Ex-ambassador bows out of Florida governor race

TALLAHASSSEE, Fla. -- Former ambassador Pete Peterson dropped out of the race for governor Friday, saying the terrorist attacks had a profound impact on him and he felt he could not participate in a partisan race.

At a news conference Friday afternoon, the former three-term congressman said that he believes in the wake of terrorist attacks last week that he may have more to offer the country with his experience in international diplomacy.

His decision leaves former Attorney General Janet Reno as the Democrats' leading contender seeking to challenge Republican Gov. Jeb Bush in 2002.

The 66-year-old Peterson, who resigned from his post as ambassador to Vietnam to explore a run for governor, had suspended his campaign in the wake of the attacks on New York and Washington.

Microsoft delays game release, won't say why

SEATTLE -- Microsoft Corp. will delay by one week the U.S. release of its Xbox game system and is refusing to say how many units will be available on the later launch date.

The software giant's planned new computer game -- its first real foray into the hardware business -- will now be available Nov. 15, the company said Friday.

John O'Rourke, director of Xbox sales and marketing, refused to give a specific reason for the delay. However, he said the decision had nothing to do with the terrorist attacks and the impact on the nation's economy.

"We just looked at a bunch of things and just simply said, 'You know, Nov. 15 is going to be the right date,'" O'Rourke said.

Rocket launched with satellites and ashes

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- A rocket carrying two satellites and the cremated remains of nearly 50 people was launched toward polar orbit Friday.

The two satellites aboard were designed to provide commercial, high-resolution imagery of the Earth's surface and to monitor the ozone hole in the atmosphere.

The 91-foot Taurus rocket also carried 48 acrylic capsules, each filled with human ashes. The lipstick-sized capsules were to remain bolted to one of the rocket's stages and orbit the planet for several years before burning up in the atmosphere.

Texas attorney general to run for Gramm's seat

AUSTIN, Texas -- The state attorney general announced Friday that he will run for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Phil Gramm.

John Cornyn becomes the first Republican to enter the race in 2002.

"I believe that Texas needs a new senator who is a strong, conservative voice for our state. Phil Gramm leaves big shoes to fill, and I'm going to try to do that," he said.

Cornyn postponed his announcement last week because of the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington. Republican Reps. Joe Barton and Henry Bonilla also delayed announcements, but are expected in coming weeks to say whether they plan to seek the seat.

Lawyer Ed Cunningham is the only Democrat officially in the race.

Defense rests in case that prompted riots

CINCINNATI -- The defense rested its case Friday without any testimony from a police officer whose fatal shooting of an unarmed black man sparked rioting in the city last spring.

Hamilton County Municipal Judge Ralph E. Winkler, who is hearing the case without a jury, scheduled closing arguments for Monday.

Officer Stephen Roach was not called to testify in his trial on misdemeanor charges of negligent homicide and obstructing official business.

Roach, 27, fatally shot 19-year-old Timothy Thomas in a dark alley on April 7.

The rioting that followed was the city's worst racial violence since the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination in 1968.

-- From wire reports