Student arrested in alleged plot to blow up N.Y. high school

BUFFALO, N.Y. - A 15-year-old boy who had shown strong interest in the Columbine school shootings has been arrested for allegedly plotting to blow up his high school, authorities said Thursday.

The high school sophomore had assembled bomb-making materials including gunpowder and fuses, and a search of his home showed that the boy was seemingly fascinated with the Columbine massacre, officials said. Authorities found downloaded autopsy reports on Columbine shooters Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris, crime scene photos and pictures of the weapons.

Columbia University: No evidence of anti-Semitic remarks

NEW YORK - A special committee found no evidence that professors at Columbia University made anti-Semitic statements to intimidate Jewish students in classes, according to a university report released Thursday.

The five-member panel did identify one instance in which a professor ''exceeded commonly accepted bounds'' of behavior when he angrily implied a student should leave his classroom after she defended Israel's conduct toward Palestinians.

Columbia's president, Lee Bollinger, ordered the investigation after a group of students made a video alleging that Middle Eastern studies professors had harassed them. The video was funded by the David Project, a Boston-based pro-Israel group.

Mother of child who shot toddler brother charged

HOUSTON - The mother of a 4-year-old boy who shot his 2-year-old brother in the head with a handgun has been charged with a weapons count, police said Thursday.

Tameka Michelle Jones, 29, is scheduled to appear before a judge Friday to answer a misdemeanor charge of making a gun available to a minor.

The 2-year-old was shot after an argument with his brother over a toy on March 12, and he remains in critical condition. He has shown signs of improvement this week, said Child Protective Services spokeswoman Gwen Carter. The 4-year-old is being cared for by his grandparents and receiving counseling.

Bags of dead dogs found in remote area

GATE CITY, Va. - A construction worker checking a remote southwest Virginia road found carcasses and body parts of about 150 dogs near the banks of a Clinch River tributary, sheriff's officials said Thursday.

The dogs were found shortly after noon Wednesday on an embankment off Va. 72, a few miles from town, sheriff's department investigator Chris Holder said. The dogs had been dead about two to five days, he said.

Man charged in theft of papers of famed submarine inventor

COVINGTON, La. - A man who once worked in the St. Tammany Parish clerk of court's office has been accused of stealing historical documents - including the handwritten will of Horace L. Hunley, the inventor of the famed Confederate submarine.

Thomas Valois allegedly admitted to the thefts and was charged with possession of stolen property and injuring public records Wednesday, according to sheriff's spokesman James Hartman.

Testimony in Rudolph case shows ATF's low standards

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - A federal judge in the death penalty case against Eric Rudolph questioned a government explosives expert Thursday after hearing testimony about a lack of written testing standards at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.

U.S. District Judge C. Lynwood Smith Jr. directed the questions to ATF forensic scientist Peter Dreifuss while considering a defense request to throw out test results that prosecutors say tie Rudolph to a deadly abortion clinic bombing in Birmingham.

The judge seemed curious after hearing Dreifuss say the agency had only ''non-written protocols'' for conducting a type of explosives test in 1998, when the blast occurred.

Witness to fatal Chicago porch collapse sues city

CHICAGO - A man whose brother died in a porch collapse along with 12 others sued the city Thursday, alleging that officials accused him of contributing to the collapse only because he had criticized Chicago's construction permit and inspection process.

John Koranda's brother Robert was killed when the porch filled with partygoers collapsed June 29, 2003. In civil court filings in February, the city alleged John Koranda and another man contributed to the collapse by jumping up and down on the three-story wooden structure.

Koranda, 24, denies jumping or seeing anyone else doing so.

- From wire reports