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Navy plans to recover Japanese fishing vessel

HONOLULU (AP) -- A Navy environmental study has cleared the way for recovery of a Japanese fishing vessel that sunk off Hawaii after a U.S. submarine surfaced beneath it.

The three-month study found no significant environmental impact in the planned recovery of the Ehime Maru, which could be completed by October.

The bodies of nine missing boys and crew members are believed to be trapped inside the vessel, which sank Feb. 9 after it was hit by the USS Greeneville.

"Although the Navy is confident it will be able to successfully conduct the operation, the recovery is not without risks, and there is no guarantee of success," said a statement from the U.S. Pacific Fleet. "If it is not possible to safely lift and move the vessel, it will be left at its current location in 2,000 feet of water."

The commander of U.S. Naval forces in Japan, Rear Adm. Robert Chaplin, planned to discuss the recovery operation Saturday with victims' relatives.

Woman who aided gunmen in Columbine settles suit

DENVER (AP) -- The woman who helped the Columbine gunmen obtain a rifle and two shotguns used in the 1999 high school massacre agreed to pay $300,000 to settle a lawsuit and give a videotaped statement for other lawsuits, the Rocky Mountain News reported Saturday.

The settlement between Robyn Anderson and about three dozen families of victims was announced last month, but terms were not disclosed. The News said it had obtained confidential settlement documents.

The money will be put into a settlement fund for families of slain or injured students.

Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold shot to death 12 students and a teacher and injured more than two dozen other people before taking their own lives in the April 20, 1999, attack at Columbine High School.

Anderson attended a gun show with Harris and Klebold, who were too young to legally buy the weapons. Anderson, who was 18 at the time, provided the seller with her identification, and Harris and Klebold bought the firearms used in the shootings.

Several families have sued the gun show's operator and two dealers who sold the weapons.

Stay of execution ordered for Mexican who killed man

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- Gov. Frank Keating issued a 30-day stay of execution Saturday for a Mexican man set to die for shooting, stabbing and burning a man he said made homosexual advances toward him.

Keating issued the stay after speaking by telephone Saturday morning to Mexican President Vicente Fox, who made a personal plea that Gerardo Valdez's death sentence be commuted to life without the possibility of parole.

"In light of the sensitivity and significance of this matter, I think it is appropriate for my office to continue its review of the Valdez case," Keating said.

The state Pardon and Parole Board has also recommended commuting the death sentence of Valdez, who was scheduled to die by injection Tuesday.

The Mexican government already had asked Keating to grant clemency, arguing that Valdez was not notified of his right to contact the Mexican consulate after his arrest -- in violation of international law.

Cruise ship regains power after fighting engine fire

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) -- A Royal Caribbean International cruise ship carrying more than 2,000 passengers was left floating without engine power north of Bermuda for several hours after an engine room fire forced the crew to shut down the vessel's engines.

U.S. Coast Guard officials said the Rescue Coordination Center in Norfolk was alerted shortly after 10 p.m. Friday. Crew members aboard the Nordic Empress were able to put the fire out, officials said.

No injuries were reported, and crew members were able to get the ship up and running again and on its way back to Bermuda by 5:30 a.m. Saturday, said CarolynCihelka, U.S. Coast Guard spokeswoman for the Atlantic region.

"At the current rate of speed, the cruise ship should be back in Bermuda by (Saturday) evening," Cihelka said.

The fire ignited from a ruptured fuel line on one of the engines, officials said.

The 692-foot vessel left New York last Sunday and was scheduled back today.

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