1 killed, 20-plus hurt in prison bus crash

HELENA, Mont. - A bus carrying Montana State Prison employees to work struck a deer and overturned Friday morning, killing one person and injuring more than 20 others, a state Corrections Department spokesman said.

The bus with about 26 people onboard came to rest about 5:30 a.m. in the median of Interstate 90 near Warm Springs, about 50 miles southwest of Helena.

Several ambulances and two helicopters took at least 21 people to hospitals across western Montana.

Feds raid 'Liberty Dollar' HQ in Ind., seize illegal money

EVANSVILLE, Ind. - Federal agents raided the headquarters of a group that produces illegal currency and puts it in circulation, seizing gold, silver and two tons of copper coins featuring Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul.

Agents also took records, computers and froze the bank accounts at the 'Liberty Dollar' headquarters during the Thursday raid, Bernard von NotHaus, founder of the National Organization for the Repeal of the Federal Reserve Act & Internal Revenue Code, said in an interview.

Homeless camp at Orleans City Hall for more housing

NEW ORLEANS - The homeless of New Orleans have left the city's shelters and gutted buildings to set up camp on the mayor's doorstep.

About 250 homeless people have erected pup-tents - the only affordable housing they say they could find since Hurricane Katrina - and created a colony of despair in a grassy plaza outside City Hall.

Mayor Ray Nagin's second-floor office faces the camp, and its residents rally almost daily with the chant: 'Hey, Ray! How about a house today!'

Nagin has not met with the group, but he said in a statement that the city 'is working with numerous agencies to address the homelessness' that worsened after the hurricane.

John Kerry accepts offer to disprove Swift Boat claims

BOSTON - Sen. John Kerry, whose 2004 presidential campaign was torpedoed by critics of his Vietnam War record, said Friday he has personally accepted a Texas oilman's offer to pay $1 million to anyone who can disprove even a single charge of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth.

In a letter to T. Boone Pickens, the Massachusetts Democrat wrote: 'While I am prepared to show they lied on allegation after allegation, you have generously offered to pay one million dollars for just one thing that can be proven false. I am prepared to prove the lie beyond any reasonable doubt.'

People march in Washington to protest 'Jena Six'

WASHINGTON - Marchers surrounded the Justice Department headquarters on Friday to demand federal intervention in the Jena Six case and stepped-up enforcement of hate crimes.

On a chilly but clear day, busloads of people packed a downtown plaza to protest charges brought against six black teens accused of beating a white high school student in Jena, La. Tensions between black and white students had run high for weeks in Jena, including an incident where a noose was hung from a tree at school. No one was charged with a crime for hanging the noose.

Organizers said more than 100 busloads of people turned out for the protest.

Mistrial declared in case of bird watcher who killed a cat

GALVESTON, Texas - The trial of a prominent birdwatcher accused of animal cruelty for shooting a cat ended in a mistrial Friday after jurors couldn't reach a verdict.

Jim Stevenson, the founder of the Galveston Ornithological Society, has admitted he shot the cat last fall because he saw it hunting a threatened species of bird near the San Luis Bridge Pass. If convicted, he would have faced up to two years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

The trial sparked an Internet debate between cat lovers who decry Stevenson's actions and birders upset by the toll feral cats take on bird species. It's also raised questions about what makes an animal a pet, especially if it lives outside.

Jurors deliberated for more than eight hours before the judge declared the mistrial.

Former legislator gets 7 years in prison for bribes

BALTIMORE - A federal judge sentenced a former lawmaker Friday to seven years in prison for accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars from a construction company executive in return for securing state contracts.

Former Senate Finance Committee Chairman Thomas Bromwell, 58, once among the most powerful legislators in the state, pleaded guilty in July to racketeering conspiracy and filing a false tax return.