Dallas Roasts For 38 Days, And Counting

DALLAS, Aug. 9 (UPI) — The string of triple-digit temperature days in Dallas reached 38, with forecasters warning the heatwave could stretch into the middle of August.

The current heat spell ranks second on the all-time list for the number of consecutive days of 100-degree temperatures in Dallas, eclipsing a 29-day span in 1998, AccuWeather.com reported Tuesday.

The longest stretch of days of 100-degree temperatures in Dallas was 42 during the summer of 1980.

“The current string of 100-degree days will probably last through the middle of August,” said AccuWeather.com meteorologist Paul Pastelok.

Dallas wasn’t the only place cooking in July.

In Oklahoma, the 88.9-degree average daily temperature in July set a record as the state’s hottest month ever and was the warmest for any state during any month on record, data released Monday by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration indicated.

The heat wave baking much of the country east of the Rockies still holds portions of the nation’s south-central region in its grasp and made last month the fourth-hottest July on record in the United States, NOAA said reported. The hottest Julys were in 2003, 1936 and 1934.

Heat-related deaths in Oklahoma and Texas reached 22, state health agencies said.

Across the country, 2,755 communities reported either breaking or tying heat records for specific dates in July and another 1,042 records were broken or tied in the first six days of August, the National Weather Service said.

“This is record-setting heat,” Chris Vaccaro of the NWS told USA Today. “In many cases, it’s unprecedented heat.”

Police Locate Suspects In Five Killings

KRASNOYARSK, Russia, Aug. 9 (UPI) — Police in Russia’s Krasnoyarsk Territory said Tuesday they had located three of four suspects wanted for the slaying of five people.

The bodies of the five were found in cabins, an abandoned mine and a gully Monday, ITAR-Tass reported.

On Monday, the body of a watchman was found in a builder’s cabin more than 1 1/2 miles (2.5 kilometers) from the Yeniseisk-Yepishchevo road, Severo-Yeniseisky district. He had gunshot wounds in the head and the stomach.

Two bodies found in another cabin were severely burned, making it impossible to immediately identify the victims, police said.

Two more bodies were found in an abandoned mine and a gully. The last two victims had worked as loggers.

Police blocked riverboat, ferry, bus and railway terminals to prevent the suspects from fleeing the territory.

“At present, an operation is under way to detain them; their whereabouts have been ascertained,” a spokesman for investigators told ITAR-Tass.

Italy’s Foreign Ministry Eyes London Riots

ROME, Aug. 9 (UPI) — Italian nationals in and around London are advised to avoid crowded areas in the city as rioting in England entered its fourth day, the Italian government said.

Demonstrators set two police cars on fire Saturday in London after roughly 300 people gathered to demand justice for a man killed by British police. Riots escalated during the weekend, leading authorities to arrest hundreds of people.

British Prime Minister David Cameron on Tuesday recalled members of the House of Commons from recess for a session Thursday to address rioting and civil unrest in London and other metropolitan areas.

The Italian Foreign Ministry said Tuesday it was “closely monitoring developments” in London. All Italian citizens in the area were advised to avoid crowded areas and maintain close contacts with their consular affairs office.

Cameron said Tuesday that looters and violent demonstrators would “feel the full force of the law.” At least 16,000 police officers would be on the streets by Wednesday, he added.

British Home Secretary Theresa May told the BBC the level of “thuggery” was the worst in “many, many years.”

Recalls Put Wis. Senate Control In Play

MADISON, Wis., Aug. 9 (UPI) — Six Wisconsin Republican state senators face recall votes Tuesday, putting control of the state’s upper chamber in play.

One Democratic senator has withstood a recall attempt, and on Aug. 16, two more Democrats will face recall votes.

State Government Accountability Board officials won’t offer turnout projections, but people on both sides of the races forecast good turnouts, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.

Republicans control all three branches of state government in Wisconsin, holding a 19-14 advantage in the Senate. Democrats must win at least three seats Tuesday to take back control of the Senate. Depending on Tuesday’s results, however, Republicans could have a chance to regain control again next week.

The recall effort was sparked by lawmakers’ positions Gov. Scott Walker’s controversial law ending most collective bargaining rights for most public employees and the protests it sparked in Madison, the state’s capital. The Senate’s 14 Democrats fled the state to stall consideration of the bill that later was revised so it could pass without the absent senators.

Joe Heim, a political science professor at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, said Democratic and Republican voters have become more engaged because of the state’s bitter political climate.

“It’s extremely historical and unprecedented,” Heim said. “[Republicans] woke up a sleeping giant and energized a group of people that had not been … particularly active in politics in recent years.”

The recall elections also will see the state’s new voter identification law get a “soft implementation,” the Journal Sentinel reported. Poll workers will be asking voters for a photo ID, but people will be allowed to vote even if they don’t have one. Showing a photo ID will be required in elections starting in February 2012.

U.N.’s Ban Hails U.S. Genocide Measure

UNITED NATIONS, Aug. 9 (UPI) — Measures declared last week by Washington to work to prevent genocide and mass atrocities are positive steps, the U.N. secretary-general said.

U.S. President Barack Obama called for an atrocities prevention board to respond quickly to early signs of alleged human rights abuses. Human rights abusers and war criminals would be hindered from getting visas into the United States under the initiative.

Obama said prevention of atrocities and respect for human rights laws are fundamental U.S interests.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in a statement praised the Obama administration for upholding its responsibility to protect civilians from atrocities.

“If the responsibility to protect is to become fully operational, the solemn commitments undertaken by member states at the United Nations will have to be matched by innovative and sustained measures at the national level,” he added in a statement through his spokesman.

Ban last month at a meeting of the U.N. General Assembly called for international efforts to make sure the 21st century was not one in which the pages of history were “written in the blood of innocents.”

Dagestan Street Brawl Leaves Seven Dead

MOSCOW, Aug. 9 (UPI) — An argument in the Dagestan region turned violent, escalating into a street fight in which seven people died, including a young girl, Russian police said.

Police said the confrontation between two groups of young men in the republic’s Untsukulovsky district disintegrated rapidly into a shootout, The Moscow News reported.

About 10 people were involved in the melee and arrests had been made, authorities said. An investigation was under way. Police said a hunting rifle was confiscated at the crime scene.

“The number of the dead has risen to seven. A girl of 6 or 7 was also killed,” a police statement said. “The reasons for the conflict are being established. According to preliminary details, the fight arose from personal conflict.”

The men were from Gimry and Untsukulov, both in the Untsukulovsky district, police said.

The Moscow News said charges of murder and illegally carrying firearms would be filed.

Crude Oil Reacts To Equity Drama

NEW YORK, Aug. 9 (UPI) — Crude oil prices climbed above $81 per barrel in New York, after hitting a 10-month low Monday with prices mirroring the volatility on Wall Street.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, crude oil added 57 cents to reach $81.88 per barrel after dropping 7 percent earlier as markets reacted to Standard & Poor’s downgrade of the U.S. credit rating from Triple A to AA plus.

Home heating oil rebounded slightly, adding 1.74 cents to $2.8191 per gallon. Reformulated blendstock gasoline gained 3.54 cents to $2.727 per gallon.

Henry Hub natural gas added 1.6 cents to reach $3.951 per million British thermal units.

At the retail level, the national average price of unleaded gasoline fell to $3.652 per gallon from Monday’s $3.663, AAA said.

No Conclusion Yet In Death Of Homeless Man

LOS ANGELES, Aug. 9 (UPI) — Prosecutors in California said they are still investigating whether Fullerton police used excessive force against a homeless man suffering from schizophrenia.

Kelly Thomas, 37, died several days after being confronted by six Fullerton officers at a bus depot last month, the Los Angeles Times reported Tuesday.

Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas said so far he’s seen no evidence suggesting that the officers intentionally tried to kill Thomas.

He said the investigation is in an early stage and his office has yet to receive a cause-of-death determination from the coroner’s office.

His first public comments on the case came as Thomas’ father revealed new details about his son’s injuries.

Ron Thomas said MRI and X-ray results from the hospital that treated his son show he had two forms of severe brain injury, one caused by lack of oxygen and the other by blunt force trauma.

Ron Thomas has called his son’s death a homicide and said he wants the officers involved to go to prison.

Russia Top Court Affirms Spy Case Sentence

MOSCOW, Aug. 9 (UPI) — Russia’s top court upheld the 25-year prison sentence meted out in absentia to the foreign intelligence officer who revealed a spy ring in the United States.

The court’s ruling Tuesday reaffirmed a Moscow military district court decision that found 59-year-old Col. Alexander Poteyev guilty of high treason in June, the RIA Novosti news agency reported.

Poteyev, who was recruited by the CIA in the 1990s, fled to the United States with his family shortly before the arrests of the sleeper agents in the United States was made public.

Ten Russian nationals were arrested by law enforcement officials June 27, 2010, on suspicion of spying for Russia as part of a deep undercover espionage ring. They were tried and flown out of the United States in an exchange for four people convicted of spying in Russia for the West.

Philadelphia Targets Youth Flash Mob Attacks

PHILADELPHIA, Aug. 9 (UPI) — Mayor Michael Nutter has warned youths they will face the full force of the city’s criminal justice system if they assault anyone in Philadelphia.

Nutter issued the warning during an announcement of earlier curfews and increased police patrols designed to prevent attacks by groups of roving youths, the Philadelphia Daily News reported Tuesday.

“If you assault a fellow Philadelphian, a visitor or anyone else in this city, you are going to jail,” Nutter said. “The full force of the Philadelphia justice system will come down on your shoulders, and unfortunately your life will be forever changed.”

The announcement follows a spate of violent attacks in Center City, a business and club district in downtown Philadelphia.

In the most recent incident, a gang of minors punched, beat and robbed bystanders. One man was hospitalized with a fractured skull after being savagely kicked.

District Attorney Seth Williams said parents will be held responsible if their children violate curfew and commit acts of violence and the children could end up in prison.

“There will be no diversionary programs, no community service for people who commit random acts of violence,” Williams said.