- - Tuesday, July 6, 2010


GOP’s Paul OK with border fence

FRANKFORT | Kentucky GOP Senate candidate Rand Paul once opposed building a fence along the U.S.-Mexico border because it would remind people of the Berlin Wall, but now he says he would support it if that’s what it takes to stop illegal immigrants from sneaking across.

Last year, Mr. Paul said he preferred an electronic fence that would signal authorities when people tried to cross because he didn’t like the symbolism of an actual fence.

But Mr. Paul said in a statement Tuesday that the U.S. “must” put up a fence, whether electronic, physical or a combination.

Mr. Paul, the “tea party”-backed candidate, also repeated his call to stop granting citizenship to children of illegal immigrants.

Allison Haley, a spokeswoman for Mr. Paul’s Democratic opponent, state Attorney General Jack Conway, says Mr. Paul is backpedaling on the border issue.


Obama announces speech on economy

LAS VEGAS | The White House said President Obama has added a second day to his visit to Las Vegas this week, and will deliver a major speech on the economy at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas.

The president’s invitation-only appearance Friday at the UNLV Student Union will come a day after he is hosted by Senate Democratic Majority Leader Harry Reid during a campaign rally at the Aria Resort and Casino on the Las Vegas Strip. Nevada now has the highest unemployment rate among the states, according to new federal data.

The Democratic senator’s campaign has e-mailed invitations to supporters for the Thursday event.

Despite his clout in Washington, Mr. Reid has become a top target for Republicans in the November elections, and faces a tough challenge from GOP nominee Sharron Angle in his bid for a fifth term in the Senate.


FBI agent: Blagojevich denied jobs-cash link

CHICAGO | An FBI agent says former Illinois Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich told agents in a March 2005 interview that he never gave out state jobs and contracts as a reward for campaign contributions.

Supervisory Special Agent Patrick Murphy said at Mr. Blagojevich’s corruption trial Tuesday that in the interview Mr. Blagojevich insisted that he maintained what he called a firewall between campaign fundraising and his official actions as governor.

That contrasted with testimony from Chicago lawyer Joseph Cari that the governor once told him state contracts were available to those who helped with fundraising.

Mr. Blagojevich has pleaded not guilty to charges that he schemed to launch a racketeering operation in the governor’s office and to sell or trade President Obama’s former Senate seat.


Government OKs first telescope for vision

Health officials have approved a first-of-its-kind technology — a tiny telescope implanted into the eye — to counter a leading cause of old-age blindness.

The telescope aims to help people in the end stages of an incurable, creeping disease called age-related macular degeneration — a loss of central vision that blocks reading, watching TV and eventually even recognizing faces.

It is implanted into one eye to ease that blind spot, while patients learn to use the other eye for peripheral vision.

Because of safety risks — and the challenge of learning to see that way — the Food and Drug Administration warned Tuesday that only patients 75 or older with severe macular degeneration who also have a cataract that needs removal will qualify.


Fiorina completes reconstructive surgery

SACRAMENTO | Republican Senate candidate Carly Fiorina on Tuesday completed reconstructive surgery after her battle with breast cancer.

Mrs. Fiorina is resting after completing her final surgery, according to a statement released by her chief of staff, Deborah Bowker.

“Carly is in good spirits and is happy to have concluded this difficult chapter in her life,” Miss Bowker said. “She is thankful to her family, friends and the many people who have supported her throughout this successful battle.”

The 55-year-old former chief executive of Hewlett-Packard Co. had a double mastectomy and underwent chemotherapy and radiation after she was diagnosed with breast cancer in February 2009. She completed those treatments in October.

Miss Bowker said Mrs. Fiorina is looking forward to getting back on the campaign trail. Mrs. Fiorina is trying to unseat three-term Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer in California this fall.


Interest rates mixed at weekly auction

Interest rates on 3-month Treasury bills rose to their highest level since April, while rates dipped on 6-month bills in Tuesday’s auction.

The Treasury Department auctioned $30 billion in three-month bills at a discount rate of 0.165 percent, up from 0.160 percent last week. Another $30 billion in six-month bills was auctioned at a discount rate of 0.205 percent, down from 0.215 percent last week.

The three-month rate was the highest since three-month bills averaged 0.175 percent on April 5. The six-month rate was the lowest since those bills averaged 0.170 percent on June 21.

The discount rates reflect that the bills sell for less than face value. For a $10,000 bill, the three-month price was $9,995.83 while a six-month bill sold for $9,989.64. That would equal an annualized rate of 0.167 percent for the three-month bills and 0.208 percent for the six-month bills.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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