Gangster Sentenced

To Third Life Term

TULSA -- Boston gangster Stephen "The Rifleman" Flemmi was sentenced Thursday to life in prison for the 1981 murder of a Tulsa businessman.

Flemmi, 70, who is already serving two other life sentences, pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and conspiracy in a deal struck with prosecutors.

The deal allowed him to avoid the death penalty for his role in businessman Roger Wheeler's killing and in nine other murders in Florida and the Boston area.

Flemmi was a lieutenant to mob boss James "Whitey" Bulger, now a fugitive on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted list. Bulger had also been an FBI informant.

* MIAMI -- Child-welfare officials acknowledged that confidential records for nearly 4,000 abused and neglected children were available on the Internet until this week. The files were accessible on the Web site of Kids Central, a privately run children's agency, and included the children's names, as well as details such as birth dates, Social Security numbers, photographs, case histories and even directions to foster homes. The state Department of Children and Families ordered the Web site shut down Wednesday after being alerted by the Miami Herald.

* PHOENIX -- The Border Patrol said it apprehended 586,000 illegal immigrants coming into Arizona in the past year, a huge increase that is due in large part to an aggressive enforcement effort launched in March. The apprehensions are the second greatest ever, behind the record 725,093 in 2000. The beefed-up enforcement involves helicopters, ground sensors, two unmanned surveillance aircraft and dozens more border agents in Arizona -- the busiest illegal entry point on the Mexican border. In the previous year, nearly 400,000 people were apprehended.

* HONOLULU -- Divers found anchors, cauldrons and cannonballs underwater off a remote Hawaiian atoll. Officials said the debris could be from British whaling ships lost almost two centuries ago. If confirmed, it would be the earliest Western shipwreck discovered in the Hawaiian Islands, said Hans Van Tilburg, maritime heritage coordinator.

* EAGLE, Colo. -- Some previously sealed documents and evidence from the sexual assault case against Kobe Bryant will be released Friday, the Eagle County sheriff's office said. The records could include a transcript of the NBA star's interview with investigators, statements from some witnesses, an arrest affidavit and investigators' reports. They could also include phone records and other documents.

-- From News Services