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World and national briefs

Saturday, January 5, 2013 - 10:23 am

Woman deported after Arizona casino win

PHOENIX – A Mexican woman was deported to Mexico last month because of her illegal immigration status after she and her daughter won a $1,200 jackpot at a Tucson casino.

Officials at the Casino del Sol Resort say they called Pasqua Yaqui police because it appeared that Mirna Valenzuela's identification was potentially fraudulent.

The Arizona Republic reports that Valenzuela's identification checked out but that police determined she was in the country illegally.

The daughter, Zamira Osorio, also was determined to be illegally in the United States, but she was released because she qualifies for the Obama administration's deferred-action program for young people.

Casino Chief Executive Officer Wendell Long says Valenzuela's winnings are still at the casino and that she can claim them.

Arrest in NYC police cannibalism case

NEW YORK – A lawyer claims that the arrest of a man accused of trying to pay a police officer to kidnap a Manhattan woman was done to prevent him from testifying about Internet sexual fantasies at the officer's cannibalism-tinged trial.

Authorities say the man, Michael Vanhise, agreed to pay Officer Gilberto Valle $5,000 to kidnap the woman in New York and deliver her bound to Vanhise's home in New Jersey, where she would be raped and killed.

Attorney Julia Gatto spoke Friday after Vanhise, 22, of Trenton, appeared briefly in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, where he was ordered held pending a bail hearing Monday on a conspiracy to commit kidnapping charge.

Gatto represents Valle, a 28-year-old New York City police officer from Queens.

He is scheduled to go to trial later this month after being charged in October with one count of kidnapping conspiracy and one count of accessing a computer without authorization.

Valle was charged last year with using a law-enforcement database as he allegedly made plans to kidnap, rape, kill and eat women.

His lawyer said at that time that he was engaging in sexual fantasies and intended no violence.

Obama '08 campaign fined $375,000

WASHINGTON – President Obama's 2008 campaign has been fined $375,000 by the Federal Election Commission for reporting violations related to a set of donations received during the final days of the campaign.

The fines are among the largest ever levied on a presidential campaign by the FEC and stem from a series of missing notices for nearly 1,200 contributions totaling nearly $1.9 million.

Campaigns are required to file reports within 48 hours on donations of $1,000 or more received during the final 20 days of the campaign.

Report: Lance Armstrong weighs doping admission

AUSTIN, Texas – The New York Times reported Friday that Lance Armstrong, who has strongly denied the doping charges that led to him being stripped of his seven Tour de France titles, has told associates he is considering admitting to the use of performance-enhancing drugs.

The report cited anonymous sources and said Armstrong was considering a confession to help restore his athletic career in triathlons and running events at age 41. Armstrong was been banned for life from cycling and cannot compete in athletic events sanctioned by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency and the World Anti-Doping Agency.

Yet Armstrong attorney Tim Herman told The Associated Press he had no knowledge of Armstrong considering a confession.

Group wants man's eye blinks barred at trial

CINCINNATI – The national Innocence Project is backing a murder suspect's efforts to exclude from his trial a videotape of a dying man's eye blinks, which prosecutors say identify him as the gunman.

Ricardo Woods is scheduled to go on trial Monday in Hamilton County Common Pleas Court in the fatal shooting of David Chandler. Chandler, 35, was shot in the head and neck as he was sitting in his car in Cincinnati on Oct. 28, 2010. He was paralyzed from his injuries and could only communicate with his eyes when police interviewed him a few days later.

Police showed him Woods' photo and instructed him to blink three times for yes and twice for no as they videotaped his responses. Chandler didn't respond with blinks to every question in the 17-minute video and sometimes blinked one time, but triple blinks came in response to repeated questions asking if he knew the shooter and whether the person in the photo was the culprit.

Giffords meets with Conn. families

NEWTOWN, Conn. – Just days before the second anniversary of a mass shooting that critically injured Gabrielle Giffords, the former congresswoman was in Newtown meeting privately with families of those killed during last month's massacre at an elementary school. Giffords, a Democrat from Arizona, was accompanied Friday by her husband, retired astronaut Mark Kelly, and U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal.

A gunman fatally shot 26 people – most of them children – inside Sandy Hook Elementary School on Dec. 14. He also killed his mother and himself.

Giffords was left partially blind with a paralyzed right arm and brain injury Jan. 8, 2011. Six others were killed and 13, including Giffords, were injured.

–From wire reports