Discovery touches down, safely ending mission

EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. - Discovery and its crew of seven glided safely back to Earth on Tuesday, ending a riveting, at times agonizing, 14-day test of space shuttle safety that was shadowed by the ghosts of Columbia.

Discovery swooped through the predawn darkness and landed at Edwards Air Force Base in the Mojave Desert at 5:11 a.m. PDT, concluding the first shuttle re-entry since Columbia's tragic return.

The landing was moved to California because of thunderstorms at the shuttle's home base of Cape Canaveral, Fla.

Bush praises economy, concerned over energy

CRAWFORD, Texas - President Bush voiced concern Tuesday over rising energy and health care costs, suggesting they were clouds over an otherwise sunny U.S. economy.

''The economy of the United States is strong and the foundation for sustained growth is in place,'' Bush declared, flanked by members of his domestic policy team after a strategy session on his Texas ranch.

Bush sidestepped a question on interest rate increases by the Federal Reserve, saying ''I trust the judgment of Chairman Alan Greenspan.'' He spoke ahead of a meeting in Washington at which Fed officials were expected to raise short-term interest rates for the tenth time in a row.

Katherine Harris starts campaign for Senate

SARASOTA, Fla. - Rep. Katherine Harris began her campaign for Senate on Tuesday, saying among the issues she plans to address are homeland security and health care.

The Republican, best known for her role as Florida's then-secretary of state during the 2000 presidential recount, is trying to unseat Democrat Bill Nelson, who will be seeking his second Senate term in November 2006.

Mentally ill man pleads guilty to highway shooting

COLUMBUS, Ohio - A mentally ill man pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter and 10 other charges Tuesday in a series of Ohio highway shootings he thought would quiet the mocking voices in his head.

Charles McCoy Jr., 29, had admitted firing the shots over five months in 2003 and 2004 but pleaded innocent by reason of insanity to murder and 23 other counts. His death penalty trial ended in a mistrial, and the change in plea averts a second trial.

Collector pleads innocent to theft of rare maps

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - A noted dealer of antique maps pleaded innocent Tuesday to charges he looted Yale University of three centuries-old maps.

E. Forbes Smiley III pleaded innocent to larceny charges in state Superior Court. He was arrested June 8 after a librarian at Yale's Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library found a razor blade on the floor and police said they then found seven maps worth nearly $900,000 in Smiley's briefcase and pockets.

Smiley told investigators the maps were his and he wanted to compare their quality to those in Yale's collection.

Police: Inmate's wife killed guard, helped in escape

KINGSTON, Tenn. - An inmate considered to be ''extremely violent'' escaped Tuesday after his wife gunned down and killed a guard who was escorting the shackled prisoner outside a courthouse, authorities said.

The bloody escape set off an extensive search for George and Jennifer Hyatte. Helicopters circled over this eastern Tennessee town and schools - open for student registration - were locked down.

The Ford Explorer in which the couple fled was later found abandoned with blood on the driver's side, and officers said the wife may have been wounded during the attack.

Man blames video game in killing of police officers

FAYETTE, Ala. - A man who claimed the video game ''Grand Theft Auto'' and childhood abuse caused him to gun down three members of a small-town police department is really just a cold-blooded killer, prosecutors told jurors Tuesday.

Devin Moore, 20, knew exactly what he was doing when he grabbed a patrolman's gun and started shooting inside the Fayette Police Department two years ago, killing two officers and a radio dispatcher, prosecutor Lyn Durham said in closing arguments.

''And he knew it was wrong,'' she said.

- From wire reports