5 Things for October 11: California wildfires, Harvey Weinstein, Catalonia

CNN/Stylemagazine.com Newswire | 10/11/2017, 5:59 a.m.
The US men's soccer team won't be in the World Cup next year. Here's what else you need to know ...
A California wildfire that killed four people and cost nearly $57 million to extinguish was started by faulty hot tub wiring at a home, authorities said. Credit: California department of Forestry and Fire Protection

By Doug Criss, CNN

(CNN) -- The US men's soccer team won't be in the World Cup next year. Here's what else you need to know to Get Up to Speed and Out the Door.

1. California wildfires

At least 17 people are dead in the Northern California wildfires, but authorities warn that number will probably rise (more than 100 people are missing) as they start sifting through the ashes of the homes and businesses destroyed in this disaster. The fires have burned more than 122,000 acres in the state so far. More than 20,000 people have had to flee their homes, and there's great concern about what the fires' long-term effects will be on the area's wine industry.

The flames moved fast, devouring an area the size of a football field every three seconds. And today will be another tough one for firefighters -- there's no rain coming this week and the winds will be high, with gusts of up to 40 mph predicted.

2. Harvey Weinstein

Harvey Weinstein is now accused of rape. The explosive allegations come from a story in The New Yorker in which three actresses say the media mogul sexually assaulted them. A spokeswoman for Weinstein denied the rape allegations and people at his film company, which fired him over the weekend, denied knowing anything about his alleged misconduct.

And the allegations keep piling up. A-list actresses Angelina Jolie and Gwyneth Paltrow (who won a best actress Oscar in the Weinstein-produced film "Shakespeare in Love") both said he made unwanted advances toward them in the 90s. Weinstein, who's been a big Democratic donor, was also condemned by Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.

3. Catalonia

Catalonia's going to hold off on making a formal declaration of independence and wants to hold talks with the Spanish government first. Catalan President Carles Puigdemont said the autonomous region had "earned the right" to independence after voters voiced their approval in the October 1 referendum.

But he said he wants talks with Spain before going further, although he didn't say how the talks should take place or who would mediate them. Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy is calling for a Cabinet meeting this morning to discuss the government's response. Rajoy has previously refused to hold talks unless Puigdemont drops his independence claim.

4. Kenya presidential election

Kenya's opposition leader is dropping out of the rerun of the presidential election. Raila Odinga said he fears the second vote will be even more fraudulent than the first. The country's supreme court invalidated the results of the first election, won by President Uhuru Kenyatta, saying it was tainted by fraud. The rerun is set for October 26, but it's not clear whether the election will still be held or whether Kenyatta will automatically be declared the winner.

5. NFL and the national anthem

NFL owners may be looking at forcing players to stand for the national anthem. The owners are reportedly considering a rule change in the league's manual, which currently requires players to stand at attention for the anthem but doesn't list any penalties for those who don't. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell sent a letter to owners saying the league needed to "move past this controversy." Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has already said he'd bench any player who didn't stand for the anthem. The anthem protests started in 2016 with ex-49ers QB Colin Kaepernick, who said he was taking a knee to protest racial injustice.