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Briefs

EPA building renamed for Bill Clinton

– Former Clinton administration officials and congressional leaders packed into the Environmental Protection Agency headquarters Wednesday to mark the building’s renaming in honor of former President Bill Clinton.

“This is a very strong building, and Bill Clinton was a very strong president,” Senator Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., said as she welcomed guests to what is now the William Jefferson Clinton Federal Building.

Clinton strongly defended his environmental legacy, saying his administration’s efforts to promote clean air, conserve land and combat dirty water made a big difference in Americans’ lives.

“When I left office, there were 43 million more Americans breathing air that met federal standards, which means less asthma among young people and fewer senior citizens dying because of air pollution. It affected millions of people. Who can say a government should walk away from that?” he said.

The former president credited his team including former Vice President Al Gore, who Clinton suggested could have been honored with his name on the building just as easily.

Milwaukee teen’s killer found guilty

A Milwaukee man who suspected his 13-year-old neighbor of breaking into his home and stealing weapons was convicted of fatally shooting the boy as the teen’s mother looked on. Now, jurors will decide whether the 76-year-old defendant was mentally ill at the time.

A jury deliberated for about an hour before finding John Henry Spooner guilty of first-degree intentional homicide.

Surveillance video from his own security cameras showed him confronting Darius Simmons in May 2012, pointing a gun at him from about 6 feet away and shooting him in the chest.

Spooner pleaded not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect.

California wildfires force more to leave

Authorities in Southern California issued evacuation orders for hundreds of homes as a major wildfire approached in the mountains southwest of Palm Springs.

Large parts of the communities of Idyllwild and Fern Valley were under evacuation orders with an estimated 300 to 400 homes affected, U.S. Forest Service spokeswoman Carol Jandrall.

About 60 homes were already under evacuation orders, and seven have been destroyed or damaged by the wildfire that erupted Monday.

Queen Elizabeth II OKs gay marriage

Britain on Wednesday legalized gay marriage after Queen Elizabeth II gave her royal stamp of approval, clearing the way for the first same-sex weddings next summer.

Lawmakers cheered as House of Commons Speaker John Bercow said royal assent had been given – one day after the bill to legalize same-sex marriage in England and Wales cleared Parliament.

The queen’s approval was a formality and is the last step necessary for a bill to become law.

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