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In brief

That’s one fat fish In this undated photo released by the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, David Hayes holds his state record-breaking channel catfish while his 3-year-old granddaughter Alyssa holds the Barbie rod and reel that Hayes used to reel in the 21-pound, 1-ounce fish in Elkin, N.C.

ISLAMABAD, PAKISTAN Party nominates Zardari

Pakistan’s largest political party on Friday proposed the husband of assassinated leader Benazir Bhutto to succeed the ousted Pervez Musharraf as president.

Asif Ali Zardari, who is emerging as the favorite to be elected by legislators Sept. 6, criticized Musharraf for his long, authoritarian rule but would likely continue the former general’s support for the U.S. war against extremist groups.

However, his ascent would dismay many Pakistanis, who view him as a symbol of the sleaze that tainted the country’s last experiment with civilian rule in the 1990s. He won the nickname “Mr. 10 Percent” for alleged corruption when his wife was prime minister.

And, with the governing coalition that drove Musharraf to resign this week now teetering on the verge of collapse, Zardari’s nomination is not certain. He is engaged in intense political horse-trading with the leader of the other key party, former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, who was a bitter rival of Bhutto.

SANTA ANA, CALIF. Feds promise crackdown

U.S. authorities are vowing to track down illegal immigrants at home and at work after only eight people volunteered for a self-deportation program.

The nearly three-week trial program for illegal immigrants who have ignored court orders to leave the country ends later Friday in five cities.

Jim Hayes, acting director of detention and removal operations for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, told reporters Friday the agency would arrest more so-called immigrant “fugitives” this year than last — and still more next year as more agents are assigned.

Hayes said agents would continue to enforce immigration law by knocking on the doors of illegal immigrants’ homes and workplaces.

LAS VEGAS Plane crash kills three

An experimental aircraft crashed into a house and exploded shortly after takeoff Friday, killing the pilot and two people inside, authorities said.

The pilot of the home-built plane radioed that he was in trouble shortly after taking off from the North Las Vegas Airport, said Ian Gregor, a Federal Aviation Administration spokesman in Hawthorne, Calif.

“He said he was unable to gain altitude and was going down,” Gregor said.

Firefighters quickly doused an intense fire in the single-family stucco home in a working-class neighborhood southeast of a main runway at the airport. No other homes appeared damaged.

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. Roach race goes to McCain

This presidential race was no contest: John McCain sped to the finish while Barack Obama was reluctant to leave the starting point.

But there’s no guarantee giant Madagascar hissing cockroaches will predict the real result in November.

The roach race Thursday was part of the New Jersey Pest Management Association’s annual clinic and trade show. Organizers liken the race’s prediction success to that of Punxsutawney Phil on Groundhog Day.

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