April 15, 2009 in Nation/World

Nation in brief: Accused Nazi guard stalls deportation

 
Associated Press photo

Vera Demjanjuk, wife of John Demjanjuk, left, and his grandaughter watch Tuesday as he is taken by immigration agents to face charges he was a guard at a Nazi death camp.
(Full-size photo)

John Demjanjuk was released from federal custody Tuesday evening, just hours after six immigration officers removed the accused Nazi death camp guard from his suburban home in a wheelchair, authorities said.

Federal officials had taken Demjanjuk to a federal building in downtown Cleveland, but the 89-year-old retired autoworker’s impending return to Germany was halted when a three-judge panel of the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals granted a stay of deportation.

An arrest warrant in Germany claims Demjanjuk was an accessory to some 29,000 deaths during World War II at the Sobibor camp in Nazi-occupied Poland. Once in Germany, he could be formally charged in court.

Chicago

Blagojevich enters not-guilty plea

Ousted Gov. Rod Blagojevich pleaded not guilty to racketeering and fraud charges Tuesday, defiantly embarking on a long journey to clear his name but facing serious money problems and without a team of lawyers in place.

Blagojevich, 52, is charged with scheming to sell President Barack Obama’s former U.S. Senate seat, attempting to extort campaign money from companies seeking state business and plotting to use the financial muscle of the governor’s office to pressure the Chicago Tribune to fire editorial writers calling for his impeachment. The accusations led to his ouster as governor, but he repeated Tuesday what he has been saying for months – that he is not guilty.

Anchorage, Alaska

Palin: Natural gas can slow warming

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin acknowledged Tuesday that global warming was harming her state but said stepped-up natural-gas production could mitigate its effects.

Speaking at a hearing before Interior Secretary Ken Salazar – the third of several he is holding to consider renewed oil and gas leasing on the Outer Continental Shelf – Palin said that relatively clean-burning natural gas could supplant dirtier fuels and slow the discharge of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

“We Alaskans are living with the changes that you are observing in Washington,” she said. “The dramatic decreases in the extent of summer sea ice, increased coastal erosion, melting of permafrost, decrease in alpine glaciers and overall ecosystem changes are very real to us.”

Palin previously had questioned the science behind predictions of sea ice loss.

Los Angeles

Chambers death still a mystery

A Los Angeles County coroner official says an autopsy has failed to determine the cause of death for adult film star Marilyn Chambers.

Los Angeles County coroner’s Assistant Chief Ed Winter said Tuesday that 56-year-old Chambers probably died of natural causes, but additional testing will be required.

Chambers was found dead Sunday at her home in the Los Angeles suburb of Canyon Country.

Chambers starred in the explicit 1972 movie “Behind the Green Door,” which helped bring hard-core adult films into the mainstream.

From wire reports


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