USA

Police in Maryland confirmed that a bus driver was, as suspected, the 10th person killed in 13 attacks by the Washington-area sniper. If the gunman isn't caught by Election Day, National Guard troops may be posted at polling stations, Maryland Gov. Parris Glendening (D) said. The sniper reportedly has demanded $10 million to end the attacks and has threatened to resume targeting children. A 13-year-old is among three people wounded.

A small number of the 598 detainees from Afghanistan may be released from detention at the US Navy base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, Defense Secretary Rumsfeld said Tuesday. Months of questioning determined they were of little intelligence value, he said. It wasn't clear, however, if the alleged Al Qaeda and Taliban fighters would be released or turned over to their home countries for possible prosecution. Al Qaeda continues to pose a threat to US interests, Rumsfeld noted, saying "We need to ... keep scooping up folks and keep closing their bank accounts."

Cardinal Francis George of Chicago was among four Roman Catholic Church leaders in the US named by the Vatican to a joint commission that will revise a proposed policy on priests accused of sexually abusing minors. Last week, the Vatican said the "zero tolerance" policy conflicted with church law. The commission also will include the archbishop of San Francisco, the bishops of Rockford, Ill., and Bridgeport, Conn., as well as four Vatican representatives. The appointments came as the Milwaukee Archdiocese held a "listening session" for alleged abuse victims and their families. Michael Sweesby was among those who spoke out.

A strong, 6.2 magnitude earthquake shook much of Alaska, waking residents before dawn Wednesday as far as 350 miles from its epicenter near Denali National Park, a state warning center said. There were no immediate reports of injuries. The quake occurred on an active fault several miles underground, seismologists said.

Former CIA director Richard Helms, who died Tuesday night, was a known as a dedicated yet controversial figure who led the agency through some of its most difficult years. After refusing President Nixon's request to block an FBI investigation into the Watergate scandal, Helms was fired and sent to Iran as ambassador. He later was convicted of misleading a Senate investigation into intelligence activities, given a suspended two-year jail sentence and ordered to pay a $2,000 fine.

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