CAMP VERDE, Ariz.

Self-help guru found guilty in sweat lodge deaths

A self-help guru was found guilty of three counts of negligent homicide Wednesday in a case that shined a spotlight on a deadly Arizona sweat lodge ceremony that ended in chaos.

Jurors reached their verdict with remarkable swiftness: They took less than 10 hours to convict James Arthur Ray after a four-month trial that included hundreds of exhibits and countless hours of testimony. He faces a sentence ranging from probation to nearly 12 years in prison.

More than 50 people participated in the October 2009 sweat lodge that was meant to be the highlight of Ray’s five-day “Spiritual Warrior” seminar near Sedona.

Three people died after the sauna-like ceremony aimed at providing spiritual cleansing.

SAN FRANCISCO

Jews, Muslims file lawsuit to block circumcision vote

An unlikely coalition of Jews and Muslims on Wednesday filed a lawsuit to block a San Francisco ballot measure that would ban the circumcision of male children, a procedure widely practiced by members of both faiths.

The case filed in San Francisco Superior Court asks the court to remove the voter initiative from the city’s Nov. 8 ballot, arguing that California law bars local governments from restricting medical procedures.

The plaintiffs include five Jews, three Muslims, two physicians who regularly perform circumcisions, the Anti-Defamation League and the local chapter of the Jewish Community Relations Council.

San Francisco is set to be the first U.S. city to hold a public vote on banning male circumcision. The measure would prohibit circumcision on males under the age of 18, making it a misdemeanor offense punishable by a fine of up to $1,000 or up to one year in jail. There would be no religious exemptions.

MINOT, N.D

As river rises, thousands are forced to evacuate

Plastic sheeting hung over the apartment building like a shroud, stretching from the eaves to the ground. Across it, someone had spray-painted the word “pray” and drawn a line labeled “1969” — the level floodwaters reached the last time the Souris River climbed out of its banks in Minot.

That line stood just 2 feet above the ground. But the water is expected to climb far higher in parts of this Air Force town over the coming days as the little-known waterway swells from rain and snowmelt. It could bring the region’s worst flooding in four decades.

As many as 10,000 people raced to evacuate Wednesday as water began spilling over Minot’s levees. The river, which begins in the Canadian province of Saskatchewan and flows for a short distance though North Dakota, was all but certain to inundate thousands of homes and businesses during the next week.

OAKLAND, Calif.

Doomsday radio show set to go off the air

The Christian radio station belonging to Harold Camping, who twice incorrectly predicted the world would end, plans to replace his weekday segment Open Forum with new programming after rebroadcasting the last show he recorded before suffering a stroke on June 9.

“When those are completed, we will have other programming that is scheduled to run in that time slot,” Program Department Secretary Judi Rathbone wrote in an email.

“Mr. Camping,” Rathbone also wrote, “is still in the hospital and continues to recover.”

Camping first predicted Judgment Day would descend in September 1994. For his 2011 prediction, he invested in a billboard campaign declaring the second coming of Jesus Christ on May 21 and the end of the world on Oct. 21.