In Brief | Nation & World | 7-21-14


Immigration overhaul drive overtaken by an influx of kids

WASHINGTON — The nation’s yearlong deliberation over immigration has taken a head-snapping detour.

What was once a debate over how to fix a broken system and provide a path to citizenship for millions has become a race to decide how to increase border patrols and send people back quickly to their country of origin.

The sudden rise in the number of families and unaccompanied minors from Central America crossing the border has refocused attention on immigration, but hardly under the terms that President Barack Obama and immigrant advocates once envisioned.

Obama had demanded action on a broad change in the law that would have given millions of immigrants illegally in the United States a way to citizenship while spending more on border security. When Republicans balked, he threatened to act on his own. But now the White House says it’s focused on addressing the influx of border-crossers and returning as many as quickly as the government can.

Republican lawmakers had decided to scuttle any votes on a comprehensive overhaul of immigration laws this year. Now, they are urging prompt legislative action to stem the flow of Central Americans into the United States. Some Republicans even want Obama to take decisive action himself, a shift from their usual criticism that he has abused his executive powers.

Iraq veteran in Ohio worried about losing 14 therapeutic ducks after village citation

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ohio — An Army veteran who hurt his back during the Iraq War is worried a citation will result in him losing his 14 pet ducks, which he says are therapeutic.

Darin Welker said officials in the village of West Lafayette told him to get rid of the ducks in May and cited him for a minor misdemeanor on June 23 for failing to comply. Walker is scheduled to appear in Coshocton Municipal Court for a hearing Wednesday and could face a $150 fine.

Welker, 36, says the ducks help him with depression and post-traumatic stress disorder and keep him more active.

West Lafayette, about 80 miles east of Columbus, banned residents from keeping fowl and other farm animals in 2010.

Mayor Jack Patterson declined to comment on Welker’s predicament and referred questions to village police Chief Terry Mardis, who couldn’t be reached for comment.

Film legend James Garner dead at age 86

NEW YORK — Few actors could register disbelief, exasperation or annoyance with more comic subtlety.

James Garner had a way of widening his eyes while the corner of his mouth sagged ever so slightly. Maybe he would swallow once to further make his point.

This portrait of fleeting disquiet could be understood, and identified with, by every member of the audience. Never mind Garner was tall, brawny and, well, movie-star handsome. The persona he perfected was never less than manly, good with his dukes and charming to the ladies, but his heroics were kept human-scale thanks to his gift for the comic turn. He remained one of the people.

He burst on the scene with this disarming style in the 1950s TV Western “Maverick,” which led to a stellar career in TV and films such as “The Rockford Files” and his Oscar-nominated “Murphy’s Romance.”

The 86-year-old Garner, who was found dead of natural causes at his Los Angeles home on Saturday, was adept at drama and action. But he was best known for his low-key, wisecracking style, especially on his hit TV series, “Maverick” and “The Rockford Files.”

By wire sources