Lawyers spar over Stevens during trial

WASHINGTON - Prosecutors accused Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens on Tuesday of 'believing he was above the law' by not reporting extravagant gifts while defense lawyers said the government skewed skimpy evidence to try to convict an honest man who was too trusting of a crooked friend.

'Without sufficient evidence, the government comes here late in the night of a good man's life and tries to brand him a criminal,' defense lawyer Brendan Sullivan told jurors in closing arguments.

Prosecutor Brenda Morris countered with an accusation that a very deliberate and crafty Stevens 'believed he was above the law,' and 'he thinks he's entitled to break the law' by taking gifts whenever it suited him.

The 84-year-old Stevens, the Senate's longest-serving Republican senator, is charged with lying on Senate financial disclosure forms about $250,000 in home renovations and other gifts he received from his friend, millionaire Bill Allen, who runs oil services company VECO Corp.

The jury is expected to begin deliberations today.

Obama entered October with $133.6 million

WASHINGTON - Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama spent $87.5 million last month and began October with nearly $134 million in the bank.

The numbers illustrate his vast financial advantage over John McCain, his Republican rival, in the final stretch of the contest. McCain ended September with $47 million in the bank.

Obama, who raised a record-shattering $150 million in September, filed his campaign finance report with the Federal Election Commission overnight. The numbers became available on the FEC Web site Tuesday morning.

McCain is accepting public financing and cannot raise money. He is limited to $84 million for the two months before Election Day, Nov. 4.

Ex-cop arrested in 1990s torture scandal

CHICAGO - A former high-ranking Chicago police official was arrested Tuesday on charges he lied when he denied that he and detectives under his command tortured murder suspects, federal officials said.

A federal indictment unsealed Tuesday accused former police Lt. Jon Burge of perjury and obstruction of justice for statements he made in 2003 when answering questions for a civil-rights lawsuit.

The arrest capped a long-running controversy over allegations that beatings, electric shocks and death threats were used against suspects at Burge's Area 2 violent crimes headquarters. The allegations contributed to then-Gov. George Ryan's dramatic decision in early 2003 to empty the state's death row.

Police seek motive in anchorwoman's beating

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - Anne Pressly's personality made her a hit with television viewers. Now, police want to know whether her celebrity made her a target.

The popular KATV anchorwoman, who had a small part in the new Bush biopic 'W,' was in critical but stable condition Tuesday after a severe beating in her home. Investigators aren't sure whether she was the random victim of a home invasion or a target because of her high-profile job.

Killing suspect dies with son in deliberate crash

PORTAGE, Ind. - Indiana State Police said a man suspected in a fatal stabbing died with his 2-year-old son when he deliberately crashed his car into a police car.

Officers said the boy was on his father's lap when the man drove into the squad car.

Police said the man went to the home of the boy's mother's early Tuesday in the northwest Indiana town of Portage and found her with another man. Investigators said he held a knife to the woman's throat and the other man was stabbed when he tried to intervene.

Mom accused of buying phone for death row son

HOUSTON - The nation's second-largest prison system is enforcing a lockdown after authorities learned a condemned killer had made threatening calls to a Texas state senator from a cell phone smuggled into death row.

Gov. Rick Perry on Monday ordered the lockdown of the state's 111 prisons and a systemwide search for contraband.

The condemned inmate's 60-year-old mother was arrested and accused of buying minutes for the phone, and investigators said more arrests were expected.