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U.S. extends stay of National Guard troops on southwest border

WASHINGTON

GUARD TROOPS to stay longer along border

The Obama administration on Friday extended the deployment of 1,200 National Guard troops along the southwest border for three months, a spokesman for the Department of Homeland Security said. The 1,200 National Guardsmen sent to assist the Border Patrol in August 2010 were scheduled to withdraw at the end of June. The move is intended to help prevent illegal border crossings and stop shipments of cash moving south from drug sales while Homeland Security adds more border patrols, fences and sensors in California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas.

DEARBORN, Mich.

Protesters thwart Gainesville pastor

Pastor Terry Jones of Gainesville and his supporters were thwarted Friday in their plans to speak out at an Arab festival after a group of protesters confronted him. Jones, who received international attention after burning a Koran at his church in March, was blocked from reaching the festival in Dearborn, a city with a sizable Muslim population. After he and protesters scuffled, police put Jones and an assistant into a police car.

tucson, ariz.

Giffords visiting her hometown

Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz, was visiting Tucson on Friday for Father's Day weekend, back in her hometown for the first time since she was shot in January. She will make no public appearances and will grant no interviews during her visit, a spokesman said.

Elsewhere

New York: A 63-year-old man who died last year from inhaling dust from the collapse of the World Trade Center was added Friday to the official list of victims of the Sept. 11 attacks, bringing the total to 2,753.

Seattle: Colton Harris-Moore, the teenage fugitive who became known as the Barefoot Bandit during his two-year crime spree, pleaded guilty in Seattle on Friday to seven federal charges, including stealing airplanes. He faces up to 61/2 years in prison.

Albuquerque, N.M.: The wind kicked up as predicted Friday and temperatures soared as firefighters toiled to keep more homes, forests and stretches of high desert from being consumed by Southwest wildfires.

Times wires

U.S. extends stay of National Guard troops on southwest border 06/17/11 [Last modified: Saturday, June 18, 2011 12:20am]

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