News to know for your Thursday

News to know for your Thursday
Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Happy Thursday! Chief Meteorologist Kris Crocker says today will be sunny but also brings a chance of rain and thunderstorms in the early evening. Temperatures will once again reach the 80s, but you may want to throw a light rain jacket in the car just in case!

Here’s what’s going on this morning that you should know about:

“Don’t say we didn’t warn you.”

That’s the message from Chinese media as Beijing threatens the United States with the possibility of a rare earths export ban. Rare earths are a group of elements that are used in cell phones, hybrid cars and cancer treatment. They also play an important role in U.S. defense, from computers to aircraft engines. Published under a pseudonym in the newspaper of the ruling Communist Party, the message says the following about the ongoing trade dispute: “At present, the United States completely overestimates its ability to control the global supply chain and is due to slap itself in the face when it sobers up from its happy, ignorant self-indulgence.”

Fire season is here

There’s no more denying it; wildfire season is here. There are currently 66 active wildfires in Florida, according to the state’s Forest Service. To the north of us, thousands of acres are also burning right now in Alberta, Canada, where people have been evacuated. Smoke from those fires is causing hazy skies over north Idaho.

More measles

A 9th case of measles has been confirmed in the current western Washington outbreak.

Freedom gas?

In a press release touting exports of natural gas, the Department of Energy referred to fossil fuel as “molecules of U.S. freedom.“​​​​​​​ The statement was touting a natural gas facility in Texas. It reads in part, “Increasing export capacity … is critical to spreading freedom gas throughout the world by giving America’s allies a diverse and affordable source of clean energy,” said Under Secretary of Energy Mark Menezes.

Deadly bus crash

At least 23 people were killed when a bus carrying Catholic pilgrims hit a cargo truck and erupted in flames in southeast Mexico last night. Thirty people were taken to the hospital. The pilgrims were returning home to Chiapas after visiting Mexico City’s Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

Catch up on the day’s news and look ahead to tomorrow by signing up for the Daily Local email newsletter from KXLY4. Headlines, events, and staff picks every weeknight at 8 p.m. Sign up HERE to get your news on the D.L.