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The news in brief

Friday, July 04, 2014 - Updated: 7:30 AM

Ex-editor gets 18 months for hacking

LONDON (AP) -- Former News of the World editor Andy Coulson, a onetime aide to British Prime Minister David Cameron, was sentenced to 18 months in prison Friday for participating in a conspiracy to hack the phones of celebrities, politicians and crime victims.

Three other former journalists at the tabloid and private investigator Glenn Mulcaire all received shorter sentences.

Coulson was convicted last week after an eight-month trial stemming from revelations of illegal eavesdropping on mobile-phone voicemails by staff of the now-defunct Rupert Murdoch-owned newspaper.

Another former editor, Rebekah Brooks, and four others were acquitted.

U.S. economy moves closer to full health

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The 5-year-old U.S. recovery is gaining momentum from a surprisingly robust job market and moving the economy closer to full health.

Employers added 288,000 jobs in June and helped cut the unemployment rate from 6.3 percent to 6.1 percent, the lowest since 2008. It was the fifth straight monthly gain above 200,000 -- the best such stretch since the late 1990s tech boom.

The stock market signaled its approval. The Dow Jones industrial average surged 92 points to top 17,000 for the first time.

Police: Dad intentionally left child in car

MARIETTA, Ga. (AP) -- Justin Ross Harris was a devoted and loving father who talked about his toddler son often, his friends and family say. But prosecutors have portrayed him as a man unhappy in his marriage who exchanged nude photos with several women as his son died in a hot SUV.

Harris, 33, faces murder and child cruelty charges in the June 18 death of his 22-month-old son Cooper, who police say was left in a vehicle for about seven hours on a day when temperatures in the Atlanta area reached at least into the high 80s. The medical examiner's office has said the boy died of hyperthermia -- essentially overheating -- and has called his death a homicide.

During a three-hour hearing Thursday, prosecutor Chuck Boring questioned a police detective at length, outlining evidence he said proves Harris intentionally left his young boy in the hot SUV. But defense attorney Maddox Kilgore argued the evidence was insufficient and that the boy's death was a tragic accident.

California wildfires threaten more homes

JULIAN, Calif. (AP) -- A wildfire destroyed two homes, threatened hundreds more and forced the cancellation of a Fourth of July parade and celebration in a historic gold-mining town in San Diego County.

The blaze that broke out Thursday near the mountain town of Julian was one of several burning across the state, including one in Northern California's Napa County that had also burned two homes and had grown to more than 6 square miles.

The San Diego County fire erupted around 10:30 a.m. prompted the mandatory evacuation of 200 homes in near Julian. The evacuations were canceled by the end of the day as firefighters had the 150-acre blaze 15 percent contained, state fire Capt. Kendal Bortisser said.

     

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