President touts his role in reduction of migrants to U.S.

Mexican President Felipe Calderon thinks he deserves some credit for the dramatic reduction in the flow of Mexican migrants to the United States.

The movement of northbound migrants, in decline for years, has fallen to the point where it is essentially offset by Mexicans returning home — leaving net migration at a virtual standstill, the Pew Hispanic Center reported Monday.

The center cited a mix of reasons for the migration drop off, which demographers say could spell the end of the biggest immigration wave in U.S. history. The factors include economic recession in the United States that has dried up jobs, toughened border enforcement, increased deportations and declining Mexican birth rates.

A day later, speaking to a gathering hosted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington, Calderon hailed the findings, saying his administration’s policies have played a key role in keeping Mexicans at home and prompting others to return.

OSLO, Norway

Mass killer calls his psych report ‘evil fabrications’

Mass killer Anders Behring Breivik slammed a psychiatric report that declared him insane, insisting Wednesday it was based on “evil fabrications” meant to portray him as irrational and unintelligent.

“It is not me who is described in that report,” the right-wing extremist, who has admitted to killing 77 people in a July 22 bomb-and-shooting rampage, said in court.

A second psychiatric examination found that Breivik was sane. The five-judge panel trying Breivik on terror charges for the attacks will consider both reports.

Breivik’s mental state is the key issue that remains unresolved in the trial, since he has admitted to a bombing in Oslo’s government district that killed eight people and a subsequent shooting massacre at a Labor Party youth camp that left 69 people dead, most of them teenagers. He claims the attacks were “necessary” and that the victims had betrayed Norway by embracing immigration.

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic

More flooding forecast as rains force 11,150 from homes

Authorities in the Dominican Republic say heavy rains are causing flooding and about 11,150 people have evacuated their homes.

There are no immediate reports of any deaths or injuries.

Emergency office spokesman Jose Luis German says nearly 3,000 homes have been flooded by rivers and streams that spilled from their banks.

He said Wednesday that the flooding has affected low-lying areas in the northern province of Puerto Plata and some central and southeastern towns in the Dominican Republic.

German says 23 of the country’s 32 provinces are at risk for flooding in the coming days since rains are forecast to continue for the rest of the week.


Romeo and Juliet fall in love in modern-day Iraq

In a new staging of Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet,” a Baghdad theater director has transformed the Montagues and Capulets into religious rivals in war-torn Iraq.

And Monadhil Daood says he hopes his version of the play will showcase his country’s rich theatrical traditions.

Daood said Wednesday that his Iraqi Theater Company is performing its adaptation of the classic tale of doomed lovers at the Swan Theater in Stratford-upon-Avon, the birthplace of the famed English playwright.

Daood says the new staging transfers the traditional story to present day Iraq, where violence is fueled by sectarian divisions between Sunni and Shia Muslims.


Bones in cellar likely those of troops fighting Napoleon

Police say that a trove of human bones recently found in a Vienna basement are likely those of soldiers who died fighting Napoleon’s troops in Austria 200 years ago.

The bones were found Monday during construction work in a tenement cellar. They are around 200 years old and police spokeswoman Adina Mircioane said Wednesday they seem to be from a cemetery for fallen soldiers of the German state of Saxony that used to be on the site.

Vienna was taken by Napoleon twice, first in 1805 without a fight and then after a battle four years later. Police say the soldiers apparently were killed in the 1809 clash.