National briefs: Vodafone, Verizon in talks

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NEW YORK -- Vodafone says it is in advanced talks to sell its 45 percent stake of Verizon Wireless back to the U.S. cellphone service provider for $130 billion in cash and stock, a deal which would be the second-largest acquisition deal on record if it goes through.

If an agreement is reached, Verizon would own its wireless business outright after buying the stake back from British cellphone company Vodafone PLC.

Vodafone said in a statement on Sunday there is no certainty that a final deal will be reached. Verizon Communications Inc. declined to comment.

The buyout would give Vodafone PLC additional cash to pursue its expansion ambitions in Europe. It would also give Verizon Communications the opportunity to boost its quarterly earnings, as it would no longer have to share a portion of proceeds from the nation's No. 1 wireless carrier with Vodafone.

Festival canceled after deaths

NEW YORK -- A multiday electronic music festival on Randalls Island was canceled Sunday, after city officials said two concertgoers had died and at least four others had fallen critically ill during the first two days of the event.

Citing "serious health risks," the city recommended canceling the event, hours before the third day of the festival, known as the Electric Zoo, was to begin, and the festival's organizers agreed, the mayor's office said. The announcement said that both deaths had appeared to involve the drug MDMA, also known as ecstasy or molly, though the causes of death had not been officially determined.

Wildfire joins Calif. history

YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, Calif. -- The wildfire burning in and around Yosemite National Park has become the fourth-largest conflagration in modern California history, fire officials said Sunday. Although the fire still is growing, it was 40 percent contained as of Sunday, up from 35 percent a day earlier.

The 2-week-old Rim Fire moved up a spot on the state's list of large wildfires dating back to 1932 when it grew to 348 square miles -- an area larger than the cities of San Francisco, Oakland and San Jose combined -- on Saturday, California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection spokesman Daniel Berlant said.

4 children die in Elmira fire

ELMIRA, N.Y. -- A family member confirms that four children from ages 5 to 17 died after fire gutted the home where they were living.

Paula Parker told the Elmira Star-Gazette that she's the aunt of the victims, who were living for the past year with their mother at the home Ms. Parker and her husband own in Elmira, near the Pennsylvania border. She identified the victims as 17-year-old Courtney Stanton, 10-year-old Amera Mansour, 7-year-old Nidal Mansour, and 5-year-old Jordan Mansour. They're the children of Ms. Parker's sister-in-law.

Ford recalls 370,000 cars

NEW YORK -- Ford is recalling 370,000 cars in 22 states, including Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia, due to potential corrosion to their steering shaft that may result in loss of steering.

No incidents or injuries have been reported. The cars include 2005 to 2011 Ford Crown Victoria, Mercury Grand Marquis and Lincoln Town Cars. About 355,000 are in the U.S. and 15,000 in Canada.



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