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POSTED July 19, 2012 9:34 p.m.



ARIZONA SHERIFF-RACIAL PROFILING TRIAL: PHOENIX — Joe Arpaio, the self-proclaimed toughest sheriff in America, vehemently denies allegations that his deputies racially profile Latinos. Now, the Arizona lawman will have to convince a federal judge who is presiding over a lawsuit that heads to trial.

NAVY INVESTS IN BIOFUELS: ABOARD THE USS NIMITZ — The Navy says it can fly fighter jets and run destroyers with biofuels — part of a U.S. military campaign to explore alternative energy sources and reduce its reliance on foreign oil — and has invested $500 million so far in the campaign. Some lawmakers question that investment with budget cuts possible. But the Navy's top official insists it's not an environmental move — it's a defense strategy. AP photos.

OIL PRICES GOING UP: The price of oil goes up $15 in three weeks as tensions rise in the Middle East, and that's meant higher pump prices for U.S. drivers. Gas has risen 11 cents so far this month to an average of $3.44 per gallon, and experts say it should top $3.50 this summer.

ECONOMY WEAKENS: WASHINGTON — A raft of economic news paints a picture of a weakening U.S. economy held back by sluggish home buying and factory production. Americans bought fewer homes in June, manufacturing in the Philadelphia region contracted for a third straight month in July and a gauge of future U.S. economic activity declined. The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits rose last week, though that figure was skewed higher by seasonal factors.

CAMP CHILDREN ON TRACKS HALT ALASKA RAILROAD TRAIN: ANCHORAGE, Alaska  — An Alaska Railroad train made an emergency stop when its engineer spotted dozens of children and their summer camp escorts on tracks south of Anchorage. The engineer hit the brakes Wednesday morning near scenic Bird Point after seeing nearly 50 children and a dozen leaders from Camp Bear Valley spread out along three-tenths of a mile of track. Tourists Derrell and Dot Dore say the children were sitting on railroad tracks, taking pictures.



 CHICK-FIL-A-GAY MARRIAGE — Chick-fil-A president's public stance against gay marriage surprises some advocates. Chick-fil-A is building a restaurant in Manteca on Daniels Street at Airport Way and the 120 Bypass.

 RODMAN-MEETS FATHER — Former NBA star Dennis Rodman Finally meets his estranged father in Manila after 42 years of separation.

 WHITE BISON — Native Americans from all over the country are preparing to head to the northwest corner of Connecticut to celebrate the birth of a rare white bison, considered among the most sacred animals.

 ATTEMPTED CHILD ABDUCTION — Police seek a man who tried to abduct a 10-year-old Philadelphia girl in broad daylight but fled after the girl struggled and screamed. The attempt was captured on surveillance video.




ASSAD MAKES FIRST APPEARANCE SINCE BOMBING: BEIRUT —Syrian President Bashar Assad makes his first appearance since a bomb killed some of his top lieutenants, looking calm and composed on state TV even as his forces turned parts of Damascus into combat zones and rebels seized two of the country's border crossings. The unprecedented attack on Assad's inner circle, along with the government's inability to crush the rebels after five days of intense clashes in the Syrian capital, point to an unraveling of his grip on power after 16 months of violence.


‘TOURIST’ KILLS SIX ISRAELI TOURISTS: BURGAS, Bulgaria — He looked like any other impatient tourist checking the big board at airport arrivals: a lanky, long-haired man in a baseball cap with his hands in the pockets of his plaid Bermuda shorts. Minutes later, authorities say, he would board a bus filled with young Israeli tourists and blow himself up, killing six others as well. Authorities look for clues as to who he was, using his fingerprints, his DNA and his fake Michigan driver's license.

BORDR GUARDS STRIKE ON EVE OLYMPICS: LONDON — Border guards at British airports will walk off the job on the eve of the Olympics, their union says. Members of the Public and Commercial Services Union have voted for the 24-hour strike on July 26 in a dispute over pay and job losses — an Olympic-sized headache for British officials.

100,000 DIE IN FAMINE: DOLO, Somalia — The long, dusty walks from hungry homes to far-away refugee camps are again claiming lives in Somalia one year after an estimated 100,000 people died in the country's worst famine in generations. Some rain did fall this year, but not enough, and residents say al-Shabab militants are making things worse


WHOOPING COUGH ON UPSWING: ATLANTA — Health officials say the nation is on track to have the worst year for whooping cough in more than five decades. Nearly 18,000 cases have been reported so far, with Washington state and Wisconsin hardest hit. The outbreaks tend to run in cycles and the vaccine loses strength over time.


OBAMA SAWS ROMENY WILL HURT MEDICARE: JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — President Barack Obama, campaigning in potentially decisive Florida, warns seniors that their Medicare benefits could be undercut in a Mitt Romney administration. Obama's Republican opponent argues that the president is more focused on raising campaign cash than putting people back to work, as the two campaigns talk past each other.



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