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Record-setting wildfires are raging across the West. After 10 days, the largest blaze in Washington State history is still only half contained. 36 major fires are blazing in 7 other states, burning up the Forest Service Budget along with vast tracts of land. Money earmarked for fire prevention is diverted to fighting fires, which is bad news for the hot, dry future predicted from climate change. Is it time to manage so-called “wilderness” rather than leaving it free? Should the timber industry play a bigger role?

Also, the FAA lifts the ban on flights into Tel Aviv, and is the National Basketball Association about to get big in India?

Banner Image Credit: Andrea Booher, FEMA

FAA Lifts Ban on Flights into Ben Gurion Airport 6 MIN, 22 SEC

The FAA and the European Aviation Safety Agency have lifted their bans on flights in and out of Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion airport — the international gateway to Israel. For 24 hours, planes were turning around, and travelers were stranded at the height of the travel season. Hamas was declaring a victory. Israel was outraged. Ruth Eglash is based in Jerusalem for the Washington Post.

Ruth Eglash, Washington Post (@reglash)

An Existential Challenge for Smokey the Bear 35 MIN, 5 SEC

It’s another hot, dry year in the Western United States. At least 36 massive wildfires are raging in Oregon, Utah, Idaho, California, Nevada, Arizona and Colorado. The biggest of all has led to a federal state of emergency in Washington State, where the fast-moving Carlton Complex Fire has covered 400 square miles — an area four times the size of Seattle. The town of Pateros is almost completely destroyed.

Maria L. La Ganga, Los Angeles Times (@marialaganga)
Alan Bjerga, Bloomberg News (@AlanBjerga)
Philip Dennison, University of Utah (@philip_dennison)
Paul Jannke, Forest Economic Advisors
Chris Solomon, freelance environmental reporter (@chrisasolomon)

India, the Next Great Basketball Superpower? 7 MIN, 55 SEC

When Yao Ming was signed by the Houston Rockets, professional basketball picked up millions of cable viewers in China. Now the Sacramento Kings have signed a 7-foot, 5-inch player of Indian descent, with high hopes of appealing to a massive audience in that country.

Simran Bhullar grew up in Canada, where his parents immigrated from India. He’s 7-feet, 5-inches tall, and he played well for New Mexico State University. Now he’s been signed by the Sacramento Kings, whose owner has his eye on 600 million cable viewers on the sub-continent. Sharda Ugra joins us from New Delhi, where she is senior editor of ESPN’s CricInfo.com, which covers the sport of Cricket.

Sharda Ugra, ESPNcricinfo

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