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Inside The Town Devastated By The Deadliest Wildfire In California’s History (HBO)

Never. Never, had they seen anything like it. Never, did they think it could get to this. Never, did the residents of Paradise, CA think a fire would actually swallow their community whole.

“It was just like in the movies,” said 81 year-old Paradise resident, Bobbie Covington. “I was stuck in a line of traffic and cars were blowing up around me from the heat.”

The Camp Fire, which was at 35% containment as of Wednesday night, is on record as the most deadly and destructive fire in California’s history, having killed 56 people and destroying 8,817 structures, as of Wednesday evening.

“I called my son and said, ‘I love you, I’m not going to make it out of this,” said Covington, who lost her home of 45 years to the flames.

While investigators are still looking into what started the Camp Fire, a coalition of lawyers filed a lawsuit Tuesday, accusing PG&E of negligence for how they handled the power lines when conditions worsened.

“If they cut the power off the night before, this wouldn’t have happened,” said Paradise resident Cindy Heike, 59, who lost one of her properties.

PG&E, which expects to pay about $2.5 billion for its role and the losses in 14 wildfires last year, said they, “will fully cooperate with any investigations.”

Meanwhile, fire crews continue to work on putting an end to the Camp Fire and residents are left coming to terms with what was unimaginable.

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Houston Elected 19 Black Women And At Least One Socialist Judge (HBO)

HOUSTON, Texas — The Democrats’ blue wave didn’t quite capture the great state of Texas. Beto O’Rourke lost a close race to Ted Cruz. Greg Abbott easily defeated a challenger for a second term as governor.

But further down the ballot, especially in the big cities, blue was the only color.

Nowhere was that more true than in Houston, where a combination of Beto-fever and Texas’s straight-ticket-voting option, meant that every single Republican judge on the Harris County bench lost their seats to Democrats — 59 new judges, all told, including more than a dozen black women, and at least one democratic socialist.​.

The wipeout could mean a wholesale transformation of the judiciary in Houston, a city with one of the highest incarceration rates in the nation, a crisis over bail reform for indigent defendants, and a historic penchant for the death penalty.

“For 19 black women and a socialist to be elected judge in Houston, which is the epicenter of mass incarceration, is not a small deal,” said Jay Jenkins, an attorney with the Texas Criminal Justice Coalition. “The possibility that we could fix some of the issues that the sitting judges have just proved unwilling or unable to fix is on the horizon.”

But a clean slate election also meant some tough losses. Marc Carter has been a criminal court judge in Houston for 15 years, and one of the court’s most highly regarded jurists — from attorneys on both sides of the aisle. In 2009, he helped set up Texas’s first veterans court, which funnels veterans into treatment programs rather than jail for certain infractions.

He lost to a candidate who never set up a campaign website.

“I’m not going to pretend like I didn’t know what the rules are,” Carter told VICE News “The way you become a judge in Texas isn’t based on merit. It’s simply based on what party you’re affiliated with. And that’s it.”

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Trump’s Border Troops Have Nothing To Do (HBO)

The Rio Grande Valley in Texas is now home to roughly 1,000 active duty US army soldiers. They’re part of the more than 5,000 troops Donald Trump deployed to the US-Mexico border ahead of the midterm elections, at an estimated cost of $200 million.

Most of the troop in the Rio Grande Valley are now living on Base Camp Donna, ten miles east of McAllen. In the last week, army engineers have built the camp up to accommodate a long-term deployment: it now has hot showers, laundry facilities, and a kitchen to produce two hot meals a day. Many of the soldiers there have served in Afghanistan and Iraq, and life on Base Camp Donna is much like life on any other base — except here, there’s no enemy to fight, and the troops have almost nothing to do.

The migrant caravan they’re supposed to be responding to is weeks away and headed to Tijuana, 1,500 miles to the West. The only concrete missions the troops have engaged in so far consist of “hardening” parts of the border with concertina wire. When that’s done, said Major Derek Wamsley, a public affairs officer at the base, “we move back here and wait for the next request from Customs and Border Protection.”

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This Inventor Was Allegedly Scammed By A Company Matt Whitaker Once Advised (HBO)

Worldwide Patent Marketing is a company that allegedly scammed thousands of hopeful inventors. They don’t admit liability but in May the FTC obtained a settlement that required WPM to pay back $26 million to the inventors.

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Watch These First-Time Female Candidates Find Out If They Won On Election Night | She’s Running 4

A record number of women ran for office this year, many of them for the first time; among their ranks were Deidre DeJear, Pearl Kim, Anna Eskamani, and Morgan Zegers. These four very different women, who we followed on the campaign trail for six months, got into politics for very different reasons, but shared one thing in common: They’d never thought they’d be candidates.

Each sought to make history on Tuesday. Democrat DeJear wanted to be Iowa’s secretary of state and the first African-American elected to statewide office in Iowa. Republican Kim, a former special victims prosecutor and sexual assault survivor, ran for Pennsylvania’s 5th Congressional District and to become the first Korean-American woman in Congress. Democrat Eskamani, a former Planned Parenthood employee, hoped to become the first Iranian-American in the Florida state House. And 21-year-old Republican Zegers tried to convince voters to elect to her to the New York State Assembly as its youngest member.

All these women’s canvassing, their fundraising, their sign waving, their speech making, their cow milking, their porkchop flipping, their weeks and months and years of campaigning — all of it came down to just one day.

“It was a pretty incredible experience to be able to vote for myself,” Kim told VICE News. “After all this, to vote myself in for Congress — it’s crazy.”

Watch the final installment of VICE News’ “She’s Running” web series to find out what happened next.

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Growing Up In One Of Mexico’s Most Violent States | VICE on HBO (Extra)

2018 is on track to be Mexico’s deadliest year with over 20,000 homicides so far.

Civilians, journalists, and politicians have been intimidated and killed. VICE News’ Gianna Toboni reports from Veracruz.

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What The Migrant Caravan Outside Mexico City Is Really Like (HBO)

More than 5,000 migrants have arrived in Mexico City after a grueling 1,000-mile journey across three countries in just as many weeks.

Police, city employees, humanitarian aid groups and countless volunteers converged on Jesus Martinez stadium, a sports venue that has been converted into a temporary shelter for the thousands expected to arrive from Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Honduras.

Mexico City is the caravan’s longest pit stop so far. The first among the group trickled into the city on Saturday with thousands more arriving in the days since. No decision has been made on when to resume the trek northward, but there is talk among the migrants that it could be as soon as this weekend.

In the meantime, migrants have received medical treatment, rummaged through piles of donated clothes, and lined up to make quick calls home in stations set up by the Red Cross.

“The caravan has been a lot harder than I thought,” said Jonathan Suazo Rodriguez, a 23-year-old migrant from Colon, Honduras.“I’ve thought about turning back, but then I think what you have to endure back home, and I have to keep moving forward.”

Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto has been encouraging them to stay— offering asylum, visas, and jobs to any migrant who wants it, stepping up the weeks-long effort to halt the advance US-bound caravan that became the rallying cry for Donald Trump’s anti-immigrant rhetoric leading up to Tuesday’s midterm elections.

“We’re operating under the assumption that at least half of them will stay in the city or the country” said Nashieli Ramirez, ombudsman for the city’s human rights commission. “These people need to receive all the pertinent information and then make their own decision.”

So far, close to 3,000 migrants have taken them up on that offer, according to Mexican officials, but thousands more are still determined to reach the United States southern border.

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What It’s Like To Have A Famous Far-Right Sibling And Disagree With Them (HBO)

Politics can create deeply awkward Thanksgiving dinners for many American families, but for these guys, politics is actually tearing their families apart. Dave and Tim Gosar were so appalled by the public positions of their brother, Arizona Congressman Paul Gosar, that they appeared in an ad for his political opponent. Curtis Ingraham is the brother of Fox News host Laura Ingraham. He says they used to be so close they could finish each other’s sentences; now he denounces her hot takes on Twitter.

“Are you supposed to stand by your family no matter what they do? ‘Oh, hi Paul, other than demonizing immigrants and trying to take away our healthcare… how’s it going?” Dave Gosar said. “Let’s agree to disagree about taking babies from their parents at the border…Pass the turkey!”

Curtis’ sister was just parodied on Saturday Night Live. He said Kate McKinnon captured his sister’s mannerisms beautifully, but he’s unsettled by what the parody symbolizes. “Someone asked me: is that your sister or is she playing a personality?” Curtis said. “I think that is her now, that’s who she has become.”

VICE News brought the three of them together in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, before the midterm elections, to talk about what it’s like to experience a very common family drama on a national stage.

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The Legend | Chapo: Kingpin on Trial Ep. 2

Listen to “Chapo: Kingpin on trial” for free exclusively on Spotify.

As Sinaloa cartel leader Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán goes on trial, VICE News explores his high-stakes case through the stories of people caught up in the drug war in the U.S. and Mexico.

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Georgia Voters React To 2018 Midterms Ads (HBO)

On the eve of Georgia’s tight and contentious governor’s race, Republican and Democratic voters in an Atlanta focus group spoke in generally positive terms about a Stacey Abrams ad showing her family life, but they broke along party lines to argue about a Brian Kemp ad that played on similar themes.

The responses appeared to demonstrate how a viewer’s sense of the authenticity of candidates determines the success of their ads. The group was convened by conservative pollster Frank Luntz, who has led four focus groups in all with VICE News during the lead-up to the midterms. The group of twenty voters—ten Abrams supporters and ten Kemp supporters—said that an ad featuring Abrams hosting a large family dinner at her house conveyed a sense of humanity and tradition.

“She’s talking about faith. She’s talking about family. It’s everything that I think Georgia is about,” said Joan Bruce, 56, a self-described moderate conservative who voted from Trump in 2016 and who supports Kemp for governor.

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