Nation/World


In brief: Miller won’t block vote certification

JUNEAU, Alaska – Alaska’s certification of results showing U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski winning re-election over Republican rival Joe Miller could come as soon as Thursday.

Miller filed court papers Monday saying he no longer objects to the state giving its OK to the election results. That would clear the path for Murkowski to be in place in Congress when it convenes early next month.

But Miller still isn’t satisfied with how write-in ballots were counted and isn’t giving up. His attorneys asked U.S. District Judge Ralph Beistline to keep Miller’s legal options open after Murkowski is seated, including a possible recount, if warranted.

Beistline is the one who has barred the state from certifying results. A spokeswoman for Gov. Sean Parnell says that if Beistline lifts his stay, certification paperwork could be signed Thursday.

Doctor in fertility scandal arrested

LOS ANGELES – Federal officials are working to extradite a fugitive physician at the heart of a University of California, Irvine fertility scandal in the 1990s, who was arrested last month in Mexico City.

U.S. attorney spokesman Thom Mrozek says Ricardo Asch was arrested Nov. 3, about 15 years after he and another fertility doctor, Jose Balmaceda, were charged with stealing the eggs and embryos of dozens of women being treated at the UC Irvine Center for Reproductive Health.

Both doctors fled the United States in 1996 following their indictments.

American officials have until Jan. 3 to complete the extradition paperwork, and will send it to the State Department this week, according to Mrozek.

The UC Irvine doctors were accused of wrongdoing after auditors found that he and Balmaceda had cooked books to hide $1 million in billings. Further scrutiny uncovered unapproved tissue transfers, which was not illegal at the time.

The Los Angeles Times reports that at least 15 births resulted from the improper egg transfers.


 

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