District of Columbia
US monthly surplus is biggest since '08
The U.S. government posted the widest monthly budget surplus in more than five years in June, as spending plunged 47 percent and a stronger economy lifted tax receipts, the Treasury Department said.
Receipts exceeded outlays by $116.5 billion last month, the biggest surplus since April 2008, compared with a $59.7 billion deficit in June 2012, the Treasury said Thursday. The result exceeded the $115 billion median estimate in a Bloomberg survey of 21 economists.
The Obama administration projects the federal budget deficit will shrink to $759 billion in the year ending Sept. 30, the smallest gap in five years as a stronger economy bolsters revenue.
Inventor of Twister, a party game, dies
ST. PAUL - Twister called itself "the game that ties you up in knots." Its detractors called it "sex in a box."
Charles "Chuck" Foley, the father of nine who invented the game that became a naughty sensation in living rooms across America in the 1960s and 1970s because of the way it put men and women in compromising positions, has died. He was 82.
Foley died July 1 at a care facility in the Minneapolis suburb of St. Louis Park. His son, Mark Foley, said Thursday that his father had been suffering from Alzheimer's disease.
Kerry's wife moved to a rehab hospital
BOSTON - Teresa Heinz Kerry has been moved to a rehabilitation hospital in Boston as the condition of the wife of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry continues to improve.
State Department spokesman Glen Johnson said Thursday that doctors have determined the 74-year-old Heinz Kerry suffered a seizure at the couple's home in Nantucket last weekend, but the precise cause has not been determined. Doctors previously ruled out brain tumor, heart attack or stroke as possible triggers.
Johnson said Heinz Kerry has been transferred from Massachusetts General Hospital to Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, where she will continue her recovery. Her condition has been upgraded from "fair" to "good."
Mom gives birth after lightning strike
ALBUQUERQUE - A pregnant New Mexico woman has survived a bolt from the blue to give birth to a bouncing baby girl.
Authorities say Kendra Villanueva and the baby's father Ian Gordon were watching fireworks with friends on July Fourth when lightning struck both of them in the front yard of an Albuquerque home. KRQE-TV reported that Villanueva was just weeks from her due date and was rushed to University of New Mexico Medical Center where she had an emergency Cesarean section.
The couple named the baby Kimberly Samantha Rose Gordon and said they'll also call her "little Flash Gordon." Ian Gordon says the new parents are hoping their new daughter will "run fast, or save the universe."
Falling tree hurts 15 at Marine depot
SAN DIEGO - A towering eucalyptus tree fell Thursday morning during a family event at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot in San Diego, injuring 15 people, most of whom suffered scrapes and bruises.
Two people - an 8-year-old girl and a 77-year-old woman - were taken to a nearby hospital for observation, Maj. Neil Ruggiero said. There were no broken bones and no Marines were injured.
The tree toppled at about 9 a.m. Thursday as a drill sergeant was talking to the group on a lawn. Most of those attending were family members of Marines who will graduate Friday from boot camp.