Arrow-right Camera


In brief: Arson suspect sought asylum in Canada

SATURDAY, JAN. 7, 2012

LOS ANGELES – Los Angeles arson suspect Harry Burkhart made an impassioned appeal to Canadian authorities for asylum a year ago, saying he was severely disabled, alone and on the run to save his life.

Apologizing for his limited English, the Chechen-born 24-year-old accused in the New Year’s weekend spree of arsons asked a federal court in Vancouver to let his mother represent him in their bid for asylum.

“Me and my mother, we are among the most vulnerable in society,” Burkhart wrote in the affidavit filed Dec. 6, 2010. “I’m several (sic) disabled, we are alone, I have no father, no family members or friends, they could help us. We are here in Canada just to save our life.”

First lady’s strong role stirs friction, book says

WASHINGTON – First lady Michelle Obama is a behind-the- scenes force in the White House whose opinions on policy and politics drew her into conflict with presidential advisers and who bristled at some of the constraints of life as the president’s wife, according to a detailed account of the first couple’s relationship.

New York Times reporter Jodi Kantor, in a book to be published Tuesday, portrays a White House where tensions developed between Michelle Obama and former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel and former press secretary Robert Gibbs.

The Associated Press obtained a copy of “The Obamas” on Friday.

The White House called the book an “over-dramatization of old news” and emphasized that the first couple did not speak to the author, who last interviewed them for a magazine piece in 2009.


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