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Last convict in mass school bus kidnapping seeks parole

Last convict in mass school bus kidnapping seeks parole

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Three young men from wealthy San Francisco Bay Area families spent more than a year working on their perfect crime.

They converted three prisoner transport vans, built an underground bunker to hold their hostages, even made a lead box to hold the $5 million in ransom they expected to collect to block radio signals if authorities inserted tracking devices.

Then they kidnapped a school bus full of children and buried them under mounds of dirt in a crime that haunts the victims nearly 40 years later.

'They basically stole our whole youth. Our childhood was completely turned upside down,' said Jodi Heffington-Medrano, who was 10 at the time.

Disagreements threaten uneasy truce between tribes, Maine

PLEASANT POINT, Maine (AP) — Eighty-one years after a neglected tribal water supply caused a devastating outbreak of typhoid fever and a century after the state outlawed spearfishing of the salmon that fed their ancestors, Native American tribes who trace their history back millennia say their trust in the government of Maine is at an all-time low.

What has long been an uneasy peace between the state government and the tribes who desire sovereignty has degraded with clashes on issues ranging from fishing rights to new casinos — a dispute so vitriolic that Gov. Paul LePage withdrew an executive order that sought to promote cooperation between the two sides and some of the tribes abandoned their seats in the legislature.

Future uncertain for rare white deer at former weapons site

ROMULUS, N.Y. (AP) — Hundreds of ghostly white deer roaming among overgrown munitions bunkers at a sprawling former Army weapons depot face an uncertain future after living and breeding largely undisturbed since the middle of last century.

The white deer — a genetic quirk that developed naturally on the 7,000-acre, fenced-in expanse — have thrived, even as the depot itself has transitioned from one of the most important Cold War storehouses of bombs and ammunition to a decommissioned relic.

Now, as local officials seek to put the old Seneca Army Depot up for bids next month, there is concern that the sale could also mean the end of the line for the unusual white deer. A group of residents dedicated to saving the animals has proposed turning the old depot into a world-class tourist attraction to show off both its rich military history and its unusual wildlife.

“When we ran bus tours on a limited basis between 2006 and 2012, we had people come from all over the United States to see the deer,” said Dennis Money of Seneca White Deer Inc. “People are enchanted by them.”

Iraq warned of attacks before Paris assault

BAGHDAD (AP) — Senior Iraqi intelligence officials warned members of the U.S.-led coalition fighting the Islamic State group of imminent assaults by the militant organization just one day before last week’s deadly attacks in Paris killed 129 people, The Associated Press has learned.

Iraqi intelligence sent a dispatch saying the group’s leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, had ordered an attack on coalition countries fighting against them in Iraq and Syria, as well as on Iran and Russia, through bombings or other attacks in the days ahead.

The dispatch said the Iraqis had no specific details on when or where the attack would take place, and a senior French security official told the AP that French intelligence gets this kind of communication “all the time” and “every day.”

World leaders vow vigorous response after Paris terror spree

ANTALYA, Turkey (AP) — World leaders vowed a vigorous response to the Islamic State group’s terror spree in Paris as they opened a two-day meeting in Turkey on Sunday, with President Barack Obama calling the violence an “attack on the civilized world” and Russian President Vladimir Putin urging “global efforts” to confront the threat.

But beyond the tough talk and calls for action, there was little indication of how leaders intended to escalate the assault on the extremist group. The attacks in the heart of Europe — combined with earlier incidents in Lebanon and Turkey, as well as the downing of a Russian airliner in Egypt — suggest the Islamic State is reaching beyond its base in Iraq and Syria, an expansion the West has feared.

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