NATION IN BRIEF: Robots position giant box over oil-spewing well

The Associated Press. A containment vessel is lowered into the Gulf of Mexico on Thursday at the site of the Deepwater Horizon rig collapse.

The Associated Press. A containment vessel is lowered into the Gulf of Mexico on Thursday at the site of the Deepwater Horizon rig collapse.

ON THE GULF OF MEXICO -- Underwater robots positioned a giant 100-ton concrete-and-steel box over a blown-out well at the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico on Friday as workers prepared to drop the device to the seafloor in a first-of-its-kind attempt to stop oil gushing into the sea.

A spokesman for oil giant BP PLC, which is in charge of the cleanup, said the box was suspended about 200 feet above the main leak Friday and was being moved into position, though it could be today before that happens.

Several undersea cameras attached to the robots were making sure it was properly aligned before it plunged all the way to the bottom.

Water cooler causes Times Square scare

NEW YORK -- Police cleared streets around Times Square on Friday and called in the bomb squad after finding a cooler and a shopping bag left on a sidewalk about a block from where a failed car bomb was found over the weekend. They opened streets to traffic after finding out the cooler contained only water bottles.

A nearby shopping bag had books and a gift wrapped in pink tissue paper.

Police had earlier cordoned off a pedestrian mall and nearby streets with yellow tape around 1:15 p.m., while yelling ''Get back, get back'' at onlookers and guiding bomb-sniffing dogs through the area.

The bomb squad X-rayed the soft-sided green cooler and the bag found on the pedestrian mall to determine, ''in an abundance of caution,'' whether it posed a threat, NYPD spokesman Paul Browne said.

Feds: Lawrence Taylor admitted paying for sex

NEW YORK -- Disgraced gridiron great Lawrence Taylor admitted paying for sex at a suburban Holiday Inn where police say he raped a 16-year-old runaway, federal prosecutors said Friday in a criminal complaint against the girl's alleged pimp.

The papers filed in federal court in Manhattan refer to Taylor only as ''Client-1.''

In the paperwork, authorities claim the Pro Football Hall of Famer told police following his arrest on Thursday that he had taken a car service from Newark International Airport to the hotel north of New York City to meet ''Victim-1.''

Taylor told investigators that after ''engaging in sex acts'' with the victim, he paid her $300 in cash, the complaint says. The man charged in the complaint, Rasheed Davis, had told the Giants legend that the girl was 19, the court papers say.

Taylor, 51, was charged Thursday in Suffern, N.Y., with third-degree rape and patronizing a prostitute. His lawyer, Arthur Aidala, has denied the charges.

S. Calif. teacher gets 2 years for sex with teen

BURBANK, Calif. -- A former Burbank teacher has been sentenced to two years in state prison for having sex with a 14-year-old boy for several months.

Thirty-three-year-old Amy Beck was also ordered to register as a sex offender, but she could be released in 10 months with credit for time served.

The mother of three kept her head down and was silent during her sentencing Friday in Burbank.

Beck resigned from David Starr Jordan Middle School a week before she walked into a police station in March and confessed to having a six-month relationship with a former student that ended in September. She said she was guilt-ridden.

Police: 2 charged in bus bomb scare

PORTSMOUTH, N.H. -- A man whose overheard phone conversation on a Greyhound bus sparked a bomb scare and daylong standoff won't face criminal charges, but two other passengers were arrested for their behavior after leaving the bus.

John Smolens, of Lewiston, Maine, was charged with resisting arrest for refusing to follow orders after getting off the Maine-to-New York bus, police said Friday. Calvin Segar, of New York City, was charged with obstructing government administration for allegedly giving police a fake name. Both were due in court Friday afternoon.

The bomb scare began Thursday morning when a passenger overheard a man speaking a foreign language on a cell phone, police said. The passenger then heard someone say -- in English -- that there was a bomb on board and decided to call 911, authorities said.