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French mountaineer beheaded ... Civil rights investigators in Ferguson ... California blaze burns

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UNITED NATIONS (AP) — A French mountaineering guide from Nice (neece) is the latest western hostage beheaded by extremists, this time in Algeria. French President Francois Hollande (frahn-SWAH' oh-LAWND') today confirmed the killing of Herve Gourdel. The extremists are allied with the Islamic State group and released a videotape of Gourdel's beheading after France ignored their demands to stop airstrikes in Iraq.

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — By all appearances, Jesse Leroy Matthew Jr has led a fairly ordinary life. Now the 32-year-old has been arrested in connection with the Sept. 13 disappearance of Hannah Graham, an 18-year-old sophomore at the University of Virginia. Police caught up with Matthew in Galveston, Texas. Virginia authorities are now working on his extradition, so he can face charges of abduction with intent to defile.

FERGUSON, Mo. (AP) — The day after new violent protests broke out in Ferguson, Missouri, federal investigators are meeting with residents of the St. Louis suburb to explain the details of their investigation into the local police. The Justice Department's civil rights division is also hoping people will speak about their interactions with the Ferguson police. The investigation comes after the fatal shooting of Michael Brown, a black 18-year-old, by a white police officer on Aug. 9 sparked days of protests and unrest.

PLACERVILLE, Calif. (AP) — A massive blaze in California is threatening thousands of homes and has become the second-most expensive to fight in the state this year. More than 7,000 firefighters are battling the King Fire, east of Sacramento, which has now stretched into Nevada. It's destroyed 12 homes and is threatening another 12,000. It's nearly 40 percent contained.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Nearly four years in a federal prison and two years of supervised release. That's how former NFL player Jimmy Hitchcock will soon be spending his time for his role in a multimillion-dollar mortgage fraud conspiracy. Hitchcock played for three teams in eight NFL seasons, including the Carolina Panthers.

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