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NATIONAL BRIEFS


CALIFORNIA: Plane crash sparked wildfire

A brush fire ignited by a small-plane crash has destroyed 12 homes and forced the evacuation of hundreds of others, leaving more than 13,000 acres charred Tuesday as it flared out of control for a third day. The fire devoured another 5,000 acres overnight as strong, erratic winds fanned the flames across rugged terrain near the mountain town of Tehachapi, 150 miles north of Los Angeles. By noon Tuesday, 1,200 firefighters backed by bulldozers and an aerial squadron of 10 water-dropping helicopters and seven tanker planes had carved containment lines around 20 percent of the fire's perimeter. The so-called Canyon Fire was sparked Sunday morning when a single-engine plane crashed near Tehachapi, killing the pilot and a passenger. The ensuing blaze engulfed a nearby home, and 11 more dwellings plus 18 outbuildings were destroyed Monday.


EAST COAST: Lee soaking vast area

Disorganized, yet deadly, the leftovers from Tropical Storm Lee spread farther inland Tuesday, soaking much of the East Coast. Areas still drying out from Irene were hit with more rain. In the Southeast, farmers welcomed the wet weather. At least four people died in the storm. At one point, flood watches were in effect from northeast Alabama to New England. Out in the Atlantic, Hurricane Katia weakened to a Category 2 and was predicted to veer away from the U.S. mainland. Meanwhile, a new tropical depression formed over the Atlantic and could become a tropical storm passing near Puerto Rico by Sunday.


MISSISSIPPI: Teens sued in black's death

The family of a black man who authorities say died after being beaten and run over in Jackson filed a wrongful-death lawsuit Tuesday against a group of white teenagers over what the family calls a racially motivated attack. James C. Anderson, 49, an autoworker, was returning to his car before dawn on June 26 when he was confronted by seven white teenagers in a motel parking lot, according to the suit.

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