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HUSBAND STABS TEACHER AS PUPILS WATCH

PORTSMOUTH, Ohio

A man charged into a school where his estranged wife was a teacher Thursday morning, firing a gun before stabbing her as her fifth-grade class watched, police said. He later was found dead in his home after apparently shooting himself during a standoff with police. The teacher, Christi Layne, was in critical condition at a hospital in nearby Huntington, W.Va., a hospital spokeswoman said. Police originally said William Michael Layne shot his wife at Notre Dame Elementary, but Chief Charles Horner said it was unclear whether a gunshot fired in the school hit her. Minutes before the teacher was stabbed, police say, her husband stabbed and wounded another woman in an alley about five blocks from the school. Horner said he did not know whether that victim, Stephanie Loop, 22, knew the teacher. Loop was also in critical condition.

PHOENIX

Judge backs law on illegal hiring

A federal judge upheld an Arizona law that prohibits businesses from knowingly hiring illegal immigrants and yanks the business licenses of those that do. U.S. District Judge Neil Wake dismissed a lawsuit filed by business groups that argued that federal immigration law severely restricts Arizona's ability to punish people who knowingly employ illegal immigrants. The law won approval last year from the Republican-majority Legislature and Democratic Gov. Janet Napolitano amid frustration over what they said were inadequate federal efforts to confront illegal immigration. Many cities across the country have passed similar measures, though some have been rejected in court.

LOS ANGELES

SWAT killingis first for L.A.

A gunman killed three apparent relatives and a veteran SWAT officer and wounded another officer before police shot him to death early Thursday in a home that erupted in flames during a long standoff. A woman escaped near the end of the siege. Police Chief William Bratton said investigators going through the house afterward believed there may be an additional victim inside, so "we are even at this stage of the game not certain how many victims we have." Two other SWAT officers received minor wounds in a barrage of gunfire. The cause of the violence was not clear but appeared to involve a dispute between the shooter and his brothers and father. It was the first line-of-duty death in the 41 years of the Los Angeles Police Department's elite SWAT team.

Elsewhere

Blast injures dozens: An explosion and fire at a sprawling sugar refinery rattled a Savannah, Ga., suburb Thursday night, severely injuring dozens of people and sending authorities into a nearby river to search for possible victims, officials said. No deaths were immediately reported.

Waterboarding: CIA director Michael Hayden cast doubt on the legality of waterboarding on Thursday, a day after the White House said the harsh interrogation tactic has saved U.S. lives and could be used in the future. "It is not certain that that technique would be considered to be lawful," he told a House panel.

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