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Nation news briefs
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ROMNEY CLINCHES GOP NOMINATION WITH TEXAS WIN: WASHINGTON (AP) — Mitt Romney clinched the Republican presidential nomination Tuesday with a win in the Texas primary, a triumph of endurance for a candidate who came up short four years ago and had to fight hard this year as voters flirted with a carousel of GOP rivals.

According to the Associated Press count, Romney surpassed the 1,144 delegates needed to win the nomination by winning at least 88 delegates in the Texas primary.

The former Massachusetts governor has reached the nomination milestone with a steady message of concern about the U.S. economy, a campaign organization that dwarfed those of his GOP foes and a fundraising operation second only to that of his Democratic opponent in the general election, President Barack Obama.

Romney would be the first Mormon nominated by a major party. His religion has been less of an issue than it was during his failed bid four years ago.

TRUMP OVERSHADOWS ROMNEY WITH 'BIRTHER' TALK: LAS VEGAS (AP) — Mitt Romney's presidential campaign collided with Donald Trump's "birther" rhetoric on Tuesday as the reality television star hosted a fundraiser for the Republican while claiming again that President Barack Obama is foreign-born.

The debunked conspiracy theory among conservative activists dubbed "birthers" charges that Obama is not constitutionally qualified to serve in the White House. Romney has said he believes Obama was born in America, but he has not condemned Trump's comments.

Democrats contend it's the latest example of Romney's reluctance to confront the more extreme elements in his party.

Such allegations have been repeatedly proven false. The state of Hawaii recently re-affirmed that Obama was born there.

SISTER SAYS SHE REPORTED BROTHER IN PATZ KILLING: CAMDEN, N.J. (AP) — The sister of a man who confessed last week to the 1979 killing of 6-year-old Etan Patz in New York City said Tuesday she went to police in Camden years ago to report a rumor he had confessed at a prayer group but never got beyond giving a statement at the reception desk.

Norma Hernandez, of Camden, told The Associated Press she gave her statement to a man in police uniform, and also gave him a copy of her license. But she said she didn't get any paperwork back and was never brought in to talk to a detective.

Hernandez said she told police she had heard rumors that her brother Pedro had confessed to a church prayer group that he killed a boy in New York but did not have details about the killing, including the name of the boy.

Pedro Hernandez, 51, of Maple Shade, was charged last week with second-degree murder in the death of Etan Patz.

OHIOAN CLEARING GUN CHARGED IN AMISH GIRL'S DEATH : HILLERSBURG, Ohio (AP) — An Amish man who fired a shot into the air as he cleared his rifle was charged Tuesday with reckless homicide in the shooting death of a 15-year-old girl who was driving a horse-drawn buggy home from a Christmas party more than a mile away when she was struck.

Holmes County prosecutor Steve Knowling said the third-degree felony count against 28-year-old Marion R. Yoder comes after examining recently completed ballistics evidence and an autopsy report on Rachel Yoder, of Fredricksburg. The two aren't related.

Authorities said Rachel Yoder was driving a horse-drawn buggy home in Wayne County from an employee party last December. She dropped off a friend before she was shot around 10 p.m., about three miles from her home. Police said she fell out of the buggy after the horse carted her home. Her brother noticed the horse and buggy going in a circle and found the unresponsive teen on the ground. She died a day later.

2 MEN CHARGED IN ATTACK ON PREGNANT DETROIT WOMAN: DETROIT (AP) — A Detroit woman who was set on fire and shot during a weekend attack gave birth to a boy Tuesday, hours before her former boyfriend was charged with attempted murder in what police say was a bizarre plot to have her killed because he didn't want another child.

Latonya Bowman was abducted, bound, set on fire and shot over the weekend. Police said she survived the attack by rolling on the ground to extinguish the flames and feigning death.