National

5 residents of New Mexico

compound face firearms charges

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Five former residents of a ramshackle New Mexico desert compound where a 3-year-old boy’s body was found last month made their initial appearance in federal court Tuesday on firearms-related charges amid accusations by prosecutors that a group member had been training children and others in military tactics.

The brief hearing focused on allegations against Jany Leveille, who authorities say is Haitian and came to the United States in 1998. She is accused of illegally possessing firearms and ammunition — charges filed in connection with what authorities said was her unlawful immigration status.

The four others — accused of assisting her — include her partner, Siraj Ibn Wahhaj; Lucas Morton; Morton’s wife, Subhannah Wahhaj; and her sister Hujrah Wahhaj.

None of the five entered pleas. All said they had seen the federal complaints against them.

Little Rock 9 student dedicates

commemorative bench

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Elizabeth Eckford, one of the nine black students who first integrated Little Rock’s Central High School in 1957, walked to a bus stop bench Tuesday on the corner of 16th Street and Park Street as hundreds of people watched, much as she’d done exactly 61 years ago.

This time, however, the onlookers weren’t furious and violent white protesters who blocked her entrance to the high school, but friends and community members who gathered to watch Eckford and current Central High students dedicate a commemorative bench as part of the school’s Civil Rights Memory Project.

The 76-year-old Eckford told the crowd how lonely she’d felt that first day of school, and how local reporters had tried to shelter her from the angry protesters by forming a “human barrier.” Today, she was “very, very happy” to return, she said, noting how important it is to discuss and learn from history.

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