California

State plans more regulation of e-cigarettes

Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Monday that the state will ramp up its efforts to regulate electronic cigarettes with new packaging standards, increased enforcement of counterfeit flavored products sold on the black market and a $20 million campaign to raise awareness about the products' harmful health effects. Nearly 400 cases of lung illnesses across 36 states have been linked to vaping, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. At least six deaths have been linked to e-cigarette products in California, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Minnesota and Oregon.

Texas

Girl, 10, dies from brain-eating amoeba

A 10-year-old girl who contracted a brain-eating amoeba after swimming in a Texas river has died. Lily Mae Avant, 10, was hospitalized for nearly a week in Fort Worth after swimming in the Brazos River over Labor Day weekend. Her symptoms began with a headache and fever then her condition quickly deteriorated, leaving her "incoherent and unresponsive."

MAINE

Firefighter killed in blast; 5 people injured

An explosion killed one firefighter and critically injured five other people at a building in Farmington that had just been evacuated because it smelled like propane. Capt. Michael Bell, 68, a 30-year member of the Farmington Fire Department, died in the blast, which destroyed a two-story building housing an organization that serves people with disabilities, according to the Maine Department of Public Safety.

Central America

Four nations lose power

A failure in Central America's electrical grid left millions of people without power for hours in at least four countries Monday. Honduras was the country hardest hit, with the entirety of its territory and its more than 9 million people affected. Traffic snarled as more than 600 stoplights went dark in the capital, Tegucigalpa. Nicaragua, El Salvador and Guatemala also had outages.

Tunisia

Runoff set after presidential election

A low-profile law professor and a controversial media tycoon look set to compete in a runoff to become Tunisia's next president after nearly half of votes from Sunday's election were counted — a sign of deep discontent with the political establishment in the birthplace of the Arab Spring.

News services