New GM rolling off assembly line
DETROIT - The new General Motors is about to roll off the assembly line as a leaner, greener model, maybe even a profitable one, too.
Once the world's largest and most powerful automaker, the troubled company was expected to emerge from bankruptcy protection by today cleansed of massive debt and burdensome contracts that would have sunk it without federal loans.
The new company, 61 percent owned by the U.S. government, will clear bankruptcy in record time to face a brutally competitive global automotive market in the middle of the worst sales slump in a quarter-century.
Four accused of digging up bodies
ALSIP, Ill. - Four workers were charged Thursday in an elaborate scheme in which hundreds of corpses were dug up at a historic black cemetery near Chicago and strewn in a weeded area or reburied with other bodies so that plots could be resold, authorities said.
Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart said more than a dozen FBI agents would help sort through the evidence and identify bodies at the Burr Oak Cemetery, as distraught families waited to find out if their loved ones were among those whose graves were plundered.
Many notable black Americans were buried at the site, including civil rights lynching victim Emmett Till and blues legend Dinah Washington. Dart said Till's grave was not disturbed, but that he wasn't sure about the graves of Washington and others.
Five dead in Amtrak crash
CANTON TOWNSHIP, Mich. - An Amtrak passenger train carrying about 170 people struck a car at a road crossing near Detroit on Thursday, killing all five people in the sedan, authorities said. The victims were believed to be teens.
The crossing has a gate and flashing lights that were believed to be working when the car approached, said Sgt. Mark Gajeski, a police spokesman. Based on witness accounts, police suspect the people in the sedan tried to go around the gate and were hit, he said.
The victims were believed to be four males, ages 17 and 18, and a 14-year-old female, he said, based on who was supposed to be in the car at the time, according to its registered owner.
Swim club looking at racial claim
HUNTINGDON VALLEY, Pa. - A suburban Philadelphia swim club accused of kicking out a group of minority children visiting from the city denies any racial discrimination.
In a statement posted on its Web site Thursday afternoon, The Valley Club in Huntingdon Valley says accusations of racism toward the Creative Steps day camp are untrue.
The statement says the club doesn't have the capacity to deal with outside groups and returned funds to more than one camp.
Creative Steps director Alethea Wright says the camp paid for weekly swim time. But she says during a trip there June 29 some of the children said they heard people asking what 'black kids' were doing at the club.
Oil prices hover near $60
NEW YORK - Oil prices wavered around $60 per barrel Thursday with new consumer and employment data casting a pall over energy markets, but still rose slightly at the close for the first time in more than a week.
Benchmark crude for August delivery rose 27 cents to settle at $60.41 a barrel.
Fans honor ex-NFL QB McNair
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Fans turned out by the thousands Thursday, donning their Tennessee Titans gear or their finest clothes on a steamy hot day for the chance to honor slain ex-NFL quarterback Steve McNair's accomplishments and charity work.
They lined up outside a funeral home to view the closed silvery-gray casket topped with white lilies next to a portrait of the former Titans star.
Tremors detected on San Andreas
LOS ANGELES - Scientists have detected a spike in underground rumblings on a section of California's San Andreas Fault that produced a magnitude-7.8 earthquake in 1857.
What these mysterious vibrations say about future earthquakes is far from certain. But some think the deep tremors suggest underground stress may be building up faster than expected and may indicate an increased risk of a major temblor.