World and Nation

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Suspect in Texas veteran’s killing was hospitalized

DALLAS — Eddie Ray Routh, the former Marine corporal accused of killing Chris Kyle, an author and retired Navy SEAL sniper, had been released from a veterans hospital here four days before the shootings over the objections of his parents, Routh’s court-appointed lawyers said.

Routh, 25, and his relatives told police in recent weeks and months that he had been deeply troubled and was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, according to court documents. He had a series of run-ins with authorities in parts of North Texas, and had threatened to kill himself at least once, police records show.

Routh had been undergoing treatment at the Dallas VA Medical Center and Green Oaks Hospital, a psychiatric center in Dallas. On Jan. 24, Routh was released from the Dallas VA center but soon returned, and he was again released on Jan. 29, said his lawyers, R. Shay Isham and J. Warren St. John. On both occasions, Routh’s father and mother, Raymond and Jodi Routh, had protested his release, the lawyers said.

—Manny Fernandez and Kathryn Jones, The New York Times

Russian performers urge support for adoptions by Americans

MOSCOW — A panel of respected figures from Russia’s art world issued an emotional appeal to President Vladimir V. Putin on Thursday to make an exception to a recent ban on adoptions by Americans, and allow children to join American parents they have come to know.

Chulpan Khamatova, revered here for her charity work as well as her acting, spoke in front of a screen showing blown-up photographs of families whose adoptions have been halted. Beside her sat Beth Hettinger of Westfield, N.J., who flew to Russia to bring back Alexei, who is 18 months old. Hettinger was scheduled to leave Russia without Alexei on Friday.

—Ellen Barry, The New York Times

Hewlett-Packard pushes China to limit student labor

HONG KONG — Hewlett-Packard, one of the world’s largest makers of computers and other electronics, is imposing new limits on employment of students and temporary agency workers in Chinese factories. Following recent efforts by Apple to increase scrutiny of student workers, the move reflects a significant shift in how electronics companies view problematic labor practices in China.

Many factories in China have long relied on high school students, vocational school students, and temporary workers to cope with periodic surges in orders as factory labor becomes increasingly scarce. Students complain of being ordered by school administrators to put in very long hours on short notice at jobs with no relevance to their studies; local governments sometimes order schools to provide labor, and the factories pay school administrators a bonus.

For much of the past decade, many of the world’s big electronics companies have largely neglected the problem, beyond in some cases tracking reports of abuses. Apple made the unusual move last year of joining the Fair Labor Association, one of the largest workplace monitoring groups, which inspects Chinese factories making computers, iPhones, and other devices under Apple’s contract.

—Keith Bradsher and David Barboza, The New York Times

Central bank chief’s comments send euro lower

FRANKFURT, Germany — The president of the European Central Bank on Thursday cited the rising value of the euro as a possible threat to the region’s economic recovery, comments that immediately sent the euro down sharply against the dollar and yen.

Mario Draghi, the ECB chief, denied that the central bank was trying to influence the value of the euro, no doubt mindful of provoking a currency war with Japan or the United States. But he then made statements that markets interpreted as meaning the ECB could take action if the euro rose too much.

“The exchange rate is not a policy target, but it is important for growth and price stability,” Draghi told reporters.

Draghi, during the ECB news conference, was careful to avoid any explicit threat to take action to push down the euro, or to criticize any other countries. He said the euro’s current value wasn’t far from its historical norm. But he noted that economic policy by other countries, none of which he named, could affect exchange rates.

—Jack Ewing, The New York Times

Investor sues Apple over stock plan

Wall Street has had a long romance with Apple. Now one of the company’s best-known investors is saying: I love you, but you need to change. The surprising declaration by billionaire hedge fund manager David Einhorn adds to the growing dissatisfaction with Apple and its once soaring stock.

On Thursday, Einhorn urged his fellow shareholders to block a plan by Apple to scrap a certain class of stock. He says that the move limits the company’s ability to use its enormous war chest — some $137 billion in cash — to reward investors.

The campaign is an unusually aggressive one for Einhorn, who came to fame betting against Lehman Brothers. To thwart the proposal, Einhorn is suing Apple in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, claiming that it violated securities rules by tying the plan with two other initiatives that he sees as good corporate governance.

The standoff sets up an unusual clash between two sides who can each claim a huge following on Wall Street. In one corner is Apple, whose stock’s almost unearthly growth has bewitched investors across the globe — at least, until recently. In the other is Einhorn, widely regarded as an intelligent investor whose moves inspire legions of copycats. His merely asking a few questions on an earnings call for Herbalife, a nutritional supplement company, last May prompted a huge plunge in its shares.

—Michael J. De La Merced, The New York Times