Ky. Governor Says He'll

Pardon Targets of Probe

FRANKFORT, Ky. -- Gov. Ernie Fletcher (R) granted blanket pardons to current and former members of his administration who have been charged in an investigation into alleged improper hiring.

The move Monday came on the eve of Fletcher's appearance before a grand jury investigating his administration's hiring practices.

"I cannot allow state government to continue to be consumed by this game of political 'gotcha,' paralyzing our ability to serve," Fletcher said at the Capitol Rotunda.

He said he would appear before the grand jury but would not testify. The grand jury was impaneled in June and has charged nine current and former members of Fletcher's administration with misdemeanor violations of the state's personnel law for allegedly basing hiring on political considerations rather than merit.

* EL PASO -- Federal lawyers told an immigration judge that accused terrorist and Cuban militant Luis Posada Carriles is not eligible for asylum in the United States, and the judge ruled that if Posada is deported, he will be sent to Venezuela to stand trial for allegedly plotting the 1976 bombing of a Cuban jetliner that killed 73 people.

* SASH, Tex. -- Freddie L. Cranshaw fatally shot four people near the Assembly of God and then killed himself after a nine-hour standoff with police, authorities said. Wes Brown, 61, James Armstrong, 42, Ceri Litterio, 46, and Holly Love Brown, 50, were killed.

* NEW YORK -- A federal judge ordered the Defense Department to ask detainees at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, whether they want their names made public.

* WAXAHACHIE, Tex. -- A car carrying Al Sharpton to an airport after he visited antiwar activist Cindy Sheehan at her camp outside President Bush's ranch led sheriff's deputies on a nine-mile chase at speeds up to 110 mph before state troopers stopped the vehicle and arrested driver Jarrett B. Maupin, 43, authorities said.

-- From News Services