Federal Government Sues to Block Arizona Immigration Law

The U.S. government has escalated the volatile national debate over illegal immigration by suing Arizona to stop its enforcement law. The Department of Justice filed a lawsuit Tuesday in federal court in Phoenix, 23 days before the state law is scheduled to take effect. The law requires police to question the immigration status of suspects when there is “reasonable suspicion” they are in the country illegally. Government lawyers charge in court documents that the Arizona law “crossed a constitutional line” and threatens to launch a “patchwork of state and local immigration policies throughout the country” banned by federal law and the Constitution. Government lawyers said the law would cause harassment and possible detention of legal immigrants, harm diplomatic relations with Mexico and increase burdens on federal agencies. The outcome of the case also could fuel or shut down efforts now under way to replicate the law in more than a dozen other states. Arizona Governor Jan Brewer responded by accusing the Obama administration of a “massive waste of taxpayer funds.”

A Christian law firm will assist Arizona in its defense against the Obama Justice Department’s lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of The Grand Canyon State’s immigration enforcement statute. President Barack Obama has called the state law “misguided,” but Jordan Sekulow, director of international operations with the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), contends that Obama’s grievance is what is misguided. The international operations director says challenging the constitutionality of Arizona’s border enforcement law is not going to do anything to solve the root problem: the continued failure of the federal government to protect the United States from the illegal alien invasion.

  • If the federal government would do its job, there wouldn’t be a need for states to act independently

Hezbollah on US-Mexico Border?

A Hezbollah terror cell may be operating among drugs cartels around the U.S.-Mexican border, announced U.S. Republican National Committee Rep. Sue Myrick, according to a Fox News report. Myrick requested that U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano create a special team to further investigate the potential problem and threat. The Republican representative referenced several incidents that show evidence of Hezbollah’s efforts to infiltrate the U.S. region with the aid of Mexican drug cartel gangs. Myrick cited the warming relationship between Iran and Venezuela as evidence that Hezbollah members may be collaborating with Latin American drug cartels, who may be utilizing Hezbollah’s ability to dig underground tunnels for drug smuggling and in turn, providing funding, document forging, and false identities. “There are numerous reports of cocaine proceeds entering the coffers of Islamic Radical Groups such as Hezbollah and Hamas,” Fox News quoted Anthony Placido, assistant administrator for intelligence at the Drug Enforcement Administration, when he testified to a Congressional subcommittee. Placido labeled the proceeds as “easy revenue” that could potentially be used to fund terrorism.

Hawaii Governor Vetoes Same-Sex Civil Unions Bill

Hawaii‘s governor on Tuesday vetoed legislation that would have permitted same-sex civil unions, ending months of speculation on how she would weigh in on the contentious, emotional debate. Republican Gov. Linda Lingle‘s action came on the final day she had to either sign or veto the bill, which the Hawaii Legislature approved in late April. “There has not been a bill I have contemplated more or an issue I have thought more deeply about during my eight years as governor than House Bill 444 and the institution of marriage,” Lingle said at a news conference. “I have been open and consistent in my opposition to same-sex marriage, and find that House Bill 444 is essentially same sex marriage by another name.” Had Lingle not vetoed it, the measure would have granted gay and lesbian couples the same rights and benefits that the state provides to married couples. It also would have made Hawaii one of six states that essentially grant the rights of marriage to same-sex couples.

“In God We Trust” Making a Comeback

Faith in God has been the foundation of the United States of America since Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence, which refers to the “Creator” as the source of all our fundamental human rights and in which the Founders expressed their “firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence.” Rep. Randy Forbes of Virginia has authored the “In God We Trust” Resolution (H.Con.Res. 274), which reaffirms “In God We Trust” as our national motto and urges the motto to be publicly displayed “in all public buildings, public schools, and other government institutions.” Currently, 73 bipartisan members of Congress have signed on as co-sponsors of Rep. Forbes’ resolution. This phrase was adopted in law as our official national motto in 1956, but has appeared on our coinage since 1865. In fact, the last piece of legislation Abraham Lincoln signed before his assassination authorized the use of “In God We Trust” on all coins minted in the United States. The words “In God We Trust” appear over the entrance to the Senate Chamber and above the Speaker’s rostrum in the House Chamber. “If these words are good enough for the chambers of Congress, good enough for all our coins and all our currency, and good enough to serve as our national motto, they are good enough to appear on the walls of every classroom in America,” says the American Family Association.

  • Send an email to your representative today in support of the “In God We Trust” Resolution (H.Con.Res. 274), which reaffirms “In God We Trust” as our national motto and urges the motto to be publicly displayed “in all public buildings, public schools, and other government institutions.

Bible Class Officially OK’d for Calif. School District

Students in a California public school district will upgrade their textbooks this year – to the divinely inspired Word of God. The Chino Valley School District in Chino, Calif., voted 5-0 in June to adopt a year-long Bible course titled “Bible as/in Literature and History.” “It is my belief that better understanding the Bible will help all students with their decision-making process,” Fred Youngblood, president of the Board of Education, told OneNewsNow. The course will be available as a social-studies elective to 12th-grade students this school year and fulfill general requirements for admission to California State University and the University of California.

Post Office Proposes Raising Stamp Prices

The U.S. Postal Service wants to raise the price of a first-class stamp by 2 cents to 46 cents to avoid running out of cash next year, officials said. A sharp decline in mail volume, the recession and increased use of the Internet to pay bills have contributed to a financial crisis. On Tuesday, postal officials proposed mitigating the problem with an average 5.6% increase on a range of services that include first-class mail, advertising mail, periodicals and packages. The increase, about 13 cents a month for the average household, would go into effect Jan. 2. Mail volume dropped 20% from the first quarter of fiscal 2007 through the second quarter of fiscal 2010. Hundreds of the nation’s largest mailers are banding together to try to block the increase.

Oil Spill Effects Expand

Tar balls from the Gulf oil spill found on a Texas beach were confirmed Monday as the first evidence that gushing crude from the Deepwater Horizon well has reached all the Gulf states. The amount discovered is tiny in comparison to what has coated beaches so far in the hardest-hit parts of the Gulf coast in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and the Florida Panhandle. Oil has also reached into Lake Pontchartrain near New Orleans, as rough seas continued to slow efforts to contain the spread of the massive slick. More than 1,000 pounds of tar balls and waste were collected Monday in and near Lake Pontchartrain. The spill has gushed more than 90 million gallons of crude into the sea.

Budget Cuts Leave Tall Grass, Weeds

Budget woes are cutting down the ability of states and cities to tend to tall grass and causing safety concerns along roadways across the USA. In some states, cities have been forced to take over mowing that used to be handled state agencies. In Virginia, volunteers are mowing along some roadways. Before drastic budget cuts last year, the Virginia Department of Transportation spent about $42 million a year on mowing, spokesman Jeff Caldwell says. The department is looking to cut that figure by about $20 million by cutting grass once to three times a year instead of four to six times of the past. The city of Kenosha, Wis.,. is using its own staff and funds to mow county roadways after the Wisconsin Department of Transportation announced it would mow only once this season.

Economic News

State and local governments plan many more layoffs to close wide budget gaps. Up to 400,000 workers could lose jobs in the next year as states, counties and cities grapple with lower revenue and less federal funding, says Mark Zandi, chief economist for Moody’s Economy.com.

According to annual tracking by the U.S. Labor Department, 2009 saw just five major strikes or work stoppages involving 1,000 or more employees — the fewest since the agency began tracking such data in 1947. According to Labor Department figures, there were on average 20 major work stoppages a year from 2000 through 2009, down from an average of 35 a year during the 1990s and 83 in the 1980s.

A California appellate court has backed Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s decision to pay 240,000 state workers the federal minimum wage — $7.25 an hour — because lawmakers have not passed a new budget.

Drivers are finding lower gas pump prices now that the July 4th weekend is over and prices are likely to keep sliding. The national average for retail gasoline prices was $2.724 a gallon Tuesday, 2.6 cents less than it was on Friday. The pump price is 11.3 cents more than a year ago but about the same as a month ago. Predictions of a national average of $3 a gallon faded weeks ago because supplies remain above a five-year average and demand is tepid.

European Union

European Union lawmakers have voted overwhelmingly to cap bankers’ short-term cash bonuses next year, a move that European leaders hope other parts of the world will follow. Starting in 2011, bankers will only be able to get part of their yearly bonuses in cash upfront. The other 70% will be held back and paid out if the company performs well. In addition, the European Union’s executive says Europeans should not retire before 70 to save cash-strapped state pension funds. Lower birth rates and longer life expectancy mean retiring earlier will not be sustainable. Germany will raise its retirement age to 67 in 2029. Spain is considering a similar hike and Britain is discussing increasing it to 68.

Middle East

The United Arab Emirates ambassador to the United States said Tuesday that the benefits of bombing Iran’s nuclear program outweigh the short-term costs such an attack would impose. In unusually blunt remarks, Ambassador Yousef al-Otaiba publicly endorsed the use of the military option for countering Iran’s nuclear program, if sanctions fail to stop the country’s quest for nuclear weapons. “If you are asking me, ‘Am I willing to live with that versus living with a nuclear Iran?,’ my answer is: ‘We cannot live with a nuclear Iran.’ The remarks echo those of some Arab diplomats who have said similar things in private to their American counterparts but never this bluntly in public.

Israel

Israel is easing its blockade of Hamas-ruled Gaza to allow in virtually all consumer goods, items from household cleaners to timber that had been barred from import for years. But because Israel will continue to ban most travel and exports and restrict the import of desperately needed construction materials, the new rules are unlikely to restore the territory’s devastated economy or allow rebuilding of all that was destroyed in last year’s war. The White House welcomed the changes that were announced Monday as Prime Minister Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu flew to Washington for a meeting with President Obama. Gaza business leaders and rights activists said the measures are far short of what Gaza needs.

On Tuesday, the “Freedom March” for the release of kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Schalit started the ninth day of its 12-day journey with 4,000 marchers trodding along busy Highway 1 heading up towards Jerusalem from Tel Aviv. The procession will stop in Ramle on this evening before renewing the ascent to the Israeli capital and the offices and residence of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu – the march’s ultimate destiny. On Monday, the Schalit family visited the site along the Gaza border where their son Gilad was kidnapped by Hamas in 2006 during a cross-border tunnel raid.

Afghanistan

NATO mistakenly killed five of its Afghan army allies in an airstrike Wednesday while the Afghans were attacking insurgents in the country’s east. An Afghan defense official condemned the latest “friendly fire” deaths, which came at a time when international troops are trying to improve coordination with Afghan security forces in hopes of handing over more security to them nearly nine years into the war. Three American soldiers were also reported killed Wednesday in a roadside bomb in the south. Violence has been increasing across Afghanistan, coinciding with the arrival of thousands of American soldiers for a new push to try to establish Afghan government control in the south.

Iraq

An American soldier suspected of leaking a military video of an attack on unarmed men in Iraq was charged with multiple counts of mishandling and leaking classified data and putting national security at risk, the U.S. Army said in a statement Tuesday. Army Spc. Bradley Manning is suspected of leaking a classified video that shows a group of men walking down the street before being repeatedly shot by the Apache helicopters. The American gunners can be heard laughing and referring to the men as “dead bastards.” The classified video was taken from the cockpit during a 2007 fire fight and posted last April on the website Wikileaks.org. It is an unflattering portrait of the war that raises questions about the military’s rules of engagement and whether more should be done to prevent civilian casualties.

Sri Lanka

Hundreds of protesters, led by a government minister, laid siege to the U.N. compound in Colombo, Sri Lanka, on Tuesday, trapping workers inside for hours in an effort to force the world body to cancel its investigation of alleged abuses committed during Sri Lanka‘s civil war. The United Nations expressed “serious concern” over the obstruction of its staff, which happened despite assurances from the prime minister that the government would ensure their security. More than 125 people were believed trapped in the compound when the protesters first descended on the building in the morning after burning effigies of United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

Weather

Temperature records were broken from Burlington, Vt., to Baltimore on Tuesday with more 100-degree temperatures forecast for Wednesday. By 4 p.m., Baltimore registered 105 degrees, breaking the record 101 degrees set in 1999, according to the National Weather Service. The temperature reached 102 in Philadelphia and New York‘s Central Park. Trenton reached 104, breaking the previous record of 100 set in 1999. Burlington hit 95, breaking a record set in 1993. The excessive heat kinked one of the rails on Washington, D.C.’s Metro system, slowing train speeds on a stretch of track on the system’s highly traveled Red line, the Washington Metropolitan Area. In Boston, heat sent Lt. Gov. Tim Murray to the hospital Monday night. New York City opened about 480 cooling centers in libraries, senior centers and community buildings, said Seth Andrews, with the city’s Office of Emergency Management. On Monday, more than 5,000 people sought relief in the centers. New Yorkers also endured spot power outages as the electric system became overloaded Tuesday.

A leading Dutch environmental agency, taking the blame for one of the glaring errors that undermined the credibility of a seminal United Nations report on climate change, said Monday it has discovered more small mistakes and urged the panel to be more careful. But the review by the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency claimed that none of the errors effected the fundamental conclusion by U.N. panel of scientists: that global warming caused by humans is happening already and is threatening the lives and well-being of millions of people.

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