Hunt for grad-student killers

Baton Rouge, La., police searched for suspects yesterday in the shooting deaths of two Louisiana State University students. The victims were found late Thursday after being shot in the head inside an apartment complex for married and graduate students. One was tied up with a computer cable. The killings were the first on campus in more than a decade. They said nothing appeared to have been stolen from the apartment, leaving them unclear about a motive. Police were searching for three men seen leaving the area.

Tons of steel fall from building

A crane yesterday dropped seven tons of steel from a New York skyscraper onto a construction trailer, seriously injuring an architect at the site just across from Ground Zero. The crane's nylon sling snapped and dropped its load of 25- to 30-foot-long pieces of galvanized steel from the 13th floor of the 30-story building.

Ariz. rapist gets 438 years

A man accused of being the Phoenix Baseline Killer was sentenced to 438 years in prison yesterday for a brutal attack in which he raped a woman while pointing a pistol at her pregnant sister's belly. Mark Goudeau, 43, who still faces trial for the slayings of eight women and a man in 2005-2006, was convicted in September of 19 counts, including sexual assault and kidnapping, for assaulting the sisters in 2005 as they walked home from a park. The sisters told the jury how Goudeau had forced them into the bushes near a road and told them to strip, then raped the younger victim while pointing the gun at the other.

Iraqi oil output suddenly rises

Iraqi oil output has risen dramatically in recent months, hitting its highest level in about 3 1/2 years in November, the International Energy Agency said yesterday. The Paris-based agency cited improving security as it reported that Iraqi production rose to 2.32 million barrels per day in November, reaching its highest level since the spring of 2004, when the anti-U.S. insurgency started to intensify.

No housing recovery till '09?

Fannie Mae's CEO told shareholders yesterday that he does not expect a housing market recovery until late 2009, "at the earliest," and that the mortgage-finance company is strong enough to ride out the downturn. On his gloomy forecast for the housing market, Daniel Mudd said, "This is the worst housing and mortgage market in recent memory, and we are still working our way to the bottom, in our view."

A.G.: No info on torture tapes

Attorney General Michael Mukasey refused yesterday to give Congress details of the government's investigation into interrogations of terror suspects that were videotaped and destroyed by the CIA. He said doing so could raise questions about whether the inquiry is vulnerable to political pressure.

Men at risk for breast cancer

Doctors are encouraging a new group of people to consider getting tested for genes that raise the risk of breast cancer: men. Male relatives of women with such genes often do not realize that they, too, may carry them, and face greater odds of developing male breast cancer, as well as prostate, pancreatic and skin cancer, new research suggests. Breast cancer is the most common major cancer in American women. More than 178,000 new cases, and more than 40,000 deaths from it, are expected in the U.S. this year. *

- Daily News wire services