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"The hard part is over right now," San Francisco Giants slugger Barry Bonds said Saturday after his 755th home run, tying the career record held by Hank Aaron. The 382-foot, opposite-field clout in San Diego against the Padres met with a mixed reaction from fans, some of whom booed the 22-year veteran, who has been dogged by steroid allegations. The Giants planned to rest Bonds Sunday so that he might break the record while at home Monday night.

Pfc. Jesse Spielman was sentenced Saturday at Fort Campbell, Ky., to 110 years for the rape and murder of a 14-year-old Iraqi girl and the slayings of her family. It is the stiffest punishment meted out thus far to the four soldiers involved. Spielman, who was the lookout, said he didn't blame his chain of command and added, "I could have stopped it." He could be paroled after 10 years.

Despite heavy security, French President Nicolas Sarkozy was spied by journalists over the weekend in Wolfeboro, N.H., running and swimming while enjoying his first vacation since taking office in May.

Cities around the Midwest are using ash trees attacked by a deadly beetle to make park benches, picnic tables, floors, and baseball bats for Little Leaguers, the Associated Press reports. Still, most of estimated 25 million infested trees are being turned into mulch and firewood. The US Department of Agriculture estimates that states and cities could spend $7 billion over the next 25 years to dispose and replace the dead trees. Federal officials are watching to see if the beetle migrates east.

California utility company PG&E has struck a deal to purchase enough solar power from a soon-to-be-built solar park in the Mojave Desert to power 400,000 homes. That's enough to bring renewable energy to 18 percent of the utility's customers. Mojave Solar Park, which will be run by Israel-based Solel Solar Systems, will use 1.2 million parabolic mirrors. When operational in 2011, it will provide 553 megawatts of power to PG&E.

Authorities told residents of about 200 homes to evacuate and pulled firefighters off a fast-growing wildfire in western Montana out of concern for their safety.

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