NATION IN BRIEF: Times Square suspect bought gun in former hometown

The Associated Press. The Valley Firearms gun shop in Shelton, Conn. is shown Wednesday. Faisal Shahzad, the suspect in the failed Times Square car bomb incident, bought a gun at Valley Firearms, police said.

The Associated Press. The Valley Firearms gun shop in Shelton, Conn. is shown Wednesday. Faisal Shahzad, the suspect in the failed Times Square car bomb incident, bought a gun at Valley Firearms, police said.

NEW HAVEN, Conn. -- Police said the Times Square bomb suspect had passed a criminal background check and legally bought a gun from a dealer about two months ago in his former hometown in Connecticut.

Shelton Chief Joel Hurliman said the owner of Valley Firearms confirmed Faisal Shahzad bought a Kel-Tec rifle and passed a 14-day waiting period for the background check. The shop owner declined to comment when contacted Wednesday by The Associated Press.

New York Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said Shahzad drove to New York's Kennedy Airport with a gun bought in Connecticut two months ago.

Investigators have said a gun was discovered in the car Shahzad left there. He was hauled off a Dubai-bound plane Monday night after being allowed to board despite being under surveillance and on the federal no-fly list.

Klan leader pleads guilty to killing woman

COVINGTON, La. -- The leader of a Ku Klux Klan group in Louisiana pleaded guilty Wednesday to killing an Oklahoma woman -- an erratic recruit who a witness said yelled ''I want out'' the day after her initiation.

Raymond Foster, 49, of Bogalusa, was immediately sentenced to life in prison for second-degree murder by state District Judge Peter Garcia.

Cynthia Lynch, 43, a Klan recruit from Tulsa, Okla., was shot and killed in November 2008, the day after initiation rites in rural St. Tammany Parish, about 50 miles north of New Orleans.

Women subdue man accused of stabbing on Maine campus

BANGOR, Maine -- Five female students, including one who had recently completed a self-defense class, jumped to the aid of a fellow student, grabbing her knife-wielding attacker and holding him until police officers arrived at Husson University, officials said Wednesday.

Jesse Hladik put her new skills to work when she lunged for the hand holding a knife, while fellow students grabbed the man's other limbs and wrestled him to the ground. Hladik, 21, of Buckfield, said she knew the pressure points to make him drop the knife, thanks to the class.

Nashville's honky-tonks silenced by deadly flooding

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- While city officials reported progress Wednesday restoring Nashville's electrical and water systems after a devastating flood, the downtown remained dark, homes were sodden and patience was wearing thin four days after flash flooding and storms blamed for at least 29 deaths in three states.

Nashville's country music scene also began assessing damage from the floods. The city is considered the heart of country music, and the blazing fiddles and screaming guitars in Nashville's famed downtown honky-tonks were a little quieter as business owners pumped water out of their restaurants and bars.

City officials said Wednesday that electrical and water services were beginning to return to normal. But as the city hurries to get one of its two water treatment plants back on line, water utility director Scott Potter repeated calls to conserve saying they ''aren't taking hold yet.''

National Zoo: Rare oryx, extinct in the wild, born

FRONT ROYAL, Va. -- The National Zoo said a scimitar-horned oryx has been born at its conservation center in Virginia -- the zoo's first such birth in 13 years.

Oryx are extinct in the wild. They are known for their curved horns that can be several feet long.

The female calf announced Wednesday was born April 9. She is the offspring of 3-year-old mother Jena and 13-year-old Dr. Bob.

The zoo is renewing efforts to breed the oryx, a type of desert antelope. There are now 16 of them at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Front Royal and one at the zoo in Washington.

Weekly paper shows Obamas as actors from 'Sanford and Son'

GARDEN CITY, N.Y. -- A weekly newspaper photo depicting President Barack Obama and his wife as characters from the TV sitcom ''Sanford and Son'' was intended as political satire and not a racist commentary, the publisher said Wednesday.

Phillip Sciarello, publisher and part owner of the Smithtown Messenger on New York's Long Island, defended the decision to publish the photo, but added the newspaper would run a retraction in its next edition for anyone who might have been offended.