5.2 earthquake rocks Midwest; no major damages
WEST SALEM, Ill. - Residents across the Midwest were awakened Friday by a 5.2 magnitude earthquake that rattled skyscrapers in Chicago, homes in Cincinnati and nerves across the region but appeared to cause no major injuries or damage.
Dozens of aftershocks followed, one with a magnitude of 4.6.
The quake just before 4:37 a.m. was centered six miles from West Salem, Ill., and 45 miles from Evansville, Ind. It was felt in such distant cities as Milwaukee, Des Moines, Iowa and Atlanta, nearly 400 miles to the southeast.
'I just saw my house just shake. Golly,' said Mike Morrow, of Mount Carmel, Ill., 15 miles southeast of the epicenter, his eyes widening during an aftershock that hit as he was interviewed by a reporter.
9/11 family members seek pope's blessing
NEW YORK - Tom Riches was just 17 when he helped carry his firefighter brother's body out of the ruins of the World Trade Center. Six years later, ground zero still holds only painful memories.
He will return to the site Sunday with Pope Benedict XVI, who will say a prayer for Sept. 11 victims that Riches hopes will transform the land into something else.
'Since that day, it's always been sacred to me,' Riches said of the place where his brother Jim and more than 2,700 others died. 'Him blessing the ground there will make it official.'
Freedom Tower plans found in trash
NEW YORK - A homeless man has come forward with two sets of confidential ground zero blueprints that he says were dumped in a Lower Manhattan trash can.
The man brought the Freedom Tower plans to the New York Post, which says the 150-page schematic is marked: 'Secure Document - Confidential.'
The documents are dated Oct. 5, 2007. They contain plans for each floor, the thickness of the concrete-core wall and the location of air ducts, elevators, electrical systems and support columns.
Expert testifies polygamous sect beliefs are abusive
SAN ANGELO, Texas - The belief system at a polygamous sect is abusive and teen girls do not resist early marriages because they are trained to be obedient and compliant, an expert testified Friday in a custody hearing for 416 children seized from a secluded ranch.
Many of the women had children when they were minors, some as young as 13, a child welfare worker said earlier in the child custody hearing, one of the largest and most convoluted in U.S. history.
State District Judge Barbara Walther must decide whether the children will remain in state custody. Child welfare officials claim the children were abused or in imminent danger of abuse because the sect encourages girls younger than 18 to marry and have children.
Convicted child killer asks to represent self at sentencing
BOISE, Idaho - Convicted child killer Joseph Edward Duncan III told a federal judge Friday that he wants to represent himself at his sentencing hearing.
A jury is being chosen to decide whether Duncan should be put to death for the abduction and slaying of 9-year-old Dylan Groene in 2005.
'I don't have an issue with counsel personally,' Duncan said in court. 'It's ideological. I don't believe that they can ethically represent my ideologies.'
DJ accused of having porn video on how to abuse
NEW YORK - A New York disc jockey has been accused of sharing an instructional video showing how to sexually abuse children.
The case was referred to the Queens district attorney's office by police in Illinois who said they found two child porn videos in an Internet file-sharing program the DJ was using.
Police say one video shows a 4-year-old girl having sex with a man and the other gives advice and examples on how to sexually abuse minors.
Witness in murder trial slain in street
NEW ORLEANS - Less than a week after Guy McEwen was a reluctant witness in a murder trial, he was killed in a barrage of bullets as he ran down a New Orleans street.
Assistant Police Superintendent Marlon Defillo declined to speculate Friday if the Thursday night murder was linked to McEwen's appearance as a witness for the prosecution in the murder trial of David Bonds. Bonds was acquitted last week in the death of Dinerral Shavers, a drummer for the Hot 8 Brass Band who also taught high school band.