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Calif. church pays $100-million

A judge Monday unsealed the details of a record $100-million settlement with a Southern California diocese over sex abuse allegations against clergy. The settlement with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange marks the single largest clergy abuse settlement to date. The Archdiocese of Boston agreed to pay $85-million to 552 plaintiffs in 2002. "Let this be what everyone remembers from today: that nothing is more important than the protection of our children and our youth," Bishop Tod D. Brown said at a news conference, sitting alongside the plaintiffs and their lawyers. "I seek their forgiveness, I hope for reconciliation and I know that they have now begun their healing process." Payouts were based on the length and severity of abuse and other factors, but how much each plaintiff is getting remains confidential.

THE UNUSUAL

Laser beam

A laser beam aimed at a Chicago-bound jet may have been a prank, FBI officials said Monday, adding that terrorism has been ruled out. The flight crew of a United Airlines flight to O'Hare International Airport from Nashville, Tenn., reported seeing a green laser beam Sunday night shortly after the plane took off. The flight landed safely in Chicago. "We know that there wasn't any terrorism involved and it possibly could have been someone playing a prank," said Doug Riggins of the FBI.

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