World Bulletin/News Desk
Temperatures in the triple digits were causing misery in the eastern and southern United States on Friday, with the country music capital of Nashville, Tennessee recording an all-time record of 109 degrees Fahrenheit (43 degrees Celsius).
Marked in pink on a Weather Underground map of the United States, a heat advisory spread like a rash over a third of the country, from Nebraska east to New York and south to Florida.
A heat advisory is typically issued when the heat index - a combination of temperature and humidity - exceeds 100 degrees and there is a risk of people and animals suffering heat exhaustion.
As of mid-afternoon, the mercury had hit 105 F (41 C) in Baltimore, Maryland, 108 F (42 C) in Petersburg, Virginia and 107 F (42 C) in Columbia, South Carolina, according to Accuweather.com senior meteorologist John Dlugoenski.
"We expect records to be broken from the mid-Atlantic down through the Carolinas," Dlugoenski said.
Friday's heat had spread east from the south central plains and Mid-Mississippi states, where temperatures continued to meet or break records Friday. Many areas of the country have received no break from days of high temperatures and little rain, which have contributed to deadly and destructive fires in Colorado.
The heat itself has proved deadly. Earlier in the week, a 39-year-old construction worker died at the University of Arkansas. In Kansas City, Missouri, where the temperature rose to 105 F (41 C) Thursday, city health officials said two deaths were being investigated to determine if they were heat-related.
Chicago, where a thunderstorm tamped down temperatures, got some relief from temperatures which hit 100 F (38 C) Thursday.
A strike by electrical workers could add to New Yorkers' misery. Union workers at the power company Con Edison could go on strike at midnight Saturday, when a collective bargaining agreement expires, which could leave the company shorthanded to deal with power outages as residents crank up air conditioning.
The weather is expected to stay hot through the weekend in the same areas of the country, according to Dlugoenski.
"The areas of high pressure are going to break down just a little bit as we head into the first part of next week," he said. "It will still be hot, but I think the record warmth will be more erratic."
Staying off the streets
In Washington, D.C., where the mercury reached 103 F (39 C) at Reagan National Airport at mid-afternoon, vendors of soft drinks and bottled water complained the heat and wilting humidity were keeping people inside and cutting into sales.
"This is kind of slow, for real. People aren't spending like they used to," said vendor James Hardy, wiping sweat from his face as lines of tourists passed his spot across the street from the National Museum of American History.
"I can't drink any more water," said one man as he walked by, his T-shirt wet with sweat.
Catherine Dee, 18, of Pomfret, Connecticut, stopped with friend Alana Cotto, 16, of Sandwich, Massachusetts, to buy water from a vending truck outside the museum.
"We just went to the aquarium, we thought that being around fish would cool us down for a while," said Dee, a student. "It did, and we came out and we were swamped from the heat. We weren't expecting it to be this hot."
In Missouri, Governor Jay Nixon ordered the activation of the State Emergency Operations Center in response to fires and the prolonged period of heat and drought. About 550 acres of the Mark Twain National Forest already have burned.
In Tennessee, the temperature in Nashville on Friday reached 109 degrees, smashing an all-time record high for the city of 107 degrees, reached on July 27 and July 28, 1952.
The heat is bad for business, according to John Summers, who pilots biplane tours over the Nashville area. Friday he moved one appointment to early in the day and postponed two other tour flights that were scheduled for around midday.
"It would have been uncomfortable flying around in an open-cockpit biplane," said Summers. "I'm not getting the phone calls I'd normally be getting. It's just too hot. The tourists are not going to do outside activities."
The entire state of Arkansas is in a drought, and many fireworks displays had been canceled for the week of the July 4 for fear of fire. Agriculture experts said cattle, fish and chickens through the state have died as a result of the heat.
The militants detonated several explosive-laden cars before trying to break into the prison amid heavy fighting with the prison guards.
Kuwaiti Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Khaled al-Sabah, whose country has tried to mediate in the dispute, said Saturday's meeting had led to limited progress.
Media reported that two police officers had suffered minor injuries in clashes with counter demonstators.
Both the state police and the Secret Service declined to specify the nature of the threat.
EU leaders asked the European Commission, the EU executive, to draw up proposals for new sanctions on Russia over its action in Ukraine within a week, though they did not say when they could be implemented.
Organizers on their Facebook page said the march on Saturday was held to protest police killings, brutality, profiling and cover-ups.
The handovers appeared to mark a slight easing in tension between the two countries after a sharp escalation late last week.
The move is likely to trigger mass protests in the city's Central business district by disappointed democracy activists.
The plan aims for the immediate allocation of about 1.5 billion shekels ($419 million) to the Defense Ministry for some of the costs of the war, it added.
Migrants have been streaming out of North Africa in rickety boats in rising numbers for years.
Maryam al-Khawaja is the daughter of Shi'ite Muslim activist Abdulhadi Abdulla Hubail al-Khawaja, who has been detained in the Sunni monarchy since 2011 and is on hunger strike.
Pro-Palestinian British MP George Galloway attacked in London street by man said to have been shouting about the Holocaust.
The U.N. peacekeepers from Fiji were detained by militants on Thursday, one of several groups attacked in the volatile frontier between Syria and Israel.
Australia will join Canada, Italy, France, Britain and the United States in providing arms and humanitarian relief as part of a multinational effort to be coordinated by Iraq and other countries in the region.
The activists asked Woolworths to remove Israeli products from its shelves and respect an International boycott of Israel.
Islamabad voiced concern over alleged Indian border violations on Pakistan.