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UPI NewsTrack TopNews

May 19, 2010 at 5:00 PM   |   Comments

Calderon, Obama meet in Washington

WASHINGTON, May 19 (UPI) -- U.S. President Barack Obama and his Mexican counterpart pledged Wednesday to work together on border security, migration, drug-trafficking and economic issues.

Obama, in an appearance with Mexican President Felipe Calderon in the White House Rose Garden, called him "a true partner" in pursuing these and other areas of common national interest.

"To create jobs and increase our competitiveness in the global economy, we agreed to streamline regulations and strengthen the protection of intellectual property," Obama said. "For the sake of our shared prosperity and security, we discussed the need for immigration that is orderly and safe, and we acknowledged that both our countries have responsibilities. President Calderon is working hard to create jobs so that more Mexicans see a future of opportunity in their country.

"To fix our broken immigration system, I reaffirmed my deep commitment to working with Congress in a bipartisan way to pass comprehensive immigration reform.

"We also discussed the new law in Arizona, which is a misdirected ... expression of frustration over our broken immigration system, and which has raised concerns in both our countries.

"And I want everyone, American and Mexican, to know my administration is taking a very close look at the Arizona law. We're examining any implications, especially for civil rights. Because in the United States of America, no law-abiding person -- be they an American citizen, a legal immigrant or a visitor or tourist from Mexico -- should ever be subject to suspicion simply because of what they look like."

Calderon said Mexico and the United States "complement each other economically" and have a relationship "based on trust, respect and co-responsibility."

"As the president has stated, we gave special attention to the border matters," Calderon said. "We will strengthen the coordination among the government officials on both sides of the border to reinforce security.

"We want to make this quite clear: We, both countries, want to have a safe border, a safe border for our people. We agreed upon the urgency to reinforce the actions to stop the flow of drugs, weapons and cash."

"In reference to the migratory issue, I acknowledge the sensitivity and the commitment of President Obama to look for a comprehensive solution that will be respectful of the rights of the individual and will be adjusting itself in a realistic way to the needs of both our economies.

"But we will retain our firm rejection to criminalize migration so that people that work and provide things to this nation will [not] be treated as criminals."

He said Mexico firmly opposes the Arizona law, which he called "discriminatory."

Calderon, who is visiting with his wife Margarita Zavala, was the first foreign leader Obama met after his election and Mexico was the first foreign trip first lady Michelle Obama took solo.

In the evening, the Obamas will host a state dinner for Calderon and Zavala, followed by a reception.

Calderon is to speak to a joint session of Congress Thursday.


Judge rules against deporting bomb plotter

LONDON, May 19 (UPI) -- A Pakistani al-Qaida operative accused of plotting a bomb attack in London can remain in Britain despite posing a threat, a judge ruled.

Abid Naseer, 24, the man officials said led an al-Qaida terrorist cell that plotted the bombing, won't be deported after the judge said Naseer's human rights would be violated if he were mistreated by the Pakistani security service, The Times of London reported Wednesday.

However, the judge rejected Naseer's claim of innocence in the plot, calling him "an al-Qaida operative who posed and still poses a serious threat to the national security of the United Kingdom".

Police raided several sites in northwest England in April after intercepting an e-mail Naseer sent to an al-Qaida associate in Pakistan indicating a terror attack would happen within days of the e-mail. Officials found no explosives or bomb-making equipment and none of the 12 detainees was charged with a terrorism offense. Ten Pakistanis were detained pending appeals against a government decision to deport them on a national security claim.


One dies in southern Kyrgyzstan protests

BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan, May 19 (UPI) -- Confrontations between supporters of both the old and new regimes in Kyrgyzstan left at least one person dead and 16 injured Wednesday, an official said.

As many as 3,000 supporters of ousted Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiyev protested in Jalalabat, demanding a judicial inquiry into actions of Kadyzhan Batyrov, a local Uzbek leader they said torched houses belonging to Bakiyev's relatives and encouraged followers to use guns in recent uprisings in Jalalabat's central square, Russia's news agency RIA Novosti reported.

The Kyrgyz interim government has expressed fears ethnic conflicts in the southern region could erupt because of a large Uzbek population.

Kyrgyzstan's interim government led by Roza Otunbayeva was seized April 7 amid violent protests in the capital of Bishkek and other cities in which more than 80 people died. Bakiyev fled the country and resigned.

Since then, Kyrgyzstan has experienced two waves of riots between Bakiyev supporters and backers of the interim government, RIA Novosti said. Seven people have died and more than 90 people have been injured in the recent violence.


Three Hutaree members out on bond

DETROIT, May 19 (UPI) -- A federal judge in Detroit ordered three Hutaree members freed after prosecutors retreated from demanding the three be jailed until trial on sedition charges.

In ordering the release of Tina Stone 44, of Clayton, Mich.; her stepson, David Stone Jr., 19, of Adrian, Mich., and Jacob Ward, 33, of Huron, Ohio, U.S. District Judge Victoria Roberts directed they be monitored by electronic devices and other restrictions, the Detroit Free Press reported Wednesday.

"You are undertaking quite a responsibility here," Roberts told Tina Stone's parents, Timothy and Henrietta Kelley. "The court is putting a lot of faith and trust in you."

A fourth member, Kristopher Sickles, 27, of Sandusky, Ohio, was expected to be released Wednesday, a U.S. attorney's office spokeswoman said.

The other six defendants arrested in an FBI raid in March were to remain behind bars pending an appellate court's review of Roberts' previous order to release them. Among other things, the six are charged with seditious conspiracy and attempted use of weapons of mass destruction.

FBI agents arrested the nine Hutaree members, accusing them of plotting to overthrow the U.S. government and attempting to use weapons of mass destruction.

Prosecutors and defense lawyers have been in a legal confrontation for several weeks over the suspects being released on bond and whether members of the militia group posed a danger to the community.

© 2010 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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