Explosion levels home in N.J.

IRVINGTON, N.J. - An explosion leveled a house under construction and a vacant building next door early Friday, killing one worker and injuring four others.

Authorities were investigating whether someone broke into the house and damaged a natural gas line.

The explosion was so powerful it caused debris to fly up to four blocks away and sparked several fires that were under control within two hours, Deputy Fire Chief Charles Weiss said. Emergency crews used search dogs and chain saws to rescue trapped construction workers from the smoking pile of splintered wood and siding.

Fugitive accused in taped attack is arraigned

SPOKANE, Wash. - A man accused of raping his daughter and posting videos of the abuse online was arraigned Friday after returning to the United States from Hong Kong.

Kenneth John Freeman, 45, appeared in federal court in Spokane a day after his extradition. He was indicted in January on one count of producing child pornography and one count of transporting child pornography; each count carries a 20-year maximum prison sentence.

Storm kill six as systems move across country

LOUISVILLE, Ky - Powerful thunderstorms and high winds that moved through much of the country sent a mobile home in Missouri flying, destroyed homes in Michigan and Indiana and collapsed a trailer in Kentucky. Six people were killed.

In Washington state, where one of the deaths occurred, a floating bridge buffeted by powerful wind was closed, and tens of thousands of homes and businesses lost electricity.

The Midwest storms, unusually strong for October, left downed trees, power outages and debris in their paths as they struck Thursday and early Friday.

Authorities probe nooses found at Home Depot

PASSAIC, N.J. - A Home Depot store has become but another site in a string of suspected racial bias incidents across the country involving nooses - sinister symbols of segregation-era lynchings of blacks.

The Passaic County Prosecutor's Office was investigating black employees' discovery Wednesday of three nooses - one yellow, one black, one brown - cut and tied from rope sold in the store and hanging from a store shelf.

The investigation was partially hindered because store management waited for hours to contact police, who didn't arrive until long after store employees had removed the nooses.