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Campaigns halt as Greeks face tough referendum choice
ATHENS, Greece (AP) - Campaigns halt in Greece on Saturday on the eve of a closely watched bailout referendum - with voters in a dead heat over whether to defy creditors and push for better repayment terms or essentially seek new political leadership to find a compromise. Political rallies and publication of new opinion polls are banned 24 hours before Sunday's referendum called by left-wing Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, who has promised to ease austerity after six years of recession.


Yes or no? What Greece's landmark vote might bring
LONDON (AP) - On his 10-year trip home, the Greek hero Odysseus at one point had to steer his ship and crew down a narrow stretch of water menaced on opposite sides by two sea monsters, Scylla and Charybdis. The Greek people are in similar dire straits as they prepare to vote on a future in which they face two painful prospects: the slow grind of years more of austerity cuts or the country's potentially catastrophic exit from the euro.


Papal visit puts Andes presidents' eco-record under scrutiny
AGUARAGUE NATIONAL PARK, Bolivia (AP) - In the vine-entangled forests of the Aguarague National Park, crude that seeped for decades out of abandoned wellheads saturates the soil and has stained the bedrock of creeks that provide water to the indigenous Guarani who live nearby. The petroleum stench is overpowering as David Benitez, who lives in the park and grazes his cattle among the wells, sifts tainted soil between his fingers.


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Hispanic leaders want GOP field to condemn Trump's 'idiocy'
WASHINGTON (AP) - Hispanic leaders are bristling at the largely tepid response by Republican presidential candidates to Donald Trump's characterization of Mexican immigrants as rapists and drug dealers. Several 2016 contenders have brushed off Trump's comments while others have ignored them. Marco Rubio, a Florida senator who is Hispanic, denounced them as "not just offensive and inaccurate, but also divisive," after declining for two weeks to address the matter directly. Another Hispanic in the race, Ted Cruz, said Trump is "terrific," "brash" and "speaks the truth."


NASCAR distances itself from Donald Trump after remarks
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) - NASCAR is the latest corporation to distance itself from Donald Trump. On the same day one of its top sponsors called on NASCAR to take a stance against Trump, the motorsports series said it will not hold its season-ending awards ceremony at the Trump National Doral Miami.


America ushers in July 4 with hot dogs, hot music, cool beer
As the nation gears up to celebrate America's birthday, here are some Fourth of July highlights from around the country: ---


Eager eaters weigh-in ahead of NYC July 4 hot dog contest
NEW YORK (AP) - Contestants have hit the scales ahead of the annual July Fourth hot dog eating contest at Coney Island's Nathan's Famous. Reigning champion Joey Chestnut joined past winners at the weigh-in Friday ahead of the 99-year-old Independence Day boardwalk tradition.


400-foot Ferris wheel stops: All 66 riders safely taken off
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) - A technical crew with The Orlando Eye safely evacuated all 66 stranded riders from the Ferris wheel that towers 400 feet over central Florida after the attraction shut down Friday afternoon, authorities said. Orange County Fire Rescue spokeswoman Kathleen Kennedy told The Associated Press no one was hurt and all were taken off in an operation lasting about three hours with help from several firefighters.


Rubio, Christie planning sleepover with the Romneys
NEWARK, N.J. (AP) - 2012 GOP nominee Mitt Romney will be hosting two rival Republican presidential contenders at a holiday sleepover Friday evening. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio will both be staying over at Romney's property in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire, an aide to Romney confirmed.


2 points from loss, Serena wins at Wimbledon; Venus next
LONDON (AP) - Twice, Serena Williams stood merely two points from a loss at Wimbledon against a British opponent buoyed by a roaring, flag-waving Centre Court crowd. Twice, Williams was oh-so-close to the end of her bid for a fourth consecutive major title - and for the third leg of a calendar-year Grand Slam.