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May 12, 2010 at 12:00 PM
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Mexican diplomat prepares for Arizona law

PHOENIX, May 12 (UPI) -- The Mexican government's chief diplomat for Arizona and Nevada says he is making plans for Arizona's new immigration enforcement law.

Consul General Victor Manuel Trevino Escudero, 50, says his Phoenix office anticipates an exodus of Mexicans from Arizona when the law takes effect, The (Phoenix) Arizona Republic reported Wednesday.

Trevino Escudero told the newspaper he is urging Mexicans to stay calm and not pull their children out of school.

"But if the school year ends, and the law is enforced, then you have to take proper action," he says.

Trevino Escudero says that as an official of Mexico he respects the sovereignty and laws of the United States, including Arizona's new immigration law.

The Mexican government is reportedly boosting the number of people who work in the consulate to aid Mexicans living legally and illegally in Arizona.

The government is also said to be considering filing legal briefs in support of several lawsuits challenging the constitutionality of Arizona's new law, which requires state and local law enforcement officers to check immigration status if a person is "reasonably suspected" of being in the United States illegally.


Thai government threatens utility shutoff

BANGKOK, May 12 (UPI) -- Thai government officials Wednesday threatened to cut off utilities and food deliveries in Bangkok neighborhoods where anti-government protesters are encamped.

The announcement came as negotiations between the government and protest leaders stalled after several recent agreements, including provisions for an early election, a key demand of the protesters, The New York Times reported.

The so-called red-shirt protesters have been conducting anti-government rallies to call for the dissolution of Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva's government.

The warning of a water and electricity shutdown is one of the grander efforts to end the protests since a failed military crackdown in April left more than two dozen people dead.

Security forces ring the protesters' encampment, but a military official said Wednesday there were no immediate plans to storm the area.

Protest leaders expressed defiance at the government's announcement, saying they would rely on generators for power, the Times said. They also expressed doubt about the depth of the government's resolve because two hospitals are in the area.

"Go ahead and try," protest leader Kokeaw Pikunthong said.

The red-shirt protesters are supporters of former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, ousted in a 2006 coup.


Bombings rock markets in Iraq

BAGHDAD, May 12 (UPI) -- A bomb exploded inside a Baghdad grocery store killing three people and injuring 25 others Wednesday, police said.

Police said the attack was planned by insurgents who detonated the explosives when the Shula district market area was crowded with shoppers, the Kuwaiti news agency KUNA reported.

Six Iraqis, five of whom were security personnel, died and 16 others were injured in a double bomb attack at a popular market in the Dora area Tuesday, south of the Iraqi capital, security officials said. The initial blast was followed by a second explosion that targeted security personnel, KUNA reported.

On Monday, a wave of shootings and bombings directed at security forces and civilians killed nearly 100 people and injured at least 300 in Iraq.


New York plans beefed up camera system

NEW YORK, May 12 (UPI) -- A surveillance system planned for 30 blocks of New York will be modeled on London's "ring of steel" security camera system, police in Midtown Manhattan said.

The plan calls for police cameras and private building cameras to cover the Midtown area from 30th Street to 60th Street, said Jessica Tisch, a New York police counter-terrorism analyst.

The plan, which builds upon the surveillance system south of Canal Street, comes in the wake of a failed attempt to detonate a car bomb in Times Square.

London's so-called "ring of steel" system, inspected Tuesday by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, has nearly 500,000 government and private security cameras, The New York Post reported Wednesday.

New York has fewer cameras, though New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly declined to say how many security cameras his city does have.

The Midtown system, to start up in September, is to have a centralized monitoring system to let police remotely download information from any camera. It also is to include software capable of detecting unusual events. If, for example, a group of people collapsed in front of a camera, the computer would alert police.


Poll: Economy, unemployment top problems

PRINCETON, La., May 12 (UPI) -- The general economic malaise usurped unemployment and jobs as the top concern among U.S. residents, a Gallup Poll released Wednesday indicated.

Americans also were more likely to list immigration, including illegal immigration, as the nation's most pressing problem, moving that issue into fifth place overall, Gallup said of its monthly measure of what the public perceives as the nation's most important issues.

The 10 percent of respondents citing immigration or illegal immigration in the latest poll is the highest Gallup recorded in more than two years, the Princeton, N.J., polling agency said.

Since the healthcare bill was passed and signed into law in March, concern about healthcare fell from 26 percent in the summer to 15 percent in the current poll, even though it still is among the top concerns, Gallup said.

The top problems survey participants named as the most important facing the country were the economy; unemployment/jobs; healthcare-related issues; federal government/politics; immigration/illegal aliens; federal budget deficit/debt; lack of money; terrorism, moral/ethics issues, national security, environment and the war in Iraq.

Results are based on national telephone interviews with 1,029 adults conducted May 3-6. The margin of error is 4 percentage points.

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