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NATION IN BRIEF: Blagojevich retrial will be in January

The Associated Press

Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, with his wife, Patti, listening at right, talks to the media at the federal building in Chicago Aug. 17 after a jury found him guilty on one count of lying to federal agents and were deadlocked on 23 other charges. During a hearing Thursday U.S. District Court Judge James Zagel said Blagojevich's retrial will start the week of Jan. 4.

The Associated Press Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, with his wife, Patti, listening at right, talks to the media at the federal building in Chicago Aug. 17 after a jury found him guilty on one count of lying to federal agents and were deadlocked on 23 other charges. During a hearing Thursday U.S. District Court Judge James Zagel said Blagojevich's retrial will start the week of Jan. 4.

Blagojevich retrial will be in January

CHICAGO -- Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich is set to go back on trial in early January, but he will stand alone as a defendant this time after prosecutors dismissed all corruption charges against his brother on Thursday.

U.S. District Court Judge James Zagel said Rod Blagojevich's retrial will start the week of Jan. 4, but he did not set a specific date. Jurors deadlocked last week on all but one of 23 charges against the former governor and four charges against his brother.

The lawyer for Robert Blagojevich delivered the surprise news about the charges being dismissed to his client in a brief phone call moments after the hearing. The attorney, Michael Ettinger, told the Nashville, Tenn., businessman, ''You're free.'' He said Robert Blagojevich responded ''Oh my god, you're kidding!''

Federal prosecutors said their decision was based on Robert Blagojevich's less central role in allegedly scheming to sell or trade an appointment to President Barack Obama's old Senate seat, and to pressure people for campaign donations.

Toyota recalls 1.33 million Corollas, Matrixes

NEW YORK -- Toyota recalled 1.33 million Corolla sedans and Matrix hatchbacks in the U.S. and Canada on Thursday because their engines may stall, the latest in a string of quality problems at the Japanese automaker.

The recall covers vehicles from the 2005-2008 model years sold in the U.S. and Canada. Three accidents and one minor injury have been reported, though Toyota said a link to the engine issue has not been confirmed.

Toyota's latest recall is one of its largest since it began recalling cars and trucks last October. The automaker has now recalled more than 10 million vehicles worldwide for problems that run from faulty gas pedals and floor mats that can trap accelerators, to problems with its Prius hybrid.

Stolen yacht washes up on Fla. coast

PENSACOLA, Fla. -- Authorities are investigating who stole a 48-foot luxury yacht from a marina in Mexico and how it ended up on a Florida beach almost 500 miles away.

The yacht called ''Makin' Waves'' was found beached with its engines running on Wednesday near St. Petersburg.

Yacht owner Arturo Millet Reyes says he reported it stolen days earlier from a marina in Cancun.

A resident of the Florida beach says he saw the boat motoring toward the beach and got ready to swim out in case the driver was having a medical emergency.

Gene Borg says there was no one on board. There were no signs of a struggle, though the TVs were gone.

Fire crew finds boy treading water in basement

TRENTON, N.J. -- New Jersey firefighters said they found a youngster in a house's basement treading water they used to put out a blaze.

Officials said another child was found dead on the second floor of the house in Trenton early Wednesday. One woman jumped from a window and broke her leg, and firefighters got two children out.

Battalion Chief David Turner said firefighters looked in the basement and saw another boy in the water. Turner wasn't sure how deep the water was.

Serial stabbings suspect heads to Michigan

ATLANTA -- A man suspected in 18 attacks in three states, including five fatal stabbings, was being extradited to Michigan on Thursday to face charges in at least one of the assaults.

Elias Abuelazam left an Atlanta jail that morning, Fulton County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Tracy Flanagan said in an e-mail.

The 33-year-old is charged with assault with intent to commit murder in the July 27 stabbing of a 26-year-old Flint man. It's one of 14 stabbings of men in the Flint area, northwest of Detroit. He's also suspected in similar stabbings in Virginia and Ohio.

Salmonella find links 2 Iowa egg farms to recall

WASHINGTON -- Food and Drug Administration officials say they have found positive samples of salmonella that link two Iowa farms to a massive egg recall.

The officials said investigators found salmonella in chicken feed that was sold to both Wright County Egg and Hillandale Farms. They also found salmonella samples at Wright County Egg. More than 550 million eggs from the two farms were recalled this month after they were linked to as many as 1,300 cases of salmonella poisoning.