonderful bus." Johnson seemed slightly reticent to divulge this personal information when first asked, but he gradually increased his enthusiasm while discussing the subject.

Johnson's buses would apparently get some brownie points from environmental activists, as well; he's eager to point out that he models them off the low-carbon buses on the streets of London. Tim O'Donnell

10:25 a.m.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo reportedly still has his eye on a run for Senate — and the White House.

At a private dinner this spring, when asked if he has considered running for president, Pompeo said "I have," Politico reports. Pompeo attended this event with Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), who Pompeo reportedly pointed to and said, "And I might be running against that guy."

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has reportedly lobbied Pompeo to run for Senate in Kansas next year to replace Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), who is retiring. Pompeo in February said of this potential Senate run, "It's ruled out. I'm here. I'm loving it."

But Politico cites Pompeo's confidants as saying that's actually not true; the run reportedly isn't ruled out at all, and Pompeo is still "quietly evaluating the next steps in his political career," with this 2020 Senate bid potentially being a step toward a White House run. McConnell himself remains enthusiastic about Pompeo running for Senate, telling Politico, "he’s still my first choice" although "I doubt the president would agree with that."

Still, some Republicans are urging Pompeo to stay where he is at the State Department, with Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) telling Politico, "We need to see stability." Brendan Morrow

9:56 a.m.

Ethics issues continue to shroud the Trump family, The New York Times reports.

The Trump administration has worked to reverse course on the Obama administration's efforts to protect the Boundary Waters, a pristine wilderness area in Minnesota, from a copper mining project near the area. But the renewed leases are being scrutinized after the revelation of a personal connection between Andrónico Luksic, a Chilean billionaire whose family controls the mining conglomerate attempting to renew leases for its operations in Minnesota, and Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump.

Shortly before President Trump entered the Oval Office, Luksic purchased a $5.5 million house in Washington, D.C. to add to his personal investment portfolio. Within a week, Kushner and Ivanka Trump had reportedly worked out an arrangement to rent the home. The Wall Street Journal first reported about the home in 2017, while Twin Metals, a subsidiary of Luksic's conglomerate that is seeking the leases in Minnesota, was suing the federal government. Twin Metals has since increased its lobbying efforts. That's raised ethics concerns, both from environmental groups seeking to protect the Boundary Waters and Democrats in Congress, the Times reports.

For example, Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.), the chair of the House Natural Resources Committee, argued in a letter that the Department of the Interior and the Department of Agriculture both "blatantly ignored scientific and economic evidence," while also mentioning the "interesting coincidence" surrounding the rental agreement.

Rodrigo Terré, chair of Luksic's family investment office, said the arrangement is nothing more than a simple real estate transaction, unrelated to the Minnesota mine. A spokeswoman for the Department of the Interior also said Kushner and Ivanka Trump have not been involved in discussions. That hasn't helped alleviate everyone's concerns, though.

"There may be nothing wrong," Arthur Andrew Lopez, a former federal government ethics official, said. "But it doesn't look good." Read more at The New York Times. Tim O'Donnell

9:49 a.m.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren's (D-Mass.) plans are starting to pay off.

Just a day ahead of her headlining spot in the first Democratic debate, Warren topped a primary poll of members of the progressive group MoveOn, released Tuesday. She earned 37.8 percent support among MoveOn members, putting her 21 points above the second-place challenger Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), NBC News reports.

With Sanders in the pool, Warren's rise is a bit surprising. The progressive MoveOn members chose Sanders over Hillary Clinton in 2016, and he came in third behind "undecided" and former Texas Rep. Beto O'Rourke in a 2020 poll conducted in December. Now, just two percent of MoveOn members say they're undecided on their first choice for a Democratic contender.

While the MoveOn poll is bad news for Sanders, it's even worse for former Vice President Joe Biden. He got 14.9 percent support from MoveOn members — a far cry from his usual top billing. He'll face off against Sanders on Thursday night's NBC debate of 10 Democratic candidates. Meanwhile, Warren will be the undisputed leader in her Wednesday night appearance, with O'Rourke her closest competitor.

The online poll was emailed to MoveOn members, who responded from June 17 to 21. No margin of error was reported. Kathryn Krawczyk

9:48 a.m.

Former Vice President Joe Biden is reportedly preparing for the first Democratic debate by boning up on old Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) clips.

Biden and Sanders, the top two candidates in most Democratic primary polls, have been placed together in the second night of primary debates this week, and CNN reports the former vice president has been "viewing some of Sanders' exchanges with [Hillary] Clinton in 2016" and "trying to acquaint himself with Sanders' style."

Numerous campaign advisers who spoke with CNN said they're cautioning the candidates against directly attacking their fellow Democrats, and Sanders told CNN that he expects the debate to be "friendly" while promising that they'll be "debating the real issues facing the American people" and not getting "into personal controversy and gossip."

That doesn't mean there will be no engagement between the candidates at all, though, as Sanders added that "we are going to be contrasting our views with other people." That should include Biden, who Sanders has taken some recent digs at, in April interview encouraging voters to "take a look at my record versus" the former vice president's. This possible confrontation between the race's two frontrunners is set for June 27. Brendan Morrow

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