Police surround suspect in 8 killings

APPOMATTOX - A lone shooter killed eight people in central Virginia, with seven bodies found at one home, police said Tuesday.

State police had the suspect, Christopher Speight, 39, circled in the woods late Tuesday near the home and they believed he was still alive, state police Sgt. Thomas Molnar said.

The drama paralyzed the rural area as police swarmed forests trying to flush out the suspect who, at one point in the manhunt, fired at a state police helicopter, forcing it to land with a ruptured fuel tank. No police were injured after one or more rounds struck the helicopter.

Canine units and a National Guard helicopter with thermal imaging equipment were being used to search the woods.


Man found guilty in slapping of child

ATLANTA - A Georgia man has been found guilty of second-degree child cruelty for slapping a crying 2-year-old at a Walmart.

Roger Stephens of Stone Mountain was convicted Tuesday in a Gwinnett County bench trial, which is held without a jury. Stephens, who was 61 when arrested, will spend six months in jail followed by six months of home confinement.

Authorities say the girl and her mother were shopping on Aug. 31, when the toddler began crying. The police report says Stephens approached the mother and said, "If you don't shut that baby up, I will shut her up for you." Authorities say Stephens then slapped her four or five times.


22 arrested in scheme to bribe foreign official

WASHINGTON - Twenty-two executives and employees at suppliers to the military and law enforcement agencies were arrested on the eve of their industry's annual trade show in Las Vegas after a 2 1/2-year undercover sting operation aimed at schemes to bribe a foreign official.

The Justice Department called the case the largest single investigation and prosecution of individuals in the history of the 1977 Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which bars bribery of foreign government officials. It also is the first large-scale use of an undercover operation in enforcing the corrupt practices act.

Obama to name panel to curb budget deficit

WASHINGTON - President Obama is poised to name a special commission to come up with a plan to curb the spiraling budget deficit, top Democrats said Tuesday evening.

The bipartisan 18-member panel would be asked to report a deficit reduction blueprint after the November elections that would be voted on before the new Congress convenes next year.

Obama has signaled that the White House is willing to tackle the deficit this year, and the deficit panel would allow him to signal resolve without recommending specific steps that might offend key interest groups.


Guatemalan is 2nd to die in smuggling try

SAN DIEGO - A Guatemalan woman became the second fatality in a boat packed with suspected illegal immigrants that capsized when it struck a buoy, authorities said Tuesday.

Marbilia Judith Gabriel Mejia died at Scrippos La Jolla Hospital, said hospital spokeswoman Lisa Ohmstede. She declined to disclose the time of death.

The deaths in Saturday's mishap near Torrey Pines State Beach mark the first fatalities since U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement began noting a spike in sea smuggling off the San Diego shores nearly three years ago, said agency spokeswoman Lauren Mack.

There were 24 suspected illegal immigrants aboard the 30-foot boat, including two Mexican men charged with immigrant smuggling, authorities say.

The Associated Press