WASHINGTON

Pirates off Nigerian coast take two Americans hostage

Two Americans were taken hostage by pirates who attacked their ship off the coast of Nigeria, a U.S. official said Thursday.

The captain and chief engineer of the C-Retriever, a U.S.-flagged oil supply ship, were kidnapped in the attack early Wednesday in the Gulf of Guinea, according to news reports.

The ship is owned by Edison Chouest Offshore, a maritime company based in Cut Off, La. A company spokesman didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

The kidnapping highlighted the growing problem of piracy off West Africa, which has supplanted the coast of Somalia as one of the most dangerous sea lanes in the world.

NEWTOWN, Conn.

Demolition of Sandy Hook Elementary School started

Officials in Newtown, Conn., say workers have begun demolishing the elementary school where a gunman killed 20 children and six adults.

Small-scale demolition – no wrecking ball will be used – is underway at the old Sandy Hook Elementary School building and the project will take several weeks.

Newtown has accepted a $50 million state grant to raze the building and build a new school, due to open by December 2016.

DALLAS

Indictment to be sought against officer in shooting

Dallas police will seek a grand jury indictment against an officer who was fired after shooting a mentally ill man in a disputed incident caught on tape.

Police Chief David Brown apologized for the actions of Officer Cardan Spencer, who had been on administrative leave following the Oct. 14 shooting.

Brown said Spencer had been fired and was charged with felony aggravated assault, but police later issued a statement saying a judge directive detectives to take the case to a grand jury.