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MOURNERS REMEMBER TORME AS A MAN OF TALENT AND STYLE

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Musicians played a selection of his songs as family and friends remembered the life and talent of velvet-voiced Mel Torme."I never met anyone in my life who was as excited about anything as much as he was about everything," actor Harry Anderson said before Tuesday's service in a small chapel at Pierce Brothers Westwood Village Memorial Park.

Anderson, whose character on the old TV series "Night Court" was an obsessive fan of Torme, said Torme "will be remembered as one of those people who didn't get by on anything but talent and style."

Among the nearly 200 mourners were comedian Mel Brooks, science fiction author Harlan Ellison, actor Cliff Robertson and entertainer Nancy Sinatra, who broke down in tears at Torme's grave.

Torme, whose career ranged from co-writing "The Christmas Song" to a series of memorable jazz albums, died Saturday at age 73.

CLOSE VOTE IN THE HOUSE IS A VICTORY FOR ABORTION FOES

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The House has voted for the second consecutive year to bar the government from testing, developing or approving abortion-inducing drugs like the French RU-486 pill.

Although the 217-214 vote Tuesday was a victory for House abortion foes, the bill's chances for becoming law this year appear dim. When the House voted a year ago for the same prohibition, the Senate did not approve it.

"Another baby pesticide that kills babies," said Rep. Christopher Smith, R-N.J., a leading antiabortion lawmaker. "Come up with drugs that heal."

ENERGY DEPARTMENT VIOLATES ITS OWN RULES ON VISITS TO LABS

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Energy Department has not been following its own rules for licensing visits to its nuclear weapons labs by foreign nationals who come in contact with sensitive information, the department's inspector general says.

Inspector General Gregory H. Friedman found that the U.S. sponsors of the visits -- who are responsible for requesting the licenses -- often fail to do so because of confusing regulations, the report said.

The Energy Department, in a response attached to the inspector general's findings, said it is updating its export guidelines, which "will, among other things, clarify requirements" for the laboratory visits.

REPORT IS EXPECTED BY FALL ON BOEING LAUNCH FAILURES

HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif. (AP) -- An independent panel of experts is expected to report by the fall on Boeing Co.'s recent space launch failures.

The panel will review the processes involved in Boeing's Delta, Sea Launch and Inertial Upper Stage programs, the company said Tuesday. Its review is separate from government investigations.

Boeing's new Delta III rocket failed to put a satellite in the proper orbit last month, and the Delta III's debut last August ended in an explosion.

L.A. VOTERS APPROVE CHARTER, CAST OFF CITY CONSTITUTION

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Voters cast off the city's 74-year-old constitution in favor of a streamlined document meant to thwart secession movements by meeting residents' complaints about remote, unresponsive government.

The charter gives the mayor more power; creates neighborhood councils with local control; and decentralizes decisions on planning and zoning.

With mail-in ballots and 1,076 of 1,740 precincts counted Tuesday, 60 percent of voters in the nation's second-largest city supported the proposed charter and 40 percent were opposed.

BULLETS END 2 TEENS' DREAM OF BEING SOAP OPERA STARS

LYNWOOD, Calif. (AP) -- Two teenaged cousins who had dreams of becoming soap opera stars in their native Mexico were shot and killed as they walked to school.

Olivia Munguia, 17, and Jessica Yvette Zavala, 15, died after being sprayed with bullets Tuesday by a man who escaped on foot. Police were searching for a gunman in his late teens or early 20s.

"We have not ruled out the possibility it was gang violence or domestic violence," Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy Robert Killeen said.

Relatives said Munguia's ex-boyfriend was upset about being barred from Zavala's weekend birthday party.

Juan Ontiveros, a cousin, said Munguia received a call on Sunday from the ex-boyfriend who told her, "It ain't over yet." Police could not confirm details of the phone call.

PROSECUTOR SAYS DRUG AGENT STOLE 650 LBS. OF COCAINE

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- A drug agent stole 650 pounds of cocaine from the Bureau of Narcotics Enforcement's Riverside office in 1997, making it look like a forced burglary, a prosecutor said.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Rebecca Lonergan presented a methodical overview of evidence she said made it obvious that Richard Wayne Parker was a dirty cop who stole the cocaine on July 4, 1997.

When Parker was arrested at his San Juan Capistrano home, authorities found $600,000 in cash in some of the eight vehicles he had recently purchased, the prosecutor said Tuesday in closing arguments.

"You have his spending, which is way above his legitimate income," she told jurors. "You have cocaine found in his gym bags. You have a whole series of items found in his house that had cocaine on them."

Parker, 44, had been with the bureau for 10 years when he was arrested last year. In addition to drug charges, he is accused of money laundering and tax evasion.

DID PILOTS IN CRASH NEGLECT TO SET SPOILERS TO SLOW JET?

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) -- Pilots going over a landing checklist on American Airlines Flight 1420 made no mention of setting the spoilers to help slow down the plane, according to an investigator.

The jet crashed off the end of the runway last week during a violent thunderstorm, killing nine and injuring more than 80 of its 145 passengers and crew members.

The Dallas Morning News quoted sources Wednesday who said investigators listening to a tape of the flight's final minutes also have not been able to distinguish two distinct metallic thumps that would have been recorded if the spoiler lever was set and had activated on landing.

RELIEF AGENCY IS INSTALLING SURVEILLANCE TO AVERT THEFTS

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- The relief agency Feed the Children will install a donated video surveillance system in an effort to prevent future employee theft at its Nashville warehouse.

Feed the Children temporarily closed the 274,000-square-foot Nashville warehouse and fired all 14 Nashville employees a week ago after Tennessee Bureau of Investigation agents found boxloads of donations in the homes of several upper-level employees.