NATIONAL BRIEFS

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ALABAMA: Held boy gets Cheez-Its, toy

As a hostage drama marked a sixth day Sunday, more details emerged about the suspect at the center, with neighbors and officials painting a picture of an isolated man estranged from his family. Authorities say Jim Lee Dykes, 65, a decorated Vietnam-era veteran, gunned down a school bus driver and abducted a 5-year-old boy from the bus, taking him to an underground bunker on his rural property. The driver, Charles Albert Poland Jr., 66. was buried Sunday. The FBI said authorities continue to have an open line of communication with Dykes. The little boy requested Cheez-Its and a red Hot Wheels car, both of which were delivered to the bunker. Authorities have said Dykes was making the child as comfortable as possible.


WASHINGTON: Reid backs Menendez

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says he has the "utmost confidence" in fellow Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez and he is confident the New Jersey senator "did nothing wrong" in associating with a prominent political donor who appears to be under investigation by the FBI. Reid adds: "But that's what investigations are all about." Menendez's office disclosed last week that he reimbursed the donor, Dr. Salomon Melgen, for the full cost of two trips that Menendez took in 2010 to the Dominican Republic. Reid said on ABC's "This Week" he's comfortable with Menendez serving as the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

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CALIFORNIA: Missing girl found dead

A 13-year-old girl reported missing Thursday has been found dead in a park in the Northern California city of Fairfield, police said. A passerby discovered the girl's naked body in a city park and flagged down a police officer, Fairfield Police said. They said there were no obvious signs of trauma to the girl when she was found. The girl was reported missing by her guardian at a foster home in nearby Suisun City. It was reported that the guardian last saw her board a school bus. She had been expected home around 4 p.m.

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