By Chris Keane HATTERAS ISLAND, N.C, (Reuters) - The first hurricane of the Atlantic season gained strength on Thursday as it spun toward the North Carolina coast on the verge of Category 2 status, forcing thousands of vacationers to scrap their July Fourth holiday plans amid evacuation orders. Hurricane Arthur was about 35 miles (55 km) south of Cape Fear, North Carolina, with maximum sustained winds of 90 miles per hour (145 km per hour), U.S. forecasters said. The shift in the track would bring the strongest winds inland over eastern North Carolina, affecting coastal towns such as Morehead City, as well as the U.S. Marine corps base at Camp Lejeune. Arthur would be the first hurricane to hit the United States since Superstorm Sandy devastated New York and New Jersey in October 2012 and caused $70 billion estimated damage.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Seventy years ago, the world was convinced that Louis Zamperini was dead. There had been no word of the track star and former Olympian since his World War II bomber crashed into the Pacific Ocean. The military told his parents he was dead, and an annual collegiate track competition named one of its races in his memory.
NASHVILLE, Tennessee (AP) — A law took effect this week in Tennessee making it the first U.S. state to have the option of executing death row inmates with the electric chair if drugs for lethal injections are not available. Billy Ray Irick, who was convicted of murder in the death of a 7-year-old girl he was babysitting in 1985, is the next Tennessee death row inmate scheduled to be executed, on Oct. 7. Corrections officials have said they have no lethal injection drugs on hand but are confident they can obtain them when needed. Here are five things to know about the state's electric chair: