Court reinstates clean air rules

WASHINGTON - In a ruling hailed by environmentalists, a federal appeals court on Tuesday reinstated one of President George W. Bush's clean air regulations while the Environmental Protection Agency makes court-mandated changes.

In July, the U.S. Appeals Court for the District of Columbia Circuit threw out the Clean Air Interstate Rule, which required 28 mostly Eastern states to reduce smog-forming and soot-producing emissions that can travel long distances in the wind.

The court said the EPA overstepped its authority by instituting the rule, citing 'more than several fatal flaws' in the regulation. However, a three-judge panel decided to reinstate the rule while the EPA develops a new clean air program.

Ex securities broker charged with conspiracy

NEW YORK - A former securities broker was charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud Tuesday, the second arrest in a fraud case against a prominent Manhattan lawyer accused of duping hedge funds into making bogus investments.

Kosta Kovachev, a former registered broker with the National Association of Securities Dealers, was charged in a criminal complaint unsealed in U.S. district court in Manhattan. His lawyer did not immediately return a phone message for comment.

Madoff investor found dead

NEW YORK - The founder of an investment fund that lost $1.4 billion with Bernard Madoff was discovered dead Tuesday after committing suicide at his Madison Avenue office, marking a grim turn in a scandal that has left investors around the world in financial ruin.

Rene-Thierry Magon de la Villehuchet was found sitting at his desk at about

8 a.m. with both wrists slashed, New York Police Department spokesman Paul Browne said. A box cutter was found on the floor along with a bottle of sleeping pills on his desk. No suicide note was found.

De la Villehuchet was one of several fund managers to be hit hard in Madoff's alleged $50 billion Ponzi scheme.

Water main break traps motorists

BETHESDA, Md. - A massive, aging water main ruptured Tuesday and transformed a suburban Washington road into a raging river, trapping nine motorists who had to be rescued from the frigid deluge by emergency workers in helicopters and boats.

Two people in a minivan climbed into a basket lowered by a helicopter. As floodwaters raged past, water sprayed on a rescuer reaching out to save them. Crews also used a boat to rescue motorists from the 4-feet deep water.

Montgomery County fire officials said five people were checked for hypothermia. The temperatures outside were in the 20s.

ALCU sues city over treatment of homeless

LAGUNA BEACH, Calif. - The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the ritzy Southern California city of Laguna Beach over its treatment of the homeless.

The lawsuit filed Tuesday claims the city has engaged in a campaign of harassment against the homeless while providing no city-sponsored shelters.

Police seek truck driver in Dallas shootings

DALLAS - Police said Tuesday they were investigating several 'persons of interest' in four rush-hour shootings on Dallas-area roads that left two people dead, and hailed one of the victims as a hero for managing to stop his 18-wheeler before he died.

Dallas police have interviewed at least two people who witnessed one of the apparently random Monday afternoon shootings and were asking any other witnesses to step forward.

Witnesses described the suspect in the first shooting, in the suburb of Garland, as a balding white man in his 40s, driving a tan Ford F-150 extended cab pickup. Police said they did not know whether one person was responsible for all the shootings.

Investigators return to Denver plane wreckage

DENVER - Investigators returned Tuesday to the wreckage of a Continental Airlines jetliner that veered off a runway, rushing to collect evidence ahead of snow expected to move in later in the day.

One group was working Tuesday inside the charred fuselage of the plane to document its condition, National Transportation Safety Board spokesman Peter Knudson said.