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No relief in sight for Texas heat and drought

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The nation's triple digit heat wave -- which hit its 34th day on Friday -- could last until the end of August, while extensive drought in and around Texas may last into October, forecasters said. The deadly heat event that has broken numerous records has left the southern plains and Mississippi Valley struggling to meet demand for power and water and has cost billions in impact on crops and livestock.

New Orleans officers convicted in Katrina shootings

NEW ORLEANS (Reuters) - A federal jury on Friday found four New Orleans police officers guilty in the shooting deaths of two civilians in the chaotic aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and also convicted a former policeman of helping cover up the killings. The jury's decision means the deaths of Ronald Madison, 40, and James Brissette, 17, were the result of police willfully violating the victims' civil rights but that the slayings were not murder.

Top Mexico trafficker claims he was DEA informant

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - A top Mexican drug trafficker awaiting trial in Chicago is claiming that he has immunity from prosecution as he was working all along as a confidential informant for U.S. agents -- allegations the U.S. government denies. Jesus Vicente Zambada-Niebla is the son of Ismael "El Mayo" Zambada, the right-hand man of Mexico's most wanted criminal, Joaquin "Shorty" Guzman who leads the powerful Sinaloa cartel.

Security upped after violence at Wisconsin State Fair

MILWAUKEE (Reuters) - The Wisconsin State Fair imposed heightened security on Friday, a day after fighting between groups of youths on and around the midway and attacks on police officers resulted in 24 arrests, fair officials said. The violence on Thursday night began with fights between groups of African-American youths at the fair, located between Milwaukee and the suburb of West Allis, fair officials said.

Bones found in California desert tied to 1946 murder

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The skeletal remains of a young woman murdered 65 years ago and left in the California desert have been identified through DNA analysis, authorities said on Friday. The bones, found scattered near Baker, California, were confirmed as those of Betty Walraven, who was killed in May of 1946, San Bernardino County Coroner's spokeswoman Sandy Fatland said.

Plane evacuated in Philadelphia over bomb threat

PHILADELPHIA (Reuters) - A US Airways Boeing 757 with 157 passengers on board was evacuated on Friday at Philadelphia International Airport because of a bomb threat but was later cleared for departure. FBI special agent J.J. Klaver said bomb-sniffing dogs found nothing illegal on the aircraft after passengers bound for Anchorage, Alaska, were taken off the flight in what he called "an abundance of caution."

Chicago man sentenced to year in prison for bomb threat

PEORIA, Ill (Reuters) - A 19-year-old Chicago man who authorities accused of making a series of bomb threats to Western Illinois University dormitories last fall was sentenced on Friday to a year in federal prison. Cameron McKoy, at his sentencing hearing in U.S. District Court in Peoria, Illinois, apologized for his actions and then turned to his mother and cried as he told her that he alone was responsible for his behavior.

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