From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block. And we begin this hour with Isaac. After pounding the Gulf Coast with high winds, nonstop rain and a powerful storm surge, Isaac is now churning through northern Louisiana. There, heavy rainfall brings a new threat, inland river flooding. Some of that flooding has strained a dam in Mississippi; 60,000 people downriver have been ordered to evacuate.
Fire scientists are calling it "the new normal": a time of fires so big and hot that no one can remember anything like it.
One of the scientists who coined that term is Craig Allen. I drive with him to New Mexico's Bandelier National Monument, where he works for the U.S. Geological Survey. We take a dirt road up into the Jemez Mountains, into a landscape of black poles as far as you can see.
In China, authorities are still counting the cost of heavy weekend flooding in Beijing. Officials now say 37 people died and more than 60,000 homes were damaged. Loses are estimated at nearly two billion dollars, but as NPR's Louisa Lim reports from Beijing, some of the damage is to the government's credibility.