Fourth Man Faces Trial

By U.S. Military Tribunal

The United States has charged a Yemeni man with conspiracy, making him the fourth prisoner held at the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to face trial before a U.S. military tribunal, the Pentagon said yesterday.

Salim Ahmed Hamdan was charged with one count of conspiracy to commit murder, attacks on civilians and terrorism, the Pentagon said. No trial date has been set.

The government will not seek the death penalty against him, said Maj. Michael Shavers, a Pentagon spokesman.

The Pentagon said Hamdan provided security for al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden and other top members of the network that carried out the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on New York and the Pentagon.

The U.S. military commissions -- the first of their kind since World War II -- have faced criticism from human rights groups who argue the rules are rigged to hamstring defense lawyers and produce convictions. The Pentagon has pledged "full and fair" trials.

Man Kills Himself, Woman,

Kids by Setting Car on Fire

SEATTLE -- A man doused his girlfriend and three young children with gasoline inside a car and set them on fire early yesterday as he drove, authorities said. All five died after the car crashed in flames.

Residents reported hearing the crash and seeing two adults engulfed in flames, stumbling across a road near Bonny Lake, a small town east of Tacoma.

Antigone Monique Allen, 18, who had recently filed an assault complaint against the 24-year-old man, survived for about nine hours at a Seattle hospital, sheriff's detective Ed Troyer said. She told investigators what happened before she died. "She was very brave and talked to detectives this morning," Troyer said. The man, whose identity had not been verified, died before reaching the hospital, he said.

Allen told police that the man pulled a gun after he and the others got into the car.

Firefighters found the bodies of the children -- a 6-month-old boy, 11/2-year-old boy and 21/2-year-old girl -- in the back of the car.

* AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. -- The Air Force Academy has begun randomly testing everyone from cadets to civilian employees for steroids amid an investigation into the use of the drugs among students. Four cadets, including two members of the Air Force football team, were charged with possession or distribution of steroids, the school announced last week. A fifth cadet is under investigation, an academy spokesman said.

* SALT LAKE CITY -- The University of Utah agreed to let students opt out of activities that conflict with their religious beliefs, settling a lawsuit brought by Christina Axson-Flynn, a Mormon drama student who refused to recite lines that contained an expletive and took the Lord's name in vain.

* LAKE HUGHES, Calif. -- Despite withering summer heat, firefighters aided by planes slowly gained ground against California wildfires that have burned more than 18,500 acres of brush and forest and caused hundreds of people to evacuate homes. The blazes were burning in Los Angeles County, to the east in Riverside County, to the south in San Diego County and in Yosemite National Park in the Sierra Nevada.

-- From News Services