- - Tuesday, June 22, 2010

ARIZONA

Mexico asks court to nix immigration law

PHOENIX | Mexico on Tuesday asked a federal court in Arizona to declare the state’s new immigration law unconstitutional, arguing that the country’s own interests and its citizens’ rights are at stake.

Lawyers for Mexico on Tuesday submitted a legal brief in support of one of five lawsuits challenging the law. The law will take effect June 29 unless implementation is blocked by a court.

The law generally requires police investigating another incident or crime to ask people about their immigration status if there’s a “reasonable suspicion” they’re in the country illegally. It also makes being in Arizona illegally a misdemeanor, and it prohibits seeking day-labor work along the state’s streets.

COLORADO

Pakistan to free bin Laden hunter

DENVER | A relative of an American on a solo mission to hunt down Osama bin Laden said the Colorado man is being released by the Pakistani government without charges.

Gary Faulkner, of Greeley, Colo., was detained June 13 in the woods of northern Pakistan after being found with a pistol, a sword and night-vision equipment. He told officials he was out to kill the al Qaeda leader. Mr. Faulkner was then moved to Islamabad, and a relative told the Associated Press on Tuesday that Mr. Faulkner was being released to American authorities there and would return to the U.S. “very soon.”

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

McDonald’s threatened over Happy Meal toys

Are the toys in your child’s Happy Meal making him or her fat?

The Center for Science in the Public Interest says they are. The Washington-based consumer advocacy group threatened to file a lawsuit against McDonald’s Tuesday, charging that the fast-food chain “unfairly and deceptively” markets the toys to children.

The center, which has filed dozens of lawsuits against food companies in recent years, is hoping the publicity and the threat of a lawsuit will force McDonald’s to negotiate with them on the issue. The group announced the lawsuit in the letter to McDonald’s 30 days before filing it with the hope that the company will agree to stop selling the toys before a suit is filed.

McDonald’s did not respond to a request for comment on the lawsuit, which CSPI says would be filed in state court.

MICHIGAN

Five militiamen must stay in jail

DETROIT | Five members of a Midwest militia charged with conspiring to rebel against the government and use weapons of mass destruction will remain in jail while awaiting trial, an appeals court said Tuesday, reversing a decision by a federal judge.

Each man is dangerous and “no conditions of release will reasonably assure the safety of the community,” two judges on the three-judge panel said.

During a series of raids in late March, authorities arrested nine members of a southern Michigan group called Hutaree. The government claims they were scheming to kill a police officer, then attack law enforcement who attended the funeral, in the first steps toward a broader rebellion.

NEW YORK

Bill would expand DNA database

ALBANY | Gov. David A. Paterson has proposed roughly doubling New York’s DNA database to include samples from even low-level offenders, making it the first in the nation to so broadly collect and use that evidence to solve crimes and exonerate people wrongly convicted.

New York’s law would require adding about 48,000 samples a year to a laboratory system that state officials say is capable of handling the extra work, with no current backlogs.

State police now have DNA samples from 356,000 people convicted of felonies and certain misdemeanors, including petty larceny and endangering the welfare of a child. The database began in 1996 with the genetic material from killers and sexual predators, and has been expanded three times.

“DNA is the most powerful tool ever discovered to solve crimes, prevent crimes and exonerate the innocent, but remarkably in New York state we are still collecting DNA from only 46 percent of the criminals convicted,” Mr. Paterson said.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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