Calif. Police Renew Search

At Missing Woman's Home

MODESTO, Calif. -- Police returned to the home of a missing pregnant woman yesterday to search for clues in her disappearance and drove away with her husband's new truck.

The follow-up search came after police said they made unspecified new findings in the case of Laci Peterson, 27.

"Discoveries during the investigation have necessitated the revisiting of the scene," police Detective Doug Ridenour said.

He did not elaborate and said the application for the search warrant had been sealed by court order.

Laci Peterson was last seen Christmas Eve when, according to her husband, Scott, he left to go fishing alone in the San Francisco Bay area. He reported his wife missing when he returned.

Proposal for Referendum

On Georgia Flag Criticized

ATLANTA -- Some Georgia business leaders are criticizing as divisive Gov. Sonny Perdue's proposed referendum on whether to bring back the old state flag with its big Confederate emblem.

"In my opinion, the citizens of the state should not be asked to vote on a flag that's repugnant to a significant portion of the state," said Arthur Blank, co-founder of Home Depot and owner of the Atlanta Falcons football team.

Perdue said last week that he wants the nonbinding vote to be held the same day as the state's presidential primary, in March 2004.

Business executives warned that a controversy over the flag could hurt Atlanta's chances to host a Super Bowl and its bid for the future headquarters of the Free Trade Area of the Americas.

Supporters of the Confederate emblem say it's about southern heritage; blacks and others say it represents racism and slavery. The state NAACP has threatened an economic boycott if Georgia goes back to the old flag.

* PORT SALERNO, Fla. -- A 13-year-old boy drowned mimicking a stunt he had seen in a movie when he tried to swim across a pond with a heavy tow chain wrapped around his waist, his friends said. Anthony Michael Alfonsin and three or four friends were trying to imitate a scene from "Blue Crush," in which a girl training for a surfer competition holds a large rock while running on the ocean bottom. Anthony's friends tried to help him, but the chain was too heavy.

* MIAMI -- A Japanese tourist was arrested after carrying a canister of gasoline and a barbecue grill through Miami International Airport, police said. Atsushi Ishiguro, 45, was charged Friday with creating a potential safety hazard and a violation of airport security directives, police said. Authorities became suspicious during a security screening when they saw stamps from Somalia, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Ethiopia, Zimbabwe and Pakistan in Ishiguro's passport.

-- From News Services