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Updated: Fri, 11 Jul 2014 01:15:46 EST


UPDATE: Possible compromise emerges on border request

WASHINGTON (AP) — A possible compromise is emerging on Capitol Hill that would more quickly send back minors arriving from Central America.

Republicans have demanded speedier deportations, and congressional Democratic leaders have left the door open on the issue.

However, some key Democratic senators are opposed.


NEW: Diplomats discuss obligations on aiding refugees

MANAGUA, Nicaragua (AP) — Officials from the U.S., Mexico and Central American nations have begun a two-day meeting in Nicaragua at which they are expected to discuss the possibility of treating as refugees the Central American migrants who are fleeing violence in their homelands.

Migration and interior department representatives who met Thursday at a hotel in Managua declined to discuss the meeting's first day.

The agenda focuses on updating a 30-year-old declaration regarding the obligations that nations have to aid refugees.

Officials with the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees have said they hope a regional agreement on designating Central Americans migrants begins to be discussed at the meeting. Such a resolution would lack legal weight, but the agency says it believes "the U.S. and Mexico should recognize that this is a refugee situation."


UPDATE: Germany kicks out top US spy over espionage claims

BERLIN (AP) — Germany is demanding that the CIA station chief in Berlin leave the country as a new round of allegations of U.S. espionage increased friction between the two allies.

Under the elaborate rules of international diplomacy, Germany's move to kick out the spy chief is a request two steps short of a formal expulsion.


NEW: China jails 32 people for online terror charges

BEIJING (AP) — Courts in a restive region of western China have sentenced 32 people to prison, three of them for life, for downloading and spreading violent Internet content that authorities have blamed for inspiring a recent string of deadly attacks.

The region's official newspaper, the Xinjiang (shihn-jahng) Daily, reports that the other 29 people were handed sentences ranging from four to 15 years' imprisonment by seven courts in the region on Thursday.

The sentencing is part of efforts to scour and scrub the Internet for material promoting religious warfare or teaching bomb-making methods that Chinese authorities say have fueled recent attacks.

The attacks, which have killed dozens of people this year, prompted Beijing to launch an expansive security crackdown in the region, arresting several hundred people and sentencing scores to prison.


House GOP moves ahead on suing Obama

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Republicans have taken the initial step in suing President Barack Obama over the administration's decision to delay the employer mandate of the health care law.

House Speaker John Boehner released a draft of the resolution that would authorize the House to file suit amid GOP criticism that the president has declined to faithfully execute the laws of the country.

The so-called employer mandate was written into the law as a guardrail to discourage employers from shifting workers into taxpayer-subsidized coverage. The administration gave businesses an extra year to comply with the health care law's requirement to offer coverage.

The House Rules Committee has scheduled a hearing on the resolution next week, with a House vote later this month.

Obama has called the GOP effort a "stunt."

Boehner's actions on the lawsuit come as some Republicans are demanding a far more formidable step: impeachment.


UPDATE: Central Washington wildfire grows dramatically

YAKIMA, Wash. (AP) — A central Washington state wildfire has burned across 28 square miles in just two days.

The Mills Canyon fire near Entiat has prompted officials to tell residents of about a dozen homes to evacuate.

About 40 miles away, on the west side of Lake Chelan, a new fire quickly burned across 350 acres by Thursday evening.

Some residents have been told to leave.


UPDATE: Van falls into pond, killing 8 children in China

BEIJING (AP) — In central China, eight kindergarteners and three adults died after the overcrowded minivan they were in crashed into a pond.

The Xinhua (shihn-wah) News Agency says the bus was returning the children home from school Thursday in a mountainous village near the capital city of Hunan province when it fell into the water.


NEW: 1 woman dead in New Jersey rowhouse fire

JERSEY CITY, N.J. (AP) — Authorities say one woman is dead in a rowhouse fire in New Jersey. Jersey City police and fire department spokesman Bob McHugh says the blaze broke out in the home's basement at around 10 p.m. Thursday. Three others in the single-family home were able to escape the flames. McHugh says the 32-year-old woman was found by firefighters on the top floor of the two-story home.

Officials believe the fire was electrical and appears to have started in a cluttered area of the basement. Investigators are on the scene. The only other injury was a firefighter who twisted his ankle fighting the flames.

An eyewitness tells NJ.com that flames were shooting out of the home when firefighters arrived. A neighbor describes the victim as a "great little lady."


Arizona inmate's bid to postpone execution denied

PHOENIX (AP) — A judge has denied an Arizona death row inmate's request to postpone his July 23 execution until officials reveal details about the drugs that will be used to put him to death.

U.S. District Judge Neil Wake on Thursday rejected Joseph Rudolph Wood's argument that his First Amendment rights were violated by the state's refusal to provide the information about the two-drug combination to be used in his execution.

Wood is seeking information on the makers of the drugs and how the state developed its method for lethal injections.

Wood is scheduled to be executed in the August 1989 shooting deaths of his estranged girlfriend, Debra Dietz, and her father, Eugene Dietz, at an automotive shop in Tucson.


NEW: Man left in DEA cell says lights were turned off

SAN DIEGO (AP) — A San Diego college student who was locked and handcuffed in a U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration cell for five days without food or water says he exchanged words with a man through his cell door just before a light was turned off.

Daniel Chong told reporters Thursday that he doesn't remember what was said. But Chong does say he spent at least two days in darkness, at times banging on the cell door.

Nobody responded.

The U.S. Justice Department inspector general says four DEA employees saw or heard Chong during his April 2012 incarceration.

A summary of the investigation, released Tuesday, doesn't indicate when the employees encountered Chong or what they heard or saw.

Chong and his attorneys are calling for the release of the full report.


NEW: Texans, rodeo devise Astrodome demolition plan

HOUSTON (AP) — They say it's more of a concept than a plan, but the Houston Texans and Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo have developed a $66 million idea that involves demolishing the historic Astrodome.

The 37-page booklet mostly of artist renderings obtained by The Associated Press late Thursday shows the domed stadium replaced with a green space and "Astrodome Hall of Fame."

A brochure shows a construction timetable that ends with the 2017 Super Bowl — but would have started work June 2.

Rodeo operations chief Leroy Shafer says, in reality, there is no timetable because the plan is not being placed before the Harris County commissioners for a decision on the county-owned stadium.

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