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Memories of Holocaust evoked by two leaders

JERUSALEM (AP) -- Israel's president told of his own family's suffering at the hands of the Nazis in World War II, speaking at the Wednesday opening of the annual memorial day for the 6 million Jews killed in the Holocaust and drawing parallels with modern-day Iran.

Shimon Peres and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu both called on the world to "learn the lessons" of the Holocaust and stop Iran from acquiring atomic weapons.

"The Iranian regime is acting openly and decisively toward our destruction, and it is acting feverishly to develop a nuclear weapon to achieve this goal," Netanyahu said.

Peres, who was born in the Polish town of Vishneva in 1923 and migrated to prestate Israel before the war erupted, learned later how Nazi troops beat members of his extended family and ordered them to march toward the town's synagogue.

"Someone yelled, 'Jews, save yourselves!' The Germans shot those who tried to escape. The rest arrived at the synagogue that was made of wood. Its doors were locked. They were all burned alive," Peres said.


Repatriation weighed for Gitmo prisoner

TORONTO (AP) -- Canada said Wednesday that the United States wants to send back the last remaining Western detainee at Guantanamo Bay, and the Canadian government must now decide whether to take him. Public Safety Minister Vic Toews is considering repatriating Omar Khadr, the ministry said.

Khadr, 25, was convicted of throwing a grenade that killed Army Sgt. 1st Class Christopher Speer during a 2002 firefight in Afghanistan. He was eligible to return to Canada from the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, last October under terms of a plea deal.

Khadr has spent a decade in the prison, known as Gitmo, and received an eight-year sentence in 2010 -- but only one year had to be served. John Norris, Khadr's Canadian lawyer, said his client likely would be imprisoned in Canada and would be eligible for parole as early as 2013.

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper's government has steadfastly refused to request the return of Khadr, owing partly to Canadians' ambivalence toward the Khadr family, which has been called "the first family of terrorism."


King contrite for going on safari amid crisis

MADRID -- In an unprecedented act of royal contrition, Spain's king apologized Wednesday for having gone elephant hunting in Africa while everyday people endure a severe economic crisis.

"I am very sorry. I made a mistake. It won't happen again," King Juan Carlos said, trying to placate a rare wave of outrage against him.

Looking sheepish and using crutches to walk, he spoke as he left a Madrid hospital where he had undergone surgery after suffering a broken hip in a fall on his Botswana hunting trip.

The monarch, 74, had come under scathing criticism this week after he went on the expensive safari as both Spain and its citizens struggled amid an economic crisis that has worsened by the day.

The trip came to light when the king fell and had to be rushed back to Spain on Friday.

For many, the trip made the king's recent comments about how he couldn't sleep at night thinking about the country's unemployed ring hollow.