Verizon unions strike after contract talks fail

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Almost half the workers in Verizon Communications' wireline telecommunications business went on strike on Sunday as negotiations for a new labor contract failed. The strike, involving 45,000 workers, is the first walk-out that Verizon, one of the two big U.S. telephone network operators, has faced since 2000, when about 80,000 workers went on strike for about three weeks.

Shooter kills seven in Ohio rampage: police

COPLEY TOWNSHIP, Ohio (Reuters) - Seven people were shot to death on Sunday before police killed the alleged gunmanin a small town near Akron, Ohio, police and town officials said. One official said the dead included two high school students.

More extreme weather in store across U.S.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla (Reuters) - More extreme weather was expected across the country on Sunday, as parts of the Midwest and Northeast faced possible flooding from slow-moving storms while blistering triple-digit temperatures were expected in coastal Southeastern states. A strong, westerly wind flowing down from the Appalachian Mountains will briefly push temperatures in Virginia, the Carolinas and Georgia over the century mark in the afternoons on Sunday and Monday, according to AccuWeather.com.

Flash floods in North Carolina damage homes, leave two dead

CHARLOTTE, North Carolina (Reuters) - Flash floods in Charlotte, North Carolina, damaged nearly 100 homes and left two people dead in apparent drownings, officials said on Sunday. The American Red Cross said volunteers staffed a shelter for two nights for residents forced from their homes by several hours of heavy rains and flash floods on Friday.

Outkast rapper Big Boi arrested for drugs

MIAMI (Reuters) - Miami police arrested Outkast rapper and "Hey Ya" singer Big Boi on Sunday for possessing ecstasy and other drugs that the performer's lawyer later characterized as "contraband." Media reports cited the Miami-Dade County Corrections Department's website as listing the rapper, whose real name is Antwan Patton, as having been arrested for having ecstasy, MDMA powder and Viagra, for which he had no prescription.

Hugh Carey, former N.Y. "governor for hard winters", dies age 92

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Former New York Governor Hugh Carey, a fiscal hawk who tamed a potentially ruinous fiscal crisis in the Empire State in the 1970s, died on Sunday at his summer home on Long Island, officials said. He was 92. Carey, a Democrat, was New York's 51st governor, serving two terms from 1975 though 1982. Before that, he served for 14 years as a congressman from Brooklyn.

U.S. municipal debt may prove resilient despite S&P

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The U.S. municipal market could prove more resilient than feared in the face of Standard & Poor's historic downgrade of the U.S. credit rating, analysts said. Two positive factors give the market a shot at hanging onto last week's sparkling gains, when yields on some top quality bonds tumbled as much as 40 basis points: the lack of supply and the safe-haven bid for Treasuries.

Former Sen. Hatfield, anti-war Republican, dies

PORTLAND, Ore (Reuters) - Former Senator Mark Hatfield, a liberal anti-war Republican from Oregon, died on Sunday at age 89. In his 30 years in the Senate, Hatfield was one of the chamber's most consistent voices against war and for curbing military spending, often putting him at odds with his own party.

University graduates, grieves six lost students

TUSCALOOSA, Ala (Reuters) - Two days after a tornado took her sister's life in April, Michelle Downs Whatley crossed the stage at her own college graduation wearing her lost sister's shoes, salvaged from the wreckage. Saturday, she strode again in her sister's shoes, figuratively this time, as the University of Alabama granted Danielle Downs a posthumous degree.

American to attempt 60-hour Cuba-to-Florida swim

HAVANA (Reuters) - Veteran long-distance swimmer Diana Nyad will take on time and Mother Nature when she jumps into the Florida Straits on Sunday to begin what would be a world record swim from Cuba to Florida. The 61-year-old American tried the grueling 103-mile journey in 1978 when she was 28, but failed in the face of winds and eight-foot (2.5-meter) waves that weather forecasters say should not be a factor this time.

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