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Service honors rampage victims

A church that served as a refuge for people fleeing the rampage at Edgewater Technology on Tuesday became a place of healing Thursday night as hundreds gathered to pay tribute to the seven people who were killed.

Wreaths, notes and a single teddy bear lined a brick wall outside the Internet company, while the mourners streamed inside St. Joseph's Church across the street.

"The world has been made smaller by the terrible event that has brought us here tonight," said Cardinal Bernard Law of Boston's Roman Catholic Archdiocese. "Out of this unspeakable tragedy we must resolve each one of us to recognize the invaluable dignity of every human being."

U.S. police death toll up 11%

WASHINGTON _ More than 150 police officers died in the line of duty in 2000, an increase of 11 percent from 1999, police organizations said Thursday.

The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund and the Concerns of Police Survivors said 151 police officers have been killed so far in 2000, up from 134 in 1999, the lowest level since 1965.

The annual average in the 1990s was 153, compared with 187 during the 1980s and 222 during the 1970s.

Texas had the most police officers killed _ 14 _ followed by California with 11. Four were killed in Florida.

No deal on Calif. power rates

SAN FRANCISCO _ Gov. Gray Davis failed to broker a compromise Thursday between utility executives and consumer advocates over looming increases in electricity rates for 10-million Californians.

In a sometimes heated, closed-door meeting, the Democratic governor, on a speakerphone, urged consumer groups to agree to at least some of the rate increases utilities say they must have within days to avoid bankruptcy.

Strike ends at one Seattle paper

SEATTLE _ After more than five weeks on strike, union employees of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer accepted a contract offer Thursday night and agreed to return to work next week.

Workers at the Seattle Times voted on a separate proposal and results were not expected until today.

Also Thursday . . .

TEXAS ESCAPEES: A shrewd, well-organized master criminal appears to be the leader of seven escaped Texas prisoners suspected of murdering a police officer, authorities said _ and they fear the escapees might be planning a violent showdown with police. A Christmas Eve robbery in which a police officer was killed was similar to the El Paso robberies that landed escapee George Rivas in jail in 1994.

FOUR KILLINGS: A man was arrested in the slayings of his aunt and two of her children and then helped police in Guilford, Conn., find the body of another woman who had been missing since October, officers said. John Mills said nothing during his arraignment and was ordered held in lieu of $2-million bail.

SIX KILLED: Six people were found shot to death Thursday at an apparently deserted home in a part of Philadelphia known for heavy drug activity, police said. Four people were wounded. Two of the wounded were in critical condition, said a spokeswoman at the University of Pennsylvania hospital.

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