California

Dead animals found in oil spill

A dead dolphin and three dead pelicans have been found in the area of an oil spill on the California coast. Veterinarian Michael Ziccardi said Friday that it's not clear if the dolphin died from exposure to the crude oil that spilled into the ocean from a leak in an underground pipe near Santa Barbara. The director of the Oiled Wildlife Care Network says two sea lions, an elephant seal and six pelicans have been rescued. The sheen of oil is thinner than a coat of paint and is becoming harder to skim from choppy, wind-driven waters.

Washington, D.C.

Progress in U.S.-Cuba talks; no embassy deal

U.S. and Cuban diplomats have failed to reach a deal to reopen embassies in Washington and Havana because of continuing disagreement over how U.S. diplomats would operate in Cuba. After two days of talks in Washington, U.S. and Cuban officials say that they made progress and that they may not need a fifth round of high-level meetings to fully restore diplomatic relations after more than half a century of estrangement.

New trial expected in Chandra Levy's death

A man convicted of killing Washington intern Chandra Levy is expected to get a new trial after government attorneys on Friday said the "interests of justice" would best be served by one. After more than a year of sporadic hearings and legal wrangling, government attorneys withdrew their opposition to a new trial for Ingmar Guandique. In a four-page motion, they told a judge they were preparing to retry him.

Mexico

About 40 dead in shootout in cartel area

A shootout between members of a powerful drug cartel and Mexican security forces in the western state of Michoacan left at least 40 people dead, according to Mexican officials. The violence unfolded near the town of Tanhuato, along Michoacan's border with the state of Jalisco, a troubled region where two drug cartels have waged a long-running battle.

news services