Man sentenced to life in Tenn. church shooting

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - An out-of-work truck driver smiled Monday as he pleaded guilty to killing two people and wounding six others at a Tennessee church last summer because he hated its liberal politics.

'Yes, ma'am, I am guilty as charged,' Jim D. Adkisson, 58, told Criminal Court Judge Mary Beth Leibowitz before she sentenced him to life in prison without parole.

Adkisson was scheduled to stand trial next month in the July 2008 rampage at the Tennessee Valley United Unitarian Church in Knoxville, but decided to enter a plea deal that virtually guarantees he will never leave prison alive.

Minn. Senate trial judges hope to speed up process

ST. PAUL, Minn. - The judges in Minnesota's Senate trial rejected a complaint from Al Franken on Monday that Norm Coleman's lawyers weren't following trial rules and were slowing things down. But the judges said they would explore other ways to go faster.

Coleman's attorneys are working through about 4,700 rejected absentee ballots one by one, presenting evidence they hope will convince the three-judge panel that the ballots should be added to a race that Franken leads by 225 votes.

While turning aside Franken's specific objection Monday, the judges said they would meet privately with lawyers from both sides later in the day. Judge Kurt Marben said the goal would be to see 'if there is a more expedient way to proceed with the evidence in this case.'

Trial begins for Miss. mayor who destroyed duplex

JACKSON, Miss. - The mayor of Mississippi's largest city led a 'rampage of destruction' when he directed a group of young men to use sticks and sledgehammers to destroy a duplex he considered a crack house, a prosecutor said Monday.

Jackson Mayor Frank Melton, 59, is on trial in federal court for violating the civil rights of the duplex's owner and her tenant.

Oil prices fall despite OPEC postponements

NEW YORK - Oil closed below $40 a barrel for the first time in about three weeks as another round of poor company earnings and job cuts overshadowed an OPEC announcement Monday that dozens of production projects were being tabled.

Light, sweet crude for March delivery fell 61 cents to settle at $39.56 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Oil prices jumped earlier in the day to $42.43 as OPEC Secretary General Abdalla el-Badri's announced that the cartel would postpone 35 of 150 new oil and gas projects.

Widow sues over man's death at detention center

PROVIDENCE, R.I. - A Chinese immigrant held at a privately operated detention center was denied medical care, abused and accused of faking his illness in the weeks before he died of cancer, according to a lawsuit filed Monday by the man's widow.

Hiu Lui 'Jason' Ng, a 34-year-old computer engineer accused of overstaying his visa, died of liver cancer in August, weeks after being taken to the Donald W. Wyatt Detention Facility in Central Falls. His cancer went undiagnosed until days before he died.

Contractor to clean up WWII munitions

WINONA, Texas - A federal contractor plans to begin searching next month for unexploded munitions thought to be spread across 14,000 acres of East Texas.

That now-privately owned land was once part of a World War II infantry training center called Camp Fannin.

Officials said the cleanup by Zapata Inc. could find small-arms ammunition, mines, grenades, rockets and mortars - all used when Camp Fannin was an active military facility from 1943 to 1946.

FDA seeks plans to reduce misuse of painkillers

WASHINGTON - Federal health regulators are requiring more than a dozen drugmakers to develop plans to reduce the misuse of their painkillers, which cause hundreds of deaths each year.

The products targeted by FDA, which come in both pill and patch forms, generally feature extended-release formulas designed to give long-lasting effects. But regulators warned that potency carries serious risks.

'We're focusing on these products because they generally contain very high doses of the drugs and need to be used very carefully,' said Dr. John Jenkins, FDA's chief of new drugs.