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PLANT EXPLOSION LEAVES 3 DEAD

An explosion flattened an industrial warehouse near downtown Milwaukee on Wednesday, killing three people and injuring 46.

The fiery blast at the Falk Corp. factory hurled debris into the air and forced the evacuation of dozens of workers. Officials had not determined the cause of the blast. Killed were Curtis J. Lane, 38, of Oconomowoc; Thomas M. Letendre, 49, of Milwaukee; and Daniel T. Kuster, 35, of Mayville.

NEW YORK

Jewish scholars ease ban on ordaining gays

Jewish scholars eased their ban Wednesday on ordaining gays, upending thousands of years of precedent while stopping short of fully accepting gay clergy.

The Committee on Jewish Law and Standards, which interprets religious law for the movement, adopted three conflicting policies that give gays a wider role.

One policy maintains the prohibition against gay clergy. Another maintains a ban on male sodomy but permits gay ordination. The third supports the ban on gay sex in Jewish law.

That leaves seminaries and synagogues to decide on their own which approach to follow.

BOWLING GREEN, VA.

FBI agent killed during training exercise

An FBI agent was killed Wednesday during a live-fire training exercise, the agency said.

Supervisory Special Agent Gregory J. Rahoi, 38, of Wisconsin was shot Wednesday during the exercise at Fort A.P. Hill, an Army base south of Washington.

Rahoi was flown to Mary Washington Hospital in Fredericksburg, where he was pronounced dead, the FBI said.

Rahoi joined the FBI in 1997 and served in the agency's Hostage Rescue Team the past six years.

The FBI and Army are investigating the incident.

NORFOLK, VA.

Sailor sentenced to 12 years for espionage

A Navy petty officer was sentenced Wednesday to 12 years in prison for stealing a military laptop and peddling its contents to a foreign government.

Petty Officer 3rd Class Ariel J. Weinmann admitted to espionage, desertion, larceny and destruction of government property.

The Salem, Ore., submariner could have received life without parole, but a plea agreement spared him the maximum, and he could be paroled in four years.

Officials had accused Weinmann of passing classified information to representatives of undisclosed foreign governments in Austria and again in Mexico.

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