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In Brief | Nation & World | 7-22-14

July 22, 2014 - 6:15am

Fewer children arriving at the border unaccompanied, White House says

WASHINGTON — The number of children arriving at the border unaccompanied has dropped sharply so far this month, according to preliminary data released by the White House.

The number of unaccompanied minors picked up by Border Patrol agents in the first two weeks fell to about 150 per day, down from an average of 355 per day in June, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Monday.

Obama signs order banning LGBT discrimination by federal contractors

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama signed an executive order Monday barring federal contractors from discriminating against gay employees and prohibiting discrimination against federal workers who identify as transgender.

“In too many states and in too many workplaces, simply being gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender can still be a fireable offense,” Obama said. “I firmly believe it’s time to address this injustice for every American.”

Hundreds of flights disrupted in Shanghai; military exercises cited

BEIJING — Hundreds of flights to and from Shanghai were delayed or canceled Monday as Chinese authorities imposed strict air traffic control measures reportedly due to military exercises — the second such near-shutdown of airspace over the metropolis in eight days.

Further interruptions are expected in the coming weeks.

The sudden restrictions have prompted frustration as well as speculation about what’s behind the mysterious controls. On Sunday, two men were arrested for spreading rumors about the July 14 delays and cancellations, the Beijing Youth Daily reported Monday.

$5M bond set for teens in homeless beating deaths

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Three teenagers accused of fatally beating two homeless men beyond recognition with cinder blocks, bricks and a metal fence pole may have been terrorizing transients around Albuquerque for months, police said Monday.

The father of two of the boys said they were once homeless themselves and he had no idea what prompted the beatings. One of the boys told police they had attacked about 50 homeless people over the last few months, but had never gone that far. But on Friday night, he was angry about breaking up with his girlfriend, he said.

Alex Rios, 18, and two boys aged 16 and 15 were ordered held on $5 million bond each during initial court appearances Monday. They face murder charges stemming from the brutal attack in an Albuquerque lot where neighbors say transients regularly camped at night.

At least 73 killed in Afghan violence

KABUL, Afghanistan — At least 60 militants, 12 members of the Afghan security forces and one civilian were killed in separate attacks across Afghanistan, officials said Monday.

Eight members of the police force and 28 Taliban fighters have died in a gun battle in the northern province of Faryab that started Friday and is still ongoing, said Ahmad Javid Bedar, the provincial governor’s spokesman.

He added that the battle began after more than 300 militants assaulted police checkpoints in Qaysar district.

By wire sources