Lutherans reject gay marriage blessing proposal

ORLANDO, Fla. - A national meeting of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America voted Friday to rebuff what many saw as an attempt to push the denomination toward approval of blessing

ceremonies for same-sex couples.

The proposal became an affirmation of current church practice, which bans such blessings and expresses ''trust'' in pastors ministering to gays and lesbians. It was approved

overwhelmingly.

Couple accused in Tenn. shooting refuse extradition

COLUMBUS, Ohio - The couple accused of killing a Tennessee corrections officer in a daring escape objected Friday to being sent back to the state to face charges. At a hearing, the wife appeared dazed and the husband declared, ''I don't want to leave without her.''

George and Jennifer Hyatte were arrested Wednesday night without a struggle at the America's Best Value Inn in Columbus after a cabbie tipped off authorities that he had driven them there. The tip ended a manhunt that began Tuesday with the shooting outside a courthouse in Kingston, Tenn.

Officials release transcripts from Sept. 11 attacks

NEW YORK - The Fire Department on Friday released thousands of pages of oral histories recorded by firefighters about Sept. 11 and hours of radio transmissions, records that evoked anew the chaos and horror of the attack.

Compelled by a lawsuit filed by The New York Times, the department made public 15 hours of radio transmissions and more than 500 oral histories describing the rush to the World Trade Center.

Bond granted to Klansman in 1964 deaths

PHILADELPHIA, Miss. - A judge granted Edgar Ray Killen a $600,000 bond on Friday so the one-time Klansman can be released from prison while he appeals his manslaughter convictions in the killings of three civil rights workers.

In making his decision, Circuit Judge Marcus Gordon said he was convinced by testimony that Killen, who is 80 and uses a wheelchair, was neither a flight risk nor danger to the community.

NYU doctor gives school $105M gift

NEW YORK - A microbiology professor who fled the Nazis as a child, then made a fortune inventing a drug for rheumatoid arthritis plans to give the New York University School of Medicine a $105 million donation.

- From wire reports