NATION: Vegas cops make big meth bust

Vegas cops make big meth bust

LAS VEGAS — Ten illegal immigrants from Mexico were arrested on drug trafficking charges after federal and Las Vegas law enforcement officials seized 212 pounds of drugs worth $5.7 million in the largest methamphetamine bust in Nevada history, authorities announced Thursday.

Police also seized $280,000 in cash, six guns and nine vehicles used for drug trafficking after searching nine residential properties in Las Vegas and Henderson on Tuesday.

Law enforcement officials heralded the record bust as a significant blow to Las Vegas’ illegal underground that would be felt by every player, including drug bosses, small-time dealers and users hoping to score on the street. The raid yielded four pounds of heroin and 208 pounds of methamphetamine in varying stages of processing, from its liquid form to the crystal-like pieces sold on the street in small quantities for consumption.

Police raid home of art theft suspect

SAN FRANCISCO — Police say a New Jersey man accused of stealing a valuable Picasso drawing from a San Francisco gallery had $500,000 worth of stolen artwork in his apartment, including another Picasso.

Police in Hoboken, N.J., raided the home of Mark Lugo this week after receiving information from San Francisco authorities. Officers found a Picasso drawing worth $350,000 that had been reported stolen from a New York hotel, among other pieces.

Lugo is being held in a San Francisco jail in the July 5 theft of a 1965 Picasso drawing called ‘‘Tete de Femme’’ from the Weinstein Gallery.

Police: Man killed dad, stepmother

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. — A man killed his father and stepmother in western Pennsylvania, then tried to cover up the slayings with a story claiming they had perished in a fiery New Jersey car crash — a ruse that prompted the stepmother’s family to post an obituary in her hometown newspaper, a prosecutor and state police said Thursday.

Butler County prosecutor Ben Simon said 40-year-old Colin Abbott was arrested at his Randolph, N.J., home early Thursday morning. Abbott was taken into custody a day after Pennsylvania State Police found the charred remains of Kenneth, 65, and Celeste Abbott, 55, outside their upscale home on a wooded lot near Slippery Rock, about 40 miles north of Pittsburgh.

Simon, an assistant district attorney, would not say how the Abbotts were killed — or whether authorities know how they died — because a coroner and a team of forensic anthropologists were still at the scene Thursday.

Astronauts get welcomed day off

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — After a hectic week in orbit, the astronauts on NASA’s last space shuttle flight got some time off Thursday to savor their historic experience.

‘‘This is one of the first days we’ve been able to take a deep breath and appreciate what we’re doing up here,’’ said space shuttle Atlantis’ commander, Christopher Ferguson.

Until Thursday, the workload in orbit was so intense that the four astronauts had only fleeting moments of realizing ‘‘wow, this is really it,’’ astronaut Rex Walheim said in a series of TV interviews.

‘‘But boy, it’s going to hit when we land and wheels stop,’’ he added.

Minn. makes deal to end shutdown

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Minnesota’s Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton and Republican legislators struck a deal Thursday to end a budget impasse that led to the longest state government shutdown in recent history.

The deal came after a three-hour negotiating session that followed major concessions by Dayton. If details are worked out and approved by state legislators, it would end a two-week shutdown.

The two sides agreed on a proposal that would raise $1.4 billion in new revenue, half by delaying state aid checks to school districts and the other half by selling tobacco payment bonds.

Dayton’s concession was contingent on Republicans dropping a list of policy changes and a plan to cut the state workforce by 15 percent.

Big reduction in smoking on film

ATLANTA — Three film companies have drastically reduced smoking in their movies aimed at children and teens, thanks in part to their policies to reduce on-screen tobacco use, a new study says.

Over the past five years, scenes involving tobacco dropped from an average of 23 to one per film for those companies and most of their youth movies had no smoking at all.