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May 25, 2010 at 5:00 PM   |   0 comments

Obama said ready to send Guard to border

WASHINGTON, May 25 (UPI) -- An Arizona congresswoman said Tuesday President Barack Obama would send the National Guard to the Mexican border in an attempt to stem illegal crossings.

Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., said Obama plans to authorize deployment of up to 1,200 troops to the southwestern U.S. border and will make a request for $500 million in supplemental funding for border law enforcement.

"The White House is doing the right thing," said Giffords. "Arizonans know that more boots on the ground means a safer and more secure border. Washington heard our message."

Giffords did not reveal any details as to when and where the Guard would be stationed along the border or if they would take an active role in detaining immigrants.

A perceived surge in illegal immigration in recent years has been cited as the reason Arizona voters passed SB 1070, the controversial law requiring police to check the immigration status of individuals they suspect are in the United States illegally.

Giffords called for deploying the National Guard in late March after rancher Rob Krentz was shot to death in an apparent encounter with an illegal immigrant on his remote Cochise County property.


Obama to GOP: Let's work together

WASHINGTON, May 25 (UPI) -- U.S. President Barack Obama and the Senate Republican Conference had a "good exchange" at their Tuesday meeting, the White House said.

A readout after the session issued by the press secretary's office said Obama asked for GOP cooperation "in finishing work on measures to help create jobs and improve our economy." He also asked for swift action on the arms treaty with Russia and confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan.

"The President also urged the conference to work with him to address two major, unresolved issues: comprehensive immigration reform and energy legislation," the statement said.

"On immigration, the President noted that many in the conference have supported efforts before to fix a broken system and impose accountability at our borders, accountability for employers who undercut the law by hiring undocumented workers; and for the workers themselves, who are here illegally and must take responsibility. And he urged them to work with him across party lines to make progress on this issue."

The statement said none of the issues was resolved during the session.

"But, the President believes that direct dialogue is better than posturing, and he was pleased to have the opportunity to share views with the conference," the statement said.

As he entered the more than hour-long session at the Capitol, flanked by Sergeant-at-Arms Terrance Gainer, Obama said the purpose of the meeting was to "see if we can get some more work done."


Kilpatrick gets more prison time

DETROIT, May 25 (UPI) -- Former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick received a sentence of as long as five years in prison Tuesday for hiding his assets after he admitted lying under oath.

Wayne County Circuit Judge David Groner said Kilpatrick "challenged this court's authority" with his behavior, The Detroit News reported. The judge said Kilpatrick must spend at least 14 months behind bars.

"Probation is no longer an option. The terms of your earlier probation no longer apply. That ship has sailed," Groner said. "This is all because of the actions of you, Mr. Kilpatrick. You were convicted ... all because you lied under oath. That lie ... was part of a broader attempt to cover up your misdeeds while serving as mayor.

Kilpatrick admitted lying on a deposition about his part in firing police officers and his sexual relationship with his former chief of staff. His plea agreement included a short jail term and restitution to the city of Detroit.

He was taken out of the courtroom in handcuffs.

Kilpatrick, who said he is a "human being, a real-life flesh-and-blood person," apologized for his actions. He talked of the difficulty of knowing his children were subjected to ridicule.


FBI: Probe of late Rep. Murtha still on

WASHINGTON, May 25 (UPI) -- An FBI investigation of allegations of kickbacks and ethical violations by the late Pennsylvania Rep. John Murtha remains open, agency documents show.

Murtha, a Democrat who died in February at 77, steadfastly denied any wrongdoing. Hundreds of pages released by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in response to several Freedom of Information Act requests indicates the Murtha investigation is still active, The Hill, a Washington publication, said. The documents were posted on the FBI's official Web site.

The FBI investigated Murtha's links to several defense contractors and PMA Group, a former lobbying firm whose clients received federal contracts in earmarks.

"Mr. Murtha was also the subject of other ethical and potentially criminal complaints. … This release contains public source information found in a Pittsburgh Division investigation into allegations of kickbacks involving government defense contractors," the FBI release said.

"As this investigative file is still in 'pending status,' the bulk of the file's FBI documents are not releasable until the conclusion of the investigation."

The first Vietnam War veteran elected to the House, Murtha represented Western Pennsylvania for nearly 18 terms, from 1974 until his death, rising to chairman of the House Appropriations Defense Subcommittee.


Jamaican security forces gaining control

KINGSTON, Jamaica, May 25 (UPI) -- The death toll mounted Tuesday in the third day of fighting between security forces and drug cartel gunmen in Jamaica's capital.

The Jamaica Gleaner reported 26 civilians and one member of the security forces were killed and 25 civilians and 7 security personnel were injured in the fighting in the Tivoli Gardens and Denham Town sections of Kingston.

The deaths came as the U.S. State Department issued a travel warning.

The New York Times reported the fighting blocked access to Kingston's airport.

Security forces are attempting to apprehend reputed drug lord Christopher "Dudus" Coke for extradition to the United States to face trial on drug charges.

Prime Minister Bruce Golding, who has issued a 30-day emergency declaration for the two Kingston neighborhoods, is expected to address Parliament about the situation.

The Gleaner said 211 people have been arrested including six women. Firearms, ammunition, binoculars, army fatigues and ballistic vests also have been seized, the Gleaner said.


No Asian carp found in Illinois fish kill

CHICAGO, May 25 (UPI) -- No invasive Asian carp were found during a planned five-day fish kill in an Illinois channel that feeds into Lake Michigan, officials said.

About 2,000 gallons of the fish poison Rotenone were dumped along a two-mile stretch of the Calumet-Sag Channel where DNA samples previously indicated the presence of Asian carp.

The $1.5 million fish kill, paid for by the federal government, turned up more than 100,000 pounds of about 40 different species of fish, none of them Asian carp, the Chicago Tribune reported Tuesday. The dead fish were to be taken to a landfill.

The targeted part of the channel was about seven miles west of Lake Michigan where state and federal officials for months have been trying to gauge the carp's threat to the Chicago waterway system and ultimately the lake.

"This is as good an effort as we could possibly come up with," said Charlie Wooley, a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service spokesman. "If we don't find any Asian carp through this sampling, I can assure you we've given it our best shot."

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