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'Fire-nados' blaze across US in searing hot heat

A mix of tornado winds are fire burning out of control in southern California has given rise to phenomenon US media outlets have dubbed 'fire-nados'.

One blaze, in the city of San Marcos, has burned over 700 acres and is being made worse by high temperatures.

Firefighters are gaining ground on a number of other fires in the region. A total of nine different blazes are forcing the evacuation of tens of thousands of people as the air quality drops due to the smoke wafting over the area.

State of emergency declared in San Diego

Authorities have been forced to declare a state of emergency in San Diego after wild fires ripped through the surrounding countryside.

The destructive cluster of fires comes as California enters its peak fire season in the midst of its worst drought in decades. Credit: Reuters

A wall of flames dozens of feet high has advanced towards an upscale hillside community near San Diego, threatening to destroy up-market homes, along with eight other wild fires threatening the Californian city.

San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer praised the "extraordinary acts of bravery" by those battling the blazes. Credit: Reuters

The nine blazes raging round San Diego have destroyed more than 10,000 acres, and evacuation notices have been sent to areas that are home to 125,000 residents since the first blaze broke out on Tuesday, county officials said.

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'The global response' called for rescue of Nigerian girls

The American ambassador to the UK - Matthew Barzun - has defended the twitter campaign to raise awareness of the kidnapping of over 200 Nigerian school girls on Good Morning Britain.

He reiterated that the rescue operation was lead by the Nigerian Government, but said the international community had "stood up" for women's right to an education.

"It's interesting - they didn't see bring back their girls, or bring back the girls, they said bring back our girls," he said.

Police officer shot before house explodes

A police officer in the United States was killed when he responded to a 'domestic dispute' yesterday that ended in a house fire and a dramatic explosion.

The part-time officer, from Brentwood, New Hampshire, answered a domestic abuse call and was shot almost as soon as he arrived at the house by suspected gunman Michael Nolan, 47, who was believed killed in the subsequent fire and explosion, NBC News have reported.

Judge rules against 'spoiled' teen who sued parents

New Jersey student Rachel Canning attends a hearing in her lawsuit against her parents Sean and Elizabeth Canning, in Morristown Credit: Reuters

A New Jersey family court judge ruled today that the parents of a teenager suing them for her college education do not have to pay her tuition fees.

Rachel Canning, 18, who was suing her parents for 'abandoning' her, says that they threw her out of the house. She has made claims that her mother calling her 'porky' led her to suffer from bulimia and her ex-police chief father used to drink heavily and kiss her inappropriately.

Her parents claim their daughter ran off to stay with friends when she turned 18 because she refused to abide by rules they had set down, including to stop dating her boyfriend.

Sean and Elizabeth Canning cry during a hearing in a lawsuit brought by their daughter Rachel Canning Credit: Reuters

However the judge took a dim view of the lawsuit.

Superior Court Judge Peter Bogaard denied Canning’s emergency request for $600 a month in support, high school and college tuition and legal fees.

When he read out an expletive-laden and vicious answerphone message left by Rachel Canning to her mother, Elizabeth, in which the girl said: 'I wanna s*** all over your face', he said: "Have you ever in your experience seen such gross disrespect for a parent? I don’t see it in my house."

"What kind of parents would the Canning’s be if they didn’t try to set down some strict rules?" He told the court.

Bogaard hinted that ruling in the teen’s favor could set a dangerous legal precedent.

“Do we want to establish a precedent where parents living in constant fear of establishing basic rules of the house?” he said.

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Kerry: No evidence supports any of Russia's claims

US Secretary of Sate John Kerry accused Russia of intimidation and aggression against Ukraine.

He said the "Russian government is trying to make the world believe, against all evidence, it is representing Ukrainian people."

"Not a single piece of evidence supports any of Russia's claims. None," the top American diplomat said."There's a better way for Russia to pursue its interest in Ukraine," Mr Kerry added.

Briton charged with hacking Federal Reserve computers

A man from Suffolk has been charged in the US with hacking into computer servers belonging to the Federal Reserve and then stealing and revealing the personal details of people who use them.

Lauri Love was charged with one count each of computer hacking and aggravated identity theft. He faces up to 10 years in prison on the hacking charge and another two years on the identity theft charge.

Love was first arrested in October in the UK and charged by US and British authorities with hacking into and stealing data from a variety of US government computer systems, including those run by the military.

Taliban suspends talks with US over prisoner exchange

The Taliban have suspended talks over a possible exchange of Taliban and US prisoners due to the "complexity" of the situation in Afghanistan, the militant group said today.

File picture of a US soldier in Afghanistan. Credit: Reuters

"Due to the political complexity of the current situation in the country, the leadership of the Islamic Emirate has decided to suspend the issue for some time," Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said in an email -using the name the Taliban gave their 1996-2001 government.

"Therefore, the prisoner exchange process has been delayed until further notice," Mujahid said. He provided no further detail on why that decision had been made.

China warns US after meeting with Tibet's Dalai Lama

The US has "gravely violated" basic norms over relations between China and the US, after President Obama granted an audience to Tibet's Dalai Lama yesterday. In a statement from China's foreign ministry reiterated its view that no country has a right to interfere in its internal affairs:

Tibet is a sacred and inalienable part of China. Tibet-related affairs fall entirely within the internal affairs of China which allow no foreign interference. The Dalai Lama is a political exile who has long been engaged in anti-China separatist activities under the cloak of religion.

We urge the US side to take China's concerns seriously, cease to connive and support anti-China separatist forces that seek "Tibet independence", stop interfering in China's internal affairs and take immediate steps to remove the adverse impact so as to avoid further damage to China-US relations.

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