National News from Yahoo

Congressman announces breakup on Facebook

Mark Sanford is over-sharing again. The former South Carolina governor who resigned after disappearing for a romantic getaway with his Argentinian girlfriend has deigned to update the public on his latest personal foibles with a 2,346-word Facebook post. Sanford (R), who won election to the House again in 2013 after defeating Stephen Colbert's sister, buries the lede a bit, but the gist is that his ex-wife, Jenny, is taking him to court again, and he also has decided to break off his engagement to the Argentinian woman, Maria Belén Chapur.


Slain mountain lion confirmed as cat that attacked Calif. boy

A mountain lion that was shot out of a tree by California wildlife officers has been confirmed by DNA testing to be the same cat that attacked a 6-year-old boy earlier this week, state officials said on Friday. Samples of DNA taken from the 74-pound cougar during a necropsy and forensic examination matched saliva left on the boy's shirt following the encounter on Sunday, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife said in a written statement. Lab tests also determined that the mountain lion was about two years old, healthy and did not have rabies, the department said. The boy was hiking on a trail with family and friends in a densely wooded preserve adjacent to a winery, just west of the town of Cupertino, when the mountain lion pounced on him and tried to drag him away, his parents told officials.


Pennsylvania governor stays execution of killer, citing shortage of lethal drugs

By David DeKok HARRISBURG Pa. (Reuters) - Pennsylvania's governor granted a reprieve to a condemned murderer on death row on Friday because the state did not have the drugs needed to put him to death. Governor Tom Corbett granted the temporary reprieve for Hubert Michael, 58, who was scheduled for execution by lethal injection on Sept. 22 for the 1994 murder of 16-year-old Trista Eng. "Today's signing of the temporary reprieve was necessary to allow the Department of Corrections to complete its acquisition of the injection agents required to carry out lethal injection as mandated by Pennsylvania law," the governor's office said. Botched executions in Oklahoma and other states have been blamed on a new drug combination used to replace traditional execution drugs in short supply after various manufacturers, especially in Europe, refused to supply prisons because they oppose capital punishment.

Rare snowstorm slams South Dakota, Rockies states

It's still summer, but a snowstorm blanketed parts of Wyoming, South Dakota, Montana and Colorado, setting early snowfall records in some places, covering lawns and flower gardens and providing a preview of what is to come.


Reeva Steenkamp parents: Pistorius verdict 'not right'

The parents of Reeva Steenkamp, who was shot and killed by Oscar Pistorius, reacted on Friday with shock and disbelief at a judge's decision to acquit the star athlete of murder charges. Disappointed," June Steenkamp told British ITV News. Judge Thokozile Masipa found Pistorius not guilty of murder, but later convicted him on the less serious charge of culpable homicide. Pistorius said he shot Steenkamp in the dead of the night after he mistook her for an intruder.


Zimmerman accused of threatening to kill driver

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — A driver says George Zimmerman threatened to kill him, asking 'Do you know who I am?' during a road confrontation in their vehicles, a police spokeswoman said Friday.


Obama, Clinton celebrate 20 years of AmeriCorps

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama and former President Bill Clinton on Friday highlighted the benefits of volunteering as they celebrated the 20th anniversary of the AmeriCorps national service program and welcomed the newest class of volunteers.


Foley mom: Government threatened family over ransom

Diane Foley, James Foley's mother, offered a rare interview to ABC News this week in which she admitted the family considered a ransom payment to ISIS to secure her son's safe return. The message came directly from a high-ranking military official on the White House National Security Council. "We were told that several times and we took it as a threat and it was appalling," Diane Foley told ABC News, "Three times he intimidated us with that message. We knew we had to save our son, we had to try." Michael Foley, James Foley's brother, said he, like his mother, was also "directly" threatened by a State Department official with the same charge.


L.A. issues 'heat alert' as temperatures soar

Los Angeles health officials on Friday issued a special "heat alert" for this weekend, urging residents to take special precautions with temperatures expected to soar into triple digits across the region. With California already baking under a record drought that has brought acute water shortages, forecasts called for temperatures to reach more than 100 degrees in downtown Los Angeles and even higher in some surrounding communities. "Extreme heat such as this is not just an inconvenience, it can be dangerous and even deadly, but we can protect ourselves, our families and our neighbors if we take steps to remain cool and hydrated," Dr. Jeffrey Gunzenhauser, the city's interim health director, said in issuing the heat alert. Gunzenhauser said some 60 "cooling centers" would be open at libraries, recreation centers and other community buildings throughout the weekend, offering shelter to residents suffering from what is predicted to be sweltering heat.


Olive Garden investor: Hold the breadsticks

Olive Garden is hurting itself by piling on too many breadsticks, according to an investor that's disputing how the restaurant chain is run. In a nearly 300-page critique, the hedge fund Starboard Value ...


Cabbies cry foul over body odor test

Body odor is among 52 criteria that officials at San Diego International Airport use to judge taxi drivers. Cabbies say that smacks of prejudice and discrimination. For years, inspectors with the San Diego ...


Venezuela's Maduro vows legal action against Harvard professor

By Andrew Cawthorne CARACAS (Reuters) - Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has called for legal action against a former government official who now teaches at Harvard University and wrote an opinion piece that contributed to a fall in the nation's bond prices earlier this week. Ricardo Hausmann, a Venezuelan planning minister in the 1990s, wrote that Venezuela was in arrears across various sectors of the economy and had "defaulted" on its people. "So, should Venezuela default on its foreign bonds?" he asked. Combined with pessimism on Wall Street over lack of market-friendly reforms, last week's article on Project Syndicate, a web portal that carries opinion pieces on global affairs, hit Venezuelan bond prices.


Woman arrested after three dead babies found in filthy Mass. home

By Eric M. Johnson (Reuters) - Police have arrested a woman after the bodies of three infants were found amid the squalor and vermin of a condemned southern Massachusetts home from which state officials previously rescued four children, officials and media said on Thursday. But the cause of death and the gender of the infants found at the home in Blackstone, about 40 miles (64 km) southwest of Boston, was unknown, Worcester County District Attorney Joseph Early told reporters. "The house is in squalor," Early said. "The house is filled with vermin. ...


Navy pilot missing after two fighters crash in Pacific Ocean

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Navy is searching for a pilot missing after two combat jets crashed at sea in the western Pacific Ocean on Friday, Navy officials said. The two F/A-18 Hornets were operating from the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson when the strike-fighter jets crashed, officials said in a statement. One pilot was quickly found and underwent medical attention, it said, but it was not immediately clear what, if any, injuries the pilot sustained. ...


Bridgeport, Connecticut, industrial fire forces hundreds to evacuate

(Reuters) - An overnight fire that destroyed two buildings in an industrial area of Bridgeport, Connecticut, and forced about 400 residents to evacuate, also may have polluted a popular fishing area, officials said on Friday. The blaze, which began Thursday evening, sent several fireballs into the air as superheated drums of perfume and other chemicals exploded inside the Rowayton Trading Co, the city fire department said in a statement. "The fireballs and the heat were like nothing I have ever seen," Mayor Bill Finch said in the statement. Coast Guard were testing water samples from the Pequonnock River and the Bridgeport Harbor to determine if water run-off from firefighting efforts carried any hazards into the waterway.

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