National news briefs: 6/30/13

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Facebook's ad policy modified

MENLO PARK, Calif. -- Facebook is pulling ads from pages that contain violence or sexual content.

The social network said that on Monday it will expand its definition of pages and groups that are too controversial to carry advertisements.

Facebook has sought to strike a balance between giving its 1.1 billion users the freedom to post what they want and providing advertisers with space to sell their products.

In May, Facebook Inc. lost more than a dozen advertisers, at least temporarily, after the activist group Women, Action and the Media urged an advertising boycott to protest hate speech on the Facebook site. The controversial content included grisly photos and mottos that encouraged rape, abuse and other violence against women.

Southwest sweltering

DEATH VALLEY, Calif. -- Scorching heat blistered the Southwest on Saturday, where highs between 115 and 120 degrees were expected for parts of Arizona, Nevada and California through the weekend.

Forecasters said Las Vegas could match the record of 117 degrees. Phoenix also was expected to hit that mark, matching the record for June 29 set in 1994. And large swaths of California sweltered under extreme heat warnings, which are expected to last into Tuesday night .

The forecast called for Death Valley to reach 128 degrees Saturday as part of a heat wave that has caused large parts of the western U.S. to suffer. Death Valley's record high of 134 degrees, set a century ago, stands as the highest temperature ever recorded on Earth.

Gay-union foes appeal

SAN FRANCISCO -- Less than 24 hours after California started issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, lawyers for the sponsors of the state's gay marriage ban filed an emergency motion Saturday asking the U.S. Supreme Court to stop the weddings being performed in San Francisco.

Attorneys with the Arizona-based Alliance Defending Freedom claim in the petition that the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals acted prematurely and unfairly on Friday when it allowed gay marriage to resume. The court lifted a hold it had placed on same-sex unions while a lawsuit challenging the ban made its way to and through the Supreme Court.

1 missing in floods

FORT PLAIN, N.Y. -- A woman was missing after heavy rains inundated the Northeast and led to severe flooding in some areas, officials said Saturday.

Ethel Healey of upstate New York's Mohawk Valley is unaccounted for after her mobile home was washed away by rising waters Friday in Fort Plain, police Chief Robert Thomas said.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo toured areas damaged by flooding Saturday and said a disaster declaration would remain in effect for 15 counties.

Honda minivans probed

DETROIT -- U.S. safety regulators are investigating some Honda Odyssey minivans because they can brake without the driver pressing the pedal.

The probe affects nearly 344,000 vans from the 2007 and 2008 model years.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said it has received 22 complaints from owners about unexpected braking. In some cases, the vans braked while drivers were accelerating, cutting the speed by up to 30 miles per hour. Five people told the agency that dealers found trouble in a steering angle sensor in the electronic stability control system.

The agency said it has no reports of crashes or injuries.

nation


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