NATION IN BRIEF: Mega Millions, Powerball to cross-sell tickets

DES MOINES, Iowa — No need to cross state lines to get the big-jackpot lotto tickets. Dozens of states will begin selling both Mega Millions and Powerball tickets on Sunday, moving the U.S. a step closer to having a national lottery.

By the time all the states sign on to the new system this spring, the nation's two biggest lotteries will be sold in 43 states plus Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Powerball, with drawings on Wednesdays and Saturdays, is played in 31 states, Washington, D.C. and the U.S Virgin Islands. Twenty-three of those places will sell tickets for Mega Millions beginning with the Feb. 2 drawing. Mega Millions, with drawings on Tuesdays and Fridays, is played in 12 states. Ten of them will sell tickets for Powerball starting with the Feb. 3 drawing.

The change could end the tradition of driving into a border state to buy tickets for another game when jackpots climb.

Body in backyard is missing Fla. lottery winner

PLANT CITY, Fla. — A body found buried in a backyard was identified Friday as missing Florida lottery winner Abraham Shakespeare.

The Hillsborough County Sheriff's office said the remains were identified through fingerprints, but a cause of death likely won't be known until Monday. The body was found Thursday at a Plant City home connected to a woman who had befriended Shakespeare.

The 43-year-old truck driver's assistant disappeared in April, though he wasn't reported missing until November. He had won a $31 million lottery jackpot in 2006, opting for a lump sum payment of nearly $17 million.

John Edwards' ex-mistress wants tape returned

HILLSBOROUGH, N.C. — The ex-mistress of two-time presidential candidate John Edwards wants a ‘‘very private and personal'' videotape back from a campaign aide who wrote a book about the politician, according to court documents.

Rielle Hunter was granted a temporary restraining order against former Edwards loyalist Andrew Young in a North Carolina court. It seeks the return of photos and videos, including one she says she made in 2006 while working for Edwards.

In his book, Young describes viewing a sex tape that showed Edwards and a woman he assumed was Hunter. Young said some videotapes were inside a ‘‘box of trash'' that Hunter left behind at a home he rented for her. He said that the tape had been pulled out of its cassette casing, but that he was able to fix it.

Toyota sends new gas pedals to factories

DETROIT — The Associated Press has learned that Toyota is sending new gas pedal systems to car factories rather than dealerships who want the parts to take care of millions of customers whose pedals may stick.

Toyota spokesman Brian Lyons confirms information in a company e-mail obtained by the AP that says parts were shipped to factories. Lyons said that's how the company normally distributes parts.

But some dealers say they should get the parts first because they now have no way to fix the pedals on any of the 4.2 million recalled vehicles affecting eight U.S. models.

Heavy snow, ice bury southern Plains, head east

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Southeastern states were bracing Friday as snow began to fall from a storm that has already toppled Midwestern power lines, closed major highways, buried parts of the southern Plains in heavy ice and snow and left tens of thousands of people in the dark.

Snow and sleet began falling Friday in Tennessee, and forecasters said some parts of the Southeast could see up to a foot of accumulation.

The heaviest snow was expected in Arkansas near the Missouri state line, northern Tennessee near the Kentucky and Virginia borders and western North Carolina, according to the National Weather Service.

‘Geezer Bandit' strikes sixth San Diego bank

SAN DIEGO — The FBI says the so-called ‘‘Geezer Bandit'' has struck again in San Diego.

The FBI said a frail, elderly man gave a clerk a note demanding money and pulled a handgun Wednesday at San Diego National Bank. He left with an unspecified amount of cash.

FBI officials said they believe the man, who wore a white hooded sweat shirt and white ball cap, is the same man who has robbed five other banks in La Jolla, Rancho Santa Fe, San Diego and Santee since August.