2nd-in-command at Justice Dept. quits amid furor over firings

WASHINGTON - Deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty said yesterday he will resign, becoming the highest-ranking Bush administration casualty in the furor over the firing of U.S. attorneys.

McNulty, who has served 18 months as the Justice Department's second-in-command, announced his plans at a closed-door meeting of U.S. attorneys in San Antonio. He told them he would remain at the department until late summer.

He also sent a one-page letter of resignation to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, whose own job has been put in jeopardy by the firings and their aftermath, noting "financial realities of college-age children" as one factor in his decision. The letter did not mention the firings controversy.

Neither did Gonzales, in a responding statement that praised McNulty as "a dynamic and thoughtful leader."

Miami drivers top road-rage list;

Philadelphia not even in top 8

MIAMI - For the second consecutive year, rude Miami drivers have earned their city the road-rage crown.

Other cities near the top of the list for rage and rudeness were New York, Boston, Los Angeles and Washington. Philadelphia came in ninth, ahead of San Francisco but behind Sacramento.

The most courteous drivers, according to the survey by AutoVantage, a Connecticut-based auto club: Portland, Ore.; Pittsburgh; the Seattle-Tacoma area; St. Louis; and Dallas-Fort Worth.

Organized labor casts wary eye on Chrysler's new ownership

DETROIT - Chrysler's 80,000 workers may pay the price for German-based parent DaimlerChrysler's decision yesterday to turn over the keys of its U.S. car company to private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management for $7.4 billion.

Talks begin soon between the United Auto Workers and Detroit's car makers on a national contract and analysts expect Cerberus, headed by former Treasury Secretary John Snow, to push for radical changes at its money-losing Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge operations.

Canadian Auto Workers President Buzz Hargrove said he had "enormous concerns," noting that many private equity groups have a long-standing history of "job cuts as opposed to job creation."

The sale of 80.1 percent of Chrysler to Cerberus Capital Management LP unwinds the messy $36 billion marriage in 1998. The maker of the upscale Mercedes-Benz brand of cars found itself, like competitors Ford and GM, battered by rising pension and retiree health costs in the U.S. as Toyota and other Asian manufacturers won the hearts of consumers with what many view as more reliable, fuel-efficient models.

Pa., 7 other states ask for info

on sex offenders using MySpace

RALEIGH, N.C. - Top law enforcement officers from Pennsylvania and seven other states asked MySpace.com yesterday to turn over the names of registered sex offenders who use the social networking Web site.

In a letter, the attorneys general asked MySpace to provide information on how many registered sex offenders are using the site, and where they live. North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper and Pennsylvania Attorney General Tom Corbett signed the letter, along with attorneys general from Connecticut, Georgia, Idaho, Mississippi, New Hampshire, and Ohio.

In a statement, Cooper's office said media outlets in 2006 "reported almost 100 criminal incidents across the country involving adults who used MySpace to prey or attempt to prey on children."

In December, MySpace announced it was partnering with Sentinel Tech Holding Corp. to build a database with information on sex offenders in the United States. Software to identify and remove sex offenders from the site was launched in early May, MySpace officials said yesterday in a statement.

Cruise ship runs aground, forcing evacuation of 200 off Alaska coast

JUNEAU, Alaska - A riverboat-style cruise ship ran aground off the Alaska coast yesterday, forcing an evacuation of more than 200 passengers before it could move again with a Coast Guard escort.

Empress of the North passengers said they were jolted awake when the ship hit rocks in a remote part of a southeast Alaska archipelago in the middle of night. They were ordered to don lifejackets and gather in the ballroom, where a singer and piano player entertained them with songs including "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" as they waited for rescue.

Mary Zanis Crosby, 83, of Seattle, said that "the rumble was horrendous" when the ship ran aground, but that she was never frightened during the ordeal. "I considered it an adventure although I'd have rather been doing something else," she said with a laugh. *

- Associated Press