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Monday, July 28, 2014, 3:18 a.m.
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The nation in brief

By COMPILED BY DEMOCRAT-GAZETTE STAFF FROM WIRE REPORTS

This article was published May 26, 2014 at 5:20 a.m.

QUOTE OF THE DAY

“For a few horrible seconds I thought it was all over.When they left, the biggest wave of relief swept over me.”

Elliot Rodger,

the California gunman who was visited by sheriff’s deputies for a wellness check April 30, more than three weeks before he killed six people and apparently himself Friday during a rampage

Article, this page

Vets honored at NYC Fleet Week service

NEW YORK — The U.S. Marine Corps’ chaplain, speaking Sunday to a congregation that has tied gold ribbons on the fence of the Marble Collegiate Church in Manhattan in honor of the soldiers who have died since the Iraq War began, lauded the sacrifice of veterans around the world.

“What they have done has allowed us to be here,” Rear Adm. Margaret Kibben told the roughly 200 worshippers, including active duty servicemen in town for the annual Fleet Week celebration.

Across the nation, citizens were marking Memorial Day with somber ceremonies, flag plantings at cemeteries, parades and barbecues — an American pastime that Petty Officer 1st Class Brian McNeal said he’s glad others could enjoy on the holiday weekend.

“I’m in the service so that they can enjoy that,” said Mc-Neal, 39, who is stationed in Suffolk, Va., and was in town for Fleet Week. “They made the sacrifice so everyday citizens don’t have to worry about the evils of the world.”

Thousands of memorial ribbons are tied on the church’s fence — gold ribbons for service members killed in Afghanistan, green ribbons representing prayers for peace and blue ribbons for the people of Afghanistan.

Alaskan fire expands, spurs evacuations

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — A wildfire pushed by wind in Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula south of Anchorage continues to expand, leading to mandatory evacuations of 1,000 structures, officials said Sunday. The number of people told to flee their homes isn’t clear, said Michelle Weston, spokesman with the Alaska Interagency Management Team, which includes the state Forestry Division and federal and local officials. She said the fire recently covered nearly 218 square miles and has grown significantly as it burns in the 1.9 million-acre Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, but she didn’t immediately have a new estimate on size. The Funny River Fire is named after a nearby road, where all residents now are being evacuated. She said Alaska State troopers are going door to door, evacuating an area that’s mostly second homes and is home to many retirees. She said no injuries were reported and it’s unclear if any buildings were damaged. In Arizona, officials said Sunday that they were slowly making progress in controlling a wildfire burning in a northern canyon. The fire covered 21 square miles and is 25 percent contained, up from 5 percent the day before. The Slide Fire has grown in the past two days as crews set fires to rob the blaze of its natural forest fuels.

Small plane crashes in Florida, killing 3

FOUNTAIN, Fla. — Authorities said three people died after a small plane crashed on a rural road in Florida’s panhandle. The Bay County sheriff’s office told The News Herald that the plane caught fire when it crashed Sunday morning. The sheriff’s office said the pilot was taken to a hospital in “extremely critical condition” and three passengers in the plane died. The names of the victims have not been released. A message left for a Federal Aviation Administration spokesman was not immediately returned Sunday.

Former Marine to ask for new trial in Iran

DETROIT — A former U.S. Marine who has spent almost 1,000 days in an Iranian prison after being accused of working for the CIA will appeal for a new trial after already having his sentence reduced once, an Iranian news agency reported Sunday.

Amir Hekmati, a dual U.S.-Iranian citizen born in Arizona and raised in Michigan, was arrested in August 2011 on his first visit to his parents’ homeland, then tried, convicted and sentenced to death for spying.

Iran’s Supreme Court annulled the death sentence after Hekmati appealed, ordering a retrial in 2012. The country’s Revolutionary Court then overturned his conviction for espionage, instead charging him with “cooperating with hostile governments” and sentenced him to 10 years in prison.

The U.S. congressman representing the Hekmati family renewed his call for the 31-year-old’s release Sunday.

“During his captivity, Amir’s father has fallen terribly ill with brain cancer, and there is no greater wish from his father than to see his son again,” said U.S. Rep. Dan Kildee, D-Mich., in a statement. “For 1,000 days, his family has also suffered as Amir continues to be held on unjust charges. They want nothing more than their family to be whole and in one place again.”

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Displaying 1 - 2 of 2 total comments

Clarksville says... May 26, 2014 at 9:50 a.m.

All 4 Arkansas Republican Congressmen (Womack,Cotton, Griffin, and Crawford ) recently voted for an amendment to fund The Pentagon that would prohibit using the latest global warming research initiative to influence any planning or spending on our Country's defense. How shameful and embarrassing to join the ranks of ignorance in our Nation. Hopefully, all 4 will be removed from office in upcoming elections.

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GrimReaper says... May 26, 2014 at 10:25 a.m.

The nation in brief, as reflected in the above comment..............FUBAR!

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