VIDEO: Today's Headline News from Associated Press
STEADY RAIN FALLS AS CREWS WORK AGAINST COLO. FIRE
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) -- With evacuees anxious to return, firefighters worked Sunday to dig up and extinguish hot spots to protect homes spared by the most destructive wildfire in Colorado's history.
The labor-intensive work is necessary because extremely dry grass and trees could quickly ignite if wind stirs up hot spots in the densely wooded Black Forest near Colorado Springs.
Firefighters did get some help from the weather as steady rain moved through the area Sunday afternoon. But that weather came with some lightning, which sparked a small grass fire near one home.
"Every bit of rain helps the crews mop up. It's just adding another nail in the coffin," fire spokesman Brandon Hampton said.
Nearly 500 homes have been burned by the 22-square-mile fire, which is 65 percent contained. Crews hope to have it fully under control by Thursday.
Even though the fire was no longer active enough on Sunday to produce a large smoke plume, El Paso County Sheriff Terry Maketa said it wasn't safe for people to return home until roads and downed power lines were repaired.
Additionally, the death of two unidentified people trying to flee the fire was still being investigated. Maketa said he was in no rush to have people return to an area that, at least for now, was still being considered a crime scene.
OFFICIALS: NSA PROGRAMS BROKE PLOTS IN 20 NATIONS
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Top U.S. intelligence officials said Saturday that information gleaned from two controversial data-collection programs run by the National Security Agency thwarted potential terrorist plots in the U.S. and more than 20 other countries - and that gathered data is destroyed every five years.
Last year, fewer than 300 phone numbers were checked against the database of millions of U.S. phone records gathered daily by the NSA in one of the programs, the intelligence officials said in arguing that the programs are far less sweeping than their detractors allege.
No other new details about the plots or the countries involved were part of the newly declassified information released to Congress on Saturday and made public by the Senate Intelligence Committee. Intelligence officials said they are working to declassify the dozens of plots NSA chief Gen. Keith Alexander said were disrupted, to show Americans the value of the programs, but that they want to make sure they don't inadvertently reveal parts of the U.S. counterterrorism playbook in the process.
The release of information follows a bruising week for U.S. intelligence officials who testified on Capitol Hill, defending programs that were unknown to the public - and some lawmakers - until they were revealed by a series of media stories in The Guardian and The Washington Post newspapers, leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, who remains in hiding in Hong Kong.
The disclosures have sparked debate and legal action against the Obama administration by privacy activists who say the data collection goes far beyond what was intended when expanded counterterrorism measures were authorized by Congress after the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
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