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AROUND THE NATION

AARP will ask members to pitch in on Dec. 6

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -- AARP said Thursday that it would ask its 34 million members to volunteer Dec. 6 with local charities that are helping people seeking assistance after the terrorist attacks.

Bruce Koeppl, AARP's Iowa director, said many relief agencies have been working overtime to provide assistance. "Those organizations are starting to feel the crunch," he said.

The group has not finalized the plan. The announcement came as officials of the Washington-based organization opened a state office to establish a permanent presence in Iowa.

Formerly known as the American Association of Retired Persons, AARP previously focused most heavily on lobbying Congress but is now shifting its efforts to state-based efforts.

McVeigh's ally loses bid for lesser sentence

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Supreme Court has rejected Oklahoma City bombing figure Michael J. Fortier's request for a lighter sentence.

Fortier asked the high court to overturn lower-court approval of his 12-year sentence and clear the way for his immediate release. The Supreme Court rejected that request without comment Oct. 15.

Fortier knew that his Army buddy Timothy J. McVeigh planned to blow up a federal building, but did not tell anyone. He has admitted he helped McVeigh move and sell stolen weapons and that he lied to FBI agents after the April 19, 1995, attack that killed 168 people.

Fortier pleaded guilty in August 1995 and already has been in federal custody more than six years. His lawyers say the federal judge who sentenced him was vindictive and improperly allowed a sentence longer than federal guidelines.

Missionary-death suspect detained, may be retried

HOUSTON (AP) -- The suspect in the 1974 deaths of two Mormon missionaries was ordered detained in Britain for a possible Texas retrial using new DNA evidence, a prosecutor said.

Robert Elmer Kleasen, 69, was ordered detained until an initial extradition hearing is held.

Missionaries Mark Fischer, 19, of Milwaukee, and Gary Smith Darley, 20, of Simi Valley, Calif., disappeared in Austin on Oct. 28, 1974. Their bodies were never found.

They were to dine with Kleasen in his trailer behind a taxidermy shop where he worked. Police believe that Darley and Fischer were shot to death, and that their bodies were cut into small pieces with a band saw in the shop.

Kleasen was convicted in 1975 of killing Fischer, but two years later a state appeals court overturned the verdict because of a faulty search warrant.

In 1990, Kleasen moved to England. He was convicted there on the weapons violations in June 2000.

Kleasen was indicted in the 1974 case earlier this year, based on new DNA test results that detected the blood of one of the victims on Kleasen's pants.

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