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Terrorism convict faces new beheading plot case

RALEIGH — A North Carolina man convicted in a homegrown terrorism plot faces new charges of attempting to hire a hit man to behead three witnesses who testified against him.

Hysen Sherifi of Raleigh was indicted on nine counts Tuesday, accused of plotting with his younger brother and a female friend to pay a hit man to carry out the killings. Court records say an FBI informant accepted $5,000 in payment and then provided faked photos appearing to show a beheaded corpse as confirmation of the killing.

Shkumbin Sherifi and Nevine Aly Elshiekh were arrested last month. They face additional charges in the new indictment.

Hysen Sherifi was sentenced in January to 45 years in prison for a plot to attack the U.S. Marine base at Quantico, Va., and targets overseas.

PENNSYLVANIA

‘Occupy’ to hold national gathering July 4th week

PHILADELPHIA — A group of protesters affiliated with the Occupy Wall Street movement plans to elect 876 “delegates” from across the country and hold a national “general assembly” during the Fourth of July week as part of ongoing protests about perceived corporate excess and economic inequality.

Delegates from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and U.S. territories will meet in Philadelphia to draft and ratify a “petition for a redress of grievances,” convening during the week of July 2 and holding a news conference in front of Independence Hall on the Fourth of July.

OREGON

Teenage girl dies after inhaling helium at party

EAGLE POINT — She was going to a slumber party, 14-year-old Ashley Long told her parents. Instead she piled into a car with friends and rode to a booze, marijuana and helium party at a condo in Medford, Ore.

After drinking during the drive and in the condo, the teenager was encouraged to take her turn on the tank of helium the crowd was using to make their voices sound funny.

“My daughter didn’t want to do it. It was peer pressure. They put a mask up to her face. They said it would be OK. ‘It’s not gonna hurt you,’ ” said stepfather, Justin Earp, who learned what happened from talking to Ashley’s friends.

Instead, she passed out and later died at a hospital, the result of an obstruction in a blood vessel caused by inhaling helium from a pressurized tank.

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