Nation briefs: N.J. officer shot in store

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JERSEY CITY, N.J. -- A gunman who killed a rookie officer responding to a report of an armed robbery call early Sunday never tried to rob the drugstore and instead lay in wait for police, telling a witness to watch the news because he was "going to be famous," authorities said.

Lawrence Campbell, 27, shot Officer Melvin Santiago in the head shortly after he and his partner arrived at the 24-hour Walgreens at around 4 a.m., Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop said. Other officers returned fire at Mr. Campbell, killing him.

Mr. Campbell of Jersey City was one of three suspects wanted by police for a prior homicide, Mr. Fulop said.

Mr. Fulop said Mr. Campbell walked into Walgreens and asked for directions to the greeting card aisle. He was carrying a knife, assaulted an armed security guard at the store and snatched his gun, Mr. Fulop said. He left the store and waited for police to arrive before shooting Officer Santiago with what police believe was the security guard's gun.

Jet failure not fundamental

LONDON -- The engine failure that has grounded the entire fleet of Lockheed Martin Corp F-35 fighter jets was caused by "excessive" rubbing of fan blades in the plane's Pratt & Whitney engine, but does not appear to be a fundamental design flaw, the Pentagon's chief weapons buyer said Sunday.

Defense Undersecretary Frank Kendall told reporters there still was a chance that the grounding order could be lifted in time for the F-35 to make its international debut at the Farnborough air show.

Organizers of the show confirmed the F-35 would not appear today, but said it could still arrive and fly later in the week.

Mr. Kendall said the grounding had halted testing but he did not view the incident as a "fundamental setback" for the $400 billion program, the Pentagon's biggest, which still has about 40 percent of developmental testing to complete.

Police: Stolen car in bus crash

RICHMOND, Ind. -- A car that collided with a Greyhound bus on an Indiana highway, killing the car's driver and injuring 19 people on the bus, had just been stolen and was headed in the wrong direction, authorities said.

Phillip Lloyd, the driver of the stolen 1999 Ford Mustang, died at the scene of the Sunday morning collision on Interstate 70 near Richmond, Wayne County Sheriff Jeff Cappa said. Mr. Lloyd was from Richmond, which is about 70 miles east of Indianapolis and near the Ohio border.

The bus, which was carrying the driver and 23 passengers when it was struck, was headed from St. Louis to New York City. It also was scheduled to stop in Dayton, Ohio, about 35 miles east of the crash site.

Rise in gas prices halted

HOUSTON -- Gasoline prices are cooling just as summer heats up, dropping for the first time in 10 weeks.

The average for regular gasoline at U.S. pumps fell 3.99 cents in the three weeks ended July 11 to $3.6699 a gallon, according to Lundberg Survey Inc. The survey is based on information obtained at about 2,500 filling stations by the Camarillo, Calif.-based company.

The average, which is 7.91 cents below a year earlier, may fall another four cents to six cents in the next several days, Trilby Lundberg, president of Lundberg Survey, said in a telephone interview today.

Also in the nation ...

A U.S. congressional committee said Sunday that it will hear from half a dozen witnesses this week about dangerous lapses at federal health facilities, including one that led to the potential exposure of 84 people to live anthrax. ... Orbital Sciences' Antares rocket successfully lifted off Sunday, carrying a capsule of supplies to dock with the International Space Station on Wednesday. ... The American Federation of Teachers, which is meeting in Los Angeles, on Sunday called for President Barack Obama to put Education Secretary Arne Duncan on an "improvement plan" as a prelude to replacing him.

Compiled from news services

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