Joseph Balzer, a former Northwest Airlines pilot convicted in federal court of flying while intoxicated, pleaded guilty to a similar charge in North Dakota with the proviso that he would withdraw the plea if his federal conviction is overturned on appeal. His colleagues, Norman Lyle Prouse and Robert Kirchner, entered similar pleas Thursday.

Two St. Charles, Mo., boys, ages 13 and 10, were charged in the sexual assault and murders of two younger boys who were strangled with their own shoelaces. The naked bodies of Benjamin Hurt, 8, and his friend, Todd Pigg Jr., 7, were found Aug. 14 after a frantic search in the woods where they had been riding their bicycles.

Thurman Thompson, a Vietnam veteran whose application to join an all-white Florence, S.C., American Legion post was rejected last month because he is black, will be invited to join after all, and he says he will accept. The Fred H. Sexton Post 1 had been suspended over the incident. Florence's other Legion post's members are all blacks.

Five people, including two girls aged 4 and 8, were found shot to death along with an empty gasoline can inside a burning house in the New York borough of Queens, officials said. The deaths initially were called an apparent murder-suicide, but officials later said that was not the case.