PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — A U.S. missionary should spend six months in prison for her failed attempt to remove 33 children from Haiti following the Jan. 12 earthquake, a prosecutor said Thursday on the first day of her trial.
Prosecutor Sonel Jean-Francois told the court that Laura Silsby knew she was breaking the law by trying to take the children without proper documents to an orphanage she was starting in the neighboring Dominican Republic.
"Laura recognized she violated the law," Jean-Francois said as lawyers and a small group of spectators crowded into a stiflingly hot tent in the parking lot of the quake-damaged courthouse.
He spoke after the Idaho woman testified. Silsby, who was leader of a group of Baptists detained by authorities, was the only person to testify on the first day of the trial.
Natural-gas platform sinks off Venezuela
CARACAS, Venezuela — A natural-gas platform sank off Venezuela on Thursday after workers escaped in lifeboats and the last few leaped into the Caribbean Sea. The oil minister said there was no threat to the environment and all 95 workers were safely evacuated.
Oil Minister Rafael Ramirez told state television that workers disconnected a tube leading from the gas fields to the Aban Pearl platform, preventing any leak or harm to marine life. He said alarms went off three hours before the sinking, giving the crew time to evacuate.
Many stepped into lifeboats and drifted free, said Abraham Natera, the rig's superintendent. Ramirez said the Indian captain and two assistants, including an American, stayed behind until the platform was about to collapse, and then jumped into the water.