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Parade float kills boy, 8

REGINA -- A Prince Albert boy was killed by a parade float on Saturday, days after celebrating his eighth birthday.

The boy was riding with three adults on the slow-moving float -- a dual-axle trailer being pulled by a pickup truck -- in Preeceville, about 286 kilometres northeast of Regina. According to the RCMP, he jumped from the front passenger side of the trailer, which ran over him.

The incident occurred following a parade in the town's school grounds to celebrate the town's 100th birthday.

Street-racing driver jailed

TORONTO -- A "thrill-seeking" woman convicted of dangerous driving for a crash that injured seven people had her suspended sentence overturned Monday in favour of a nine-month jail term and five-year driving ban.

Holly Rawn, now 44, of Hamilton, was involved in a crash in the early hours of May 10, 2008, after she and a friend left a downtown bar where they had been drinking in Rawn's SUV.

She began racing with another driver, reaching speeds of at least 137 kilometres an hour in a 50 km/h zone, court heard.

Taliban claims fatal attack

KABUL, Afghanistan -- An insurgent bomb killed six American soldiers in eastern Afghanistan, part of a surge of violence that has dealt a stark reminder that war is still raging as NATO plots an exit strategy for the end of 2014.

Violence raged across the country Monday, including grisly attacks by multiple suicide bombers, a day after donor nations met in Tokyo to pledge $16 billion in aid.

Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid claimed responsibility for the attack Sunday in Wardak province that killed the American troops.

Vote to be aired in court

MEXICO CITY -- Mexican leftist presidential candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said Monday he will mount court challenges against the results of the July 1 election, claiming vote-buying and campaign overspending by the winner of official vote counts, Enrique Pena Nieto.

The announcement comes amid rising calls to investigate what appears to have been the distribution of thousands of pre-paid gift cards to voters before the election, and allegations by Lopez Obrador's supporters that some state government officials passed funds to Pena Nieto's campaign effort.

Russia budges on Syria

MOSCOW -- Russia on Monday signalled that it would not sign new weapons contracts with Syria until the situation there calms down.

Russia will continue with previously agreed exports, but will not be selling new arms to Syria, Vyacheslav Dzirkaln, deputy chief of the Russian military and technical co-operation agency, told Russian news agencies on the sidelines of the Farnborough air show southwest of London.

Putting it in conflict with the West, Russia has blocked the UN's Security Council from taking strong, punitive action against Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime and is seen as Syria's key arms supplier.

Report backs settlements

JERUSALEM -- A government-commissioned report released Monday has recommended Israel legalize dozens of unsanctioned West Bank settlement outposts, a move that would defy international opposition to settling land Palestinians want for a future state.

The report, written by a committee with pro-settler sympathies, also reaffirmed Israel's longstanding position, at odds with most of the world, that the West Bank is not occupied territory and therefore Israel has the legal right to settle it.

The panel's recommendations include annulling past Supreme Court orders and other legal rulings in order to facilitate settlement construction.

Late Tuesday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he welcomed the panel's work, saying he would bring its conclusions to a special forum he established on the matter where a decision would be taken.

Rolling blackouts begun

EDMONTON -- Electric utilities across Alberta say they've instituted rotating blackouts to deal with increased demand caused by high temperatures.

Tim LeRiche, a spokesman for Epcor Power which provides electricity for Edmonton, says the agency that oversees electricity distribution in the province has issued a directive for utilities to reduce consumption.

LeRiche says the blackouts in Edmonton have already started and he has no idea how long they'll continue.

Calgary and Lethbridge have also instituted rolling blackouts.

-- from the news services

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 10, 2012 A5

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