USA

Police and federal agents closely searched the site of a shooting in Ashland, Va., that, if confirmed, would be the 12th in a series of sniper attacks around or near Washington. The shooting outside a restaurant Saturday night critically wounded one man. Nine people have been killed and two others injured since Oct. 2. In a setback to the case, police charged a man who'd claimed he saw the sniper with filing a false statement.

The Bush administration is considering its response to North Korea's admission of a secret nuclear weapons program, Secretary of State Powell said. "We are looking at what should be the consequences of their action," he told NBC's "Meet the Press." The administration regards a 1994 agreement that provided economic aid to the impoverished communist state in return for a nuclear weapons freeze as effectively nullified, Powell added. He spoke as Assistant Secretary of State James Kelly conferred with Japanese leaders after previous stops in China and South Korea on last week's revelation.

Roman Catholic priests across the US are divided on their bishops' plan to address the clergy sex-abuse scandal, a poll by the Los Angeles Times found. In the survey of more than 1,800 priests nationwide, 55 percent said the plan would restore confidence in the church, while 45 percent rated its "zero tolerance" policy toward accused priests as "fair" to "poor." The Vatican rejected some aspects of the plan Friday, saying they violate church law.

The ex-mayor of York, Pa., was acquitted, although two other men were convicted Saturday in the murder of a black woman during 1969 race riots. The all-white jury deliberated for three days before reaching its verdicts. Charles Robertson, the former mayor, was a police officer at the time of the riots, in which more than 60 people were hurt. Six other defendants await sentencing after pleading guilty. A seventh is awaiting trial.

A Navy seaman was rescued off California's coast early Saturday, after seven hours in the freezing Pacific Ocean. Michael Harris was swept overboard by the backdraft of a jet during training exercises on the USS Constellation, a Navy spokeswoman said. But the Coast Guard ended a search for four Navy pilots whose jets collided Friday during combat training.

One person died and another was injured in violence at a rap concert in Chula Vista, Calif., featuring the artist Nelly, police said. Two men were detained on attempted murder charges.

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