June 11, 2008 in Nation/World

Nation in brief: Ex-Nazi guard ordered deported

The Spokesman-Review
 

A retired steelworker who served as a Nazi guard should be deported even though the United States mistakenly granted him a visa in 1956, a federal appeals court ruled Tuesday.

Anton Geiser’s work as a guard meets the type of persecutory conduct banned under a 1953 federal law, the ruling said.

Geiser, 83, did not reveal his Nazi ties on his visa application, but he is not accused of lying about them. Files from the period have been lost.

His lawyer, Adrian N. Roe, told the appeals court that guards not deemed war criminals were sometimes allowed in by the State Department. He complained that the Justice Department, in its efforts to expel former Nazis, was revisiting decisions made a half-century ago.

But the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which focused on the language of the Refugee Relief Act of 1953, said Geiser should have his U.S. citizenship revoked and be deported.

SACRAMENTO, Calif.

Winds hampering firefighting efforts

Fires fed by raging winds raced across parts of Northern California on Tuesday, destroying dozens of homes, threatening hundreds of others and leaving a firefighter severely burned.

The fires were concentrated in areas north and south of the state capital, while separate blazes burned near the coast.

A nearly 2-square-mile wildfire destroyed 21 homes and about 30 other structures in Palermo, a town of about 5,000 residents, said Joshpae White, a California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection spokesman.

South of Sacramento, several fires that ignited along Interstate 5 in Stockton blew out of control. The fires damaged or destroyed 30 homes.

Redding, Calif.

Flag-burning photo closes school paper

A high school newspaper was disbanded after it published a front-page photo of a student burning an American flag, triggering criticism that the administration was stifling free expression.

Shasta High School Principal Milan Woollard said the school year’s final issue of the student-run Shasta High Volcano was embarrassing.

“The paper’s done,” Woollard said. “There is not going to be a school newspaper next year.”

The school newspaper also ran in its June 3 edition an editorial written by editor-in-chief Connor Kennedy that defended flag burning as speech protected by the First Amendment.

The school principal said eliminating the paper had been an option before it published the flag photo because the school expects to get less state funding next year and needs to save money.

The students’ decision to showcase flag burning “cements the decision” to pull funding from the newspaper, he said.


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