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Associated Press
FILE - In this July 15, 2012 file photo, the sun rises in Pleasant Plains, Ill. Corn stalks are struggling in the heat and continuing drought that has overcome most of the country. Federal scientists say July was the hottest month ever recorded in the Lower 48 states, breaking a record set during the Dust Bowl of the 1930s. The average temperature last month was 77.6 degrees. That breaks the old record from July 1936 by 0.2 degree, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Records go back to 1895. (AP Photo/Seth Perlman)

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