National Briefs: Poll says Clinton more likable

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WASHINGTON -- During the 2008 Democratic presidential primaries, more of the public preferred then-Sen. Barack Obama over rival Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton. In a poll conducted at that time, 54 percent said they had a favorable opinion of Ms. Clinton compared to 63 percent for Mr. Obama.

But six years later, the popularity ratings of Mr. Obama vs. Ms. Clinton have reversed. According to a Quinnipiac University survey of Ohio voters released last week, things are pretty bad for Mr. Obama in the Buckeye State. He has a 36 percent approval rating and a 59 percent disapproval rating. Ms. Clinton fairs better -- she leads a handful of potential 2016 presidential opponents, including popular home-state governor John Kasich.

Fire threatens Calif.

BURNEY, Calif. -- A pair of wildfires burning without restraint about 8 miles apart in northeast California became the focus of state and federal firefighters Sunday as authorities reported that one of the blazes had destroyed eight homes and prompted the precautionary evacuation of a small long-term care hospital.

The more destructive of the two was threatening the town of Burney, where officials at Mayer Memorial Hospital decided to evacuate their 49-bed annex for patients with dementia and other conditions requiring skilled nursing.

The Shasta County sheriff had Burney on an evacuation watch after ordering residents of three small neighboring communities to leave on Saturday night.

Border bill warning

WASHINGTON -- Last week's bitter and futile partisan battle over emergency aid for agencies dealing with the border crisis "could be just a warmup" if his colleagues don't shed the emotion and political posturing when Congress goes back to work in five weeks, Rep. Henry Cuellar warned Sunday.

Mr. Cuellar, of Laredo, Texas, was the only Democrat to vote for the House's supplemental aid bill last Friday just before Congress left for the August recess. Mr. Cuellar said that while he would have "preferred the original bipartisan language I proposed with Sen. [John] Cornyn, this is the only bill moving forward that provided the necessary funds to keep the Department of Homeland Security from running out of money over the next 36 days."

He said the original bill he and Mr. Cornyn, R-Texas, proposed was attacked, relentlessly and inaccurately, from both the left and the right.

GOP touts report

WASHINGTON -- Republicans on the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee will soon release a minority report asserting that the CIA's use of harsh interrogation techniques helped bring down Osama bin Laden and other terrorists, the panel's top Republican, Georgia Sen. Saxby Chambliss said Sunday on CBS's "Face the Nation."

The Democrats' majority report is expected to allege that the CIA's use of techniques, such as waterboarding, did not help yield valuable intelligence and was not necessary.

It is unclear when the report will be released because committee Chairman Dianne Feinstein has said she may challenge some of the redactions by the Obama administration.

Also in the nation ...

The New York man who recorded a cellphone video of police placing Eric Garner in a chokehold has been arrested on a weapons charge, police said Sunday. ... A New Mexico man almost lost his genitals to a dog bite when a 90-pound mixed breed pitbull attacked his eight-year-old daughter and he intervened to rescue her, police said on Sunday.

-- Compiled from news services



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