Fewer immigrants crossing U.S. border this month

The number of children arriving at the border unaccompanied has dropped sharply so far this month, according to preliminary data released by the White House.

The number of unaccompanied minors picked up by Border Patrol agents in the first two weeks fell to about 150 per day, down from an average of 355 per day in June, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Monday.

Earnest said White House officials believe the decline in the number of young migrants was the result of several factors, including a typical seasonal drop in border crossing during harsh summer conditions.


Child marriage, poverty are focus of U.N. conference

More than 700 million women alive today were married before they turned 18, the United Nations’ children agency said Tuesday, as it co-hosts a London summit calling for more progress to end child marriages and the practice of female genital mutilation.

Figures released by UNICEF say child brides are most common in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, and about one in three – or some 250 million – were married before they turned 15.

India alone accounts for a third of all the world’s child brides, the agency said. Poorer girls are much more vulnerable: While the wealthiest girls in India marry at around 20 years old, the poorest do so at an average age of 15.

“Girls who marry before they turn 18 are less likely to remain in school and more likely to experience domestic violence,” UNICEF said.


Nazi war crimes suspect, 89, has been hospitalized

A Nazi war crimes suspect has been hospitalized while awaiting an extradition hearing in Philadelphia.

A court order issued Monday notes 89-year-old Johann Breyer has been hospitalized but doesn’t cite his condition.


Brown bear attacks National Guard soldier

An Alaska Army National Guard soldier was wearing a combat helmet and other protective gear when he was attacked by a bear while participating in a training exercise at a military base, officials said.

Sgt. Lucas Wendeborn of Valdez is being treated for puncture wounds and lacerations after the mauling Sunday at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson. The female brown bear was defending her two young cubs, base officials said.

Wendeborn’s injuries are not life-threatening, National Guard spokeswoman Maj. Candis Olmstead said. Wendeborn, 26, was not armed and had no ammunition. But he was well-shielded by the helmet, load-bearing equipment and a safety vest with ammunition patches.

Wendeborn was participating in a navigation exercise that involves giving soldiers compasses and maps and timing them as they make their way alone to hidden locations on a course.


Experts: Widow unlikely to see windfall from verdict

A Florida widow awarded $23.6 billion in the death of her chain-smoking husband called the massive verdict a message to Big Tobacco, even though she likely won’t see much if any of the money.

The punitive damages, over $23 billion, almost certainly will be significantly reduced on appeal, if not thrown out entirely, legal experts and industry analysts said. In another major tobacco trial, a $28 billion verdict in a 2002 case in Los Angeles turned into $28 million after appeals.

Cynthia Robinson, whose husband took up smoking at 13, died of lung cancer at 36.

— From news service reports