National

Gun in slaying traced to Texas

DALLAS — Authorities say a weapon recently used to kill a U.S. agent in Mexico was bought by a Texas man previously under surveillance for suspected gun trafficking for a violent Mexican drug cartel.

Federal complaints filed against three Dallas-area men were released Tuesday.

Authorities say the suspects met in November with an undercover agent who was to take the guns to Laredo, Texas. Law enforcement officers seized the 40 weapons before they crossed the border.

Authorities later learned another gun purchased by one of the Texas men was used in the fatal Feb. 15 attack on a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent.

Day care operator left kids alone before fire

HOUSTON — Investigators found that the operator of a home day care where a fire killed four children last week had left the youngsters in her care alone to go shopping, according to a court document made public Tuesday.

Surveillance video shows Jessica Tata was shopping at a Target store about a mile away from the facility when the fire started Thursday, investigators said in a probable cause affidavit.

Tata, 22, has fled to Nigeria since being charged in the fire.

School leaders, sheriff spat over reading to kids

PHOENIX — America's self-proclaimed toughest sheriff is miffed at elementary school administrators after he said he was invited to read to a group of Phoenix sixth-graders — and then uninvited for being considered too controversial.

But administrators paint a different picture, saying there was simply a scheduling conflict and that Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio — known for his efforts against illegal immigrants — is still welcome to read to the children.

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