Archives for News

Key players believe immigration deal is near

Big business and big labor have settled on a political framework for an immigration overhaul. Now, the lawmakers writing bipartisan legislation need to resolve the nitty-gritty — and keep their parties’ political flanks mollified. Business and labor negotiators late last week agreed on a deal that would allow tens of thousands of low-skilled workers into the country and pay them fair wages. It was a last major sticking point before the deal goes to the eight senators — four Democrats, four Republicans — to sign off on the details and propose legislation. They are looking to set in motion the
Read More

Mexican cartels place agents deep inside United States

Mexican drug cartels whose operatives once rarely ventured beyond the U.S. border are dispatching some of their most trusted agents to live and work deep inside the United States — an emboldened presence that experts believe is meant to tighten their grip on the world’s most lucrative narcotics market and maximize profits. If left unchecked, authorities say, the cartels’ move into the American interior could render the syndicates harder than ever to dislodge and pave the way for them to expand into other criminal enterprises such as prostitution, kidnapping-and-extortion rackets and money laundering. Cartel activity in the U.S. is certainly
Read More

Sen. Jeff Flake predicts support for gay marriage in future GOP presidential candidate

The Republican shift from longtime homophobia to acceptance of equality for homosexuals continued Sunday with Sen. Jeff Flake saying it is “inevitable” that his party will see one of its own run for president while supporting gay marriage. Flake, appearing on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” admitted the political landscape is shifting and will eventually field a GOP candidate who backs same-sex marriage and predictd that candidate would find support among Republicans. Fellow Republican Senators Rob Portman of Ohio announced his support for gay marriage in states that choose to allow such unions and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska says her position
Read More

Obama gets Easter sermon with political theme

President Barack Obama attended Easter services at an Episcopal church near the White House and heard a sermon that criticized “captains of the religious right” for holding some people back. The sermon by Rev. Dr. Luis Leon at St. John’s Church was based on the Gospel of John and the resurrection of Jesus. Leon said Jesus told Mary not to hold on to the past — “You cannot go back” — and the reverend said the religious right should focus on “the way things can be in the now.” “It drives me crazy when the captains of the religious right
Read More

Deal between big business, labor clears way for new immigration bills

Big business and labor have struck a deal on a new low-skilled worker program, removing the biggest hurdle to completion of sweeping immigration legislation allowing 11 million illegal immigrants eventual U.S. citizenship, labor and Senate officials said Saturday. The agreement was reached in a phone call late Friday night with AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, U.S. Chamber of Commerce head Tom Donohue, and Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York, who’s been mediating the dispute. The deal resolves disagreements over wages for the new workers and which industries would be included. Those disputes had led talks to break down a week
Read More

Texas DA, wife found murdered in home; assistant killed in January

A Texas prosecutor and his wife were found killed in their house two months after one of his assistants was gunned down near their office, authorities said. Investigators found the bodies of Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McLelland and his wife, Cynthia, on Saturday, said Kaufman County sheriff’s Lt. Justin Lewis. Police, FBI agents, Texas Rangers and deputies were part of the investigation. Assistant district attorney Mark Hasse was shot to death in a parking lot a block from his office on Jan. 31. Lewis declined to say how the couple died or whether authorities believe their deaths are linked
Read More

GOP Rep. Young calls Hispanics ‘wetbacks,’ then bows to pressure and issues ‘apology’

Alaska Republican Rep. Don Young, a long-time Congressman with a reputation for typical GOP bigotry, opened his mouth and inserted his rancid foot Thursday when he called Hispanic workers “wetbacks,” a strong slur against those who come from South of the border. “My father had a ranch and we used to have 50-60 wetbacks to pick tomatoes,” Young said in an interview with an Alaska public radio station. Young’s inappropriate remark comes right after the Republican National Committee called on GOP lawmakers and candidates to “soften their tone” when discussing Hispanic Americans and other immigrants.  After getting wiped out in
Read More

Congress finds budget cuts can hit home

Members of Congress are traveling less and worrying more about meeting office salaries. Their aides are contending with long lines to get inside their offices and fewer prospects of a raise. Such are the indignities thrust upon the men and women who brought the country $85 billion in government spending cuts this month. There probably won’t be much sympathy for a senator or congressman making $174,000 a year who is in no danger of being furloughed or laid off, at least until the next election. Still, there has been an effort, especially in the Republican-led House, to show that no
Read More

Ousted Nevada lawmaker arrested after high speed police chase

Police chased a former lawmaker on a freeway between Las Vegas and Los Angeles and arrested him at gunpoint following a struggle, hours after he became the first person ever expelled from the Nevada Legislature. Steven Brooks was jailed in California’s San Bernardino County after being subdued with punches and a Taser. Police alleged he attacked a police dog with a wrench. “It’s hard to know where he was going, what he thought he was doing and why he would be involved in a high-speed chase,” Brooks’ attorney, Mitchell Posin, told The Associated Press on Friday. “I think he feels
Read More

North Korea: More ‘bark” than ‘bite’?

Across North Korea, soldiers are gearing up for battle and shrouding their jeeps and vans with camouflage netting. Newly painted signboards and posters call for “death to the U.S. imperialists” and urge the people to fight with “arms, not words.” But even as North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is issuing midnight battle cries to his generals to ready their rockets, he and his million-man army know full well that a successful missile strike on U.S. targets would be suicide for the outnumbered, out-powered North Korean regime. Despite the hastening drumbeat of warfare — seemingly bringing the region to the
Read More