National digest: Aug. 2, 2014


Parents hold up toys to entice their babies to cross the finish line during the "Diaper Derby" event in New York on Friday. The derby was held as a stunt ahead of the New York City Triathlon on Sunday. ( Carlo Allegri /Reuters)
FLORIDA
Judge orders district map to be redrawn

A Florida judge Friday ordered legislators to draw up a new congressional map for the state after the old one was ruled to be illegal.

Circuit Judge Terry Lewis wants the new map by Aug. 15, meaning that legislators would have to hold a special session to comply with the decision.

Lewis said he will then consider whether to order a special election later this year under this new map.

Lewis in July ruled that the current districts are illegal because they were drawn to benefit the Republican Party.

Voters in 2010 passed the “Fair Districts” amendment that says legislators cannot draw up districts to favor incumbents or a political party. Lewis’s July ruling sparked a legal battle over what to do since Florida’s primary election is scheduled for Aug. 26.

A coalition of groups that challenged the current districts had asked Lewis to adopt a new map and adjust this year’s election schedule. But legislative leaders said the state’s current districts should be kept in place to avoid disrupting the 2014 elections.

— Associated Press

CALIFORNIA
L.A. killer receives more death sentences

One of the most prolific killers in Los Angeles history was given additional death sentences Friday for four killings linked to him through DNA testing while he was on death row.

Chester D. Turner, 47, was convicted of murdering a total of 14 women between 1987 and 1998, when the city was in the grips of a crack-cocaine epidemic.

The killings were once thought to be the work of a man dubbed the “Southside Slayer.” Turner, however, is believed to be one of at least three men now blamed for some of the more than 100 killings of women during that era.

— Associated Press

California battles wildfires sparked by lightning: Firefighters in Northern California were battling several lightning-sparked wildfires Friday, including a blaze in rural Modoc County that forced the evacuation of about 120 people. The fire near the community of Day had burned through nearly 11 square miles of brush and heavy timber and was threatening 200 structures Friday, two days after it began.

— From news services

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