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In brief: Student 'plot' to bomb school

A 17-year-old expelled student has been arrested in Florida on suspicion of plotting to blow up his old high school when classes resumed.

In Jared Cano's apartment, police found shrapnel, plastic tubing, timing and fuse devices which, they say, he was amassing in a plot he intended to be worse than the 1999 Columbine High School massacre, which killed 13

Cano has been arrested several times, most recently accused of breaking into a house and stealing a handgun, Tampa police said. He had a court-ordered curfew and was on a police watch list.

Burt Reynolds'

home at risk

A bank is seeking to foreclose on Burt Reynolds' Florida home so it can collect about $1.2m for a mortgage.

Merrill Lynch Credit has filed a lawsuit against Reynolds (75), BankAtlantic and Great Eastern Mortgage, claiming the Emmy Award-winning actor has not made a mortgage payment since September 1, 2010 on the house.

Merrill Lynch is asking a judge to order the home sold to satisfy debts.

War hero gets

35 years' jail

A war hero turned Chicago mobster has been warned he is likely to die in jail after being sentenced to 35 years for his crimes.

At his sentencing, 87-year-old Sam Volpendesto pushed himself up from his wheelchair to denounce witnesses who fingered him at his trial for bombing a video poker company, calling them lying "scumbags" and "crumb balls".

As a strip club owner in 1990, Volpendesto sought to silence a worker he believed was talking to the FBI. He allegedly handed a bat to his underlings, who beat the employee nearly unconscious, the prosecutor said.

Ecstasy used in cancer battle

Ecstasy is being developed as a potential cancer treatment, it was revealed today.

Modified forms of the dance club drug may be effective against blood cancers such as leukaemia, lymphoma and myeloma, early research suggests.

Further work could lead to ecstasy-derivatives being used in patient trials.