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3 children in Michigan are killed in house fire

Three children died early Saturday in a rural house fire that began in the chimney for a wood-burning stove.

The stepfather of two of the children suffered burns to the face and body trying to save them, said Sgt. Jerry Bassett of the St. Clair County Sheriff's Department.

Krystal Canup, 39, and her husband, Randall, 46, were asleep downstairs when the fire erupted at 3 a.m. David Masar, Canup's father, said his daughter called and said, "They couldn't get the kids out of the house."

Autopsies showed Kristen Marie Keller, 13, Tyler James Masar, 6, and Nathaniel Lee Gould, 3, died of smoke inhalation.

Krystal Canup, who Masar said was the mother of Kristen and Tyler and the grandmother of Nathaniel, was treated at the scene for smoke inhalation.

Report: Part of "Columbia' astronaut's diary found

HOUSTON _ Sections of a diary belonging to one of the seven astronauts killed last year when the space shuttle Columbia broke apart over Texas were found a few months ago and returned to his family, according to a published report.

The Jerusalem Post reported that sections of Israeli astronaut Ilan Ramon's diary were found in a Texas field with other debris.

The diary was submitted to the Israel Police for help in deciphering what was written, because the pages were written in Hebrew and some of the pages were full of holes, the newspaper reported.

Johnson Space Center spokesman James Hartsfield confirmed Friday that any personal items found among the debris were returned to the astronauts' families.

Columbia broke apart as it re-entered Earth's atmosphere on Feb. 1 after searing gases penetrated a gash in a wing. NASA doesn't expect to launch another shuttle until fall at the earliest.

Marcos juror among

finalists for Stewart jury

NEW YORK _ A woman on the panel that acquitted former Philippines first lady Imelda Marcos of racketeering and fraud is among the four dozen people entering the final round of jury selection for the Martha Stewart trial.

The prospective jurors return to court Monday for the final elimination round, when lawyers on both sides exercise challenges to whittle down the pool to 12 jurors and six alternates. Testimony is scheduled to begin Tuesday.

Marcos was defended by one of Stewart's lawyers, John J. Tigue Jr., and that prompted prosecutors to raise an initial objection to the potential juror.

U.S. District Judge Miriam Goldman Cedarbaum allowed the woman to remain in the pool after she said she did not recognize Tigue, according to a transcript of Friday's jury selection that was released Saturday.

Stewart, 62, is accused of conspiracy, securities fraud, obstruction of justice and two counts of lying to investigators in connection with her Dec. 27, 2001, sale of about 4,000 shares of ImClone stock just before the value of the company's shares plunged.

Man injured in explosion had weapons, WTC photos

NEW YORK _ Police sent to investigate a backyard explosion that injured an artist Saturday discovered weapons and ammunition along with material related to the World Trade Center and other sensitive locations, authorities said.

The discovery brought members of the Joint Terrorism Task Force to the Brooklyn home of Christopher Hackett to investigate, FBI spokesman Joe Valiquette said.

Police said they weren't sure of the significance of the material, which included photos of the World Trade Center and information on the Brooklyn Bridge and a city reservoir.

Hackett, 31, suffered burns and head injuries. He was in stable condition at Lutheran Hospital.

Hackett said an explosion occurred while he was working with a propane tank and a homemade device designed to shoot confetti out of a pipe, Fire Department spokesman Sean Johnson said.