NATION IN BRIEF: NTSB probing wreck involving school buses

The Associated Press. Rescue personnel work at the scene of an accident involving two school buses and a tractor-trailer Thursday on eastbound Interstate 44 near Gray Summit, Mo.

The Associated Press. Rescue personnel work at the scene of an accident involving two school buses and a tractor-trailer Thursday on eastbound Interstate 44 near Gray Summit, Mo.

NTSB probing wreck involving school buses

GRAY SUMMIT, Mo. -- National Transportation Safety Board investigators examining the Missouri crash that killed a 15-year-old school bus passenger and the teen driver of a pickup truck are hopeful they'll learn something to make school buses and road work zones safer, an NTSB official said Friday.

NTSB Vice Chairman Christopher Hart said ''people, vehicles and the environment'' at the crash scene will be evaluated by the team of 14 investigators, though a final report could take up to 18 months.

The accident happened Thursday on Interstate 44, about 40 miles from St. Louis. A semi cab slowed for road construction and was struck by a pickup. Two buses carrying high school band students to Six Flags St. Louis from central Missouri then slammed into that wreck.

The accident killed 15-year-old Jessica Brinker of St. James, seated in the back seat of the first bus; and the pickup driver, 19-year-old Daniel Schatz of Sullivan.

Investigators want undersea evidence at oil spill site

NEW ORLEANS -- Now that BP appears to have vanquished its ruptured well, authorities are turning their attention to gathering evidence from what could amount to a crime scene at the bottom of the sea.

The wreckage -- including the failed blowout preventer and the blackened, twisted remnants of the drilling platform that exploded, burned and sank in mile-deep water in the Gulf in April -- may be Exhibit A in the effort to establish who is responsible for the biggest peacetime oil spill in history.

Hundreds of investigators can't wait to get their hands on evidence. The FBI is conducting a criminal investigation, the Coast Guard is seeking the cause of the blast, and lawyers are pursuing millions of dollars in damages for the families of the 11 workers killed, the dozens injured and the thousands whose livelihoods have been damaged.

Police search for suspected serial killer

FLINT, Mich. -- Investigators said a knife-wielding serial killer has been attacking men on Flint-area streets since May, killing five people and wounding eight others in a vicious spate of violence that may be motivated by racial hatred.

Survivors have described their assailant as a muscular, young white man, and all but one of the 13 victims was black, Flint Police Lt. T.P. Johnson told The Associated Press on Friday. Flint is a predominantly black city, and investigators are unsure if the suspect was targeting blacks or whether the victims were chosen at random.

The victims were all outside alone at night. Survivors have said the attacker approached them under the pretense of needing directions or help with a broken down vehicle.

Laura Bush to speak at Flight 93 anniversary

PITTSBURGH -- Former first lady Laura Bush will speak at an event marking the ninth anniversary of the crash of Flight 93 in western Pennsylvania during the Sept. 11 terror attacks.

The National Park Foundation made the announcement Friday, a day before a joint meeting of the Flight 93 Memorial Task Force and the Flight 93 Federal Advisory Commission. Bush said she's honored to speak at the site and that we ''must never forget the brave sacrifice of these extraordinary men and women.''

Flight 93 was traveling from Newark, N.J., to San Francisco when hijackers took it over on Sept. 11, 2001. It crashed in a field near Shanksville, killing everyone aboard.

HP CEO resigns after probe of harassment

PALO ALTO, Calif. -- Hewlett-Packard Co. said CEO Mark Hurd is stepping down following a sexual harassment probe that found other violations of company standards.

HP said Friday that Hurd decided to leave after the investigation into a sexual harassment claim made against him and the company by a former HP contractor. The probe concludes that the company's sexual-harassment policy was not violated, but that its standards of business conduct were.

Black bear breaks into Montana homes

BILLINGS, Mont. -- A brazen black bear with a late-night hankering for supreme pizza surprised a Montana resident last week, and it's not the first time the animal has eluded capture.

The bear is believed responsible for about 21 break-ins in the Red Lodge area in south-central Montana over the past few weeks.

In the most recent heist, Marek Rosin said he awoke at about 1:30 a.m. on July 29 to find the bear had pushed open the door to his back porch and was raiding his chest freezer.