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Iran sentences American hikers to eight years

TEHRAN, Iran — Iranian authorities imposed a harsh, eight-year sentence on two Americans arrested along the border with Iraq in 2009, state television cited an unnamed judicial source as saying Saturday, in a stunning verdict that could further strain relations between the U.S. and Iran.

Shane Bauer and Joshua Fattal, who already have been held in Tehran's infamous Evin Prison for two years, have 20 days to appeal their convictions on charges of illegal entry into Iranian territory and espionage.

Their lawyer, Masoud Shafii, said he had not been officially informed of the sentence and vowed to take the case to the appeals court, arguing that the prosecutors had failed to show any proof of espionage and that the hikers strayed into Iran inadvertently.

"In the past two years I have not seen any evidence to prove my clients are spies," he said. "It is as if anyone carrying a toothbrush in his satchel is a spy."

Pilot in elite British stunt team killed

LONDON — A pilot with the British military's elite Red Arrows aerobatic display team died Saturday when his jet crashed and broke into pieces after taking part in an air show in southern England, the defense ministry said.

The nine-plane stunt team had finished a display over the seafront in Bournemouth, 100 miles south of London, and was returning to the airport when one of the jets crashed.

The defense ministry said the plane came down in fields about a mile from Bournemouth Airport just before 2 p.m.

The Ministry of Defense identified the pilot as 33-year-old Flight Lt. John Egging. Egging joined the air force in 2000 and had served in Afghanistan.

He joined the Red Arrows in the fall of 2010.

Bodies dumped near store in Acapulco

ACAPULCO, Mexico — Two decapitated bodies and scalped heads were dumped outside a Sam's Club store in Acapulco while three headless corpses were found nearby on the resort city's main tourist strip, authorities in Mexico said Saturday.

The bodies discovered outside the Sam's Club were cut into more than 20 pieces, Guerrero state's Public Security Department said in a statement.

The statement said the skin on their faces and scalps had been removed and left in a woman's purse at the scene.

The three other decapitated bodies were found in a car parked on the boulevard Miguel Aleman 650 feet from the store, police said. One of the victims was a woman. Their heads have not been located.

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