NEW: Phoenix sets record heat for day at 118 degrees
PHOENIX (AP) — About 4,000 homes in the metropolitan Phoenix area are without power — and air-conditioning — on a record-shattering day of heat in one of the nation's hottest cities.
Phoenix hit a high temperature of 118 degrees on Saturday, topping the city's 10-year-old record of 116 degrees for the date.
Meteorologists for the National Weather Service say afternoon clouds from monsoon activity likely kept the area from reaching 120 degrees, but they say it's still the city's hottest day so far this year.
The monsoon also brought strong wind gusts that toppled power lines and knocked out electricity to 1,500 homes in northeast Phoenix and 2,400 homes scattered throughout the area.
Ex-IMF boss Strauss-Kahn returns to NYC townhouse
NEW YORK (AP) — Former International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn has returned to his rented New York City townhouse after leaving for a few hours.
He stepped from a vehicle outside the Manhattan home Saturday afternoon and went quickly inside.
Strauss-Kahn has been accused by a hotel maid of trying to rape her in May. Prosecutors told a judge on Friday they had discovered serious problems with the maid's credibility. The judge subsequently lifted his house arrest, allowing him to travel in the U.S. but not abroad.
Strauss-Kahn had left the house in the Tribeca neighborhood with his wife for about three hours Saturday. With reporters watching, the couple had gotten into a car and sped off. It's unknown where they went.
NORAD intercepts small plane near Camp David
WASHINGTON (AP) — A two-seat plane had to be escorted to the ground by an F-15 fighter after straying into a restricted zone around Camp David in Maryland. President Barack Obama is spending most of the Fourth of July weekend with his family there.
Authorities tried to contact the plane via radio Saturday, but it did not respond. It was intercepted about 1:20 p.m. about six miles from Camp David and escorted to Hagerstown, Md., where it landed.
A spokeswoman for the North American Aerospace Defense Command, Capt. Angela Young, said the plane was flying from Salisbury, Md. The pilot was met by local law enforcement after landing in Hagerstown.
Secret Service spokesman Ed Donovan says the pilot was interviewed and authorities determined it was an accident.
Thousands rally against Ga. immigration law
ATLANTA (AP) — Thousands rallied at the Georgia Capitol to protest the state's new immigration law, which they say creates an unwelcome environment for people of color and those in search of a better life.
Men, women and children converged on downtown Atlanta for Saturday's march and rally, cheering speakers while shading themselves with umbrellas and posters.
Capitol police and organizers estimated that between 8,000 and 14,000 protesters gathered. They filled the blocks around the Capitol, holding signs decrying House Bill 87 and reading "Immigration Reform Now!"
Saturday's rally follows a "day without immigrants," when some parts of the law took effect. It was organized by the Georgia Latino Alliance for Human Rights. The organization asked businesses to close and community members not to work or shop to protest the law.
OIL SPILL-YELLOWSTONE RIVER
Exxon oil spill in Mont. river prompts evacuations
LAUREL, Mont. (AP) — An ExxonMobil pipeline that runs under the Yellowstone River near Billings in south-central Montana ruptured and dumped an unknown amount of oil into the waterway, prompting temporary evacuations along the river Saturday morning.
Company spokeswoman Pam Malek, who was at the scene, said the pipe leaked for about a half-hour, though it's not clear how much oil leaked.
The cause of the rupture wasn't known.
Brent Peters, the fire chief for the city of Laurel about 12 miles east of Billings, said the break in the 12-inch diameter pipe occurred late Friday about a mile south of Laurel.
He said about 140 people were evacuated in the area starting about 12:15 a.m Saturday due to concerns about possible explosions and the overpowering fumes.
UPDATE: Prince William, Kate greeted by protesters
MONTREAL (AP) — Prince William and his new bride Kate have come face to face with loud opposition in the French-speaking province of Quebec.
About 35 protesters, including members of a separatist group, stood outside a hospital in Montreal on Saturday chanting "A united people will never be vanquished."
Dressed in black capes, the protesters were drumming and booing as the royal couple's motorcade pulled up to the hospital. William was whisked into the hospital as Kate stepped out of the car and smiled at the crowd before going in.
The newlyweds were there to visit with cancer patients and the hospital's neonatal care facility.
The protesters were outnumbered about 10 to one by William and Kate supporters.
The demonstrations were a rare moment of criticism aimed at the young royals, who have for the most part been welcomed with open arms by Canadians eager to see the glamorous newlyweds.
Saturday was the couple's quietest and least frenetic day since beginning their tour of Canada on Thursday.
Mexico confirms 11 dead from Arlene and aftermath
MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexican authorities have confirmed 11 deaths from Tropical Storm Arlene and the aftermath of floods, mudslides and overflowing rivers in central Mexico and Gulf Coast states.
State civil protection officials say five people in Hidalgo, two young children in Mexico state and a rescue worker and woman in Veracruz were killed. Most died after being buried alive in their homes by mudslides or drowning in heavy currents while trying to cross swollen streams.
The state officials confirmed the deaths Saturday. They are in addition to two people killed in Tamaulipas on Friday.
The Atlantic season's first tropical storm dumped heavy rains for two days since Thursday. Weather reports warned of moderate to heavy rains for the rest of the weekend.
Eurozone releases vital Greek aid installment
BRUSSELS (AP) — Eurozone finance ministers say Greece will get a vital loan installment by July 15 while work continues on a second bailout for the struggling country.
The ministers signed off their portion of the €12 billion ($17.39 billion) loan tranche in a conference call Saturday evening. The International Monetary Fund is expected to approve its part of the loan next week.
The ministers also reiterated that they would continue to support Greece beyond the €110 billion loan package that was granted last year, but left a final decision on the new aid plan until the involvement of banks and other private creditors has been figured out.
They said "the precise modalities and scale of private sector involvement and additional funding from official sources will be determined in the coming weeks."
NEW: Polls open in Thailand; big parties deeply divided
BANGKOK (AP) — Voters have begun casting ballots in fractious Thailand's tense election. Many hope the vote will end the political crisis that has shaken the country since a military coup five years ago.
But there are also fears that the poll could trigger more upheaval if the results are not accepted by rival protesters or the coup-prone army.
Television stations reported long lines at polling stations across the country as they opened on time.
The poll itself is a largely a race between Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva and opposition leader Yingluck Shinawatra. But it has come to be viewed as a referendum on the divisive legacy of former premier Thaksin Shinawatra, Yingluck's exiled billionaire brother. Thaksin's overthrow in 2006 set the nation on a downward spiral.
HOT DOG CONTEST
Coney Island hot dog contest adds women's pigout
NEW YORK (AP) — This year's Fourth of July hot dog eating contest on Coney Island has a new women-only pigout.
Sonya Thomas and eight other women will compete Monday before the men's stomach-churning Nathan's Famous hot dog feast.
Thomas has set a women's world record by stuffing 41 wieners into her 105-pound frame — in 10 minutes.
The man to beat eating dogs is world champion Joey Chestnut. Last year, he ate his way to a fourth consecutive championship by downing 54.
Notably absent again this year is chief rival Takeru Kobayashi (tah-KEH'-roo koh-bah-YAH'-shee), who held the world record for nearly six years. He was arrested last year for storming the stage — after being ruled ineligible for refusing to sign an exclusive contract with Major League Eating, the fast-food equivalent of the NFL.
Veteran wins pit spitting competition in SW Mich.
EAU CLAIRE, Mich. (AP) — A nine-time winner has taken top honors in the annual cherry pit spitting contest in southwestern Michigan.
Brian "Young Gun" Krause of Dimondale spit a pit 66 feet, one-and-half inches Saturday for his second consecutive win at the International Cherry Pit Spitting Championship.
Last year's winner was initially Brian's father, Rick "Pellet Gun" Krause. He was later disqualified for spitting from his knees, and the rules say spitters must be on their feet.
Second-place went to Niles resident Kevin Bartz, and his children Chloe and Zach won their youth divisions.
The event is hosted by Tree-Mendus Fruit Farm near Eau Claire, just north of the Indiana border.
Owner Herb Teichman launched the tourney as a lark nearly four decades ago. It now attracts competitors from the U.S. and beyond.Tags: