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Nation Briefs

Heinz Kerry rushed to hospital

Heinz Kerry

– Teresa Heinz Kerry, the wife of Secretary of State John Kerry, was taken by ambulance to a Nantucket, Mass., hospital Sunday after suffering an unspecified “medical episode,” said Glen Johnson, the secretary’s spokesman.

After her condition was stabilized, she was transferred to Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, he said.

Heinz Kerry, 74, was vacationing with Kerry at the family home on Nantucket Island when stricken shortly before 4 p.m., Johnson said. There were no details on the nature or source of her illness.

Earlier Sunday, Nantucket Cottage Hospital spokesman Noah Brown told reporters Heinz Kerry was in critical but stable condition.

Heinz Kerry is the widow of former senator John Heinz, R-Pa., and heir to the Heinz ketchup fortune. She and Kerry were married in 1995 on Nantucket.

She said in 2009 that she was bring treated for breast cancer.

9 dead in weekend Chicago shootings

Shootings in Chicago during the Fourth of July holiday weekend left at least nine people dead and several dozen wounded, including two boys shot in different parks.

Gov. Pat Quinn said Sunday that such continued violence underscores why he dramatically altered a gun bill that will end Illinois’ last-in-the-nation ban on carrying concealed firearms – a prohibition that’s been declared unconstitutional by a federal appeals court.

Former NY governor runs for comptroller

Former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer, who stepped down in 2008 over a prostitution scandal, is planning a return to political life with a run for New York City comptroller.

In an interview with the New York Times on Sunday, Spitzer said he hoped city voters would give him a chance.

“I’m hopeful there will be forgiveness, I am asking for it,” the Democrat said.

Spitzer said he is planning to start collecting today the signatures he needs to run. Candidates for citywide offices have to have 3,750 signatures from registered voters in their party by Thursday.

Spitzer told the Times the comptroller’s office, with its oversight of the city’s pension funds and spending, has the capability of real activism, a harkening back to the work he did as the state’s attorney general.

Coast Guard search for downed tugboat

Mississippi River traffic in southeastern Louisiana was shut down Sunday while the Coast Guard led a search for a sunken tugboat believed to have gone down in the middle of the river.

Coast Guard Petty Officer Carlos Vega said 28 southbound and 22 northbound vessels were anchored and waiting for the re-opening of the river; and numerous others not yet in the area would likely be affected. One cruise ship bound for New Orleans was diverted to Mobile, Ala.

Two people from the tug were rescued, the Coast Guard said in a statement.

19 firefighters’ bodies sent home

Nineteen firefighters killed in a wildfire a week ago went home for the last time on Sunday, their bodies traveling in individual white hearses in a somber caravan for 125 miles through Arizona cities and towns.

The nearly five-hour-long procession began near the state Capitol in Phoenix, went through the town where the Granite Mountain Hotshots were killed and ended in the mountain community of Prescott, where they lived and will be laid to rest this week.

Thousands of people from across the state and beyond stood patiently in triple-digit temperatures in Phoenix, lined highways and overpasses along the route, and flooded the roads of downtown Prescott to pay their respect to the 19, whose deaths are the greatest loss of life for firefighters since 9/11.