- The Washington Times - Monday, November 16, 2009

WHITE HOUSE

Immigration bill coming, Axelrod says

Democrats and Republicans in Congress are working together to craft an immigration-reform bill that could become law as early as next year, a senior White House adviser said Sunday.

That legislation could create a path to citizenship for the estimated 12 million illegal immigrants already in the United States, David Axelrod, senior adviser to President Obama, said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

“I think some good work is being done on both sides of the aisle to achieve that,” Mr. Axelrod said, referring to the partisan divide on Capitol Hill.

“We have to have better security at our borders, and we are developing that,” he said, alluding to a key concern of conservative critics who scuttled an attempt at immigration reform under President George W. Bush.

WISCONSIN

Milwaukee mayor to run for governor

MADISON, Wis. | Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, who was hailed as a hero this summer for confronting a metal-bar-wielding man, is running for governor.

Mr. Barrett made the official announcement Sunday. He said Saturday that he deferred his decision until he was sufficiently recovered from the attack that left him with head and hand injuries.

His decision was a relief for the Democratic Party after incumbent Gov. James E. Doyle decided not to seek a third term. The 55-year-old Mr. Barrett says he’ll build his campaign around the issues of jobs, education and the economy.

Mr. Barrett was thrust into the national spotlight after being attacked in August while defending a woman outside the state fair. He needed 10 pins in his right hand and had the last two removed Friday.

NEW YORK

Clinton rules out bid for governor

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is waving off rumors that she is considering a run for governor of New York. And former New York Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani says he still hasn’t decided whether he’ll run.

Mrs. Clinton told ABC’s “This Week” that she wants to put to rest speculation that she would seek the governorship of New York. She said she is committed to her duties as secretary of state.

Mr. Giuliani said he’ll decide soon whether to make a bid for governor. Mr. Giuliani said he isn’t leaning one way or another.

New York’s Democratic governor, David A. Paterson, is seeking another term. State Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo hasn’t said whether he’ll challenge Mr. Paterson for the Democratic nomination.

IRAN

Send messages to captives, kin say

The families of three American hikers detained in Iran voiced concern Sunday about their loved ones’ mental state after weeks of semi-isolation in a Tehran prison, and are asking people to send them messages of support.

“Sarah, Shane and Josh are being well-treated and seem to be physically well, but we are more and more worried about their state of mind,” Nora Shourd, mother of one of the detainees said in a statement.

Shane Bauer, 27; Sarah Shourd, 31; and Josh Fattal, 27, were arrested July 31 after straying - inadvertently, according to their families - into Iranian territory during a hiking trip in Iraq’s Kurdistan region.

Held at Tehran’s Evin prison in separate cells and with few visits allowed, the trio was formally charged with espionage last week, despite denials from friends and relatives that they are spies and U.S. insistence that they be released.

The hikers’ families have set up a special post office box where messages can be sent to the three detainees at Evin prison.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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