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National Guard troops arrive at border in Texas

Hidalgo, Texas

National Guard troops arrive at border

The first wave of National Guard troops has taken up observation posts along the Texas-Mexico border. Several dozen soldiers deployed in the Rio Grande Valley are part of the up to 1,000 troops called up by Gov. Rick Perry last month, Texas National Guard Master Sgt. Ken Walker of the Joint Counterdrug Task Force said Thursday. Several guardsmen were seen Thursday afternoon manning an observation tower along the busy road leading to the Hidalgo International Bridge. They will serve as extra eyes on the border and report suspicious activity to authorities. State officials have estimated the deployment, called a "deter and refer" mission, will cost $12 million per month.

Arlington, Va.

Slain U.S. general buried with honors

The highest-ranking U.S. military officer killed in combat since the Vietnam War was buried with full honors Thursday at Arlington National Cemetery in a ceremony attended by his family and platoons of fellow warriors. Maj. Gen. Harold J. Greene, 55, was killed Aug. 5 when a gunman believed to be an Afghan soldier opened fire at a military academy near Kabul.

Malaysia

Day of mourning set for Flight 17

Still far from closure or clarity in its national tragedy, Malaysia on Thursday declared a day of mourning on Aug. 22 for the victims of the Malaysia Airlines flight shot out of the sky over Ukraine nearly a month ago. The remains of the first 16 Malaysian victims from the July 17 disaster are due to be flown from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur that day, retracing the flight path of the doomed jet brought down by a sophisticated surface-to-air missile that Western intelligence says was fired from separatist-held territory. All 298 people on board the Boeing 777 were killed.

Sao Paulo

Death transforms presidential race

Brazil's political landscape was being redrawn Thursday, a day after a small plane crash killed a top presidential candidate, possibly complicating President Dilma Rousseff's effort to win re-election in October. The late Eduardo Campos' Socialist Party was widely expected to declare his running mate, Marina Silva, one of the country's most popular politicians, as its presidential candidate in the coming days. "If she runs, it becomes a more competitive race. It increases the likelihood of a runoff happening," said Joao Augusto de Castro Neves, Latin America director for the Eurasia Group consulting firm. "It would be a pretty close race to see who is going to be the runner-up."

Elsewhere

Virginia: Prosecutors wrapped up their case in the public corruption trial of former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and his wife, Maureen, on Thursday.

Ohio: Jonathan Waters, the fired director of Ohio State's marching band, requested his job back on Thursday, citing what he called flaws in a university investigation and a positive performance review weeks before he was terminated.

Boston: Former crime boss James "Whitey" Bulger is appealing the federal conviction that sent him to prison for life last year, arguing that he was unable to fully present his defense. Bulger, 84, was convicted and sentenced on racketeering charges that tied him to 11 murders and other crimes from the 1970s and '80s.

Times wires

National Guard troops arrive at border in Texas 08/14/14 [Last modified: Thursday, August 14, 2014 10:46pm]
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  1. No toll lanes north of downtown Tampa in three of four interstate proposals

    Transportation

    TAMPA — Express lanes may not be coming to downtown Tampa after all. Or at least not to the stretch of Interstate 275 that goes north through Bearss Avenue.

    Seminole Heights resident Kimberly Overman discusses the new interstate options with V.M. Ybor resident Chris Vela (left), Hillsborough County Commissioner Pat Kemp and HNTB consultant Chloe Coney during a Tampa Bay Express meeting Monday night at the Barrymore Hotel. [CAITLIN JOHNSTON  |  Times]
  2. No lack of issues facing St. Petersburg's six council candidates

    Elections

    ST. PETERSBURG — The six candidates for City Council gathered Monday evening in the very chamber to which they aspire to serve.

    St. Petersburg City Council candidates (from left)  Brandi Gabbard and Barclay Harless in District 2; Jerick Johnston and incumbent council member Darden Rice in District 4; and Justin Bean and Gina Driscoll of District 6. All six candidates appeared at Monday night's forum at City Hall sponsored by the League of Women Voters. [CHERIE DIEZ   |   Times]

  3. Iraq's Kurds vote on independence, raising regional fears

    World

    IRBIL, Iraq — Iraqi Kurds voted Monday in a landmark referendum on supporting independence, a move billed by the Kurdish leadership as an exercise in self-determination but viewed as a hostile act by Iraq's central government. Neighboring Turkey even threatened a military response.

    People celebrate Monday after voting closed in a referendum on independence in Irbil, Iraq.
  4. North Korean diplomat says Trump has 'declared war'

    War

    UNITED NATIONS — North Korea's top diplomat said Monday that President Donald Trump's weekend tweet was a "declaration of war" and North Korea has the right to retaliate by shooting down U.S. bombers, even in international airspace.

    North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho, center, speaks outside the U.N. Plaza Hotel in New York on Monday.
  5. Pinellas grants St. Pete's request to add millions to pier budget

    Local Government

    Times Staff Writer

    The Pinellas County Commission has granted St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman's request to dedicate millions more toward the city's new pier.

    The St. Petersburg City Council on Thursday  voted 7-1 to appropriate $17.6 million for the over-water portion of the Pier District. This is a rendering of what the new Pier District could look like. [Courtesy of St. Petersburg]