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Nation news briefs
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NEW ROUTE FOR PIPELINE: HOUSTON (AP) — A Canadian company that wants to build a 1,700-mile oil pipeline through the U.S. heartland to the Texas Gulf Coast will be ready within weeks to submit plans for a new route that avoids the environmentally sensitive Nebraska Sandhills region, a TransCanada executive said Tuesday.

TransCanada also plans to begin construction on the pipeline's southern tier from Cushing, Okla., to Texas by late spring or early summer, said Alex Pourbaix, president of TransCanada's energy and oil pipelines division.

The contentious pipeline is designed to bring oil from Canada's tar sands region in Alberta to refineries along the Texas Gulf Coast. The upper portion of the pipeline requires U.S. State Department approval because it crosses an international border, while the southern tier will need standard federal permits that Pourbaix believes will be ready shortly.

COPS: FIRED FLA. TEACHER KILLS HEADMISTRESS, SELF: JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — A teacher fired from a private school in Florida on Tuesday returned to the campus with a gun hidden in a guitar case and shot the headmistress to death before committing suicide while school was in session, authorities said.

No students were hurt.

Officers responded to the Episcopal School of Jacksonville at 1:23 p.m. Tuesday after receiving reports of a person with a gun, and the school was placed on lockdown.

AUTHORITIES: HACKERS BUSTED WHEN 1 TURNS INFORMANT: NEW YORK (AP) — The shadowy underworld of Internet hackers was rocked Tuesday by news that one of the world's most-wanted and most-feared computer vandals has been an FBI informant for months and helped authorities build a case against five people they say were comrades.

The FBI said it captured the legendary hacker known as Sabu last June and he turned out to be Hector Xavier Monsegur, a 28-year-old self-taught, unemployed computer programmer with no college education, living on welfare in public housing in New York.

His exploits made him a hero to some in cyberspace until he made a rookie mistake — he posted something online without cloaking his IP address, or computer identity — and someone tipped off the FBI.

Soon after his arrest, he pleaded guilty and began spilling secrets, leading to charges Tuesday against five people in Europe and the U.S., including a Chicago man who boasted that he'd snared the personal data of a former U.S. vice president and one-time CIA director, and preventing more than 300 attacks along the way, authorities said.

ARIZONA GOVERNOR BLASTS FEDS OVER IMMIGRATION WOES: PHOENIX (AP) — Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer blasted the federal government for failing to secure the U.S.-Mexico border while invoking the names of a slain rancher and Border Patrol agent on Tuesday at a major border-security expo being held in downtown Phoenix.

Speaking to a room of law enforcement officers and those in the border technology industry, Brewer said the immigration issue isn't about hate or skin color, as her critics say — it's about securing the border and keeping Americans safe.

"Of course, there are those in Washington who will tell you — from 3,000 miles away, by the way — that our border is more secure than ever," Brewer said. "No amount of distortion can hide the absolute truth. The federal government, Republicans and Democrats alike, have failed every single American, all of us."

13-YEAR-OLD GIRL FOUND DEAD IN PARK: ROSEMONT  (AP) — Sacramento County Sheriff's officials are investigating the death of a 13-year-old girl whose body was found in a park in Rosemont near Sacramento..

Deputy Jason Ramos says Jessica Funk-Haslam was discovered by a woman collecting recyclables Tuesday morning in a dugout of a softball field.

Sacramento City Unified School District spokesman Gabe Ross said the girl was an eighth-grader at nearby Albert Einstein Middle School.