AP News in Brief at 5:58 a.m. EDT

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Associated Press

Posted on July 30, 2013 at 5:03 AM

Updated Tuesday, Jul 30 at 5:03 AM

AP IMPACT: American limbo was fate for 10 suspected Nazis ordered deported; 4 alive in US

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — At least 10 suspected Nazi war criminals ordered deported by the United States never left the country, according to an Associated Press review of Justice Department data — and four are living in the U.S. today. All remained eligible for public benefits such as Social Security until they exhausted appeals, and in one case even beyond.

Quiet American legal limbo was the fate of all 10 men uncovered in the AP review. The reason: While the U.S. wanted them out, no other country was willing to take them in.

That's currently the case of Vladas Zajanckauskas in Sutton, Massachusetts. It's the case of Theodor Szehinskyj in West Chester, Pennsylvania. Of Jakiw Palij in New York City. And of John Kalymon in Troy, Michigan.

All have been in the same areas for years, stripped of citizenship and ordered deported, yet able to carry out their lives in familiar surroundings. Dozens of other Nazi war crimes suspects in the U.S. were also entitled to Social Security and other public benefits for years as they fought deportation.

The United States can deport people over evidence of involvement in Nazi war crimes, but cannot put such people on trial because the alleged crimes did not take place on American soil. The responsibility to prosecute would lie with the countries where the crimes were committed or ordered — if the suspects ever end up there.

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Kerry hosts Israel, Palestinians for peace talks, underscores urgency for two-state solution

WASHINGTON (AP) — Diplomats long have stressed the urgency of resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, yet as a new round of Mideast peace talks begins, Secretary of State John Kerry thinks there are more reasons than ever to move quickly.

In Kerry's thinking, time is running out.

It would be difficult to remove a mushrooming number of Israeli settlements, which have doubled in the West Bank since 2000, even if Israel wanted to. The Palestinians are claiming that Arabs will outnumber Jews in the Holy Land by 2020. And last year, the U.N. General Assembly recognized a state of Palestine in the West Bank, Gaza and east Jerusalem — a move that could let the Palestinians take their complaints over settlements to the International Criminal Court.

The new round of talks, which resume Tuesday in Washington, follows six months of shuttle diplomacy to restart negotiations that broke down in 2008. An attempt to restart them in 2010 failed after a single day. And before that, scores of diplomats have failed to broker peace.

After five years of diplomatic stalemate, there has been a flurry of activity in recent days to set the stage for the talks that all sides agree will be difficult.

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Obama plays hands-off role in Mideast peace talks as negotiations open in Washington

WASHINGTON (AP) — The first Middle East peace talks in years are underway a few blocks from the White House, but President Barack Obama is conspicuously keeping his distance.

Burned by a failed peace effort in his first term, Obama has largely ceded this latest attempt to forge an agreement between the Israelis and Palestinians to Secretary of State John Kerry. The move marks a rare power shift for an administration that prefers to centralize foreign policy decisions within the White House.

Obama's hands-off approach is in part a vote of confidence in Kerry, who has embraced the vexing and emotional issue with gusto since joining the administration earlier this year. It also signals a calculation by the White House that direct presidential intervention is best reserved for the final stages of negotiations — if the process ever reaches that point — or for moments of tension when Obama might be called upon to keep the talks afloat.

Aaron David Miller, a longtime Middle East peace adviser to Democratic and Republican presidents, backed the White House's approach.

"You don't want to waste presidential capital," said Miller, now vice president of the Woodrow Wilson International Center. "But in the end, Obama is going to have to own this if it's going to succeed."

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Massive explosions rock central Florida gas plant; 7 hospitalized, all workers accounted for

TAVARES, Fla. (AP) — A series of explosions rocked a central Florida propane gas plant and sent "boom after boom after boom" through the neighborhood around it. Several people were injured, with at least three critically injured.

All the workers at the plant were accounted for early Tuesday after officials initially could not account for more than a dozen employees.

John Herrell of the Lake County Sheriff's Office said there were no fatalities despite massive blasts that ripped through the Blue Rhino propane plant late Monday night.

"Management is comfortable saying all of those they knew were there tonight have been accounted for," he said.

One person injured in the explosion was listed in critical condition at University of Florida Health Shands Hospital. Two others were listed in critical condition at Orlando Regional Medical Center and a spokeswoman there said a third patient was en route, also listed as critical.

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Clergy, faithful work to understand pope's message to take to streets and spread Gospel

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — In word and deed during his trip to Brazil, Pope Francis put clergy and faithful alike on notice: Get energized, go out and spread the Gospel, give the Roman Catholic Church a more active role in society.

Francis led the way, with upward of 3 million faithful gathering for his Mass on Copacabana beach, a gushing local press following his every move on nationwide TV and even a group of nuns squealing in delight like groupies upon spotting him. By all measures, the pope's first international trip was a smash success.

But the burning question in the post-trip glow remains: How to carry out Francis' commands with a church that's loaded with challenges, from a severe shortage of priests to the fleeing of faithful for two decades in strongholds such as Brazil, as well as across Europe and the United States.

On Monday, priests, lay people and religious experts alike interpreted through their own cultural lens how to understand Francis' call to action, when he told bishops in Brazil that clergy must work on the peripheries, get out in the street and better understand how to communicate with modern society.

"As a younger priest, that's part of my idealism, to take our work into the streets," said Father Roy Bellen from Manila, who was in Rio for the papal visit. "It's encouraging for me to hear from the boss that the old school ways aren't welcome, that of clergy sticking to their comfort zones inside the church."

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Verdict in Manning case to test theory that one can aid the enemy without meaning to

FORT MEADE, Md. (AP) — It's judgment day for Army Pfc. Bradley Manning, the soldier charged with aiding the enemy for giving troves of U.S. government secrets to WikiLeaks.

The military judge hearing the court-martial for the former intelligence analyst was expected to announce her decision Tuesday afternoon. Manning faces 21 counts including espionage, computer fraud and theft charges, but the most serious is aiding the enemy, which carries a possible life sentence.

Prosecutors have tried to prove Manning had "a general evil intent" and knew the classified material would be seen by the terrorist group al-Qaida. Legal experts said an aiding-the- enemy conviction could set a precedent because Manning did not directly give the classified material to al-Qaida.

"Most of the aiding-the-enemy charges historically have had to do with POWs who gave information to the Japanese during World War II, or to Chinese communists during Korea, or during the Vietnam War," Duke law school professor and former Air Force judge advocate Scott Silliman said.

Manning's supporters also worry a conviction on the most serious charge will have a chilling effect on other leakers.

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EU's top diplomat says discussions with Morsi touched on Egypt's need to move forward

CAIRO (AP) — The European Union's top diplomat says she discussed Egypt's political crisis with deposed President Mohammed Morsi and the need for the country to move forward.

EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton met with Morsi late Monday in the ousted Islamist leader's first meeting with the outside world since he was overthrown by a military coup on July 3. He had been held incommunicado since his ouster.

Ashton told reporters in Cairo on Tuesday that her meeting with Morsi took place at an undisclosed location.

She said he "has access to information, in terms of TV and newspapers, so we were able to talk about the situation, and we were able to talk about the need to move forward." She declined to elaborate.

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Time Warner Cable removes CBS from lineup in 3 cities after fee fight, then reverses decision

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) — The fee dispute between Time Warner Cable and CBS Corp. took an odd turn when the cable giant announced it was turning off the broadcaster in three major cities, then quickly reversed the decision.

The two sides negotiated through the day Monday to avoid a programming blackout. Both parties kept extending the deadline before the cable provider appeared to replace regular programming on the network with a company statement for a brief, undetermined amount of time.

Around 9 p.m. PDT, Time Warner Cable said about 3 million customers in New York, Los Angeles, and Dallas would lose the network and four CBS cable stations because of "outrageous demands for fees" by CBS.

"We offered to pay reasonable increases, but CBS's demands are out of line and unfair — and they want Time Warner Cable to pay more than others pay for the same programming," Time Warner Cable said in a statement.

CBS countered, saying that it remained firm in getting fair compensation for its programming. It accused Time Warner Cable of having a "short-sighted, anti-consumer strategy."

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DIGITS: 79 percent in neighborhoods hardest hit by Sandy say rebuild even in face of risk

A superstorm. A mile-wide tornado. A wildfire that killed 19 firefighters in seconds. These three crushing natural disasters, all in the past year, illustrate a new challenge facing policymakers: Should communities damaged by disaster rebuild in the same places, knowing the risks of the same thing happening again? Or should they encourage residents to move to safer ground, potentially wiping those places off the map?

More Americans say they favor financial help for rebuilding than relocating, and both options draw even greater support among those hit hardest by Superstorm Sandy.

A survey from the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research examined resilience following last year's superstorm, and found that among those living in the hardest-hit neighborhoods of New York and New Jersey, 79 percent said they favored government funding to help victims of such disasters rebuild in the same neighborhood.

That doesn't mean they're opposed to policies encouraging relocation, though they are a bit less likely to back them — 59 percent were in favor of state governments purchasing homes in disaster-stricken regions so residents can move to a safer area.

That pattern follows the poll's findings nationwide: 65 percent support funding for rebuilding in the same location and 53 percent back government assistance with relocation.

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Weiner falls to 4th in new NYC mayoral poll while Cuomo remains silent on his bid

NEW YORK (AP) — New York City mayoral hopeful Anthony Weiner plunged to fourth place among Democrats in a poll taken since he admitted to having illicit online exchanges with women even after he resigned from Congress amid a sexting scandal.

The poll — which Weiner led just five days ago — also showed about half of likely Democratic voters saying Weiner should abandon his mayoral bid.

Weiner's support fell from 26 percent last week to 16 percent in Monday's Quinnipiac University poll. Last week's survey was taken largely before Weiner's latest scandal was revealed.

"He's in a free-fall," said poll director Maurice Carroll. "He can't win. He simply can't win."

Standing side by side with his wife, Weiner admitted last week that he had tawdry online exchanges — including X-rated photos — with a then-22 year-old Indiana woman after he stepped down from Congress in 2011 over similar behavior. He later said he had similar exchanges with two other women after his resignation.

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