TEL NOF AIR BASE, Israel

Israeli soldier handed over for 1,000 prisoners in swap

Looking thin, weary and dazed, Israeli soldier Gilad Schalit emerged Tuesday from more than five years in captivity, surrounded by Hamas militants with black face masks who handed him over to Egyptian mediators in an exchange for 1,000 Palestinian prisoners. Israeli officials said Schalit showed signs of malnutrition and his father said he needed time to recover from psychological and physical wounds.

More than 450 Palestinians were transferred from Israeli prisons to the West Bank and Gaza, where massive celebratory rallies festooned with green Hamas flags were held. In Gaza City, tens of thousands crammed into an open lot where a huge stage was set up, decorated with a mural depicting Schalit’s capture in a June 2006 raid on an army base near the Gaza border. The crowd exhorted militants to seize more soldiers for future swaps.

The rest of the prisoners – about 550 more – are to be released in a second phase in two months.

MIAMI

Immigration deports record number of individuals in 2011

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director John Morton said Tuesday his agency deported nearly 400,000 individuals during the fiscal year that ended in September, the largest number of removals in the agency’s history.

Morton announced the Fiscal 2011 numbers in Washington, saying about 55 percent of those deported had felony or misdemeanor convictions. Officials said the number of those convicted of crimes was up 89 percent from 2008.

Authorities could not immediately say how many of those crimes related solely to previous immigration violations. Individuals can be convicted of a felony for returning to the U.S. or being found in the U.S. after being ordered by the government to leave.

Among the 396,906 individuals deported were more than 1,000 convicted of homicide. Another 5,800 were sexual offenders, and about 80,000 people convicted of drug related crimes or driving under the influence.

“This comes down to focusing our resources as best we can on our priorities,” Morton said. “We continue to hope for comprehensive immigration reform at a national level, working with the Congress, but in the meantime, we work with the resources we have, under the laws we have.”

TRIPOLI, Libya

Millions in aid offered along with hope Gadhafi is killed

The Obama administration offered millions of dollars in new aid to Libya as Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton encouraged the country’s unsteady new leadership to commit to a democratic future free of retribution, and acknowledged in unusually blunt terms that the United States would like to see former dictator Moammar Gadhafi dead.

“We hope he can be captured or killed soon so that you don’t have to fear him any longer,” Clinton told students and others at a town hall-style gathering in the capital city.

Until now, the U.S. has generally avoided saying that Gadhafi should be killed.

U.S. officials usually say they want to see him brought to justice, something Clinton also said during her daylong visit.”I am proud to stand here on the soil of a free Libya,” Clinton said.