USA

With shelters closing and most mandatory evacuation orders lifted, firefighters in southern California cautioned that the possible return of dry Santa Ana winds later this week could refuel still-burning wildfires. As of Sunday, officials said more than 2,000 homes have been destroyed, 500,000 acres burned, and seven deaths directly attributed to the fires that forced half a million area residents to flee their homes. A dozen scattered fires have been contained, and seven others partly surrounded.

For the second time in four years, the Boston Red Sox completed a World Series sweep Sunday, defeating the Colorado Rockies in four games just as they'd swept the St. Louis Cardinals to end the franchises's 86-year title drought in 2004. Third baseman Mike Lowell (above) was voted the Series MVP with a .400 batting average and a homer in the clinching 4-3 win.

NASA said Sunday that metal shavings found inside a rotary joint used to orient solar power panels on the International Space Station are "not an immediate issue." A space shuttle astronaut found the debris during a spacewalk. Work on securing a large truss to improve the solar capabilities is scheduled Tuesday.

The American Bar Association said Monday it was renewing its call for a nationwide moratorium on executions, based on problems found during a three-year study of death penalty systems in eight states. Key concerns, the lawyers' group said, include major racial disparities, incompetent defense services for poor defendants, and irregular clemency review processes.

Country music singer Porter Wagoner, who died Sunday in Nashville, Tenn., performed for 50 years at the city's Grand Ole Opry, hosted the longest-running country-music variety show in TV history, and recorded more than 80 hit songs, 19 with Dolly Parton.

Golden Gate Bridge officials turned down a proposal to allow corporate logos on signs and trash cans at one of the bridge's visitor areas, a sponsorship deal that could have generated $3 million in annual revenue.

Seeking to improve race relations, Green Bay, Wis., has become the first community in the state to sign a comprehensive agreement to boost minority recruitment and hiring by the school, fire, police, and city administrative departments. The effort is intended to address concerns about unequal treatment.

Walgreen announced plans to introduce new kiosks at its stores in the next few months that will let consumers burn digital copies of movies onto blank discs. The new system is designed to increase consumer options while avoiding piracy.

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