Posted: Aug 18, 2012 3:07 AM
Updated: Aug 18, 2012 3:08 AM
Dallas resumes aerial mosquito attack
DALLAS (AP) Another round of aerial spraying of insecticide is under way across the Dallas area tonight to curb the mosquito population.
Rain cut short the first aerial targeting of mosquitoes in more than 45 years Thursday, grounding two planes around midnight.
Dallas County has been the epicenter of the nation's worst outbreak of West Nile virus, which is carried by mosquitos. The virus has killed 10 people and sickened at least 200 others.
Health officials have also set traps to determine the spraying's effectiveness, and another aerial mission is scheduled for Monday night to catch mosquitoes hatched over the weekend.
CHILD DEATHS-HOT CARS
Government wants driver to look before they lock
ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) The government is urging people to "Look Before You Lock" -- specifically, look out for children to keep them from being left unattended in hot vehicles.
The U.S. Department of Transportation says there have been at least 23 deaths so far this summer resulting from children being left in hot cars.
Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius have issued a joint letter addressed to the nation's Head Start directors and child care providers. The secretaries are urging them to take advantage of the "Look Before You Lock" campaign materials by sharing them with staff, families and other community members.
Research by the DOT's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) shows heatstroke is the leading cause of non-crash vehicle deaths for children under the age of fourteen.
When outside temperatures are in the low 80s, the temperature inside a vehicle can reach deadly levels in only 10 minutes, even with a window rolled down two inches. Children's bodies overheat four to five times as quickly as an adult, and infants and children under four years old are at the greatest risk for heat-related illness.
Ryan takes Medicare mother on campaign trail
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) Vice presidential hopeful Paul Ryan is telling seniors they have nothing to worry about when it comes to Medicare and Social Security if his Republican Party wins the White House.
Don't believe him? Just ask his 78-year-old mother.
Betty Ryan Douglas is set to campaign Saturday with her son in Florida at the world's largest retirement community.
The presumptive GOP presidential ticket is trying to blunt withering criticism from President Barack Obama and his allies. The Democrats charge that Mitt Romney and Ryan would gut programs for older Americans such as Medicare and Social Security.
Obama plans to dig in on that point in New Hampshire on Saturday with stops in Windham and Rochester. Aides say he will cast voters' choice as one between two very different approaches to government.
Convention host cities gear up for traffic
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) It's easy to see why the restaurants and bars in downtown Tampa are excited about the upcoming Republican National Convention: It means steady business during a traditionally slow time of year.
But some downtown merchants and many workers aren't so thrilled. They're wondering about the protests, the parking, the traffic.
The RNC will create many challenges for those who work and live in downtown Tampa. A secure perimeter around the main venue will be maintained by the Secret Service, while other nearby roads and streets will also be in a locked-down mode.
Residents of Charlotte are also looking ahead to transportation challenges during the Democratic National Convention. That city plans to close or restrict access to 29 streets in the central business district.
NEW: Last UN observers start leaving Syria
DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) A United Nations spokeswoman says the last U.N. observers still in Syria have started to leave the country as their mission officially ends at midnight Sunday.
Juliette Touma tells The Associated Press that the rest of the observers will leave within hours. There are about 100 observers left in Syria a third of the number at the peak of the mission earlier this year.
Their departure comes after the Security Council agreed to end the U.N. mission and back a small new liaison office that will support any future peace efforts.
The U.N.'s top body has acknowledged that international efforts to significantly reduce the violence and end the Syrian government's use of heavy weapons conditions set for the mission's possible extension have failed.
Bomb at Afghan bazaar kills 4 people
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) An official says a bomb in a market in western Afghanistan has killed four people.
A spokesman for the Herat provincial government says the explosion on Saturday morning also wounded 12 people, including three policemen who were on patrol.
The blast was the latest attack targeting civilians in Afghanistan.
Earlier this week, 35 civilians died in multiple suicide bombings and a market bomb in two different cities in what was the deadliest day for civilians so far this year.
Suicide car bomber kills 5 Pakistani troops
QUETTA, Pakistan (AP) A Pakistani official says a suicide car bomber has killed five security troops at a road checkpoint in the country's volatile southwest.
Spokesman Murtaza Baig says the attacker detonated his explosives early on Saturday after he was stopped at the checkpoint in a Quetta suburb. The killed troops were members of Pakistan's paramilitary Frontier Corps.
Baluchistan province and its capital, Quetta, have been the scene of an insurgency by Baluch nationalists who are demanding greater rights and share from the income generated from gas and minerals extracted from the province. Various Baluch groups are blamed for attacks on the province's security forces and are suspected of targeting other ethnic groups in the region.
Islamist Taliban militants and the extremist group Lashker-e-Jhangvi are also active in the province.
Indiana melons linked to US salmonella outbreak
UNDATED (AP) Health officials in Indiana and Kentucky say they are investigating farms, distributors and retailers after an outbreak of salmonella that has killed two and sickened at least 141 people nationwide was linked to cantaloupe grown in southwestern Indiana.
Officials Friday advised all Indiana residents to discard cantaloupes purchased since July 7.
The Kentucky Department of Public Health warned people not to eat the cantaloupes. Tests found the fruit carried the same strain of salmonella that has killed two and sickened more than 50 in Kentucky.
Salmonella infections result in diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps. Most people recover without treatment, but severe infections can occur in infants, the elderly and those with weakened immune systems. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration says 31 have been hospitalized in this outbreak that has hit 20 states.
Tropical Storm Helene forms along Mexican coast
VERACRUZ, Mexico (AP) Tropical Storm Helene is threatening coastal areas of eastern Mexico where thousands of people are still recovering from flooding spawned by Hurricane Ernesto.
The U.S. National Hurricane Center says Helene is barely a tropical storm now but could strengthen again before making an expected landfall Saturday.
The storm, which formed just offshore in the southwestern Gulf of Mexico on Friday, is centered about 65 miles east of Tuxpan. It has maximum sustained winds of 40 mph and is moving northwest at 7 mph.
Helene is forecast to make landfall in the northern part of Veracruz, a lush coastal state with hundreds of towns and villages sitting along streams and rivers that can swell dangerously in heavy rain.
Mexico's government has declared a state of emergency in more than 100 population centers in Veracruz.
The country's national weather service is warning of intense rains and winds along the Veracruz and Tamaulipas coasts, with heavy rain, hail and lightning possible.
Fire evacuees in Wash. and California return home
SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) It's unclear what some people will find when they get there but hundreds of people in Washington and California who fled out-of-control wildfires are being allowed to return to their homes.
Meanwhile, some residents of rural central Idaho were told to head in the opposite direction as blazes continued to burn throughout the West.
In Washington, a 22,700-acre fire about 75 miles east of Seattle was 40 percent contained late Friday. Firefighters hope to have the fire contained Sunday.
But the National Weather Service has issued a red flag warning for high wildfire danger in effect through Saturday night on the east side of the Cascades. In addition to the hot, dry conditions, there's a chance for dry thunderstorms Saturday evening with lightning that could start more fires.