Massive wildfires continued to take their tolls in Colorado and New Mexico, destroying hundreds of homes, forcing evacuations and driving smoke all the way to Wyoming.
In Colorado, a fire 15 miles west of Fort Collins had burned 73 square miles and spewed smoke as far as Cheyenne, Wyo., about 50 miles away.
More than 1,000 firefighters worked to contain the blaze that had already destroyed more than 100 structures. "I don't want anybody to die for my house," evacuee Jan Gueswel said. "I love my house, but I don't want to die for it, and I don't want anyone else to die for it."
In New Mexico, a 58-square-mile fire threatened Ruidoso and damaged or destroyed at least 224 homes and other structures. Workers found heaps of burned metal and debris on home sites hit hardest by the Little Bear Fire.
"It's truly heartbreaking to see the damage done to this beautiful part of the country," New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez said.
Edwards case won't go to second trial
Federal prosecutors will not retry former Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards over payments his supporters made to cover up his extramarital affair during the 2008 presidential campaign, the Justice Department said.
A jury in North Carolina acquitted Edwards last month of one campaign-finance violation and deadlocked on five counts. "In the interest of justice, we have decided not to retry Mr. Edwards on those counts," Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer said. The decision caps a sensational six-week trial that delved into $1 million in secret payments from two donors to conceal Edwards' pregnant mistress.--Fredreka Schouten
Hazardous Yosemite areas to close
Yosemite National Park will announce today that it is closing some of its most popular lodging areas because of the danger of falling rocks from the unstable, 3,000-foot-tall Glacier Point.
The announcement, to be made by the National Park Service, coincides with the release of the first report assessing the potential risk of falling rocks in the steep-sided valley. The report was obtained by the Associated Press. The highest risk area is family-friendly Curry Village, which was hit by a major rock fall in 2008.
"There are no absolutely safe areas in Yosemite Valley," said Greg Stock, the park's first staff geologist and the study's primary author.
'Stand your ground' fails in Texas case
A Houston jury convicted a man of murdering his neighbor during a confrontation outside the neighbor's home two years ago, rejecting his claim that he was within his rights to fatally shoot the man under Texas' stand-your-ground law.
Raul Rodriguez, 47, a retired firefighter, faces up to life in prison for the killing of Kelly Danaher.
Rodriguez's claim that he was standing his ground is similar to the one made by George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer who is citing Florida's stand-your-ground law in the fatal February shooting of unarmed Trayvon Martin, 17. Rodriguez's case, however, was decided under a different kind of self-defense doctrine.
Scout board member backs gays
A high-profile member of the Boy Scouts of America's governing board said he will work to change the Scouts' policy of excluding gays.
Ernst & Young CEO James Turley said, "The membership policy is not one I would personally endorse." Last week, the Scouts confirmed there will be a review of a resolution that would allow individual units to accept gays as adult leaders but said there were no plans to change the membership policy.
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