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U.S. Drops Appeal Blocking Demjanjuk's Return

Los Angeles Times


Clearing the way for accused Nazi death camp guard John Demjanjuk to return to the United States, Attorney General Janet Reno said Wednesday the government would not ask the U.S. Supreme Court to bar the retired Cleveland auto worker from re-entering the country while his deportation is reviewed.

Reno said the Justice Department still believes Demjanjuk, 73, was properly denaturalized and deported in 1986 and will seek to uphold those actions, but "based on the law and the circumstances this case" could not prevent his return.

Noting that Demjanjuk was determined by a court to have "intentionally misrepresented" his Nazi past when he came to the United States in 1952, Reno said, "We will continue to do everything possible to uphold the court orders denaturalizing and deporting Mr. Demjanjuk."

Citing new evidence from the former Soviet Union, the Israeli Supreme Court last month acquitted Demjanjuk of being the notorious Nazi guard "Ivan the Terrible" in the Treblinka death camp in Poland. Though the court overturned his death sentence, it did not release him and will decide Thursday whether he can be tried on new charges that he committed atrocities in World War II at Sobibor, another Nazi death camp in Poland.

Rabbi Marvin Hier, dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles, promised the White House would be deluged with "tens of thousands" of telegrams and letters urging the government topple to the Supreme Court and prosecute the Demjanjuk case if he returns.

California Had Major Out Migration Last Year

Los Angeles Times


With a downtrodden economy tarnishing the state's once-golden lure, fewer people are moving to California from other states and more Californians are moving out than ever before, state officials.

The result, according to a Department of Finance analysis of driver's license records: net migration out of California reached 100,000 drivers in the year that ended June 30, by far the largest exodus since the state started keeping track in 1970.

The trend struck every county in the state but one -- San Francisco -- and was most profound in Southern California, where six counties with a combined 57 percent of the state's population accounted for three-quarters of its net departures.

"This is certainly consistent with an economy that's lagging," said Stephen Levy, director of the Palo Alto-based Center for the Continuing Study of the California Economy. "Why would anyone move here in the past year with the unemployment rate around 10 percent?"

The state's figures showed that California lost population, or at least licensed drivers, to other states for the second consecutive year after 16 straight years of gains.

Despite the net movement to other states, California's population continues to climb, albeit at a slower rate. The state grew by 570,000 people to 31.5 million in 1992, with all of that growth the result of births and foreign immigration.

Four of 10 Censorship Attempts In School Succeeded Last Year

Los Angeles Times


Political conservatives and members of the so-called religious right attempted more often than other groups to remove material deemed objectionable from classroom shelves, according to the 11th annual censorship study released Wednesday by a liberal civil liberties group.

Overall, according to People for the American Way, in the 1992-93 school year parents, officials and organizations succeeded in 41 percent of their 347 attempts to restrict or ban the use of teaching materials from American schools.

Alice Walker's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel "The Color Purple," which contains profanity, and "Killing Mr. Griffin," a book about students who kidnap and murder their teacher, were among the books removed from classrooms.

Seven percent of the reported incidents were attributed to liberals, who usually targeted materials they viewed as racist.

The survey highlights a growing debate between free-speech advocates and conservative Christian and parent groups over what is appropriate fare for America's classrooms. People for the American Way claim the attempts at censorship are attacks on the freedom to learn. But parents opposed to the publications say they are exercising their right to decide what their children should or should not read.

New Stamp Urges AIDS Awareness

The Washington Post


In the late 1980s, when postal officials first considered issuing a stamp to call attention to the AIDS epidemic, the head of the committee that recommends stamp designs had an immediate response: "No way."

That is, until the issue reached the desk of Postmaster General Marvin T. Runyon. When it came to stamps, Runyon had made clear he was eagerly seeking another Elvis Presley stamp, the controversial commemorative that poured $25 million into postal coffers.

But Runyon disclosed Wednesday that when it came to an AIDS stamp, he was amazed at the opposition. But he wanted a stamp, and Wednesday with the help of White House AIDS policy coordinator Kristine Gebbie and others Runyon unveiled the new design.

"This is a way of saying that (AIDS) is our problem," said Gebbie, applauding Runyon for the stamp. "It's time to fight denial," agreed Richard L. Wittenberg, president of the American Association for World Health.

The new stamp, which features the red ribbon that has come to symbolize the AIDS movement, will be released Dec. 1 in connection with World AIDS Day.