Bush signs new law changing wiretapping rules
WASHINGTON - President Bush signed a bill Thursday that overhauls rules about government eavesdropping and grants immunity to telecommunications companies that helped the U.S. spy on Americans in suspected terrorism cases.
He called it 'landmark legislation that is vital to the security of our people.'
Even before Bush signed the legislation, the American Civil Liberties Union said it would challenge the new law in court.
'A law like this is fundamentally inconsistent with the Constitution and with the most basic democratic values,' said Jameel Jaffer, director of the ACLU's National Security Project.
Rove ignores subpoena, refuses to testify
WASHINGTON - Former White House adviser Karl Rove defied a congressional subpoena and refused to testify Thursday about allegations of political pressure at the Justice Department, including whether he influenced the prosecution of a former Democratic governor of Alabama.
Rep. Linda Sanchez, chairman of a House subcommittee, ruled with backing from fellow Democrats on the panel that Rove was breaking the law by refusing to cooperate - perhaps the first step toward holding him in contempt of Congress.
The White House has cited executive privilege as a reason he and others who serve or served in the administration should not testify, arguing that internal administration communications are confidential and that Congress cannot compel officials to testify.
Two escapees plead not guilty to Texas murder
HUNTSVILLE, Texas - Two convicts whose escape from a work detail last year led to the death of a corrections officer pleaded not guilty Thursday to capital murder.
Prosecutors will seek the death penalty for Jerry Martin, 38, and John Ray Falk, 41, Walker County prosecutor Stephanie Stroud said.
Both inmates appeared separately during brief hearings at which prosecutors said they planned to try the pair together.
Corrections officer Susan Canfield, 59, died in September after the inmates broke away from a detail outside the Wynne Unit prison in Huntsville. Authorities say they stole a truck and rammed into her while she was on horseback.
Suspect arrested in triple killing
MARIANNA, Pa. - Police say they have arrested a man suspected of killing his wife and two young children in their rural home in western Pennsylvania.
Trooper Robin Mungo said a daylong manhunt ended Thursday afternoon when police took 38-year-old Orlando Maurice Guarino into custody. She said he is suspected of killing his 22-year-old wife, Ashley Guarino, and their children, 2-year-old Dreux and 11-month-old Orlando Jr.
Man sues Tenn. church over spiritual fall
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - A man said he was so consumed by the spirit of God that he fell and hit his head while worshipping.
Now he wants Lakewind Church to pay $2.5 million for medical bills, lost income, and pain and suffering.
Matt Lincoln said he is suing after the church's insurance company denied his claim for medical bills.
He said he was asking God to have 'a real experience' while praying.
Ex-diplomat: Sex with teens OK in foreign cultures
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - An ex-diplomat convicted of having sex with teenage girls in the Congo and Brazil and taping the encounters is asking a judge for leniency, claiming that cultural differences in those countries make sex with girls more acceptable.
Gons G. Nachman, 42, pleaded guilty in April to possessing child pornography after admitting that he had sex with 14- to 17-year-old girls while serving as a consular officer in Brazil and Congo and documenting the encounters in pictures and videos.
Architect sought for museum of black history
WASHINGTON - The Smithsonian Institution issued a call for architects Thursday to submit their qualifications for a competition to build the newest museum on the National Mall, which will be dedicated to black history.
The National Museum of African American History and Culture is scheduled to open in 2015 and officials hope to name an architectural team by spring 2009.