Rescuers running out of options in search for miners

n HUNTINGTON, Utah - Rescuers are running out of options to rescue six coal miners trapped by a cave-in nearly 10 days ago, and experts say the chances of finding the men alive are slim.

As crews slowly dig a path to the men's presumed location at the Crandall Canyon Mine, narrow drill holes sunk deep into the mountain amount to little more than educated guesses.

'There are a lot of possibilities,' Richard Stickler, chief of the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration, said Wednesday. 'We started with logical thinking: 'If I were in this situation, what would I do?' That has guided us in where we look.'

NASA close to wrapping up tests on shuttle gouge

n CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. - After nearly a week of agonizing over a deep gouge on Endeavour's belly, NASA was close to wrapping up tests Wednesday and deciding whether to order risky spacewalk repairs.

One of the astronauts who would attempt those repairs, Rick Mastracchio, had to cut his latest spacewalk short after he noticed a hole in his left glove.

Tropical Storm Erin begins to lash flood-weary Texas

n SOUTH PADRE ISLAND, Texas - South Texas braced Wednesday for Tropical Storm Erin to bring torrential downpours to a state that already has had one of its rainiest summers on record.

As the storm's outermost bands of rain touched the Texas coast early afternoon, homeowners had already started heading to hardware stores in the Rio Grande Valley for supplies to board up their houses.

NYPD study warns of mounting threat from terrorists

n NEW YORK- An NYPD report released Wednesday warns of a 'radicalization' process in which young men - otherwise unremarkable legal immigrants from the Middle East - grow disillusioned with life in America and adopt a philosophy that puts them on the path to jihad.

'Hopefully, the better we're informed about this process, the more likely we'll be to detect and disrupt it,' Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said while presenting the findings at a briefing of private security executives at police headquarters.

Authorities say NBA ref bet on games, took payoffs

n NEW YORK - Tim Donaghy started making NBA bets four years ago, and he didn't hesitate to wager on games he worked.

Speaking in code during telephone calls, he tipped off high-stakes gamblers with inside information and recommended which teams to bet on. When his picks hit, he was paid $5,000.

The stunning allegations emerged Wednesday as the disgraced former NBA referee pleaded guilty to two felony charges in a scandal that rocked the league and tarnished the integrity of the sport.

Florida Sheriff's deputy fatally shot

n BRANDON, Fla. - A sheriff's deputy who had just left a drunken driving checkpoint was fatally shot in his patrol car Wednesday, and a suspect was killed by a SWAT team after barricading himself at home.

Sgt. Ron Harrison, a nearly 21-year veteran of the Hillsborough County sheriff's office, apparently tried to drive himself to the hospital after he was wounded about 1 a.m., Sheriff David Gee said.

About the same time, authorities received a call from a woman who said her boyfriend told her he had been in a shooting with a police officer, Gee said. Deputies found the man barricaded in his house, and he repeatedly fired at deputies before he was shot and killed, Gee said.

Ohio Rep. Pryce announces her plans to retire

n WASHINGTON - Eight-term Rep. Deborah Pryce of Ohio will not seek re-election, GOP officials said Wednesday, making her the third prominent House Republican from the Midwest to announce retirement plans in recent days.

Pryce was her party's fourth-ranking leader before the GOP lost control in the 2006 election. She narrowly survived a challenge last fall from Democrat Mary Jo Kilroy.

Oliver the monkey escapes zoo again

n TUPELO, Miss. - Oliver apparently has learned to pick locks, making his second breakout from behind bars in less than a month.

On Wednesday, however, the white-faced capuchin monkey was back at the Tupelo Buffalo Park and Zoo, and this time his cage has been secured with triple chains and locks.