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Central American leaders convening at White House

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama is summoning Central American leaders to the White House to discuss the influx of young immigrants from their countries to the U.S.

He's hoping to show presidential action even as Congress remains deeply split over proposals to stem the crisis on the border.

Obama will host presidents of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador for meetings Friday. Central American leaders met a day earlier with lawmakers who are considering Obama's requests for emergency funds and additional authority to send unaccompanied children back home more quickly.

Those lawmakers appear unlikely to resolve their differences before leaving Washington late next week for an annual recess.

More than 57,000 minors have arrived since October, mostly from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador.


Dozens of stolen school computers recovered

PHOENIX (AP) - Police have recovered dozens of computers stolen from a west Phoenix elementary school.

Sgt. Tommy Thompson says four teenagers have been arrested in the theft of the computer equipment valued at between $50,000 and $60,000.


Arizona man resentenced in rape, murder of woman

PHOENIX (AP) - A northern Arizona man has been resentenced in the rape and murder of a woman who was hitchhiking near Steamboat on the Navajo Nation.

Branden Pete, of Greasewood, had been serving a life sentence in the 2002 death of Charlotte Brown.

He argued for a more lenient punishment after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2012 that juveniles convicted of murder shouldn't face mandatory life sentences without the possibility of parole.

Pete was 16 when Brown was killed.

Federal prosecutors say Pete and three other men raped Brown before she was beaten to death with rocks. They urged U.S. District Judge Stephen McNamee this week to re-impose a life sentence.

McNamee noted the crimes' brutality in resentencing Pete to 59 years in prison with credit for nearly 12 years served.


Group seeks pardon for ex-Marine convicted in Iran

FLINT, Mich. (AP) - A Muslim rights organization is asking Iran's top leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei for a pardon or re-trial for a former U.S. Marine convicted of criminal charges who was accused of working for the CIA.

Dawud Walid, executive director of the Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, says in a letter Thursday his organization has met twice with Iranian officials in New York about the case of Amir Hekmati.

Walid made the appeal as the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan approaches.

Hekmati, a dual U.S.-Iranian citizen born in Arizona and raised in Michigan, was arrested in August 2011 and sentenced to death for spying. Iran's Supreme Court annulled the sentence. He later was convicted of "cooperating with hostile governments" and sentenced to 10 years in prison.


State announces settlement with mining company

PHOENIX (AP) - Arizona environmental regulators have announced that a mining company will pay $40,000 in civil penalties under a settlement for twice illegally discharging water mixed with mill tailings into the Gila River in 2012.

The Department of Environmental Quality says Asarco LLC made the illegal discharges when pipelines ruptured, spilling 846,000 gallons in June 2012 and 373,000 gallons in August 2012.

DEQ says the discharges violated the federal Clean Water Act and state water-quality standards.

According to DEQ Director Henry Darwin, the discharges should have been prevented. He says Asarco has made improvements that include relocating the tailings and replacing the existing pipeline.

The settlement is subject to court approval.


Weekend closures expected on Phoenix freeways

PHOENIX (AP) - Transportation officials say closures and restrictions will be in place this weekend along several Phoenix-area freeways.

The Arizona Department of Transportation says stretches of Loop 101 and Interstate 10 will be closed because of road work and technology installations.

ADOT says northbound Loop 101 will be closed between Bethany Home Road and Glendale Avenue from 10 p.m. Friday until Saturday at noon.

Southbound Loop 101 will be closed between Northern Avenue and Bethany Home Road from 10 p.m. Saturday until noon Sunday.

Eastbound I-10 will be narrowed to one lane between Wild Horse Pass Boulevard and Queen Creek Road from 9 p.m. Sunday until 5 a.m. Monday.

ADOT is advising drivers to allow for extra travel time or take alternate routes if they plan to be in the area.

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