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Thief stuffs snake down pants

A snake thief smuggled a two-foot-long python from a Portland pet store by stuffing it down his pants.

Sgt. Greg Stewart said no arrests have been made in Friday’s theft.

But Christin Bjugan, an owner of A to Z pet store, said video surveillance has helped viewers and police detectives identify a suspect, and she expects to have the snake returned soon.

New record for wildfires in parks

Wildfires scorched a record amount of Canada’s national parks last year—the latest in a number of long, hot summers that almost entirely have depleted Parks Canada’s firefighting reserve.

“We had a very busy fire year,” said Jeff Weir, director of fire management.

“We had more wildfires than normal and those fires burned larger areas than normal,” he noted.

Canadian freed after five years as hostage

OTTAWA—An Afghan official has described a dramatic scene surrounding the release of a Canadian hostage held by the Taliban for five years.

Police chief Gen. Aminullah Amarkhil told The Associated Press today that Colin Rutherford’s release involved a helicopter landing to scoop him to freedom as fighter jets flew overhead in Ghazni province’s Giro district.