Grand Canyon, Catalinas Soaked

PHOENIX -- Storms drenched the Grand Canyon, producing flash floods and mudslides that injured four, undermined a water line and closed a major trail.

Southern Arizona's Catalina Mountains were the hardest hit as six inches of rain fell overnight, pushing campers to the rooftops of trailside toilets for rescue by helicopters after a seven-foot wall of water rushed through Sabino Canyon, a popular camping spot.

On Wednesday, more than three inches drenched the Grand Canyon, leading officials to close the main trail from the South Rim to the canyon's floor.

Two of the four injured in the canyon had broken legs, and parts of the nine-mile Bright Angel Trail were washed out or covered by mudslides, rock falls and debris, officials said. Other trails were open, but the park set a moratorium on backcountry hiking and camping permits until the main trail is repaired, which might take three weeks.

Suspect Unaware of Death Penalty

HOUSTON -- Before he gave himself up, suspected "railroad killer" Angel Maturino Resendez apparently was unaware that he could be executed by Texas, his court-appointed attorney said.

Officials did not explicitly refer to the death penalty in talks with Maturino Resendez and his family, lawyer Allen Tanner said. "They told him that if he turned himself in he would be treated humanely, and if they attempt to seek the death penalty, he does not consider that to be treated humanely," Tanner said.

U.S. authorities believe Maturino Resendez, a Mexican national, has killed at least nine people, and the FBI said it is studying whether clues from more than 200 unsolved killings may be linked to him.


ATLANTA -- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended that doctors temporarily stop giving children the RotaShield diarrhea vaccine because at least 20 infants have developed a bowel obstruction. The CDC said the vaccine against rotavirus -- an intestinal infection -- has not been conclusively linked to bowel obstruction, but early studies show the Wyeth-Ayerst Laboratories vaccine may increase the risk.

U.S. beach closings and safety advisories rose by 75 percent in 1998 to a record 7,236, largely reflecting pollution caused by the El Nin~o weather phenomenon, the Natural Resources Defense Council said.

CHICAGO -- Illinois sued the white supremacist World Church of the Creator and its leader, Matthew Hale, asking a judge on Wednesday to decide whether the East Peoria group is a charity. If it is declared a charity, the state wants it to account for its funds.

NEW YORK -- Arlene Reingold and Arlene Lieberman pleaded guilty to smuggling 17 Mexican babies across the border and placing them in American homes for $20,000 or more. Each was ordered to pay $43,500 restitution to the American families.