Ophelia Inches Toward Outer Banks

WILMINGTON, N.C. -- Ophelia kept up its teasing dance along the coast of the Carolinas on Monday, dropping slightly in strength from hurricane to tropical storm as it barely moved toward land.

Although Ophelia was centered more than 200 miles offshore, nonresidents were ordered to leave one of North Carolina's Outer Banks islands, 300 National Guard troops were sent to mustering points along the coast, and schools in five counties closed. The storm's eye was predicted to remain offshore until Wednesday.

Ophelia was a minimal hurricane early Monday with sustained winds of 75 mph, but by midday it had weakened to about 70 mph, 4 mph below the threshold, the National Hurricane Center said. Meteorologists warned, though, that the system had the potential to regain hurricane strength. At 11 p.m. Monday, forecasters issued a hurricane warning from Cape Lookout, N.C., south to Edisto Beach, S.C., meaning hurricane conditions were expected by late Tuesday.

With the storm's path uncertain, South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford (R) called for a voluntary evacuation of oceanfront and riverside areas in his state's northeastern corner. He was joined by officials in North Carolina's adjacent Brunswick County.

* NEWARK -- A federal judge sentenced British businessman Hemant Lakhani, 70, to 47 years in prison for providing financial support for terrorist activities against the United States. Lakhani was convicted in April of trying to sell a shoulder-fired missile to a man posing as a terrorist group member.

* NEWARK -- An FBI intelligence analyst with top-secret clearance was charged with passing classified information about Filipino leaders to current and former officials of that nation. The analyst, Leandro Aragoncillo, 46, of Woodbury, N.J., sent some of the material to Michael Ray Aquino, 39, a former deputy director of the Philippines National Police who lives in New York, according to an FBI complaint. Both men were arrested Saturday. Aragoncillo was hired to work at the Army's Fort Monmouth in July 2004 and began sending classified information and documents in January, according to the complaint.

* HAYWARD, Calif. -- Two men who had sex with a transgender teenager and then discovered she was biologically male were convicted of her murder but cleared of hate-crime charges. Michael Magidson and Jose Merel, both 25, face mandatory prison sentences of 15 years to life for killing Gwen Araujo, 17, who was beaten, tied up and strangled. The jury was deadlocked in the case of a third man, Jason Cazares, 25.

* WAKEMAN, Ohio -- Sheriff's deputies found 11 children locked in cages rigged with alarms in a house about 50 miles west of Cleveland. A judge put the children in foster homes; they range in age from 1 to 14 and have various disabilities, including autism. Mike and Sharen Gravelle are adoptive or foster parents for all 11 children, officials said. Prosecutors were reviewing the case, but no charges had been filed as of Monday night.

-- From News Services