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Gov. Deval Patrick has emphasized he wants a voice in the final bill, which is being hammered out as lawmakers close in on the July 31 end of their formal session.

One of the key differences between the bills is the question of slot machines at racetracks.

The House bill allows two casinos and 750 slots at each of the state’s four racetracks. The Senate bill calls for three casinos and maintains the existing ban on racetrack slots.


Firefighters keep two blazes in check

LAS VEGAS | Firefighters in Nevada have contained one fire in the mountains northwest of Las Vegas and report good progress on another that burned more than a dozen buildings in a small ranching town.

The Bureau of Land Management says the fire that burned 600 acres and destroyed 15 buildings in the ranch community of Moapa was still only 50 percent contained as of midday Monday. But winds were calm, and there were no visible flames. The fire was sparked by a wood chipper Thursday about 50 miles northeast of Las Vegas.

Meanwhile, firefighters contained the 20-acre Cathedral fire on Mount Charleston that was caused by an illegal campfire. The U.S. Forest Service said about 35 firefighters were continuing mop-up efforts and removing tree hazards.

No serious injuries were reported in either blaze.


Bomb-plot imam sent to Saudi Arabia

NEW YORK | An imam who pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI during the investigation into a suicide bomb plot against New York City subway stations has been deported.

The lawyer for Ahmad Afzali said the imam and his wife, Fatima, left on a Saudi Arabian Airlines flight to Jeddah on Monday afternoon. Two immigration agents accompanied him to the plane to ensure he got on. The lawyer said some of Mr. Afzali’s last words on U.S. ground were: “God bless America.”

Mrs. Afzali got a position teaching English in Saudi Arabia. The Afghanistan-born imam isn’t quite sure what he’s going to do there, having lived most of his life in Queens.

He was sentenced April 15 to time served and deportation. Najibullah Zazi pleaded guilty in a plot disrupted by federal and New York City police officials.

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