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Alan Perez, from Wilmington, N.C., seeks shelter from the sun under an umbrella while holding a stop sign to close a road for debris removal Tuesday, July 19, 2011 in Joplin, Mo. Despite a recent heat wave, crews continue to clean up nearly two months after an EF-5 tornado destroyed much of Joplin. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Nation wilts as heat wave spreads eastward

Americans withered under yet another day of searing sun Friday as a heat wave spread in earnest into the urban core of the Northeast, while warnings about excessive heat stretched from Kansas to Maine and the Carolinas. (AP)