Around the world

SIGN OF SEASON: Gunmen on Wednesday shot dead two people, one a job applicant summoned for a final interview, in what police fear could be the first of a wave of robberies in the Philippine capital ahead of Christmas. Four gunmen broke into the offices of Tristate Industrial Corp in the Manila suburb of Novaliches and grabbed the payroll from the company's finance manager before escaping in a van, police Sergeant Diogenes Amor said. "Christmas is approaching and robbers usually strike at this time when people have money because of the Christmas bonuses they get," Amor said. "We are now on double alert."STABBING: An American working for Taiwan's largest computer manufacturer was stabbed to death at his Taipei home Wednesday, allegedly during a quarrel with a neighbor, police said. Police identified the victim as Philip Demiller, 45, of Pontiac, Mich., a technical document writer at Taiwan's Acer Inc. They said they arrested a neighbor and that she confessed to stabbing Demiller after he complained she was making too much noise while passing his apartment at about 3 a.m.

Across the nation

CAREER CHANGE: One of Massachusetts' most powerful politicians is trading in his longtime career as head of the state Senate to become head honcho of the university system. William M. Bulger said he has for a long time considered ending his 34-year legislative stint - 17 years of which have been spent as senate president. Bulger was named Tuesday to head the University of Massachusetts. Bulger immediately accepted the job, which will boost his annual income from $81,410 to at least $189,000. He said he planned to leave his current job in December or January.

EVICTION: Newark, N.J., city officials evicted The Star-Ledger from its office in City Hall just hours after the newspaper said it would go to court seeking documents on an official targeted by a federal corruption probe. Business administrator Glenn A. Grant said Tuesday that the timing was coincidental. The newspaper has had an office next door to council chambers for at least five decades. "We think it is more than coincidence that they are trying to boot us out at exactly the same time we're doing some tough reporting about how the government works," said Editor Jim Willse.