USA

Polygamist sect leader Warren Jeffs was convicted Tuesday in Utah of being an accomplice to rape for forcing a 14-year-old follower to marry her 19-year-old cousin. The jury viewed the act as child abuse, disregarding defense arguments of religious persecution against Jeffs, head of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Jeffs could get life in prison.

Orders for US-made durable goods dropped 4.9 percent in August, the sharpest decline in seven months, the Commerce Department said Wednesday.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates asked Congress Wednesday for nearly $190 billion for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan in 2008. This is about a third more than initial projections, with the extra needed for refurbishing worn equipment, consolidating bases, and purchasing vehicles that can better protect troops.

Crews searching for aviator Steve Fossett, who has been missing since Sept. 3, will use new leads based on Air Force analysis of radar and satellite images to look for him near Death Valley in Nevada.

Nike unveiled Tuesday what it said is the first shoe designed for American Indians: the Air Native N7 (above, shown by an employee). The shoes are made for wider, taller feet. They will be distributed exclusively to American Indians, with all profits reinvested in tribal programs aimed at promoting fitness and combating high obesity rates.

Rep. John Conyers (D) of Michigan, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, said Tuesday that he'll pressure the Justice Department to release black teenager Mychal Ball, who's been imprisoned in the Jena 6 case. Conyers referred to "miscarriages of justice" involving six black teens arrested for an attack on a white student in Jena, La., a case that recently spurred one of the biggest civil rights demonstrations in years.

The Transportation Department's inspector general recommended Tuesday that the government require airports to adopt action plans for letting passengers off planes whenever they're delayed two or more hours.

John Dreves, the "Can Man" of Paradise, Mich., has collected nearly 89,000 returnables (at 10 cents apiece) to support a tiny school's sports program on Michigan's Upper Peninsula, according to the Detroit Free Press. The money goes toward athletic expenses at the K-12 Whitefish Township School.

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