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Crime rate falls while reporting rate rises

Nearly half the violent crimes committed in the United States in 2000 were reported to police, a rise in notification rates that began in the 1990s as the overall crime rate declined, the Justice Department said Sunday.

A study released by the department's Bureau of Justice Statistics found that 49 percent of an estimated 6.2-million rapes, armed robberies and assaults in the United States were reported to police in 2000. An overall average of about 43 percent of the crimes committed between 1992 and 1999 were reported to authorities, the agency said.

The findings are part of the National Crime Victimization Survey, which collects data on nonfatal crimes against individuals age 12 or older from a sample of U.S. households. The survey asks participants about their personal experiences with crime and whether they followed up with law enforcement agencies. The report's authors did not attempt to explain the growth in crime reporting.

Tour buses crash, dozens hurt

BAKER, Calif. _ One tour bus crashed into another on a California interstate Sunday, injuring dozens of passengers, at least eight critically, authorities said.

The crash happened about 3:20 p.m. on southbound Interstate 15, a main artery from Las Vegas into California, shutting down southbound lanes and slowing northbound traffic.

California Highway Patrol Officer Adam Cortinas estimated the buses were traveling about 55 mph through an area undergoing road construction.

Cortinas said buses and helicopters arrived to help transport the injured.

8 shot in nightclub brawl

NEW YORK _ Eight people were shot and two were stabbed early Sunday when a brawl erupted inside a nightclub above a Times Square arcade, police said. Two others were trampled as people rushed to get out.

A man shot in the chest and a woman shot in the stomach were both in critical condition Sunday, said police Sgt. Dennis Ferber.

Authorities said the other people's injuries were not life-threatening.

The fight broke out about 2:40 a.m. in the club of the Broadway City Arcade on West 42nd Street, the street where the theaters present The Lion King and 42nd Street.

Also . . .

ROCKET LAUNCH DELAYED: Sunday's launch of an unmanned Delta IV rocket at Cape Canaveral, to be the first U.S. space launch since the loss of the shuttle Columbia, has been postponed for a fourth time, this time because of high winds. The rocket will carry an Air Force satellite that will be part of a national security communications network that relays secure data to the government. The launch was rescheduled for tonight.

GAS PRICES NEAR RECORD: The average weighted price for gas, including all grades and taxes, was about $1.75 per gallon Friday, according to the Lundberg Survey of 8,000 stations nationwide. That is within 2 cents of $1.77, the all-time high recorded by the survey on May 18, 2001.

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