LIMA, Peru (AP) – Joran van derSloot pleaded guilty onWednesday to the 2010 murder of a 21-year-old Peruvian woman hemet at a Lima casino who waskilled five years to the day of theunsolved disappearance in Arubaof an American teen in which heremains the main suspect.By Karel Navarro, APJoran van der Sloot looks back from his seat after entering thecourtroom Wednesday for his trialat San Pedro prison in Lima, Peru."Yes, I want to plead guilty. Iwanted from the first moment toconfess sincerely," he told thecourt. "I truly am sorry for thisact. I feel very bad."Van der Sloot's lawyer arguedafter his client's brief statementthat the defendant killed StephanyFlores as a result of "extremepsychological trauma" he sufferedfrom the fallout of the 2005disappearance on the Caribbeanisland of Aruba of NataleeHolloway.The 24-year-old Dutch citizen'strial opened last week but wasadjourned to Wednesday afterVan der Sloot asked for more timeto decide how to plead. He saidlast week that was inclined toconfess but doesn't accept theaggravated murder charges theprosecution seeks.The judge adjourned the trialuntil Friday for sentencing.Van der Sloot claimed in aconfession shortly after the May30, 2010, murder of Flores that hekilled her in a fit of rage after shediscovered on his laptop hisconnection to the 2005disappearance of Holloway.But prosecutors say Van derSloot killed Flores, a businessstudent from a prominent family,in order to rob her after learningshe had won money at the casinowhere the two met. They say hekilled her with "ferocity" and"cruelty," beating then stranglingher in his his Lima hotel room.Holloway, an Alabama teen, wason a high school graduation trip tothe Caribbean island of Arubawhere Van der Sloot grew up.Copyright 2012 The AssociatedPress. All rights reserved. Thismaterial may not be published,broadcast, rewritten orredistributed. For moreinformation aboutreprints &permissions, visit our FAQ's. Toreport corrections andclarifications, contact StandardsEditor Brent Jones. Forpublication consideration in thenewspaper, send comments firstname.lastname@example.org. Includename, phone number, city andstate for verification. To view ourcorrections, go tocorrections.usatoday.com. USATODAY is now using Facebook Comments on our stories and blogposts to provide an enhanced userexperience. To post a comment,log into Facebook and then "Add"your comment. To report spam orabuse, click the "X" in the upperright corner of the comment box.To find out more, read theFAQandConversation Guidelines.This entry passed through theFull-Text RSSservice — if this isyour content and you're reading iton someone else's site, please readthe FAQ atfivefilters.org/content-only/faq.php#publishers.FiveFiltersrecommends:Donate toWikileaks.
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) – ACoast Guard icebreaker andRussian tanker loaded with fuelfor delivery to an iced-in Alaskacity have been stalled byBeringSeaocean currents and thick ice.• By Sara Francis, AFP/GettyImages The Coast Guard CutterHealy approaches the Russiantanker Renda while breaking icearound the vessel 97 miles southof Nome, Alaska, on Tuesday.By Sara Francis, AFP/GettyImagesThe Coast Guard Cutter Healyapproaches the Russian tankerRenda while breaking ice aroundthe vessel 97 miles south of Nome, Alaska, on Tuesday.The vessels could move forwardfive or six miles on Tuesday, butthe strong currents pushed themback by about the same amount,saidMark Smith, the CEO of Vitus Marine, the companysupplying the fuel."There was a lot of stop and goactivity," he said Wednesdaymorning.The tanker is loaded with 1.3million gallons of fuel for Nome,a city of about 3,500 people thatmissed its final pre-winterdelivery of fuel by barge when abig storm swept western Alaska inthe fall.It was unclear whether conditionswould allow the tanker andicebreaker to make significantprogress on Wednesday. Thetanker was reported to be fewerthan 100 miles from Nome after itwent 53 miles on Monday.The icebreaker is creating a pathfor the 370-foot tanker in ice thatis up to 3 feet thick.If successful, the shipment wouldmark the first time petroleumproducts have been delivered bysea to a Western Alaskacommunity in winter.Jason Evans, chairman of Sitnasuak Native Corp., thecompany arranging the delivery,said the mission remainschallenging."I think there continues to be a lotof pressure on the ice, so whenthey break the ice it wants toimmediately squeeze together, orthe broken ice wants to shoot back into the hole they just made," hesaid Tuesday.Shifting ice, described asdynamic ice, has slowed theprogress of the paired vessels. Theice tends to close in, cutting off the path between the two ships.When that happens, the icebreakerdoubles back and makes a relief cut to take pressure off the tankerand open a pathway."I think they continue to do wellwith the circumstances," Evanssaid.He said the tanker and theicebreaker were expected to gothrough a large section of thinnerice and then encounter thicker iceagain near Nome.The tanker is loaded with morethan 1 million gallons of dieseland 300,000 gallons of unleadedgasoline. Without the delivery,Nome could run short of fuelbefore a barge delivery becomespossible in late spring.The Coast Guard and the AlaskaDepartment of Conservation arein Nome setting up a safetyperimeter and preparing foroffloading of the fuel, Evans said.The ship is equipped with a hoseof more than a mile fortransferring fuel in Nome, whereice near the port is about 2 feetthick."I think that is good because if they do have to kind of stop in theice, the thick ice will hold theseships in place for a safer transfer,"Evans said.Copyright 2012 The AssociatedPress. All rights reserved. Thismaterial may not be published,broadcast, rewritten orredistributed. For moreinformation aboutreprints &permissions, visit our FAQ's. Toreport corrections andclarifications, contact StandardsEditor Brent Jones. Forpublication consideration in thenewspaper, send comments email@example.com. Includename, phone number, city andstate for verification. To view ourcorrections, go tocorrections.usatoday.com. USATODAY is now using Facebook Comments on our stories and blogposts to provide an enhanced userexperience. To post a comment,log into Facebook and then "Add"your comment. To report spam orabuse, click the "X" in the upperright corner of the comment box.To find out more, read theFAQandConversation Guidelines.This entry passed through theFull-Text RSSservice — if this isyour content and you're reading iton someone else's site, please readthe FAQ atfivefilters.org/content-only/faq.php#publishers.FiveFiltersrecommends:Donate toWikileaks.
(The New Republic)MANCHESTER, N.H. -- Barack Obama needs to get himself toNew Hampshire, pronto. Thereare some awfullydiscombobulated voters up here,and if he has any hope of holdingonto the state next fall, he’s goingto need to have a serious talk withthem.That’s my main takeaway fromMitt Romney’s successfulwearing downof a skepticalelectorate to the point where, aftersix years of having him showingup at their tiniest parades andshowering cash on their lowliestof elected officials, it finally said:Uncle. Now will you please go toSouth Carolina?Romney, of course, is framing his38 percent share -- a notch morethan what John McCain got inwinning the state four years ago --as a monumental triumph. Ialready saw this spin in the worksa few days ago, when I waschatting with New Hampshirestate senator Jeb Bradley, aformer congressman and majorRomney backer in the state. Whywas Romney doing so muchbetter in the state this year than hedid four years ago? I asked. Wasit the weaker, McCain-less field?Oh no, Bradley said: “A weakerfield? How could a field withSpeaker Gingrich in it be aweaker field? Rick Santorum hassurged and Rick Perry, while hehasn’t done too well so far, has agood record in Texas. This isactually a stronger field, I’d say.”Full New Hampshire primaryresultsNew Hampshire Exit PollRepublican Primary ElectionCenterBack in the real world,Romney’s win should be regardedwith about as much awe as thosebumper stickers that only half-ironically declare, “This CarClimbed Mt. Washington.” Yay,your car drives up mountains thatpeople climb on foot! When theman who ties with you in theIowa caucuses speaks at an eventwithout a working microphoneonthe night before the NewHampshire primary, it suggestssomething less than a fair fight.But enough of that. Let me sharewith you some of theconversations I had with votersyesterday at a polling station inConcord -- a church in an older,middle/working-class part of town-- to give some hint of howscrewy this primary season hasbeen, and what a state of disarrayvoters seem to be in. It was anadmittedly small sample, but itincluded:1. Anne Field, an independentwho voted for Obama in the 2008general election but voted forRomney yesterday. Field is nearretirement with her husband, whoruns a small plumbing businessfor which she does thebookkeeping. Business hasrebounded pretty well since 2008-09, but she’s worried about theirretirement investments, andworried most of all about herdaughter, who, with a master’sdegree in marketing at age 27, ishaving trouble finding work.Here’s the thing: Field blames thebad economy on Republican rulelast decade, and says Obama wasleft with an awful mess. She stillthinks Obama is a “brilliant,brilliant speaker.” She appreciatesthat her investments haverebounded quite a bit since 2009,and she also is hoping for goodthings from Obamacare -- she’sheard good reviewsfromMassachusetts friend about thestate’s law on which Obamacarewas modeled. But she’s going tovote for Romney this fall anyway.“I just want things to get better forthe United States,” she said. “It’sscary out there. I just want to getthings going again. AndRomney’s done some goodthings.” Was it his businessexperience? I asked. Did she seeRomney’s Bain Capital years as aplus or a negative, as Obama andRomney’s rivals are trying to castit. “I think he’s done more goodthan bad,” she said. “Sure, he hadto agglomerate some people to getto where he was. He had to shaveoff some people. But I think that’salso what [the government] needsnow. That’s the way business is --there are times you have to cutthings and be tough. That’s what’swe need in America now,someone to be tough.” As forObamacare, she’s for it inprinciple but still doubtful. “Notthat I’m totally against it -- I’mskeptical. I want it to work, but itmakes me nervous, because somany things the government doesdon’t work.” Finally, I came back to her decision to back Romneyeven though she blamesRepublican policies for ourcurrent pass. She shrugged andsmiled. “I don’t know,” she said.“Maybe I don’t have very goodlogic.”2. Leigh MacDonald, a well-spoken massage therapist in herthirties, is an independent wholeans Democratic but turned outto vote in the Republican primarymainly because she cannot abideRomney and wanted to vote forone of his rivals. “He’s too on thesurface,” she said. “He’s thepretty boy and I don’t like prettyboys.” She is staunchly pro-choice, she mentioned, so Iassumed she was going to say shevoted for Jon Huntsman, who,while anti-abortion, emphasizes itless than the other Republicans inthe field. But no: MacDonaldvoted for Rick Santorum. What? Isaid. What about the abortionissue? Well, she’d heard thatSantorum actually wasn’t too pro-life, that he was realistic on theissue. (Hmmm.) She had firstthought about Ron Paul, who wasa “breath of fresh air,” but shesettled on Santorum because shedoesn’t care for Paul’s non-interventionism. But above all,she just liked the way Santorumcame across. “He wasn’t wishywashy," she said. "For the mostpart, he seemed like a good guy.He answered questions and didn’ttry to beat around the bush.”3. A 23-year-old man who worksat Concord Hospital, who votedfor Romney and declined to letme use his name. He said he votedfor Romney “because of thehealth care.” I asked, did he meanbecause Romney passed universalhealth care in Massachusetts, orbecauseRomney is nowoutspokenly opposed to thenational health care law thatObama passed, based onRomney’s law? The questionseemed to stump the youngman.He said that he had voted forRomney because he is registeredRepublican and “Romney is theonly Republican I know anything