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May 17, 2012 at 8:23 AM   |   Comments

U.S. Census: Minority babies now majority

WASHINGTON, May 17 (UPI) -- Most babies born in the United States belong for the first time to racial or ethnic groups classified as minorities, the U.S. Census Bureau said Thursday.

Among the roughly 4 million children born in the United States between July 2010 and June 2011, 50.4 percent were Hispanic, black, Asian-American or in other minority groups -- up from 48.6 percent in the same period two years earlier and 49.5 percent when the decennial census was taken in April 2010, the bureau said.

In the July-to-June stretch, non-Hispanic white children accounted for less than half the country's births. It's the first time that has ever happened.

Minorities still make up about 37 percent of the overall U.S. population, the bureau said, but they are a majority of the population in California, Hawaii, New Mexico, Texas and the District of Columbia.

Non-Hispanic whites will be outnumbered in the United States by 2042, the bureau projected.

Social scientists said the new status of newborns forming America's first "majority minority" generation is a harbinger of change.


Foreclosures hit pre-recession level

IRVINE, Calif., May 17 (UPI) -- U.S. properties in foreclosure fell to their lowest total in April since before the recession, a private online marketplace for distressed properties said.

RealtyTrac said one in every 698 U.S. housing units was involved in foreclosures in April, a 5 percent decrease from March and a 14 percent decrease from April 2011.

In the month, 188,789 U.S. properties were involved in foreclosure proceedings, which include homes issued default notices, scheduled for auction or seized by the lender.

That was the lowest total since July 2007, the firm said.

"Rising foreclosure activity in many state and local markets … was masked at the national level by sizable decreases in hard-hit foreclosure states like California, Arizona and Nevada," said Brandon Moore, RealtyTrac's chief executive officer.

Echoing data assembled by the Mortgage Bankers Association, RealtyTrac noted a sharp delineation between states that mandate foreclosures undergo a court review and states that keep foreclosures out of the courtroom.


Court hears details of Srebrenica massacre

THE HAGUE, Netherlands, May 17 (UPI) -- The war crimes trial of ex-Bosnian Serb military commander Ratko Mladic was suspended indefinitely Thursday in a dispute about disclosure of evidence.

The presiding judge at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia indefinitely postponed the presentation of evidence scheduled to start later this month because of "significant disclosure errors" by prosecutors in turning over evidence to defense lawyers, the British newspaper The Daily Telegraph reported.

Mladic, captured in 2011 after years in hiding, has refused to enter a formal plea on the 11-count indictment of war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity for his role in the 1990s Bosnian conflict. When his trial opened Wednesday, the court entered a not guilty plea on his behalf.

The ruling came at the conclusion of the second day of the trial at The Hague, Netherlands, when judge Alphons Orie said he was delaying the tribunal because prosecutors didn't share all their evidence with Mladic's lawyers.

Judges were still analyzing the "scope and full impact" of the error, Orie said, adding he wanted to set a new date "as soon as possible."


Turkish jets chase Israeli aircraft

ANKARA, Turkey, May 17 (UPI) -- Turkey said an Israeli aircraft was chased away by Turkish fighter jets after it violated Turkish Cypriot airspace this week.

The announcement by the Turkish military said the incident took place over Cyprus on Monday, Today's Zaman reported Thursday.

It is not clear why the Israeli plane was flying over the Turkish Cypriot coast but there was speculation it may have been spying on Turkey's oil and gas exploration efforts.

Turkey and Israel are at odds over a 2010 Israeli-Greek-Cypriot deal demarcating exclusive economic zones for gas and oil exploration.

The Greek Cypriot government began drilling for hydrocarbon reserves in September triggering an angry response from Turkey, which said the riches of the island belong to Turkish Cypriots as well.


Pakistan's Zardari to attend NATO summit

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, May 17 (UPI) -- Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari will attend the NATO summit meeting about Afghanistan in Chicago, Zardari's office said Thursday.

NATO invited Zardari to the conference, which is set for next Sunday and Monday, Tuesday, several days after Anders Fogh Rasmussen, the military alliance's secretary-general, suggested Pakistan wouldn't be invited because it still blocked NATO supply routes to neighboring Afghanistan, CNN reported.

Relations have been strained between NATO and Pakistan since NATO airstrikes killed two dozen Pakistani soldiers in November. Pakistan closed the supply route to Afghanistan in response.

The decision to attend the Chicago meeting was made after Zardari consulted with Pakistan's top mi itary and civilian leaders, the statement said.

Talks to reopen the border have heated up in the run-up to the Chicago summit. U.S. negotiators have been in Pakistan since late April.

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