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About 400,000 homeowners threatened with foreclosures could be rescued by legislation passed Saturday in a rare weekend Senate session. The bill paves the way for refinancing with more affordable loans from ailing lenders Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The House previously passed the bill, which President Bush intends to sign quickly.

A fast-spreading wildfire near Yosemite National Park led California officials to shut off power to the park Saturday. The fire, which straddles a steep canyon on the western side of the park, was difficult to fight and quickly grew to 25 square miles, prompting most of the residents of the town of Midpines to evacuate the area.

Rip currents off Long Island and New York City beaches are suspected in the drowning of four swimmers and the disappearance of three others during a two-day period, police said Saturday. A strong storm system earlier in the week has led to high waves and strong currents.

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