Senate majority leader Bill Frist walked a fine line Sunday on the issue of judges and voting on judicial nominees. Caught in the middle of a debate over "activist judges," the Tennessee Republican endorsed speaking out when judicial decisions are "outside mainstream values," but he also said that no matter how judges rule, "the balance of power among all three branches [of government] requires respect, not retaliation." The remarks were part of a pretaped address for a Sunday night church rally in Louisville, Ky., organized by the Family Research Council for a national broadcast. The thrust of the rally, which Frist endorsed, is that Democrats should not be able to oppose "people of faith" by filibustering a vote on President Bush's court nominees.

Robert Parton, a former senior investigator from the independent probe into allegations of corruption in the UN's $64 billion oil-for-food program, confirmed Saturday that he had resigned to protest a report clearing Secretary-General Kofi Annan of meddling. Parton said his reason for leaving was misrepresented by remaining members of the investigative team - that it was a matter of principle and not because his work was complete.

Patrick Ryan, New York City's chief of ferry operations, pleaded guilty to negligent manslaughter in the 2003 Staten Island ferry crash that killed 11 people. Ryan had not enforced a rule requiring all ferries be operated by two pilots. The vessel in question was piloted by one skipper, who passed out, resulting in the ferry ramming a maintenance pier. Ryan faces a maximum sentence of one year in prison.

Alex Smith, who quarterbacked the University of Utah to an undefeated 2004 season, was selected first by the San Francisco 49ers in the National Football League's annual draft. Smith will try to revive a team that has struggled since the retirements of Hall of Fame quarterbacks Joe Montana and Steve Young and that slipped to a 2-14 record last year.

Up to a foot of snow was expected in eastern Michigan and northern Ohio Sunday. The National Weather Service said the snow should stop by Monday and temperatures return to seasonal norms for much of the region.

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