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NATION IN BRIEF: Honda recalling 400K vehicles

The Associated Press. Honda Motor Co. said Monday it is recalling vehicles including 2003 model year Accords and Civics and 2003-04 versions of the Honda Element, seen above.

The Associated Press. Honda Motor Co. said Monday it is recalling vehicles including 2003 model year Accords and Civics and 2003-04 versions of the Honda Element, seen above.

Honda recalling 400K vehicles

WASHINGTON -- Honda Motor Co. is recalling the popular Accord and Civic passenger cars to address problems with an ignition switch that could allow the key to be removed without the transmission being shifted into park, its third recall over the problem since 2003.

Honda said the most recent recall involved 384,220 vehicles and includes 2003 model year Accord and Civics and 2003-04 versions of the Honda Element. Honda told the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that the defect with the automatic transmissions could lead to a vehicle rolling away and increase the risk of a crash.

Final plug targeted as BP resumes relief well work

NEW ORLEANS -- BP crews were drilling cautiously Monday to finish a relief well designed to shoot a permanent plug into the oil gusher that polluted the Gulf of Mexico for more than 12 weeks.

Engineers were drilling the final 100 feet of the well in 20- to 30-foot increments before stopping to check it is still on track to hit the busted well, said retired Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen, the government's point man overseeing the cleanup operation. They hope the two well bores will intersect by the end of the week.

The oil is already being kept in its underground reservoir by thousands of gallons of mud and cement that were poured last week through a cap that had been keeping the crude out of the water since July 15. The cement cap poured on top of the oil hardened enough over the weekend to create a solid seal, BP said.

No one at BP or with the government has been willing to declare victory over the spill, but Allen said Monday he is confident that that day isn't far away.

Police capture 1 of 2 escapees from Ariz. prison

PHOENIX -- Federal agents on Monday captured one of two inmates who escaped from an Arizona prison as he walked, armed with a handgun and a hitchhiking sign, in Wyoming, and were still hunting for the other fugitive and a suspected accomplice.

Convicted killer Tracy Province told authorities he was relieved that the manhunt was over for him when he was arrested about 6:20 a.m. in Meeteetse, Wyo., about 60 miles outside of Yellowstone National Park, said David Gonzales, the U.S. Marshal for Arizona.

The other inmate, John McCluskey, as well as suspected accomplice Casslyn Welch, were still on the lam.

US alleges third murder plot in NY hotel heir slaying

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. -- Federal prosecutors alleged a third murder plot Monday in connection with the killing of a Florida millionaire in a suburban New York hotel.

''We have learned of efforts to kill another witness,'' assistant U.S. Attorney Elliott Jacobson said during the arraignment of the victim's widow, Narcy Novack, 53, of Fort Lauderdale.

Jacobson did not identify the witness or say who was behind the alleged plot, but he mentioned it while arguing against bail for Novack.

Novack, her brother and three other men were charged last month in the death of her husband, Ben Novack Jr., who was found beaten to death at the Hilton in Rye Brook in July 2009. His company had organized an Amway convention at the hotel.

Tests show no tampering of mine monitors where 29 died

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Tests of methane monitors taken from the scene of the worst U.S. coal mining disaster in decades show the safety devices had not been tampered with before the explosion, the head of West Virginia's mine safety program said Monday.

The monitors were taken from a longwall mining machine near the site of an April 5 explosion at Massey Energy's Upper Big Branch mine. The blast killed 29 miners and injured two.

Methane monitors are designed to shut down mining machines when they encounter explosive levels of gas. State and federal investigators sought the tests following claims by former Massey employees that monitors were routinely electronically ''bridged'' so machines would keep running.

Ohio killer faces execution today

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- A man who murdered two former co-workers and tried to kill a third at a veterinary supply warehouse in northeast Ohio faces execution today.

Gov. Ted Strickland has rejected clemency for Roderick Davie, a day before his scheduled death by injection. Davie's attorney said he has no pending appeals.