Vandals Free Animals,

Damage Research Labs

IOWA CITY -- Vandals dumped chemicals, damaged computers and freed research animals at the University of Iowa, and the FBI was investigating, officials said.

Most of the damage took place in the behavioral and cognitive science division of the psychology department.

"This will be a major setback in terms of research," said Gregg Oden, chairman of the department. "We don't know how much damage has been done."

The vandalism included laboratories where research animals were housed. An undetermined number of mice and rats were missing. More than 30 computers were damaged, university officials said.

* LUVERNE, Ala. -- Alleged jury tampering caused a mistrial for Westley Devon Harris, 24, who was charged with killing six members of his girlfriend's family. District Attorney John Andrews said Teresa Rogers, 35, was charged with trying to influence at least one member of the jury, but he declined to give details about what the alleged tampering involved and what connection the woman has to the case. Andrews said Harris will be retried.

* BOSTON -- Five firefighters were injured battling a blaze on British Airways Flight 239 from London, authorities said. Passengers were disembarking when the captain said a cockpit indicator showed a fire in the avionics compartment in the plane's belly.

* HOUSTON -- Norma Gonzalez Sanchez, 44, pleaded guilty for her role in the nation's deadliest human-smuggling case -- the deaths of 19 illegal immigrants crammed into a sweltering trailer. Sanchez pleaded guilty to harboring and transporting illegal immigrants and causing serious injury or death as a result. She admitted that for $1,900, she helped smuggle two people inside the trailer, one of whom died.

* ATLANTA -- Georgia's former superintendent of schools pleaded not guilty to charges that she stole more than $600,000 in education money and spent it on a facelift and her failed campaign for governor. The indictment against Linda Schrenko (R), 54, alleges she took federal money meant for school computers.

* LAREDO, Tex. -- Foreigners entering the United States in three cities were fingerprinted, photographed and subjected to background checks in a test of a program that has been in place at airports and seaports for nearly a year. The border crossings conducting the checks are in Laredo; Douglas, Ariz.; and Port Huron, Mich. Mexicans holding border-crossing cards or laser visas do not have to be checked. Authorities said that 97 percent of border crossers are exempt.

* TILLAMOOK, Ore. -- Edward Morris, 39, who admitted killing his pregnant wife and three children and leaving their bodies in a snowy forest two years ago, was sentenced to four consecutive life terms in prison.

* LOS ANGELES -- A man who pleaded guilty to a federal charge of not registering as an agent for North Korea was sentenced to two years in prison. Prosecutors had alleged that John Joungwoong Yai, 60, secretly worked for North Korea and sent reports to Pyongyang as late as January 2003 through coded faxes and e-mails.

-- From News Services