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NATIONAL BRIEFS


NATION: Stomach bug causes alarm

Nearly 400 people across the country have been sickened by cyclospora, a lengthy intestinal illness usually contracted by eating contaminated food. Federal officials warned Wednesday that it was too early to say whether the outbreak of the rare parasite reported in 15 states was over. Nebraska and Iowa health officials traced cases there to prepackaged salad. They haven't revealed the company that packaged the salad or where it was sold, explaining only that most if not all of it wasn't grown locally.


LOUISIANA: September hearing for Halliburton

A federal judge has scheduled a hearing Sept. 19 for Halliburton Energy Services to plead guilty to destroying evidence after BP's 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The company was arraigned Wednesday in New Orleans. Company attorneys entered a plea of not guilty to a misdemeanor charge, but Halliburton has agreed to plead guilty to one count of destruction of evidence in a deal with the Justice Department. Halliburton also has agreed to pay the statutory maximum fine of $200,000, be on probation for three years and to cooperate with the government's criminal investigation. Halliburton was BP's cement contractor on the drilling rig that exploded, killing 11 workers and spilling millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf.


FLORIDA: Use of dying man's ATM card alleged

Police say a maintenance man used a man's ATM card before calling 911 after finding him dead or dying in an apartment. The Gainesville Sun said police learned about the theft three weeks after J.W. White died on July 1. White's brother called after finding an ATM transaction on White's Bank of America account minutes before paramedics arrived at the apartment. Clarence Davis, 52, was arrested Monday and held on $5,000 bail. Davis told police he had permission to withdraw the money to pay rent and other bills for White, but police say Davis admitted using the money to restore the apartment to re-rent it.


NEW JERSEY: Cellphone charge in fatal crash

A bus driver who hit a light pole that toppled onto a stroller, killing an infant and injuring seven other people in West New York, had an initial court appearance postponed to Thursday on charges including using a cellphone while operating a vehicle. Idowu Daramola, 48, is also charged with death by auto in Tuesday's crash. Angelie Paredes, 8 months old, was killed.

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