USA

Police in Orlando, Fla., arrested 17 people after fistfights broke out among counterprotesters at a neo-Nazi march through a predominantly black neighborhood Saturday. None of those booked was among about 30 swastika-wearing members of the National Socialist Movement, who exchanged insults with counterdemonstrators. More than 300 police were present to prevent a repeat of the rioting and destruction that occurred at a similar event in Toledo, Ohio, last October.

The FBI said more tests are being conducted to determine whether a white powdery substance found in a University of Texas dormitory late last week is the poison ricin, which is considered a potential chemical weapon. The building was cleared and sanitized and two students were checked for potential exposure. The powder spilled from a roll of quarters a student had intended to use in washing her laundry. It had been in her room for several months. Officials said there was no link to terrorism.

Comedian Don Knotts, who died in Los Angeles, was best known for his role as bumbling deputy Barney Fife on TV's "The Andy Griffith Show." Earlier, Knotts was an original cast member of "The Steve Allen Show," a comedy-variety series that ran from 1956 to 1960. Altogether, he appeared in 25 movies and seven TV series.

Reform-minded California prison boss Roderick Hickman, an appointee of Gov. Arnold Schwarz-enegger (R), said he would formally resign Monday. Hickman said the governor remains interested in change but that resistance from the powerful prison guards' union and other special interests was too great to "get much done." The resignation is not related to the recent ethnic violence in the Los Angeles County jails, which are outside the state prison system.

Governors attending their association's winter meeting will meet Monday with President Bush and his cabinet at the White House. Some are expected to press the federal government to follow through in reimbursing states for drug costs. Problems with a new Medicare drug benefit, which began Jan. 1, have forced states to temporarily pay for the prescriptions of many poor people.

Alicia Keys won top song, music video, and female artist honors at the 37th Annual Image Awards Saturday in Los Angeles. The awards honor African- American artists in movies, television, music, and literature.

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