National briefs: Wildfire fueled by weather

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DENVER -- Fast-growing wildfires fueled by thousands of dead and drought-stricken evergreen trees tore through the mountains of southern Colorado on Sunday, forcing vacationers to flee their cabins and campgrounds.

The blaze had exploded in size to 70,000 acres by Sunday afternoon, and officials said it was likely to get worse without a break in the weather.

The flames forced the evacuations of at least 1,000 people. On Sunday, more than 500 firefighters were working to keep the blaze from spreading toward the Wolf Creek Ski Area and nearby towns in the mountains.

Average gas prices fall

CAMARILLO, Calif. -- The average price for regular gasoline at U.S. pumps fell 4.16 cents in the past two weeks to $3.5969 a gallon, according to Lundberg Survey Inc.

The survey covers the period that ended June 21 and is based on information obtained at about 2,500 filling stations by the company, which is based in Camarillo, Calif.

The average, which reached a year-to-date peak of $3.795 in the period that ended Feb. 22, is about 12 cents above the year-earlier price of $3.478 a gallon.

Bulger dislikes gag order

BOSTON -- Defense attorneys in James "Whitey" Bulger's high-profile racketeering trial filed a motion Saturday, saying a gag order is infringing on their client's constitutional rights of free speech effective assistance of counsel.

The defense asked federal Judge Denise J. Casper to lift the gag order, citing "personal attacks" against their client in the media.

The 83-year-old Mr. Bulger is accused of playing a role in 19 murders during the 1970s and '80s while allegedly running the Winter Hill Gang. He has pleaded not guilty.

Airlines rank low in survey

LOS ANGELES -- The airline industry ranked below the U.S. Postal Service for customer satisfaction in an annual survey of about 70,000 Americans.

The American Customer Satisfaction Index concluded that the industry improved 3 percent in 2013 to a rating of 69 on a 100-point scale.

Low-cost carriers JetBlue and Southwest airlines led the industry with scores of 83 and 81, respectively.

GOP fears losing Hispanics

WASHINGTON -- Republicans will forfeit a chance to win Hispanics to their party if Congress can't agree on a measure to overhaul U.S. immigration laws, supporters of the legislation said.

"If it fails and we are blamed for its failure, our party is in trouble with Hispanics," said Senator Lindsey Graham, a Republican co-sponsor of the bill, on the "Fox News Sunday" program. "The Hispanic community is very close to our values, but we've driven them away over this issue."

Senate Democratic leaders want to pass a bill before July 4.

-- Compiled from news services



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