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2 of George charges dropped

The Office of Independent Counsel prosecuting the Iran-Contra affair on Monday dropped two of the nine counts against Clair George, a former top CIA official scheduled to go on trial for a second time on charges of lying to Congress. By dropping the two counts and altering two others in the indictment against George, prosecutors appear to be trying to streamline the case to make the charges easier for a jury to grasp when the case goes to trial later this month.

Teens set homeless man ablaze

NEW YORK _ A 31-year-old homeless man was seriously injured early Sunday after four teenagers set him on fire as he lay sleeping in a Bronx subway station, transit police said. A 25-year-old man on his way to work grabbed a fire extinguisher from a token booth and put out the flames. The victim, whose name was not released, was in critical condition at Bronx Municipal Hospital Center with burns over 75 percent of his body.

State told to force VMI change

RICHMOND, Va. _ The state can continue to support Virginia Military Institute only if it forces the school to admit women or offers them similar training elsewhere, a federal appeals court said Monday. A three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals stopped short of ordering VMI to change its all-male admissions policy. Instead, it sent a lawsuit filed by the federal government back to U.S. District Judge Jackson Kiser of Roanoke and ordered the state to implement a policy guaranteeing women's rights.

Trash compactor crushes couple

WASHINGTON _ A man and a woman who were out of money and sleeping in a trash bin were crushed when they were accidentally dumped into a garbage compactor. The man was killed and his female companion seriously injured. The accident occurred early Saturday, after a trash truck driver failed to hear the couple's screams, which apparently were drowned out by the noise of the machinery. Ronald Washington, 45, a laborer with a moving company, died when his neck was broken. Ingrid Autry, 44, was listed in stable condition Sunday in the hospital after undergoing surgery.

Man accused of hitting attendant

CLEVELAND _ A man who allegedly punched a flight attendant in the face when she told him he could not stand in an aisle to smoke a cigarette was indicted by a federal grand jury. Authorities said Albert Lancry punched the Trans World Airlines attendant during a Nov. 5, 1991, flight from Tel Aviv, Israel, to Paris. The attendant was knocked to the floor and required medical attention for a bruised and swollen face, said FBI agent Bob Friedman. The airline allows passengers in non-smoking sections to move to the smoking section to have a cigarette. No seat was available for Lancry, so he stood in the aisle to smoke, Friedman said. Lancry, 57, was charged Friday with assault.

Oil slick threatens marine life

NEW ORLEANS _ Wildlife experts headed for the coast Monday with noisemaking cannons to scare birds away from a 4-mile-long slick of oil spewing from a burning offshore well. Crews worked to contain the spill, drill a relief well to cut off the oil and remove the damaged rig. After spewing oil for two days, it burst into flames Thursday while workers tried to cap it.

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