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US News: Wildfire near Las Vegas; Snowden Asylum?; Pa Fire Kills 7

By: AP
By: AP

LAS VEGAS (AP) -- A lightning-sparked fire near Las Vegas has grown to nearly 14,000 acres as it burns through bone-dry trees and vegetation.
Officials say the uncontrolled blaze prompted evacuations of more than 500 people and left a blanket of smoke over the city.
U.S. Forest Service spokeswoman Julie Thomas says no injuries or damage to structures were reported.
The Clark County Department of Air Quality extended a health advisory for smoke and ground-level ozone through Sunday around Las Vegas.
Some 600 firefighters were battling the blaze with the help of an aerial assault involving five helicopters and five air tankers, but they're hampered by steep, rugged terrain, temperatures in the upper 90s and wind gusts of up to 40 mph.
The fire advanced to within a mile of homes and Thomas says evacuees will not be allowed to return until crews gain the upper hand.

NSA SURVEILLANCE-BOLIVIA
LA PAZ, Bolivia (AP) -- NSA leaker Edward Snowden has yet another place to go, if only he can get there.
Bolivian President Evo Morales says Snowden is welcome in his country. He said Saturday he is making the offer as a protest against the U.S. and European nations he accuses of temporarily blocking his flight home from a Moscow summit because they suspected his might have Snowden on board.
Morales follows Presidents Nicolas Maduro of Venezuela and Daniel Ortega in making the offer. He'd earlier said he was willing to consider asylum for Snowden, the same position taken by Ecuador, which is another of Bolivia's leftist Latin American allies.
Morales did not say if he has received a formal petition for asylum from Snowden.

CENTRAL PENNSYLVANIA FIRE
LANCASTER, Pa. (AP) -- Authorities say a 2-year-old central Pennsylvania boy critically injured in a July 4 fire has died, bringing the death toll from the blaze to seven, including six from one family.
Crozer-Chester Medical Center spokesman Grant Gegwich says Cordail Kuhns was pronounced dead about 4 p.m. Saturday. The Intelligencer Journal/Lancaster New Era reports his parents and three siblings under 10 were also killed in the fire.
Forty-one-year-old Crystal Kuhns and her 4-year-old daughter, Mickey, died earlier at the same hospital. The fire also killed 51-year-old David Kuhns, 8-year-old Skylar Kuhns, and 6-year-old Shawn Kuhns, along with 65-year-old homeowner Jimmie Moore.
Fire officials say the blaze started in the kitchen of a Lancaster duplex early Thursday. One woman reportedly gave birth to a girl hours after escaping the flames.

ATTLEBORO, Mass. (AP) -- A man charged as an accessory in the murder case involving former New England Patriot Aaron Hernandez is scheduled to be arraigned on Monday.
Ernest Wallace, of Miramar, Fla., was turned over on Friday to Massachusetts officials. Bristol County District Attorney Sam Sutter said Saturday that Wallace will be arraigned at 2 p.m. in Attleboro District Court on a charge of accessory to murder after the fact.
Semi-pro football player Odin Lloyd was found slain on June 17. The 27-year-old's relatives say he was dating the sister of the former Patriots tight end's fiancee and that the two men were friends.
Prosecutors say Hernandez, Wallace and another man drove with Lloyd to an industrial park where Lloyd was fatally shot.
Hernandez has pleaded not guilty to murder.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama's health care law was back in the headlines this past week when the White House announced it's delaying a requirement for many employers to offer insurance.
With just about 90 days to go before uninsured people can start shopping for coverage, three big unknowns loom over the plan:
Premiums, choice, and the overall consumer experience.
Only partial answers are available.
Premiums may be higher than what many people now pay for individual policies. But coverage will be better, and tax credits will help offset costs.
Choice won't mirror the dozens of options that seniors have through Medicare.
The consumer experience of shopping online remains the biggest unknown.
It may not feel like Amazon.com at first. Many people could default to enrolling the low-tech way, through call centers.

CRAIGSVILLE, W.Va. (AP) -- Authorities say an 84-year-old man who shot and wounded two West Virginia sheriff's deputies has been killed by police.
State Police Sgt. Michael Baylous said the man was killed Saturday afternoon after he emerged from the house in Craigsville with a gun. He had barricaded himself after the deputies' shootings and had exchanged gunfire with police.
Earlier Saturday, two deputies were airlifted to Charleston for treatment after they were shot. Baylous said the deputies' injuries do not appear to be life threatening.
Both men were shot with a shotgun.
The man killed by police has not been identified.

GALVESTON, Texas (AP) -- Galveston is launching a pilot project to see whether seaweed-fortified dunes could be more resilient to storm surges and high tides.
The $140,000 program will be run by the Galveston Island Park Board of Trustees and Texas A&M University at Galveston. They will modify hay baling equipment to lift large mounds of Sargassum. The seaweed will be dried and compressed, and covered with sand and plants.
The project is one of many along the Texas Gulf Coast to use the existing habitat to fight rising sea levels and future hurricanes. The ideas have become more popular since 2008 when Hurricane Ike easily breached Galveston's man-made seawall.
Texas A&M coastal engineer Jens Figlus will compare the seaweed-fortified to ones that don't have the bale foundations to test if they are stronger.

SOLAR PLANE
NEW YORK (AP) -- A solar-powered aircraft has completed a history-making cross-country flight, landing at New York's JFK airport.
The Solar Impulse flew out of Dulles International Airport in Washington a little before 5 a.m. Saturday en route to New York City and landed shortly after 11 p.m.
An unexpected tear was found on the left wing of the revolutionary plane earlier Saturday, forcing the aircraft to land three hours ahead of schedule. Officials said neither the pilot nor aircraft appeared to be in danger.
The accelerated schedule forced flight officials to scrap a planned fly-by past the Statue of Liberty and head straight to JFK.
The aircraft, powered by some 11,000 solar cells, soars to 30,000 feet while poking along at a top speed of 45 mph. The Solar Impulse left San Francisco in early May and has made stopovers in Phoenix, Dallas-Fort Worth, St. Louis, Cincinnati and Dulles.


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