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Alaska seeks plans for natural gas pipe

JUNEAU, Alaska — The state of Alaska began calling for applications Tuesday to build a natural gas pipeline officials believe will ultimately deliver trillions of cubic feet of reserves to market.

A potential multibillion dollar pipeline carries implications for North America’s long-term energy supply and has been widely discussed by lawmakers, energy regulators and company executives throughout North America since Gov. Sarah Palin outlined her plans in March.

Oil and independent pipeline companies have until Oct. 1 to submit an application that must outline details such as the pipeline’s route, the market it will serve and how it will be built and how the builder will avoid cost overruns.

Study: Chocolate has health benefits

CHICAGO — Here’s some good and bad news for chocoholics: Dark chocolate seems to lower blood pressure, but it requires an amount less than two Hershey’s Kisses to do it, a small study suggests.

The new research from Germany adds to mounting evidence linking dark chocolate with health benefits, but it’s the first to suggest that just a tiny amount may suffice.

Volunteers for the study ate just over 6 grams of dark chocolate daily for almost five months — one square from a German chocolate bar called Ritter Sport, equal to about 11/2 Hershey’s Kisses. People who ate that amount ended up with lower blood pressure readings than those who ate white chocolate.

2 Katrina nurses’ charges dropped

NEW ORLEANS — The district attorney has dropped the case against two nurses in the deaths of four patients at a New Orleans hospital after Hurricane Katrina.

Nurses Lori Budo and Cheri Landry, along with a third woman, Dr. Anna Pou, were arrested last summer and booked with being principal to second-degree murder — which carries a mandatory life prison sentence.

“We’re very pleased. We thought this was how it would end,” Landry’s attorney John DiGiulio said Tuesday. “We’re cautiously optimistic that when it’s all over no one will be charged — including Dr. Pou.”

Not guilty plea in missing girl case

HARTFORD, Conn. — The man accused in the disappearance of a missing teenager found locked in a storage room in his home was charged Tuesday with 11 counts of sexually assaulting her.

The assault charges against Adam Gault, who is being held in lieu of $1 million bail, are in addition to several other charges he already faced in the case.

Gault pleaded not guilty Tuesday to the original charges of second-degree unlawful restraint, second-degree reckless endangerment, second-degree custodial interference, interfering with a police officer, risk of injury to a minor and three counts of second-degree forgery.

Florida welcomes Atlantis home

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — A jumbo jet carrying the space shuttle Atlantis landed Tuesday at Kennedy Space Center after a trip that began in California.

A modified Boeing 747 with the shuttle mounted on its back touched down on the shuttle landing strip around 8:25 a.m. EDT after taking off from a refueling stop in Kentucky.

The jet made several stops on its cross-country trip. On Monday, it landed in Fort Campbell, Ky., after stops at Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska and Amarillo, Texas.

Atlantis, carrying seven astronauts, landed June 22 at Edwards Air Force Base in California after a 14-day construction mission at the International Space Station.

2 men convicted in insurance plot

NEW YORK — Two men were convicted Tuesday of plotting to take out fraudulent life insurance policies on unsuspecting victims before having them killed and collecting hundreds of thousands dollars.

A federal jury in Brooklyn deliberated for three days before finding Ronald Mallay and Richard James guilty of committing murder in the aid of racketeering, conspiracy and multiple other charges.

James was acquitted on four murder-for-hire counts, but will still face a possible death sentence along with Mallay when the same jurors reconvene on Sept. 17 for the trial’s penalty phase.

Compiled From Wire Reports

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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