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CASTAIC, Calif. (AP) — Firefighters are battling two California blazes that are raging in rural areas and have prompted evacuations in the midst of a scorching heat wave. Authorities are battling a 4,625-acre blaze that prompted the evacuation of a mobile home park in the Castaic area in northwestern Los Angeles County. Eight firefighters have been treated for heat-related injuries.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Reports of sexual assaults across the U.S. military jumped by 13% last year, driven by significant increases in the Army and the Navy as bases began to move out of pandemic restrictions and public venues opened back up. U.S. defense and military officials also told The Associated Press that close to 36,000 service members said in a confidential survey that they had experienced unwanted sexual contact. That's a dramatic increase over the roughly 20,000 who said that in a similar 2018 survey.

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan’s state Board of Canvassers has rejected a ballot initiative seeking to enshrine abortion rights in the state’s constitution. The state Board of Canvassers denied the initiative Wednesday after its two Republican members voted against putting the proposed constitutional amendment on the November ballot.

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — People are waiting in lines for water in Jackson, Mississippi, after the partial failure of the city water system. Some homes and businesses have running water, but many do not. Flooding of the Pearl River worsened longstanding problems in one of two water-treatment plants.

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The Atlantic hurricane season has been oddly quiet. There's been a record-tying zero storms formed in August, which normally is the beginning of peak season. What's really strange is that all the major factors for a busy season are there: warm water, low winds and a La Nina. All the experts predicted this would be a more active than normal season, but then nothing happened.

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky will receive up to 300 donated travel trailers from Louisiana to shelter people displaced by flooding that ravaged parts of Appalachia. The governors of both states made the announcement Wednesday. Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear says the first 65 donated trailers are being transported this week to eastern Kentucky. He says more trailers will be sent to the region in phases.

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. life expectancy dropped for the second consecutive year in 2021, falling by nearly a year from 2020. That's according to a new government report. In the first two years of the COVID-19 pandemic, the estimated American lifespan has shortened by nearly three years. The last comparable decrease happened in the early 1940s, during the height of World War II.

LA PORTE, Texas (AP) — The greatest challenge in recent years for the only surviving battleship that served in both world wars has been a leaky hull that's raised concerns it could sink. Now the foundation in charge of the USS Texas' care is towing it Wednesday from its longtime home along the Houston Ship Channel to a shipyard in Galveston for much-needed repairs.

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — State governments flush with money are returning billions of dollars to their residents. Already this year, at least 31 states have enacted some form of tax cut or rebate. That's likely to grow when Missouri and Idaho convene special sessions in September to consider tax breaks. The number of states enacting tax breaks is far beyond usual. States have extra money because of surging tax revenue and federal pandemic aid.

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi’s capital city is struggling with multiple water problems — too much on the ground after heavy rainfall in the past week, and not enough safe water coming through the pipes for people to use. Parts of Jackson were without running water Tuesday because flooding worsened problems in one of two water-treatment plants. The city of 150,000 had already been under a boil-water notice for a month because the Health Department found cloudy water that could cause digestive problems.

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