In brief | Nation & world | 020614


GOP conservatives adamant in ruling out immigration overhaul in 2014, say wait until next year

WASHINGTON — Conservative Republicans on Wednesday ruled out any immigration legislation in the House this year, insisting that the GOP should wait until next year when the party might also control the Senate.

House GOP leaders unveiled their broad immigration principles last week that gave hope to advocates and the Obama administration that the first changes in the nation’s laws in three decades might happen in the coming months.

Immigration legislation is one of the top priorities for Obama’s second term.

But several of the conservatives were adamant that the House should do nothing on the issue this year, a midterm election year when the GOP is angling to gain six seats in the Senate and seize majority control. Democrats currently have a 55-45 advantage but are defending more seats, including ones in GOP-leaning states.

“I think it’s a mistake for us to have an internal battle in the Republican Party this year about immigration reform,” Rep. Raul Labrador, R-Idaho, told reporters at a gathering of conservatives. “I think when we take back the Senate in 2014 one of the first things we should do next year after we do certain economic issues, I think we should address the immigration issue.”

Authorities: Officer’s decision to examine old files led to woman who escaped in 1977

SAN DIEGO — A Michigan officer’s decision to look through old files on fugitives led investigators to a woman who escaped from a Michigan prison 37 years ago and was living in San Diego, authorities said Wednesday.

Judy Lynn Hayman, 60, will be returned to Michigan to complete her sentence for attempted larceny.

“We can’t just write it off,” said Russ Marlan, spokesman for the Michigan Corrections Department. “We don’t have the ability to say, ‘It’s been a long time. You’re free to go.’”

It will be up to the state Parole Board to determine how long Hayman will be imprisoned. She had served eight months of an 18- to 24-month sentence for attempting to steal clothes from a Detroit-area store. She could face a separate criminal charge for the escape.

NYC medical examiner: Hoffman’s autopsy inconclusive, further tests needed

NEW YORK — Four people were taken into custody on drug charges after police investigating Philip Seymour Hoffman’s death executed search warrants, two people with knowledge of the investigation said Wednesday, and the medical examiner’s office said more tests are needed to determine what killed him.

There was no timetable for Hoffman’s autopsy to be finished, said medical examiner’s office spokeswoman Julie Bolcer, who declined to discuss the pending tests. Toxicology and tissue tests are typically done in such cases.

Police believe the Oscar-winning actor may have died from a drug overdose, though his death is being investigated as suspicious pending a more definitive ruling by the medical examiner.

Hoffman was found dead Sunday with a needle in his arm, and tests found heroin — but no traces of the potent synthetic morphine additive fentanyl, which is added to intensify the high and has been linked to 22 suspected overdose deaths in western Pennsylvania — in samples from at least 50 packets in his apartment in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village, law enforcement officials have said.

The four people were taken into custody Tuesday night after police executed search warrants at several city apartments based on a tip provided by a confidential source that they may have supplied Hoffman with drugs, according to two people with knowledge of the investigation who spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity because investigators have not obtained evidence to corroborate the reported connection.

By wire sources