National news briefs — March 20

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Sanford to face runoff

Former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford was the top vote-getter in a Republican U.S. House primary Tuesday, the first test of his political comeback bid after acknowledging an extramarital affair four years ago. Sanford fell short of winning more than 50 percent of the vote, meaning he will face the second-place finisher in the 16- candidate Republican field, in a runoff primary on April 2. The winner will face Democrat Elizabeth Colbert Busch, an older sister of comedian Stephen Colbert, in the May 7 special election.

New Orleans

Sugary drinks deadly

Sugary drinks and sodas may be associated with about 180,000 deaths a year worldwide, including 25,000 in the U.S., by exacerbating conditions such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer, a study found. The beverages raised deaths worldwide from diabetes by 133,000, from cardiovascular disease by 44,000 and from cancer by 6,000, according to the study presented Tuesday at a meeting of the American Heart Association in New Orleans.


Outcry after dog’s death

The asphyxiation death of a dog dropped from the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race has outraged animal rights activists who have long criticized the 1,000-mile race as cruel. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is urging Alaska prosecutors to file cruelty charges for those responsible for the death of 5-year-old Dorado, who died last week after being buried by drifting snow at a checkpoint during severe wind.


Lady Liberty to reopen

The Statue of Liberty, closed since Superstorm Sandy damaged the island where it stands, will reopen to the public in time for Independence Day, officials said Tuesday. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced the timeline for the reopening along with U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer of New York. The statue itself was spared in the late October storm, but its surrounding island was badly damaged.

Compiled from wire reports.

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