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Three teens held in bus hijacking

PRINCE GEORGE, British Columbia - Three teen-age boys were ordered held in custody until Friday on charges arising from the hijacking of a school bus carrying 13 students. Provincial Court officials said Wayne Gauthier and Bradley Hawley, both 18-year-old residents of Prince George, face nine charges ranging from kidnapping to extortion. Details of charges against a 14-year-old boy could not be released, they said.The Royal Canadian Mounted Police said earlier that three teens armed with sawed-off rifles seized a school bus Tuesday and held police at bay for more than two hours in a downtown car lot. Police said the motives for the hijacking were still unclear. None of the hostages was injured, although one was treated for hysteria.

Montreal students seek strict gun laws

MONTREAL - Students gathered Wednesday at the site of the biggest mass murder in Canada's history to press for stricter gun-control laws and an end to violence against women. Two months ago, a gunman killed 14 female students at the University of Montreal's engineering school before committing suicide. The students, organizing a national drive to ban military-style weapons, said they had collected 300,000 signatures.

City declares itself English-only

THUNDER BAY, Ontario - The Thunder Bay City Council has declared this northern Ontario center English-only despite last-minute pleas from local French speakers not to take such a drastic stand. In a 9-4 vote Monday, the council adopted English as the official language in this city of 125,000 - making it the largest of at least 44 Ontario communities to go that route. French speakers account for 2.3 percent of the city's population.

West Vancouver sets six-cat limit

VANCOUVER, British Columbia - Suburban West Vancouver, one of Canada's richest cities, said Wednesday it is limiting the number of cats allowed in any household to six. "My neighbor has 25 cats, and they poo all over the garden. The smell is unbearable," said Lucille Aunger, who organized a successful petition against feline-filled homes.

Smoke from dump forces evacuation

TORONTO - Billowing smoke from a burning mountain of tires is threatening more than 2,000 people near Hagersville in southeastern Ontario. The fire was raging Wednesday for the second day, and police said they have asked residents to leave their homes. A water-bomber aircraft was pouring fire retardant on the flames, but smoke continued to pour from the recycling depot, estimated to hold more than 12-million tires in an area the size of a city block.