Hindu mobs woundtwo Muslim men
AHMADABAD, India -- Hindu nationalists held angry protest marches and mobs stabbed two Muslim men today in western India as Muslims fled their homes to seek safety, fearing revenge riots after a bloody attack on a Hindu temple.
Paramilitary police deployed in several towns in Gujarat state, and officials said they were confident they could prevent a repeat of the sectarian violence that tore apart the state for three months earlier this year, leaving 1,000 dead, mostly Muslims.
Hindu nationalists, who had called for a national strike to protest the temple raid, were on the streets in the Gujarati town of Baroda, carrying sharp weapons and shouting anti-Pakistan slogans, police said.
Most Indian cities did not observe the strike call today, but it shut down most businesses, schools and transportation in Bombay, India's largest city. Activists shouting slogans and throwing stones stopped some passenger trains in downtown Bombay, and many residents stayed home.
The major cities in Uttar Pradesh, India's largest state, were almost totally shut down.
Skull found near homeof missing Va. girl
STONEVILLE, N.C. -- Authorities and search dogs descended on a rural area where a small human skull was found Wednesday, some 30 miles from where a 9-year-old Virginia girl disappeared last month.
The officials included a contingent from Henry County, Va., where police have been hunting for Jennifer Short since Aug. 15. Officials believe the girl was kidnapped after her parents were slain in their Henry County home.
The skull "appears to be from somebody young," said Jeannie Justice, a spokeswoman for the Sheriff's Office in Rockingham County.
Investigators brought a sample of hair from the skull and other evidence found here to Roanoke, Va., where Jennifer's belongings are being held, in an attempt to make a preliminary finding. Results of the analysis were to be announced today, Henry County investigators said.
Until then, authorities said, they would not speculate on the remains or whether they had any connection to the missing girl.
Bush nominee to faceSenate committee
WASHINGTON -- Honduran native Miguel Estrada finally gets to present his case for becoming the first Hispanic on the nation's second highest court after more than 16 months of listening to Republicans, Democrats and interest groups argue his fitness for the job.
Estrada must convince at least one of 10 Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee that support from conservative groups and his legal work on behalf of President Bush's election shouldn't disqualify him.
The 40-year-old Estrada has been rehearsing months for his appearance today before the 19-member panel, which since March has rejected two other Bush appeals court nominees on party-line votes.
Estrada, a Washington lawyer who was on Bush's legal team in the Florida recount battle two years ago, wants a seat on the District of Columbia Court of Appeals. That court was a stepping stone in the careers of three current Supreme Court justices and sends more judges to the Supreme Court than any other.
Groups like the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund oppose Estrada. The Hispanic lawmakers said Estrada has never advocated for Latinos, was "combative" during an interview with them and repeatedly stressed that "he didn't look for the job, the job came to him."
Calif. homes threatened
CLAREMONT, Calif. -- Flames from a 30,000-acre wildfire crawled to within miles of 700 hillside homes across the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains and threatened rustic cabins in the Angeles National Forest.
The blaze was about two miles from Mount Baldy Village, a small community 4,000 feet up its namesake mountain, and several miles from suburban foothill homes, said Los Angeles County Fire Chief P. Michael Freeman.
Ron Raley, the U.S. Forest Service incident commander, said the fire probably would continue burning northward until it reaches an area burned out when a 16,000-acre blaze earlier this month destroyed 72 buildings.
It was the larger of two wildfire blazes in California early today. The other, a 2,529-acre fire south of San Jose, was 25 percent contained after destroying 30 structures, including 11 homes, since Monday.