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By Compiled from wire service reports by Ross Atkin / July 23, 2008



Texas activated 1,200 National Guard troops and other emergency workers after forecasters issued warnings Monday that tropical storm Dolly in the Gulf is expected to strengthen into a hurricane and may make landfall at the Texas-Mexico border later this week. Officials said to expect up to 20 inches of rain in coastal areas.

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A Defense Department memo released Monday reveals that combat training by private contractors concerns Defense Secretary Robert Gates. In the memo Gates addressed to the Pentagon's top military officer, Adm. Mike Mullen, Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman, he asks if "we are comfortable with this practice, and ... fully understand the implications in terms of quality, responsiveness, and sustainability?"

Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama met Tuesday in Ramadi, Iraq, with Sunni tribal leaders who have joined US and Iraqi forces in fighting against insurgents. He next travels to Jordan and Israel.

The New York Times said Monday it had refused to publish an Op-Ed article last week by Republican presidential candidate John McCain because it first wanted him to include additional points about his proposed Middle East military strategy. A campaign spokesman said McCain doesn't plan to submit a revised version.

Edsel Ford II, the great-great grandson of Henry Ford, told vintage car buffs who showed off 750 Model T Fords at an event on Monday in Richmond, Ind., kicking off the 100th anniversary: "You are the guardians of the spirit that got the whole thing going." The Model T was the first low-priced car that introduced motoring to the masses.

Food and Drug Administration inspectors said Monday they had discovered a Mexican-grown jalapeƱo pepper that offered a clue in solving a national salmonella outbreak.

Officials of a San Antonio-area school district said it is the first in the nation to add newly manufactured propane buses to its fleet. Many districts have converted school buses from diesel to cleaner burning, less expensive propane, but the 16 in San Antonio will run on propane from the start.

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