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Climate change rears ugly head as Republicans rally re-election effort

WASHINGTON — Climate change, an issue all but forgotten in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, is roaring back to the forefront just as Donald Trump’s Republicans begin their sprint to the November presidential election.

Wildfires are ravaging California and twin storms are threatening the U.S. Gulf Coast on the very day the Republican National Convention is getting underway, hoping to jump-start the president’s re-election hopes.

During the Democratic convention last week, California Gov. Gavin Newsom made a direct link between climate change and the fires in his state as he denounced Trump for threatening to withhold funding for suppression efforts.

Newsom has also appealed directly to Canada and Australia for help in battling the wildfires, which have consumed nearly half a million hectares and forced more than 100,000 people from their homes.

On the other side of the country, meanwhile, two tropical storms are poised to drench U.S. states like Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama — with one of them expected to reach hurricane strength by the time it makes landfall later this week.

Tropical storm Marco, which weakened overnight, is expected to travel west as it skirts the edge of the Gulf Coast, while the storm known as Laura could be a category-2 hurricane by the time it reaches the U.S.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 24, 2020.

The Canadian Press

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