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    NEW DELHI (AP) — Environmental pollution — from filthy air to contaminated water — is killing more people every year than all war and violence in the world. More than smoking, hunger or natural disasters. More than AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria combined. One out of every six premature deaths in the world in 2015 — about 9 million — could be attributed to disease from toxic exposure, according to a major study released Thursday in The Lancet medical journal. The financial cost from pollution-related death, sickness and welfare is equally massive, the report says, costing some $4.6 trillion in annual losses — or about 6.2 percent of the global economy. 'There's been a lot of study of pollution, but it's never received the resources or level of attention as, say, AIDS or climate change,' said epidemiologist Philip Landrigan, dean of global health at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, and the lead author on the report. The report marks the first attempt to pull together data on disease and death caused by all forms of pollution combined. 'Pollution is a massive problem that people aren't seeing because they're looking at scattered bits of it,' Landrigan said. Experts say the 9 million premature deaths the study found was just a partial estimate, and the number of people killed by pollution is undoubtedly higher and will be quantified once more research is done and new methods of assessing harmful impacts are developed. Areas like Sub-Saharan Africa have yet to even set up air pollution monitoring systems. Soil pollution has received scant attention. And there are still plenty of potential toxins still being ignored, with less than half of the 5,000 new chemicals widely dispersed throughout the environment since 1950 having been tested for safety or toxicity. Asia and Africa are the regions putting the most people at risk, the study found, while India tops the list of individual countries. One out of every four premature deaths in India in 2015, or some 2.5 million, was attributed to pollution, the study found. China's environment was the second deadliest, with more than 1.8 million premature deaths, or one in five, blamed on pollution-related illness. Several other countries such Bangladesh, Pakistan, North Korea, South Sudan and Haiti also see nearly a fifth of their premature deaths caused by pollution. To reach its figures, the study's authors used methods outlined by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for assessing field data from soil tests, as well as with air and water pollution data from the Global Burden of Disease, an ongoing study run by institutions including the World Health Organization and the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington. Even the conservative estimate of 9 million pollution-related deaths is one-and-a-half times higher than the number of people killed by smoking, three times the number killed by AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria combined, more than six times the number killed in road accidents, and 15 times the number killed in war or other forms of violence, according to GBD tallies. It is most often the world's poorest who suffer. The vast majority of pollution-related deaths — 92 percent — occur in low- or middle-income developing countries, where policy makers are chiefly concerned with developing their economies, lifting people out of poverty and building basic infrastructure, the study found. Environmental regulations in those countries tend to be weaker, and industries lean on outdated technologies and dirtier fuels. In wealthier countries where overall pollution is not as rampant, it is still the poorest communities that are more often exposed, the report says. 'What people don't realize is that pollution does damage to economies. People who are sick or dead cannot contribute to the economy. They need to be looked after,' said Richard Fuller, head of the global toxic watchdog Pure Earth and one of the 47 scientists, policy makers and public health experts who contributed to the 51-page report. 'There is this myth that finance ministers still live by, that you have to let industry pollute or else you won't develop, he said. 'It just isn't true.' The report cites EPA research showing that the U.S. has gained some $30 in benefits for every dollar spent on controlling air pollution since 1970, when Congress enacted the Clean Air Act, one of the world's most ambitious environmental laws. Removing lead from gasoline has earned the U.S. economy another $6 trillion cumulatively since 1980, according to studies by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Some experts cautioned, however, that the report's economic message was murky. Reducing the pollution quantified in the report might impact production, and so would not likely translate into gains equal to the $4.6 trillion in economic losses. The report 'highlights the social and economic justice of this issue,' said Marc Jeuland, associate professor with the Sanford School of Public Policy and the Duke Global Health Institute at Duke University, who was not involved in the study. Without more concrete evidence for how specific policies might lead to economic gains, 'policy makers will often find it difficult to take action, and this report thus only goes part way in making the case for action,' he said. Jeuland also noted that, while the report counts mortality by each pollutant, there are possible overlaps — for example, someone exposed to both air pollution and water contamination — and actions to address one pollutant may not reduce mortality. 'People should be careful not to extrapolate from the U.S. numbers on net (economic) benefits, because the net effects of pollution control will not be equivalent across locations,' he said. The study's conclusions on the economic cost of pollution measure lost productivity and health care costs, while also considering studies measuring people's 'willingness to pay' to reduce the probability of dying. While these types of studies yield estimates at best, they are used by many governments and economists trying to understand how societies value individual lives. While there has never been an international declaration on pollution, the topic is gaining traction. The World Bank in April declared that reducing pollution, in all forms, would now be a global priority. And in December, the United Nations will host its first-ever conference on the topic of pollution. 'The relationship between pollution and poverty is very clear,' said Ernesto Sanchez-Triana, lead environmental specialist at the World Bank. 'And controlling pollution would help us address many other problems, from climate change to malnutrition. The linkages can't be ignored.' ___ Follow Katy Daigle at www.twitter.com/katydaigle .
  • LOS ANGELES (AP) — Los Angeles police said Thursday its detectives are investigating a possible sexual assault case against Harvey Weinstein over a 2013 incident that was recently reported to the department. Police spokesman Sal Ramirez says the department has interviewed a possible sexual assault victim who reported she was sexually assaulted by the disgraced film mogul. Ramirez said the investigation is ongoing and he could not answer any questions about where the incident took place or when the woman was interviewed by detectives. The Los Angeles Times reported the woman is a 38-year-old Italian actress who spoke to the newspaper on Thursday. The woman was not named in the story, but told the newspaper Weinstein raped her after bullying his way into her hotel room. The Times reported she is represented by attorney David M. Ring, who did not immediately return a phone message seeking comment. 'Mr. Weinstein obviously can't speak to anonymous allegations, but he unequivocally denies allegations of non-consensual sex,' his representative Sallie Hofmeister wrote in a statement. Police in New York and London are also investigating the fallen movie mogul over allegations of sex abuse in those cities. Weinstein has been accused of sexual harassment or abuse by more than three dozen women, including several top actresses including Gwyneth Paltrow and Angelina Jolie. Several of the incidents allegedly happened at hotels in Beverly Hills, which does not have an open investigation into Weinstein. He was fired from The Weinstein Co., the film company he co-founded, earlier this month after several harassment incidents were detailed in The New York Times. Additional allegations, including from three women who said Weinstein sexually assaulted them, were included in a subsequent article by The New Yorker. Two of the women, including Italian actress Asia Argento, were named while the third accuser wasn't identified. Argento told the magazine that in 1997 Weinstein forcibly performed oral sex on her at a hotel in France when she was 21 years old. Weinstein, 65, resigned from the board of directors of his former company earlier this week. He has not been seen in public since last week. The Oscar winner was expelled from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on Saturday and the Producers Guild of America has started the process of expelling him. On Thursday, the British Film Institute rescinded an honor it conferred to Weinstein in 2002 for his contribution to British cinema. Quentin Tarantino, who has partnered with Weinstein on most of his films from 'Pulp Fiction' to 'The Hateful Eight' over the past 20 years, told the New York Times Thursday that he 'knew enough to do more than I did.' Tarantino had heard first hand from his then-girlfriend Mira Sorvino about Weinstein's alleged sexual harassment, and had known about the settlement reached with Rose McGowan, he told the paper. He'd also heard stories from another actress who he declined to name. He said it was impossible that anyone who was close to Weinstein had not heard about at least one incident. He also said he continued to hear stories second and third hand. 'I chalked it up to a '50s-'60s era image of a boss chasing a secretary around the desk,' Tarantino said. 'As if that's O.K. That's the egg on my face right now.' Tarantino went on to compare Hollywood's treatment of women to a 'Jim Crow-like system that us males have almost tolerated.' He called on other men to 'vow to do better by our sisters' and not just issue statements. 'What was previously accepted is now untenable to anyone of a certain consciousness,' Tarantino said. ___ AP Film Writer Lindsey Bahr contributed to this report.
  • PHOENIX (AP) — The judge in former Sheriff Joe Arpaio's now-pardoned criminal case has refused the retired lawman's request to throw out all rulings in the case, including a blistering decision that explained her reasoning in finding him guilty of a crime. The request denied Thursday by U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton was aimed at clearing Arpaio's name and barring the ruling's use in future court cases as an example of a prior bad act. Bolton said pardons don't erase convictions or the facts of cases. She said the pardon issued by President Donald Trump only mooted Arpaio's possible punishments. 'The pardon undoubtedly spared defendant from any punishment that might otherwise have been imposed,' Bolton wrote. 'It did not, however, 'revise the historical facts' of this case.' Arpaio attorney Jack Wilenchik said his client will appeal Thursday's decision. The conviction stemmed from Arpaio's disobedience of a 2011 court order that barred his traffic patrols that targeted immigrants. Prosecutors had accused Arpaio of prolonging the patrols for 17 months so that he could promote his immigration enforcement efforts in a bid to boost his successful 2012 re-election campaign. Arpaio, who endorsed Trump and appeared alongside him at rallies during the 2016 campaign, has acknowledged prolonging the patrols, but insisted his disobedience wasn't intentional and blamed one of his former attorneys for not adequately explaining the order's importance. Critics say the Aug. 25 pardon removed the last chance at holding Arpaio legally accountable for a long history of misconduct, including a 2013 civil verdict in which Arpaio's officers were found to have racially profiled Latinos in the sheriff's immigration patrols. The sheriff's defiance of the court order is believed to have contributed to his 2016 election loss after serving 24 years as metro Phoenix's top law enforcer. Several legal advocacy groups had requested that the pardon be declared invalid or unconstitutional, arguing that letting it stand would encourage future violations of court orders. Earlier this month, Bolton ruled that the pardon will stand and dismissed the case. ___ Follow Jacques Billeaud at twitter.com/jacquesbilleaud. His work can be found at https://www.apnews.com/search/jacques%20billeaud.
  • OROVILLE, Calif. (AP) — The costs to repair the nation's tallest dam after a nearly catastrophic failure of the spillways will top $500 million, nearly double the original estimate of $275 million, a California Department of Water Resources official said Thursday. The $500 million figure reflects only the work by the main construction contractor, Kiewit Corp., to repair the spillways at the 770-foot Oroville Dam, said Erin Mellon, a spokeswoman for the state water agency. It excludes the costs of other contractors and the emergency response in the immediate aftermath of the spillway failure, which prompted fears of massive flooding. Nearly 200,000 were ordered to evacuate, but disaster was averted. Construction crews are excavating unstable soil, replacing it with concrete and topping it with slabs of rebar-reinforced concrete that is anchored into the bedrock. The project has required far more excavation and concrete than expected, said Jeff Petersen, a Kiewit vice president who is directing the project. The state has also revised plans to shore up the emergency spillway, doubling the amount of concrete it will require. Barring a major storm or equipment failure, Kiewit's 700 workers and subcontractors are on track to finish pouring concrete on the main spillway by Nov. 1, Petersen said. That will give the surface a month to cure and be ready for use in December. 'I don't want to jinx it, but we're ahead of schedule,' Petersen told reporters during a tour of the jobsite Thursday. The cost for emergency response during the evacuation and its immediate aftermath is estimated between $140 million and $160 million, Mellon said. State officials hope the Federal Emergency Management Agency will foot up to 75 percent of the repair bill, while the rest would likely be borne by State Water Project customers. FEMA has already reimbursed some costs for emergency response, but it's unclear if the agency will fund the permanent repair work. The trouble at Oroville Dam began in early February, when a massive crater opened up in the main spillway, a 3,000-foot concrete chute that releases water from Lake Oroville, California's second-largest reservoir. Crews shut down the spillway to inspect just as a major storm dumped a torrent of rain in the Feather River basin. With the main spillway damaged, the lake quickly filled to capacity and water began flowing over a concrete weir that serves as an emergency spillway. It had never before been used. The water eroded the barren hillside beneath the concrete, leading to fears the weir would collapse and release a 40-foot wall of water that would swamp communities and destroy levies for miles downstream. Kiewit was hired in April to lead the repair work through Jan. 1, 2019. The company will rebuild the main spillway, place a 65-foot underground wall to stop erosion on the emergency spillway and lay concrete at least 10 feet thick between the cutoff wall the concrete weir that holds water in the lake. When the work is done next year, about a third of the 3,000-foot hillside will be lined in concrete — twice as much as originally planned. Plans call for the entire main spillway to be demolished and reconstructed by 2019 with 2.5 feet of erosion-resistant, rebar-reinforced concrete on top of five to 13 feet of leveling concrete. About 1,200 feet of the 3,000-foot spillway will be fully reconstructed this year with the rest rebuilt next year. Compared to the original 1960s design, the new spillway will have more rebar, stronger and thicker concrete, vinyl water stops inside of joints and a heartier drainage system — all with the concrete anchored into bedrock, Petersen said. The scale of the project is massive, with more than 1 million cubic yards of concrete used between the main and emergency spillways. Two concrete plants were built on site. The main spillway is as wide as a 12-lane highway with sidewalls ranging from 22 feet to 30 feet tall. Two deep crevices that were carved out by rushing water have been filled with up to 80 feet of concrete. Mellon said the lake has been drained about 80 feet below its typical level for this time of year to provide extra storage for runoff. Since the dam was dedicated in 1969, the main spillway has only been used before Jan. 1 four times. In dryer years it's never used at all. 'There's a pretty significant chance we won't even use the spillway this year,' she said.
  • ATMORE, Ala. (AP) — The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Thursday night that Alabama can execute a man convicted of killing a police officer two decades ago, dismissing his claims that the state's lethal injection procedure is cruel and unusual punishment. Just minutes before 40-year-old Torrey Twane McNabb was scheduled to be put to death, the justices halted his execution. But about two hours later, they ruled it could move forward. McNabb is scheduled to be executed Thursday evening. McNabb was convicted in the 1997 shooting death of Montgomery police Officer Anderson Gordon. Prosecutors say McNabb was fleeing a bail bondsman when he walked up and shot Gordon five times while the officer was sitting in his parked patrol car. McNabb and several other inmates have challenged the state's use of midazolam at the start of lethal injections, arguing that it violates Eighth Amendment protections against cruel and unusual punishment because the sedative would not reliably render them unconscious before other drugs stopped their lungs and heart. A lawyer for McNabb has argued that it would be wrong to carry out the execution while proceedings continue in McNabb's lawsuit. The attorney general's office asked the justices to let the execution proceed. The state has argued they have allowed multiple executions to proceed using the sedative midazolam and that McNabb presents 'nothing new' to justify halting the execution. 'Alabama has already carried out four executions using this protocol. Three of those executed inmates were co-plaintiffs in this case,' the attorney general's office wrote in a court filing.
  • OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Linebacker NaVorro Bowman is active for his debut with the Oakland Raiders just three days after signing with the team. Bowman is slated to play Thursday night against the Kansas City Chiefs. Bowman was released last Friday by San Francisco and signed with Oakland on Monday. The Raiders are without starting right tackle Marshall Newhouse (foot), linebackers Marquel Lee (ankle) and Corey James (knee), and rookie cornerback Gareon Conley (shin). The other inactive players are quarterback Connor Cook, defensive lineman Jihad Ward and tackle Jylan Ware. The players who are inactive for the Chiefs are running back Charcandrick West (concussion), guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif (knee), center Mitch Morse (foot), quarterback Tyler Bray, cornerback D.J. White, nose tackle Roy Miller and linebacker Ramik Wilson. ___ More AP NFL: pro32.ap.org and twitter.com/AP_NFL
  • HOUSTON (AP) — Joe Girardi says the New York Yankees would have preferred not having a day off Thursday after winning three straight home games to take a 3-2 lead in the AL Championship Series. Houston manager A.J. Hinch certainly has no sympathy because his team knows that feeling. The Astros won the first two ALCS games at home last week before an off day stopped their momentum. 'I think the script, how it played between Game 2 and 3, should play perfectly between Game 5 and 6,' Hinch said. 'We got our day off when we were rolling pretty good ... and they stood up and came back. So maybe we'll return the favor to them.' Game 6 is Friday night. Neither team held a formal workout Thursday at Minute Maid Park after games the previous three days at Yankee Stadium. 'Everyone would have probably rather played today,' Girardi said about his Yankees. 'The day off will definitely help our bullpen and I think physically it helps the players. But when you're on a roll you never want to stop playing.' ___ More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball
  • EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. (AP) — After nearly 14 months of arduous rehabilitation for his left knee, Teddy Bridgewater has arrived at the final stage. For all the progress he's made, appearing in a game for the Minnesota Vikings again will be no small step to take. 'I definitely believe I'll play this year, but I can't just sit here and say it,' Bridgewater said. 'I have to continue to put the work in on the practice field and show the training staff or the higher authority that eventually I can get back to the player that I was.' Bridgewater spoke to reporters Thursday for the first time since the beginning of training camp and only the second time since he crumpled to the grass during a non-contact drill at practice Aug. 30, 2016 . He was cleared to rejoin the team Wednesday, another significant milestone in his recovery from the knee dislocation and multiple ligament tears that would end the career of many players. 'If that doesn't inspire you, I don't know what will,' wide receiver Stefon Diggs said. The 24-year-old quarterback said his knee was feeling fine after completion of his first practice, though he hasn't taken any hits. 'It's baby steps,' offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur said. 'A little bit at a time. We try to amp it up a little bit each day as we go.' Bridgewater will be brought along slowly, realizing his return to the field this week did not signify an automatic assumption of the starting job. 'We have to be smart with everything,' Bridgewater said. 'The plan is to get to the race to be able to run the race. So if we're not being smart, and I'm not doing whatever it takes to get to the race, I'll never be able to run the race.' Bridgewater acknowledged he'll need to prove to himself and to the team that he can complete some basic skills without problem in live action. Simulating the movements off to the side is another story. 'I'm going to have to see how I feel going forward. It could be just completing a pass down the field or making a sudden movement in the pocket,' he said. 'So I'm just going to look for little things each day to do whatever I can to get back to where I was before, and even better.' The one-day-at-a-time attitude was a must for making it this far, given the daunting comeback that waited for him when he left the field by ambulance that fateful afternoon and medical staff needed to act quickly to save his leg from amputation. 'Each day I wake up I put my feet on the ground and I'm thankful I'm able to walk, I'm able to stand up on my own,' Bridgewater said. 'There was a time where I needed help.' Bridgewater was coming off a solid second season , after which he made the Pro Bowl team as an injury replacement, and had just produced a stellar performance in the team's third exhibition game when he went down. There's no telling what kind of a player he'll be when he does take the snaps again, but he said he has been 'working out like crazy' and thus added some upper-body strength because of it. 'He's tough. I'm not worried about contact for him,' Diggs said. 'He probably wants a little bit of contact being out that long.' With Sam Bradford struggling through trouble with his left knee, Case Keenum has taken over as the starter. Rookie Kyle Sloter is on the active roster as another backup. In three weeks, the Vikings will have to decide whether to give Bridgewater one of the 53 spots or simply place him on injured reserve and give him more time. For now, as long as Keenum can stay productive and healthy, there's no rush. 'He's worked extremely hard to get to this point where he can get back out on the practice field,' coach Mike Zimmer said. 'We still don't know where it's going to go or where that's going to lead to, but I think everybody feels good for him because they know what kind of kid he is and how hard he has worked. He's probably not going to play this week. We need to put the brakes on things a little bit.' There's no need to dampen the inspiration though. 'I know I haven't played in a football game yet, but just being back on the practice field when I thought all hope was gone,' Bridgewater said, 'I hope that my story can motivate someone.' ___ For more NFL coverage: http://www.pro32.ap.org and http://www.twitter.com/AP_NFL
  • WASHINGTON (AP) — Members of Congress demanded answers Thursday two weeks after an ambush in the African nation of Niger killed four U.S. soldiers, with one top lawmaker even threatening subpoenas. The White House defended the slow pace of information, saying an investigation would eventually offer clarity about a tragedy that has morphed into a political dispute in the United States. Among the unresolved inquiries: Why were the Americans apparently caught by surprise? Why did it take two additional days to recover one of the four bodies after the shooting stopped? Was the Islamic State responsible? The confusion over what happened in a remote corner of Niger, where few Americans travel, has increasingly dogged President Donald Trump, who was silent about the deaths for more than a week. Asked why, Trump on Monday turned the topic into a political tussle by crediting himself with doing more to honor the dead and console their families than any of his predecessors. His subsequent boast that he reaches out personally to all families of the fallen was contradicted by interviews with family members, some of whom had not heard from Trump at all. And then the aunt of an Army sergeant killed in Niger, who raised the soldier as her son, said Wednesday that Trump had shown 'disrespect' to the soldier's loved ones as he telephoned to extend condolences while they were driving to the Miami airport to receive his body. Sgt. La David Johnson was one of the four Americans killed Oct. 4 in southwest Niger; Trump called the families of all four Tuesday. In an extraordinary White House briefing, John Kelly, the former Marine general who is Trump's chief of staff, described himself as 'stunned' and 'brokenhearted' by the criticism of Trump. He also invoked his son serving in Iraq to explain why American soldiers operate in dangerous parts of the world, saying their efforts to train local forces mean the U.S. doesn't have to undertake large-scale invasions of its own. Kelly's other son, Robert, was killed in combat in Afghanistan seven years ago. The deadly ambush in Niger occurred as Islamic militants on motorcycles, toting rocket-propelled grenades and heavy machine guns, seized on a U.S. convoy and shattered the windows of their unarmored trucks. In addition to those killed, two Americans were wounded. No extremist group has claimed responsibility. The attack is under official military investigation, as is normal for a deadly incident. What is abnormal, according to Sen. John McCain, the Republican chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, is the Trump administration's slow response to requests for information. He said Thursday it may take a subpoena to shake loose more information. 'They are not forthcoming with that information,' McCain told reporters. Sen. Bob Corker, the Tennessee Republican who chairs the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said members of Congress have been provided with some information about the attack, 'but not what we should.' At the Pentagon, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis pushed back, saying it naturally takes time to verify information about a combat engagement. He promised to provide accurate information as soon as it's available, but offered no timetable. 'The loss of our troops is under investigation,' he said. 'We in the Department of Defense like to know what we're talking about before we talk.' Mattis did not offer details about the circumstances under which the Americans were traveling but said contact with hostile forces had been 'considered unlikely.' That would explain why the Americans, who were traveling in unarmored vehicles with Nigerien counterparts, lacked access to medical support and had no immediate air cover, although Mattis said French aircraft were called to the scene quickly. He said contract aircraft flew out the bodies of three Americans shortly after the firefight. Local Nigeriens found Johnson's body and returned it Oct. 6. It's not clear why Johnson was not found with the three others Oct. 4. Dana W. White, a spokeswoman for Mattis, said Johnson had become 'separated.' Speaking at a news conference with her, Lt. Gen. Kenneth McKenzie, director of the Joint Staff, said he knew more about what had happened to Johnson but was not willing to share it. He said U.S., Nigerien and French forces remained in the area searching for Johnson until he was found, so it would be wrong to say he was 'left behind.' Mattis said the U.S. has about 1,000 troops in that part of Africa to support a French-led mission to disrupt and destroy extremist elements. He said the U.S. provides aerial refueling, intelligence and reconnaissance support, and ground troops to engage with local leaders. 'In this specific case, contact (with hostile forces) was considered unlikely, but the reason we had U.S. Army soldiers there and not the Peace Corps, it's because we carry guns.' McKenzie said last week that U.S. troops in that area had done 29 similar missions over the previous six months without encountering enemy forces. Underlining how the attack and its response have rattled the White House this week, Trump's national security adviser, Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, also joined the defense. He said Thursday that it would be wrong for the Pentagon to provide details of the tragedy before it had fully verified them in the course of an in-depth investigation. 'Answers that are provided, oftentimes, short of that full investigation, turn out in retrospect to have been inaccurate and just cause more confusion,' McMaster said. Mattis described the mission being performed by the U.S. troops in Niger as a classic example of training that Army Green Berets have performed worldwide for decades, usually with no publicity. Known in military parlance as 'foreign internal defense,' the mission is to help local militaries improve their fighting skills and techniques. It requires a cultural acuity for which U.S. special operations troops are known.
  • SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The wildfires that have devastated Northern California this month caused at least $1 billion in damage to insured property, officials said Thursday, as authorities increased the count of homes and other buildings destroyed to nearly 7,000. Both numbers were expected to rise as crews continued assessing areas scorched by the blazes that killed 42 people, a total that makes it the deadliest series of fires in state history. State Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones said the preliminary dollar valuation of losses came from claims filed with the eight largest insurance companies in the affected areas and did not include uninsured property. The loss total was expected to climb 'probably dramatically so,' Jones told reporters, making it likely the fires also would become the costliest in California's history. The initial insurance total covered 4,177 partial residential losses, 5,449 total residential losses, 35 rental and condominium losses, 601 commercial property losses, more than 3,000 vehicle losses, 150 farm or agricultural equipment losses, and 39 boats. Those figures included some fire losses in Southern California — several dozen structures were destroyed or damaged in an Orange County fire — though most were from the northern part of the state, agency officials said. The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection's estimate of homes and structures destroyed was boosted to 6,900 from 5,700 as fire crews returned to hard-hit neighborhoods and assessed remote and rural areas they could not get to earlier, spokesman Daniel Berlant said. He said most of the newly counted destroyed buildings burned on Oct. 8 and Oct. 9 — when the wildfires broke out in wine country north of San Francisco and other nearby areas. 'The estimates are in structures and are mostly homes, but also includes commercial structures and outbuildings like barns and sheds,' Berlant said. Twenty-two of the 42 deaths in California's October fires happened in a Sonoma County wildfire, making it the third-deadliest in California history. A 1933 Los Angeles fire that killed 29 people was the deadliest, followed by the 1991 Oakland Hills fire killed 25. When adjusted for inflation, the Oakland Hills fire is believed the costliest fire in California history at $2.8 billion. It destroyed about half as many homes and other buildings as the current series of fires. California Gov. Jerry Brown late Wednesday issued an executive order to speed up recovery efforts as fire authorities say they've stopped the progress of wildfires. More than 15,000 people remain evacuated Thursday, down from a high of 100,000 last Saturday. Brown's order also allowed disrupted wineries to relocate tasting rooms and suspended state fees for mobile home parks and manufactured homes. The order extends the state's prohibition on price gouging during emergencies until April 2018 and expedites hiring of personnel for emergency and recovery operations. In Los Angeles County, authorities said a charred body was found on Mount Wilson, where crews were trying to surround a smoldering wildfire in steep terrain. The male body discovered late Wednesday was recovered by the coroner's office, which will try to identify it, Sheriff's Sgt. Vincent Plair said. California firefighters were also battling a blaze that sent smoke billowing into the college beach town of Santa Cruz. The wildfire in steep and rugged terrain had grown to nearly half a square mile (1.3 square kilometers) and the number of houses threatened by the fire had doubled to 300. Several firefighters suffered minor injuries. ___ Blood reported from Los Angeles. Associated Press writers John Antczak and Christopher Weber contributed from Los Angeles.