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March 18, 2013 at 5:11 PM
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Helicopter hijacked in prison escape

SAINT-JEROME, Quebec, March 18 (UPI) -- Four suspects could face attempted murder charges after a daring Quebec jailbreak that allegedly involved a hijacked helicopter, police said.

Four people, including two inmates, were arrested, Quebec provincial police said. Police say the suspects exchanged gunfire with police Sunday during their getaway attempt, CTV News reported.

Sgt. Benoit Richard, of the Surete du Quebec, said the four suspects could face charges of break and enter, weapons possession, evading arrest and attempted murder.

One of the inmates who escaped from the correctional facility in Saint-Jerome has been identified as Benjamin Hudon-Barbeau, who is believed to have ties to the Hells Angels, CTV reported.

Witnesses say two men were lifted from the prison courtyard by grabbing a line dangling from a hovering aircraft.

Police followed the helicopter in police cruisers and eventually located three of the suspects in a vehicle. The suspects allegedly fired at police as they ran from the car to a chalet in Chertsey, Quebec. No one was injured, police said.

A fourth suspect, 33-year-old Danny Provencal, was located several hours later hiding out in shack.

Court hears Ariz. voter registration case

WASHINGTON, March 18 (UPI) -- The U.S. Supreme Court heard argument Monday on whether Arizona or any state may require proof of citizenship for voter registration.

The justices appeared to be divided along the court's ideological fault line, with four conservative justices favoring Arizona and four liberals favoring the state law's challengers, leaving Justice Anthony as a possible swing vote.

SCOTUSBLOG.com reported Kennedy focused on whether an appeals court ruling striking down the state law used the correct constitutional analysis. A Huffington Post report also focused on Kennedy, who appeared to be arguing for both sides of the case from the bench.

Justice Antonin Scalia led conservatives in support of the state law.

A decision in the case could shape the national political landscape for some time. Seventeen states have enacted laws requiring the presentation of some type of government-issued photo identification, such as a driver's license, before voting. The Brennan Center for Justice said those 17 states account for 218 of the 270 electoral votes needed to win the presidency.

The case, Arizona vs. The Inter Tribal Council of Arizona Inc. et al., first reached the U.S. Supreme Court in 2006's Purcell vs. Gonzalez. Though the justices did not reach a resolution, they sent the case back down to the lower courts.

Lanza plotted attacks like video game

NEW YORK, March 18 (UPI) -- A police officer theorized Connecticut shooter Adam Lanza researched previous mass killings to plan his massacre as he would to get a video game's high score.

The unidentified law enforcement officer told the New York Daily News Lanza's spreadsheet of names, weapons and body counts from previous mass murders and attempted killings, compiled over a number of years, "sounded like a doctoral thesis. That was the quality of the research."

On Dec. 14, Lanza, 20, shot his mother, 20 children and six adult staff members of a Newtown elementary school, killing himself afterward.

The source said Connecticut law enforcement officials believe the spreadsheet was "a score sheet," the Daily News reported Sunday.

"This was the work of a video gamer, and that it was his intent to put his own name at the very top of that list," the source said. "They believe that he picked an elementary school because he felt it was a point of least resistance, where he could rack up the greatest number of kills."

Police find body, bombs in UCF dorm room

ORLANDO, Fla., March 18 (UPI) -- An apparent suicide victim Monday was a student at the University of Central Florida and police said they found explosives and weapons in his dorm apartment.

The name of the dead student has not been released, the Orlando Sentinel reported.

Campus police, responding to a fire alarm call in Tower 1 residence hall, received a 911 call about shots being fired and found a man who died of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, the university said. As investigators examined the scene, they found a handgun, an assault weapon and bombs.

The Orlando campus reopened for classes and regular operations at noon Monday after all of the improvised explosive devices were removed from Tower 1, the university said on its website.

The residence hall, home to about 500 students, was a crime scene and would remain evacuated until the FBI has "cleared" the building, university spokesman Grant Heston said.

Authorities said they were interviewing witnesses.

Nigeria won't pay ransom for hostages

ABUJA, Nigeria, March 18 (UPI) -- Nigeria won't pay a ransom to the militant group Boko Haram to release seven kidnapped members of a French family, four of them children, an official said.

The hostages were taken by members of the Nigerian radical Islamic group last month in Cameroon near the northeastern border with Nigeria, Radio France Internationale reported.

Four of the hostages are under the age of 12, the report said.

"As part of our own policy, we don't pay ransom to terrorists," said Nigerian Foreign Minister Olugbenga Ashiru. "We cannot divulge information or detail. We need to be both determined and discreet."

An eighth person from France, an engineer, is also being held captive by Boko Haram -- in Nigeria's northern Katsina state. He was kidnapped in December.

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius met with Nigerian President Jonathan Goodluck to discuss the abductions.

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