BELL, Calif. - There was a time in this modest blue-collar community when Mayor Oscar Hernandez was all but hailed as a superhero, the big friendly guy who said hello to everybody when he wasn't busy greeting them at his venerable corner grocery store.

OXFORD, Miss. - A woman accused of laundering some of the $10 million her husband allegedly embezzled from a Tennessee company is scheduled to stand trial in federal court Feb.

PARIS - A judge filed preliminary charges against former President Jacques Chirac on Friday over allegations that Paris City Hall paid for jobs in his political party when was mayor, part of a financing scandal that has long dogged the man who for decades dominated French politics.

NEW YORK - The government has asked a federal judge to let it cut ACORN's funding, saying a report commissioned by the embattled community activist reinforces Congress' concern about misuse of federal funds.

BEIJING - China has found $1.5 billion in public money held illegally by officials across the country in a crackdown since June, the latest measure of the widespread corruption that has long infuriated its citizens.
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