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Saturday 18 August 2018

In brief: Air laser pests face five years

Pointing hand-held lasers at aircraft would become a crime punishable by up to five years in prison under new legislation in the US.

Democratic senator Sheldon Whitehouse, who sponsored the amendment, said he was responding to a surge in incidents in which people had pointed powerful lasers, capable of temporarily blinding pilots, at aircraft.

The Federal Aviation Administration said the number of incidents in which people targeted planes and helicopters nearly doubled last year, from 1,527 in 2009 to 2,836 in 2010.



Caretaker kills school head

A school caretaker has told police he went home and got a gun before returning to a California primary school and killing the principal -- whom he mistakenly believed had sacked him hours earlier.

John Luebbers (44) was arrested at his home after Sam LaCara (50) was shot dead at Louisiana Schnell Elementary School in Placerville.

Mr LaCara had not sacked Luebbers but had sent him home for the day over a personnel matter.



Mexican gang



frees tourists

Left-wing Zapatista sympathisers held 17 tourists for a day after clashing with government-aligned farmers near a popular waterfall area in Mexico's southern state of Chiapas.

The kidnappers freed the tourists, who included Argentine, Canadian, French and Mexicans, after negotiating with the government.



J-Lo's date at White House

The guest list for US President Barack Obama's White House Super Bowl party includes entertainers Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony as well as elected leaders from the teams' home states, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania.

Mr Obama said he would have attended the National Football League's Super Bowl -- the biggest spectacle in US sports -- if his home town team Chicago Bears had made it.

But they lost to the Green Bay Packers from Wisconsin, who face the Pittsburgh Steelers of Pennsylvania in Sunday's big event.

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