NEWPORT BEACH, CALIF

. - A suspect who fired about 50 shots in the parking lot of a crowded Southern California shopping mall, sending shoppers sprinting for safety, was cooperative when officers took him into custody, authorities said Sunday.

Witnesses said people ran, screaming and ducking for cover, when Marcos Gurrola, 42, fired into the air and onto the ground Saturday afternoon near the Macy's store at the open-air Fashion Island mall in Newport Beach.

Then Gurrola put the gun down and offered no resistance when bicycle officers arrested him about 4:30 p.m., said Lt. John Lewis.

Investigators have no motive, Lewis said.

Gurrola, of Garden Grove, was charged with shooting at an inhabited dwelling. He was being held Sunday on $250,000 bail.

Officials said one person suffered a minor injury and was treated at the scene.

U.N. orders Ghana to return seized ship

ACCRA, GHANA

- Ghana's government said Sunday it was "carefully considering" a U.N. tribunal's order for the immediate release of an Argentine navy training ship seized two months ago at the request of an American hedge fund.

The ARA Libertad training ship was impounded Oct. 2 in the port of Tema at the behest of private creditors as collateral for unpaid bonds dating from Argentina's economic crisis a decade ago.

In an expedited ruling by a U.N. court in Germany, the court ordered that Ghana "forthwith and unconditionally release the frigate ARA Libertad" and ensure the ship and its crew can leave Ghanaian waters. It also ordered that the vessel be resupplied.

Syria VP denounces both sides in civil war

BEIRUT

- Syria's longtime vice president says both sides are going down a losing path after 21 months of civil war, as rebels fighting to topple President Bashar Assad advance on the battlefield.

Farouk al-Sharaa told a Lebanese newspaper that neither the rebels nor the Assad regime can "decide the battle militarily."

Al-Sharaa spoke with the newspaper Al Alkhbar as rebel forces were moving closer to Damascus, Assad's seat of power. He appeared to be trying to show that the rebels are not the solution to the Syrian conflict, and their victory might bring chaos to the country. He also said the Assad regime "cannot achieve change."

Town tricks tree thieves

PORT REPUBLIC, N.J

. - This town has figured out a foolproof way to stop potential Christmas tree thieves: Make them stink.

A few years ago, Port Republic, Atlantic County, began spraying about two dozen evergreens that it planted as a wind break near tennis courts.

The chemical smells like rotten eggs if the tree is brought into a warm home.

Mayor Gary Giberson said that none of the trees has been touched. In the past, people would climb 30- or 40-foot blue spruce trees to cut off the tops.

Mennonite women injured in hate crime

LANCASTER

- A 22-year-old man attacked three elderly Mennonite sisters because of their faith, shocking them with a stun gun and vandalizing their home during an hours-long ordeal, police said Sunday.

Dereck Taylor Holt was arrested Sunday and charged with aggravated assault, ethnic intimidation, burglary and other offenses for the assault that sent all three women to the hospital, police said.

Holt, posing as an insurance salesman, allegedly attacked two of the sisters, then a third who returned home as the assault was in progress. The women, who are between 84 and 90 years old, were punched, shocked and tied up, according to police.

'Til drunk do us part

LINCOLN, R.I.

- Rhode Island State Police say a husband and wife both face charges of driving under the influence after they were stopped separately on the same night.

Police say Stephanie Souza, 43, of Warwick, was stopped in Cranston on Friday, and a chemical test on her at the Lincoln barracks indicated she'd been driving under the influence.

They say Michael Souza, 44, was pulled over for a motor-vehicle violation in Lincoln while driving to get his wife, then taken into custody. They say a chemical test on him at the Lincoln barracks indicated he was also driving under the influence.

-Daily News wire services