Harry Whittington, who was accidentally shot by Vice President Cheney on a weekend quail-hunting trip in Texas, is "doing well" and is expected to be released early this week, a Corpus Christi hospital spokesman said Monday. Whittington, an Austin attorney and longtime Cheney friend, was peppered by shotgun pellets as he went to retrieve a bird and Cheney failed to spot him. The incident occurred on a private ranch about 60 miles southwest of Corpus Christi.

A second inmate died in more than a week of racially charged fights in the huge Los Angeles County penal system. The fatality occurred in the Men's Central Jail Sunday when four Hispanic prisoners fought with two black inmates in a six-man cell, killing one of them. Meanwhile, two larger brawls involving about 130 inmates were quelled by tear gas and pellet weapons at a detention facility in Castaic. A system-wide lockdown is in effect that calls for restricted movement within the jails.

Investigators of 10 Baptist church fires in rural Alabama said they believe the crimes of arson were committed by a pair of white men in their 20s or 30s who are close friends. There is no racial pattern to the crimes. The conclusions are based on behavioral profiles and witness accounts of seeing two men in a sport utility vehicle near a number of the fires.

About 130 firefighters mopped up hot spots of an 11,000-acre blaze at the edge of California's Orange County suburbs after authorities declared it fully contained Sunday. Total damage from the fire could reach $9 million, officials estimate.

Travelers stranded by a weekend snowstorm that blanketed the Eastern seaboard headed home Monday. In New York, where a record 26.9 inches fell in Central Park, 2,200 plows worked to clear the city's 6,300 miles of streets. After Kennedy International Airport reopened Sunday night, a Turkish Airlines flight skidded off the runway, although none of the 198 passengers was injured and it was not clear that the mishap was weather-related.

Six inmates who escaped from the Cook County Jail in Chicago over the weekend were back in custody Monday after the final two fugitives were apprehended.

Author Peter Benchley, who died over the weekend in Princeton, N.J., was best known for his 1974 novel, "Jaws," about a shark that terrorizes a resort community. Benchley also co-wrote the screenplay for Steven Spielberg's blockbuster movie of the same name. Benchley later expressed regret at demonizing sharks and became a leading advocate of shark conservation efforts.

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