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March 19, 2013 at 10:33 PM   |   Comments

Rand Paul against forced deportation

WASHINGTON, March 19 (UPI) -- U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., Tuesday called for giving illegal immigrants visas that would allow them to remain in the United States.

Paul addressed immigration in a speech to a U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce breakfast, The Washington Post reported.

He said giving legal status to immigrants who have been in the United States for a year or two would turn them into taxpayers.

"If you wish to live and work in the United States, then we will find a place for you," he said.

Advance reports on Paul's speech said he would call for a path to citizenship for undocumented workers. Bu he told the Post he deliberately avoided the phrase because everyone "closes their ears" when they hear "path to citizenship" and "amnesty."

Instead, he suggested those who enter the United States illegally should get the same chance at citizenship as others without having to leave the country to seek legal status.

"Basically what I want to do is to expand the worker visa program, have border security and then as far as how people become citizens, there already is a process for how people become citizens," he told the Post. "The main difference is I wouldn't have people be forced to go home. You'd just get in line. But you get in the same line everyone is in."


Cost of Iraq War: More than $2.2 trillion

PROVIDENCE, R.I., March 19 (UPI) -- The Iraq War killed 190,000 people, 70 percent civilians and 4,488 U.S. service members and will cost the U.S. taxpayer $2.2 trillion, U.S. researchers say.

Catherine Lutz, a professor at Brown University, and Neta C. Crawford, a professor of Boston University, co-directors of the Watson Institute for International Studies, said the Costs of War project involved 30 economists, anthropologists, lawyers, humanitarian personnel, political scientists from 15 universities, U.N. staff and members of other organizations.

The report found 134,000 civilians died of direct war violence in Iraq. This number does not account for indirect deaths due to increased vulnerability to disease or injury as a result of war-degraded conditions. That number is estimated to be several times higher, the researchers said. At least 3,400 U.S. contractors died in Iraq as well, the report said.

Iraq's healthcare infrastructure was devastated from sanctions before and during the war. More than half of Iraq's doctors left the country during the 2000s, and tens of thousands of Iraqi patients are forced to seek healthcare outside the country, the report said.

The $60 billion spent on reconstruction in Iraq went for military and police -- not infrastructure such as roads, healthcare and water treatment systems. The Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction found massive fraud, waste and abuse of reconstruction funds, the report said.

Because the Iraq War appropriations were funded not by cutting U.S. expenses but from borrowing, the cumulative interest through 2053 could amount to more than $3.9 trillion, the report said.

The findings are published online at www.costsofwar.org.


Police: Lawyer arranged Menendez story

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic, March 19 (UPI) -- A lawyer arranged and paid for the stories of three women who said they had sex with U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez, police in the Dominican Republic say.

Gen. Maximo Baez Aybar of the National Police said at a news conference Monday that Melanio Figueroa told the women he wanted evidence for a divorce case, The Miami Herald reported. Figueroa allegedly said he was targeting a man he identified only as "Bob" and did not let them know the attempt was to discredit a U.S. senator.

Two of the women were paid $425 each and a third $300, Baez said. He said Figueroa "contacted another attorney, Miguel Angel Galvan, to find three women and make a recording in which they cite the name 'Bob.'"

Figueroa is being sought for questioning, Baez said.

Videotape of the three women was run by the right-wing website "The Daily Caller."

Menendez is under investigation for his ties to Salomon Melgen, a Florida eye doctor and political donor. The FBI has also reportedly been dealing with a tipster using the name Peter Williams who said in emails that Menendez had sex with underage prostitutes in the Dominican Republic.

"The evidence released today by Dominican law enforcement authorities proves what we have said all along: that the smear campaign against Senator Menendez is based on lies, lies we now know were paid for by interests whose identities have not yet been fully disclosed," his office said in a statement Monday.


Girl shot by Taliban back in school

BIRMINGHAM, England, March 19 (UPI) -- Malala Yousufzai, the teenage Pakistani education activist shot in the head by a Taliban gunman, returned to school in England Tuesday.

"I am excited that today I have achieved my dream of going back to school. I want all girls in the world to have this basic opportunity," she said.

"I miss my classmates from Pakistan very much but I am looking forward to meeting my teachers and making new friends here in Birmingham."

Sky News reported the 15-year-old is enrolled at Edgbaston High School for Girls as a ninth-year student.

The Press Trust of India reported the school asked in a statement that the media "allow her to attend school without intrusion and to respect the privacy of other pupils and parents."

Malala has been in England since she was flown there for medical treatment after being wounded on a school bus in northwestern Pakistan last October.

The Taliban went after her because she has been campaigning for the rights of girls to receive an education.

The Sun reported it's possible Malala, who has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, will be granted permanent residence in the United Kingdom after her father obtained a job with the Pakistani Consulate.

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