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Yannick Nézet-Séguin: The 60 Minutes Interview

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Yannick Nézet-Séguin: The 60 Minutes Interview – CBS News


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Yannick Nézet-Séguin, conductor of orchestras in New York City, Philadelphia, and Montreal, wants to break down the walls that have kept some audiences from classical music and opera.

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Biden to meet with Netanyahu a day after Israeli leader’s fiery speech to Congress

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President Biden is meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu at the White House Thursday — a day after Netanyahu urged Congress in a joint address to continue to stand with Israel in the war against Hamas. 

The meeting is Mr. Biden’s first with a foreign leader since he exited the race for the presidency Sunday and threw his support to Vice President Kamala Harris for the Democratic nomination. Harris will be meeting with Netanyahu separately later Thursday, a senior administration official told reporters on a call Wednesday. 

The vice president did not attend not attend Netanyahu’s speech, citing previously scheduled travel. She’s in Texas Thursday morning, addressing the American Federation of Teachers. A number of Democrats in Congress declined to attend Netanyahu’s congressional address, a gesture of disapproval toward Netanyahu’s handling of the Israel-Hamas war. 

As Netanyahu spoke, pro-Palestine protesters swarmed Union Station near the Capitol. Protesters removed the American flags that fly over Union Station, replacing them with Palestinian flags. 

US Israel Netanyahu
A demonstrator is taken into custody as they protest the visit of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Capitol Hill, Wednesday, July 24, 2024, in Washington.

Jose Luis Magana / AP


In his address to Congress, Netanyahu attacked pro-Palestinian protesters in the U.S., calling them “Iran’s useful idiots.” 

“Some of these protesters hold up signs proclaiming, ‘Gays for Gaza,'” Netanyahu said. “They might as well hold up signs saying, ‘Chickens for KFC.’ These protesters chant, ‘From the river to the sea,’ but many don’t have a clue what river and what sea they’re talking about.” 

Netanyahu’s visit comes as work continues on a ceasefire and hostage release deal between Israel and Hamas. He is facing a growing backlash at home over his handling of the war with Hamas. The families of hostages held in Gaza have been calling on Netanyahu to make a deal to bring back their loved ones. There have been daily protests in Jerusalem, and a group of top former Israeli security and political officials also sent a blistering letter to U.S. congressional leaders this week, accusing Netanyahu of prioritizing his own political survival over that of the hostages, Israel’s security, as well as the region.

Mr. Biden and Netanyahu are expected to talk “in depth about developments in Gaza and the negotiations on the ceasefire and hostage release deal,” a senior administration official told reporters. The official said the administration believes talks are in “the closing stages and “reaching the point that we believe a deal is closable, and it’s time to move to close that agreement.”

Mr. Biden and Netanyahu will also discuss the “humanitarian situation in Lebanon, West Bank, everything that the president and the prime minister often discuss when they have their many phone calls,” the senior administration official said. 

The two leaders will then meet with the families of Americans held hostage by Hamas in Gaza. Administration officials regularly meet with this particular group of families, the senior administration official said. 

This will be the first time Mr. Biden and Netanyahu will be seeing each other in person since the president visited Israel in October, in the wake of Hamas’ attack on Israel



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Murder suspect arrested in Mexico after 19-year manhunt

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Riverside police and their federal law enforcement partners arrested a man in Mexico accused of killing someone 19 years ago.

In June 2005, 38-year-old Alfonso Vera tried to stop a man from beating his girlfriend in the 4700 block of Doane Avenue in Riverside. As Vera tried to protect the woman, then 32-year-old Luis Contreras allegedly stepped in and shot Vera multiple times before leaving him to die. 

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A photo of Alfonso Vera before he was killed in June 2005.

Riverside PD


Detectives said witnesses saw two cars leaving the area. Investigators eventually arrested two of three suspects but could not track down Contreras before he traveled to Mexico. In July 2005, police issued an arrest warrant for the suspect but could not find him until 19 years later. 

In June 2024, the Riverside Police Department’s Homicide Cold Case Unit reignited the search, eventually teaming up with the department’s METRO Team and the US Marshals Pacific Southwest Regional Fugitive Task Force. 

About a month later, Mexican police arrested Contreras with the help of the Marsals. Authorities transferred him to the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department jail, where he was booked for murder and awaits prosecution.

luis-contreras-murder-suspect.png
Luis Contreras allegedly killed Alfonso Vera, who tried to stop Contreras from beating a woman. 

Riverside PD


One of the other suspects arrested in the case was charged as an accessory to the murder and served three years in prison. Authorities released another suspect due to a lack of evidence. 

Anyone with information about the case should call the Homicide Cold Case Unit at (951) 320-8000 or email detectives at HomicideColdCase@RiversideCA.gov.  



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Raging wildfire reaches resort town of Jasper in Canadian Rockies’ largest national park

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Grand Prairie, Alberta, Canada — One of two raging wildfires menacing the town of Jasper in the Canadian Rockies’ largest national park roared into town Wednesday and began burning buildings.

Jasper National Park officials said the fire entered the southern edge of the community Wednesday evening and crews were battling multiple structural fires and working to protect key infrastructure. There were significant losses in some areas, they said.

Forest firefighters and others without self-contained breathing apparatuses were told to evacuate to the nearby town of Hinton, with structural firefighters staying behind.

Wildfire burns in Jasper
Flames and smoke rise from a burning wildfire, as seen from a highway, in Jasper, Alberta, Canada, on July 23, 2024, in this screen grab obtained from a social media video.

Donald Schroll via REUTERS


Parks Canada spokesperson James Eastham told reporters outside Jasper that the town is filled with smoke and there “has been structural loss,” adding that “significant loss has occurred within the townsite.”

“At this point I can’t confirm how many, locations or specific structures. The fire continues to burn,” he said.

The park said in a statement that Wednesday “has been an exceptionally difficult day for Jasperites, incident personnel and everyone who loves Jasper.”

Structural firefighters continue to work to save as many structures as possible and to protect critical infrastructure. Many more structural firefighters are en route to provide assistance.

As the pictures and videos circulating online show, significant loss has occurred within the townsite.   

Parks Canada said firefighters are working to save “as many structures as possible and to protect critical infrastructure, including the wastewater treatment plant, communications facilities, the Trans Mountain Pipeline and others.”

A few hours earlier, many first responders were ordered out of Jasper National Park for their safety.

Jasper is being menaced by fires from the north and south, and the town’s 5,000 residents — along with 20,000 more park visitors — fled on short notice late Monday night when the fires flared up.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said they are “mobilizing every necessary resource available.” Alberta Premier Danielle Smith said she was “heartbroken.”

A record number of wildfires in 2023 forced more than 235,000 people across Canada to evacuate and sent thick smoke into parts of the U.S., leading to hazy skies and health advisories in multiple U.S. cities.

The northern fire was spotted about 3 miles from Jasper earlier in the day. The southern fire had been reported about 5 miles away from the town, but Katie Ellsworth of Parks Canada said strong wind gusts swooping in behind it sent it racing.

Everything that could go wrong did go wrong as fire perimeters changed minute by minute.

Ellsworth said bucketing efforts by helicopter failed. Crews using heavy equipment to build fireguards couldn’t complete the work before having to pull back for safety. Water bombers couldn’t help due to dangerous flying conditions.

A last-ditch effort to use controlled burns to reroute the fire to natural barriers like Highway 16 and the Athabasca River failed due to “unfavorable conditions.”

The hope was that rain forecast overnight would bring some relief.

Ellsworth said the decision to relocate all first responders to Hinton, just outside the eastern edge of the park, “has not been made lightly.”

She said, “Given the intensity of fire behavior being observed, the decision has been made to limit the number of responders exposed to this risk.”

Jasper National Park is considered a national treasure. The United Nations designated the parks that make up the Canadian Rockies, including Jasper, a World Heritage Site in 1984 for its striking mountain landscape.

In 1953, Hollywood star Marilyn Monroe visited to make the movie “River of No Return.” More recently, the TV show “The Bachelorette” was filmed there.

Park rangers in helicopters scoured the park earlier Wednesday, looking for stragglers still there despite a mass evacuation aimed at moving visitors and residents away. Searchers looking through the backcountry trails of Jasper National Park already had picked up 245 people, and they continued the search Wednesday in two helicopters, Ellsworth said.

Residents and visitors streamed out by the thousands late Monday and Tuesday, and officials said Wednesday the evacuation of the town of Jasper was complete.

Ellsworth said park officials expected the evacuation of the park’s backcountry areas to be completed later Wednesday. Reservations are required for the park, so authorities have an idea of where people are, though Ellsworth said she wasn’t immediately sure how many people were left.

Alberta has been baking under scorching temperatures that have already forced another 7,500 people out of remote communities. About 177 wildfires were burning across the province.

Jasper resident Leanne Maeva Joyeuse was relieved but exhausted after reaching the Grand Prairie evacuation center following 20 hours on the road with her grandmother, parents and younger brother.

“We’re just waiting to go back home and see how many days we’re going to be stuck here,” Joyeuse said.



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