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Survivors sought after deadly Spain quake
LORCA, Spain, May 12 (UPI) — Emergency workers searched for possible survivors in Lorca, Spain, Thursday, a day after a 5.3-magnitude earthquake killed eight people, officials said.
Rafael Gonzalez, the national government representative for the Murcia region, said those who died in the earthquake were outside and likely killed by falling debris, Euronews.net reported.
Town officials said about a third of the community’s 90,000 people, fearful of aftershocks, slept outdoors away from buildings.
Emergency shelters were set up in the town square and distribution of food and other essentials had begun, officials said.
Patients from Lorca’s hospital were evacuated after the quake toppled a portion of the facility’s roof, Euronews.net reported. Part of the facade on the town’s main church was damaged and collapsed hours after the quake.
The Lorca area of the Murcia region had two earthquakes within 2 hours Wednesday. Officials said a 4.4-magnitude quake struck before the 5.3 temblor.
Demjanjuk sentenced for role in Nazi camp
MUNICH, Germany, May 12 (UPI) — A German court Thursday sentenced John Demjanjuk, 91, to five years in prison for his role in killing 28,060 Jews at a Nazi camp in Poland during World War II.
Demjanjuk was convicted of being an accessory to mass murder in his capacity as a guard at the Sobibor concentration camp, where he led the Jews to the camp’s gas chambers, The Guardian reported.
Demjanjuk, sitting in a wheelchair, showed no reaction when the verdict was announced.
The British publication said it wasn’t clear how much credit Demjanjuk would receive for time served.
During the 18-month trial in Munich, his defense team said it would would appeal a conviction.
Demjanjuk, a Ukrainian, was a Red Army soldier allegedly captured by the Germans in 1942 and trained as an SS guard before being sent to work at the camp.
Demjanjuk, who fled to the United States and worked in an auto plant near Cleveland for decades, was described by one Nazi expert as “the littlest of the little fishes” and is the lowest ranking person to be tried for war crimes in Germany, The Guardian said.
The prosecution presented no evidence tying Demjanjuk to a specific crime but said his presence at the camp was enough to charge him with being an accessory to murder.
Prosecutors alleged Demjanjuk was one of the guards who forced Jewish prisoners into rooms, knowing engine fumes were to be pumped in. He also allegedly removed corpses and threw them into a mass grave.
Demjanjuk maintained his innocence, saying he was a victim of Nazi crimes.
Holder: Bin Laden raid was legal
WASHINGTON, May 12 (UPI) — The raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound in Pakistan was a kill-or-capture mission, not an assassination, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said.
If bin Laden had offered to surrender, the U.S. forces conducting the raid would have accepted, Holder said in an interview with the BBC published Thursday.
Reiterating what he previously told Congress, Holder said the May 2 assault on the al-Qaida leader’s hideout in Abbottabad was legal.
Holder told the BBC the U.S. forces acted “in an appropriate way” absent any clear indication bin Laden intended to surrender.
“If the possibility had existed, if there was the possibility of a feasible surrender, that would have occurred,” he said. “But their protection, that is the protection of the force that went into that compound, was I think uppermost in our minds.”
The attorney general said international law permits the targeting of enemy commanders.
“I actually think that the dotting of the i’s and the crossing of the t’s is what separates the United States, the United Kingdom [and] our allies from those who we are fighting,” Holder said. “I think those Navy SEALs conducted themselves in a way that’s consistent with American, [and] British values.”
A day earlier, Bin Laden’s family questioned why he was not captured alive. Bin Laden’s sons criticized the United States for carrying out an “arbitrary killing.”
Two held in alleged NYC synagogue plot
NEW YORK, May 12 (UPI) — Prosecutors said two suspects arrested in an alleged plot to attack two New York City synagogues were ordered to appear in court Thursday.
The arrests were made Wednesday night after the two allegedly tried to purchase guns and hand grenades to use in the assault, law enforcement sources told ABC News.
The suspects were described only as being Muslims, possibly from North Africa. ABC said one man was in his 20s, lived in Queens and had previous arrests for drug possession.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly planned a news conference Thursday to discuss the case.
Border arrests fall 58 percent in 5 years
WASHINGTON, May 12 (UPI) — The number of arrests of people trying to cross the U.S.-Mexico border fell sharply during the last five years, federal data indicate.
In fiscal year 2010, officials arrested 447,731 undocumented immigrants in the states bordering Mexico, CNN reported Thursday.
The 2010 arrest figures released Wednesday by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency within the Department of Homeland Security, represent a 58 percent decrease from fiscal year 2006, when 1.07 million arrests were made.
Several factors contributed to the decrease, officials said, noting that the number of U.S. Border Patrol agents along the U.S.-Mexico border doubled during roughly the same period as the arrests fell. Customs and Border Protection said 11,000 agents patrolled the border in 2004; now the number is approaching 22,000.
This week, President Obama called for “genuine, comprehensive immigration reform” during a speech at the Chamizal National Memorial in El Paso, Texas.
U.S. Border Patrol agent David Jimarez, who works for the Tucson Sector in Arizona, told CNN organized crime posed a greater challenge for agents now.
“These smuggling organizations like to operate from dusk till dawn. They like to operate under the cover of darkness because they think they’re not going to be seen,” Jimarez said.
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