Report: 5 giant snake species pose risks to US
MIAMI - A U.S. Geological Survey report said five giant, nonnative snake species could pose high risk to wildlife, especially in Florida.
The report released Tuesday analyzed nine types of boa, anaconda and python snakes. The Burmese python and the boa constrictor are already reproducing in the wild in South Florida. Between Jan. 1 and Oct. 5, some 270 Burmese pythons were removed from Everglades National Park alone.
NY boy, 12, arrested in fatal shooting
DEPOSIT, N.Y. - A 12-year-old upstate New York boy has been charged with shooting his 8-year-old brother to death, but authorities on Tuesday declined to reveal what was behind the gunfire.
Authorities charged the older boy as a juvenile delinquent Monday and will prosecute him in Delaware County Family Court for conduct they said would constitute second-degree murder if he were an adult.
Fla. judge orders runaway convert to return home
ORLANDO, Fla. - The teenager who ran away from Ohio to Florida because she feared physical harm for converting from Islam to Christianity has been ordered back to Ohio.
A Florida judge said Tuesday that 17-year-old Rifqa Bary, who has been staying in Orlando, should return to her family, who live outside Columbus.
Bary has been in foster care in Florida while her case was being reviewed. The judge said he will turn over the case to an Ohio court in the next few weeks, but no order has been signed yet.
Air Force says laser test over NM successful
KIRTLAND AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. - The Air Force and Boeing said an airborne test last month of an advanced tactical laser damaged a moving ground vehicle.
A Boeing spokesman said the Sept. 19 test was aimed at damaging, not destroying, the vehicle.
A C-130H aircraft took off from Kirtland Air Force Base and fired a high-power chemical laser above White Sands Missile Range, about 200 miles south of the Albuquerque base.
Calif. storm prompts debris flow concerns
LOS ANGELES - Residents across California worried Tuesday about possible flash floods and mudslides as a storm began showering areas devastated by wildfires.
Sandbagging and other preparations were being made in neighborhoods under threat, including Santa Barbara County and the Los Angeles-area foothills. The rains began before dawn across much of the state but were expected to intensify in the evening and into Wednesday.
'It's something we prepare for every year,' Los Angeles County fire Inspector Frederic Stowers said. 'We know the fires go through and do a lot of damage. Within L.A. County, much of the slopes burned are going to be critical.'
Army agrees priest worthy of Medal of Honor
TOPEKA, Kan. - A Kansas priest already under consideration for sainthood has won the endorsement of the Army's top civilian leader to receive the Medal of Honor.
The Rev. Emil Kapaun was a captain and chaplain in the Army in the Korean War and was taken prisoner in 1950 when the Chinese captured his unit. Kapaun continued to serve the men's needs, risking his life to provide them with food and water amid squalid conditions.
Kapaun, a Roman Catholic, died in a prison camp seven months later.
Man held in 1968 hijacking pleads not guilty in NY
NEW YORK - A U.S. citizen accused of hijacking a plane four decades ago and forcing it to land in Cuba pleaded not guilty Tuesday and will remain jailed.
Luis Armando Pena Soltren entered the plea through a Spanish translator in front of U.S. Magistrate Judge Douglas F. Eaton. A pretrial hearing was set for today in Manhattan.
Pena Soltren was arrested Sunday afternoon when he arrived on a flight to Kennedy International Airport from Cuba.