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Nation roundup for July 10

Expert supports shooter’s story

SANFORD, Fla. (AP) — The trajectory of the bullet and gunpowder on Trayvon Martin’s body support George Zimmerman’s account that the teen was on top of him when the defendant shot and killed Martin, an expert on gunshot wounds testified Tuesday.

Forensic pathologist Dr. Vincent DiMaio also used photographs of Zimmerman to point out where he appeared to have been struck during testimony that took up a significant portion of the day’s hearing. Defense attorneys, who said they may wrap up their case Wednesday, were hoping DiMaio’s testimony would help convince jurors of Zimmerman’s claims that he shot Martin in self-defense.

DiMaio, who was hired by the defense, said the muzzle of Zimmerman’s gun was against Martin’s clothing and it was anywhere from two to four inches from Martin’s skin.

“This is consistent with Mr. Zimmerman’s account that Mr. Martin was over him, leaning forward at the time he was shot,” said DiMaio, the former chief medical examiner in San Antonio.

DiMaio testified that lacerations to the back of Zimmerman’s head were consistent with it striking a concrete sidewalk.

Stocks are up for 4th-straight day

NEW YORK (AP) — The stock market is getting its momentum back.

All major stocks indexes rose Tuesday, and the biggest gains were in riskier, small-company stocks and sectors that do best when the economy is growing.

Major indexes rose for a fourth straight day. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index had its best run in two months.

Traders have grown more confident after Friday’s strong jobs reports and on expectations of record corporate earnings for the second quarter, which ended June 30. So far, the stock market is up nearly 3 percent in July following a 1.5 percent dip in June, its first monthly decline since October.

The Russell 2000, an index of small-company stocks, rose nearly 1 percent Tuesday. The Dow Jones transportation average, seen as a leading indicator for the broader economy, led all indexes with a 2.3 percent rise, its best performance in a month.

The gains suggest that investors are more certain that the economy’s prospects are good.

In the first half of the year, stock markets were powered by companies that pay large dividends and are considered a sure way to make money even when the economic outlook is iffy.

Crews fight blaze near Las Vegas

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Fire crews are burning away undergrowth within a quarter-mile of homes to protect woodsy hamlets in the mountains northwest of Las Vegas from a wildfire that has charred an area nearly the size of Manhattan.

U.S. Forest Service spokesman Jay Nichols says no homes have been damaged and none of the 800 firefighters has been injured battling the 31-square-mile Carpenter 1 fire on Mount Charleston.

Smoke billowing from the lightning-sparked blaze is visible for an eighth day from downtown Las Vegas.

Nichols said one flank of the fire reached state Highway 157, Kyle Canyon Road, at mile marker 6. No homes or structures are nearby.

More than 500 residents and another 98 teenagers at a youth correctional camp remain evacuated since the weekend. Roads into the area remain closed.

Jurors sought for Fort Hood trial

FORT HOOD, Texas (AP) — Six Army officers have been dismissed as potential jurors on the first day of jury selection in the murder trial of the Fort Hood shooting suspect.

The first group of 20 potential jurors in Maj. Nidal Hasan’s court-martial arrived Tuesday afternoon from Army posts nationwide.

Hasan faces execution or life without parole if convicted in the 2009 rampage that killed 13 and wounded nearly three dozen on the Texas Army post.

The judge, Col. Tara Osborn, and prosecutors questioned the group for more than an hour, but Hasan didn’t ask any questions.

Prosecutors said six in the group should be dismissed based on their answers in questionnaires and other reasons. One officer knew one of the 13 victims. The judge granted the request.

Individual questioning is to start Wednesday.


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