The Conference Board said Thursday that its index of leading economic indicators fell 0.1 percent in January, continuing a decline that has been the biggest since early 2001.

There were early reports of damage but no casualties from a strong earthquake that struck northeastern Nevada Thursday. The magnitude-6.3 temblor was felt as far away as southern California.

Attorneys for US Rep. William Jefferson (D) of Louisiana filed an appeal in federal court, ensuring that jury selection for his trial on bribery and corruption charges will not begin as scheduled Monday. Analysts said the move means a delay perhaps until after the Nov. 4 national election. The appeal seeks dismissal of 14 of the 16 charges against him on grounds that his status as a congressman protects him from prosecution.

A military jury in Hawaii convicted Army Spc. Christopher Shore of aggravated assault in the death of an unarmed Iraqi last June near Kirkuk, rejecting a charge of third-degree murder in the case. Shore has blamed the victim's death on his platoon leader, Sgt. Trey Corrales, who is scheduled be tried for murder April 22.

Thirty-eight current and former members of Duke University's lacrosse team were to file a lawsuit in federal court Thursday against the school, the city of Durham, N.C., and other parties in the infamous 2006 rape case. A spokesman said "violation of privacy" would be among the allegations in the suit. The plaintiffs weren't indicted in the alleged sexual assault of a dancer at a team party but will seek damages, the spokesman said.

Families whose incomes are less than $100,000 a year no longer will be charged tuition for their children to attend Stanford University, the school announced. For those earning less than $60,000, the elite institution also won't charge for room or board. With an endowment of about $17 billion, Stanford has been among wealthy universities pressured by Congress to raise spending on scholarships.

Voting along partisan lines Wednesday, regents of the huge University of Colorado system elected businessman Bruce Benson as its new president. Opponents, led by the faculty and student government, had objected to his Republican Party activism and lack of a postgraduate degree. But Benson (above, leaving a news conference after the vote) brings extensive experience as a fundraiser at a time when the school has lost about $20 million in public financing.

More than a dozen teenagers who lost parents in the 2001 terrorist attacks began installing siding on new houses in New Orleans Wednesday, under a project to help residents displaced by hurricane Katrina.

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