COPY-News Minute: Fires continue to rage...NASA launch...Fallen 'Star'

Associated Press - October 23, 2007 10:03 AM ET

SAN DIEGO (AP) - Thousands more residents of Southern California are under evacuation orders as wildfires continue to rage across the region. More than 700 homes have been burned, and firefighters are having a hard time battling the flames. Today's forecast calls for hotter temperatures and more powerful winds.

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Rains are expected to ease today in New Orleans after downpours caused flooding in the area yesterday. Some places got more than eight inches of rain. On the upside, the rains provide some much-needed relief for parts of Louisiana that have been unusually dry.

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER (AP) - The seven astronauts are on board the shuttle Discovery for a scheduled liftoff later this morning. There were some scattered showers in the area before dawn. Forecasters say more rain clouds could move into the area later in the morning, and perhaps force a delay.

NEW YORK (AP) - Stock prices are higher in early trading. Wall Street is rejoicing after better-than-expected earnings reports from Apple, American Express and DuPont, among others. The market is coming off of yesterday's recovery that allowed the major averages to close in positive territory.

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Sometimes stars fall. "Dancing with the Stars" contestant Marie Osmond showed that last night when she collapsed on live TV after performing on the show. Osmond later assured viewers that she was fine, saying she faints on occasion when she gets winded.

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