Sri Lanka is in crisis. On October 26, President Maithripala Sirisena fired Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and replaced him with Mahinda Rajapaksa, a controversial former president. Sirisena also dissolved the parliament. Both men are now claiming the post of prime minister, and Wickremesinghe is holed up in the official residence, refusing to step down. In response, Sirisena has called snap elections for January 5.


On Tuesday, though, in a dramatic intervention, the Supreme Court overturned Sirisena’s decision and ordered a halt to election preparations. The ruling came a day after political parties petitioned the court against the president's decision. The court also said it would give a final verdict on the petition on December 7 after three more days of hearings. Over the past two weeks, tens of thousands have taken to the streets.


We’ll discuss the latest.


Southern California is burning. Hundreds of thousands of acres have been destroyed in some of the worst fires in the US history.


The Woolsey Fire has burned over 96,000 acres so far, and the Hill Fire has burned more than 4,500. Things will likely get worse in the coming days. While the Hill Fire is 90 percent contained as of Tuesday morning, the Woolsey Fire is only 35 percent contained, and another blaze, the Camp Fire, is only 30 percent under control. The death toll is at least 48 and is expected to rise with several hundred people still missing. So far, it is estimated that more than 6,000 structures, homes and business have been destroyed.


We’ll take a look at how the firefighting and containment efforts are going.



Stanley Martin Lieber, a.k.a. Stan Lee, died at 95 on Monday.


Lee was responsible for characters like Spider Man, the X-Men, Thor, Iron Man, Black Panther, the Fantastic Four, the Incredible Hulk and the entire Marvel Universe. On his own, and through his work with Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko and others, Lee grew Marvel Comics into the world’s biggest publisher of comic books and, later, a multimedia giant. He pushed censorship boundaries and tackled serious and topical subject matter.


Superheroes in the Marvel Universe are known to be rich characters with flaws and foibles, which many think contributes to their global appeal. News of his Lee's death sent tributes pouring in from fans all around the world. We’ll discuss his legacy.

On this episode of The Stream, we speak with:

Emily Schmall @EmilySchmall
South Asia Correspondent, Associated Press

Lily Jamali @LilyJamali
Co-host & Correspondent, KQED's The California Report

Scott Mclean @CAL_FIRE
Public Information Officer, California Fire

Brian Cronin @CBR
Writer, Comic Book Resources

Read more:
Sri Lanka parliament 'votes against newly appointed PM Rajapaksa' - Al Jazeera
California wildfire survivors leave notes for missing relatives - Al Jazeera