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NATIONAL BRIEFS


ARIZONA: Floods claim 12-year-old

A 12-year-old girl died Tuesday, swept away by floodwaters after heavy thunderstorms hit a section of northern Arizona scarred by a wildfire last month, authorities said. The floods rushed through a pair of subdivisions north of Flagstaff, forcing residents to flee their homes. Coconino County sheriff's officials said Shaelyn Wilson fell into a wash south of White Vulcan Mine. Her younger sister notified other family members, who called authorities. They said Shaelyn was found in water near a highway and taken to Flagstaff Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead. The National Weather Service said more than 2 inches of rain fell Tuesday in areas charred last month by a 15,000-acre wildfire.


GEORGIA: A 'Palin-Gingrich runoff'

Two Republicans who wielded dueling endorsements from Sarah Palin and Newt Gingrich will face a runoff for governor, while a Democrat who served a single term as governor won his party's nomination Tuesday for a comeback bid. Former Secretary of State Karen Handel, backed by Palin, will face former U.S. Rep. Nathan Deal, Gingrich's favorite, in an Aug. 10 runoff. Former Gov. Roy Barnes won the Democratic nomination, avoiding a runoff by trouncing six opponents in the first electoral test of his comeback bid.


WASHINGTON: Intel nominee pleads case

Pledging to increase trust with Congress, retired Air Force Lt. Gen. James R. Clapper said Tuesday he would be candid with lawmakers if confirmed as the next director of national intelligence. Senators at his confirmation hearing voiced skepticism about the ability of the next overseer of the nation's 16 spy agencies to manage the sprawling intelligence community - something the last three directors struggled to do in the face of competing authorities in the National Security Council and the CIA. Clapper insisted he would be able to exercise the necessary authority of the DNI, rather than "going through the trauma," of another reorganization. During his confirmation hearing before the Senate Intelligence Committee, he mentioned his 46 years' experience in the intelligence field. One critic, committee chairwoman Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), offered praise later. She said she thought Clapper would be "a strong DNI . . . whose will was going to prevail."


NORTH CAROLINA: Battle over 'resegregation'

Protesters and police scuffled Tuesday at a school board meeting in Raleigh over claims that a new busing system would resegregate schools, roiling racial tensions reminiscent of the 1960s. Nineteen people were arrested, including the head of the state NAACP chapter, the Rev. William Barber, who was banned from the meeting after a trespassing arrest at a June school board gathering. More than a dozen demonstrators gathered around a podium, chanting and singing against the board's policies. The Wake County School Board has voted to scrap the district's diversity policy, which distributed students based on socioeconomics and for years had been a model for diversity in schools. Several school board members built a majority in favor of focusing on neighborhood schools.

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