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POSTED July 2, 2012 1:40 a.m.

• MID-ATLANTIC POWER OUTAGES COULD LAST DAYS: FRANCONIA, Va. (AP) — A day after seeking refuge at shopping malls and movie theaters, hoping the lights would be back on when they returned, nearly 2.7 million residents faced a grim reality Sunday: stifling homes, spoiled food and a looming commute filled with knocked-out stoplights.

Two days after storms slammed the mid-Atlantic region, power outages were forcing people to get creative to stay cool in dangerously hot weather. Temperatures approached 100 degrees in many storm-stricken areas, and utility officials said the power will likely be out for several more days.

“If we don’t get power tonight, we’ll have to throw everything away,” Susan Fritz, a mother of three, said grimly of her refrigerator and freezer. Fritz came to a library in Bethesda, Md., so her son could do school work. She charged her phone and iPad at her local gym.

The severe weather that began Friday was blamed for 17 deaths, most from trees falling on homes and cars. Three people were killed Sunday in eastern North Carolina when sudden storms hit there.

On Sunday night, federal and state officials in the mid-Atlantic region gave many workers the option of staying home Monday to ease congestion on the roads. Federal agencies will be open in Washington, but non-emergency employees have the option of taking leave or working from home.



• US JUDGE TEMPORARILY BLOCKS MISS. ABORTION LAW: JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — A federal judge on Sunday temporarily blocked enforcement of a Mississippi law that could shut down the only abortion clinic in the state.

U.S. District Judge Daniel P. Jordan in Jackson issued a temporary restraining order the day the new law took effect.

He set a July 11 hearing to determine whether to block the law for a longer time.

“Though the debate over abortion continues, there exists legal precedent the court must follow,” Jordan wrote.

The law requires anyone performing abortions at the state’s only clinic to be an OB-GYN with privileges to admit patients to a local hospital. Such privileges can be difficult to obtain, and the clinic contends the mandate is designed to put it out of business. A clinic spokeswoman, Betty Thompson, has said the two physicians who do abortions there are OB-GYNs who travel from other states.



• OFFICIALS: ALA. AIRBUS PLANT WILL EMPLOY 1,000: MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Airbus’s planned aircraft assembly plant in Alabama will cost $600 million to build and will employ 1,000 people when it reaches full production, officials said Sunday ahead of an official announcement.

Two state officials with knowledge of the company’s plans said the plant in Alabama’s port city of Mobile should create about 2,500 construction jobs, and it will turn out about four planes a month in 2017.

The company’s first aircraft assembly plant in America will produce single-aisle passenger planes that will compete with Boeing. The plant will be located at Brookley Aeroplex, which was an Air Force base until its closure in 1969.

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