2 students charged in plot to blow up high school in Roy, Utah

Posted Jan. 27, 2012, at 3:51 p.m.
Last modified Jan. 27, 2012, at 6 p.m.

LOS ANGELES — A teenage girl who received an electronic warning was being praised as a hero Friday for tipping off authorities about what they believe was a plot by two students to blow up a Utah high school during an assembly then steal an airplane and flee to safety.

Two students, who seemingly had a fascination with the 1999 massacre at Columbine High School in Colorado, were arrested this week in connection with the alleged plot at Roy High School in Roy.

Dallin Morgan, 18, was released Friday after posting bail of $10,000, Roy police spokeswoman Anna Bond said. A 16-year-old boy, whose name is being withheld because of his age, was also charged.

Officials were not releasing the name of the girl who first approached school administrators.

Law enforcement officers are investigating the incident and have put together the beginnings of a timeline, based on interviews and materials, including several computers seized at the suspects’ homes and from their vehicles. At least three months ago, perhaps earlier, Morgan and his friend allegedly began their planning, Bond said.

In December, the younger student reportedly went to Columbine to talk with people about the rampage by two high school seniors who shot and killed at least 12 students and one teacher. Twenty-one students were wounded in the gunfire and three others were hurt trying to escape. The pair, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, then committed suicide.

California passes new auto emission rules

SAN FRANCISCO — California air regulators passed sweeping auto emission standards Friday that include a mandate to have 1.4 million electric and hybrid vehicles on state roads by 2025.

The California Air Resources Board unanimously approved the new rules that require that one in seven of the new cars sold in the state in 2025 be an electric or other zero-emission vehicle.

The plan also mandates a 75 percent reduction in smog-forming pollutants by 2025, and a 34 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions over roughly the same time.

California’s auto emissions standards are influential and often more strict than federal ones. Currently 14 other states have adopted the California rules as their own.

Children among 74 dead in 2 days of Syrian turmoil

BEIRUT — Two days of bloody turmoil in Syria killed at least 74 people, including small children, as forces loyal to President Bashar Assad shelled residential buildings and fired on crowds in a dramatic escalation of violence, activists said Friday.

Video posted online showed the bodies of five small children, five women and a man, all bloodied and piled on beds in what appeared to be an apartment after a building was hit in the city of Homs. A narrator said an entire family had been “slaughtered.”

Much of the violence was focused in Homs, where heavy gunfire hammered the city Friday in a second day of chaos.

At least 384 children have been killed, as of Jan. 7, in the crackdown on Syria’s uprising since it began nearly 11 months ago, the U.N. children’s agency UNICEF said Friday. The count, based on reports from human rights groups, included children under age 18. The United Nations estimates that more than 5,400 people have died in the turmoil.

Suicide bombing at Baghdad funeral kills 32 people

BAGHDAD — A suicide car bomb detonated Friday at a busy Baghdad intersection as a funeral procession was passing by, killing 32 people and injuring 65, authorities said.

It was the latest violent attack in the Iraqi capital in what seems to be an escalating series of bombings targeting Shiite Muslims. Many Iraqis have voiced fears that their nation could be entering a new phase of sectarian bloodshed.

More than 200 people have been killed in attacks since U.S. forces completed their pullout from Iraq in December, according to a tally by the news agency Agence France-Presse.

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