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US: Large Group of Illegal Immigrants Found in Arizona

Border agents said Wednesday they arrested an unusually large group of illegal immigrants crossing through the western Arizona desert in what authorities said is proof that increased border technology is working.

Border Patrol surveillance video operators Friday morning spotted a group of more than 100 people walking just north of the Mexico border about 15 miles west of Lukeville, Ariz., Agent Eric Cantu said.

When agents responded, Cantu said they were able to arrest 22 people but the rest of the group scattered.

A helicopter team found much of the group hiding in thick brush, and agents arrested 106 additional illegal immigrants. The smugglers and other suspected illegal immigrants may have gotten away, Cantu said.

The 128 men who were apprehended have either been returned to Mexico or were jailed because of prior convictions.

The Border Patrol's Tucson sector typically sees such large groups of border crossers no more than once or twice a year, Cantu said. Illegal immigrants typically travel in groups of five to 15, he said, because larger groups are much easier to detect.

Laptop

Is Scott Walker Cutting Off Internet Access To Thwart Protesters?

Imperial Walker
© ThinkProgess

According to pro-labor protesters in Wisconsin, Gov. Scott Walker (R) may be taking a page from former Egyptian Dictator Hosni Mubarak and cutting off internet access to key protest organizers within the state Capitol building.

If you are in the Capitol attempting to access the internet from a free wifi connection labeled "guest," you cannot access the site defendwisconsin.org. The site has been used to provide updates on what is happening, where you can volunteer, and where supplies and goods are needed to support protesters. Administrators of the website were notified on Monday that the page is being blocked. Wisconsin Democratic Party Chairman Mike Tate says that the site was put on a blacklist typically used to filter out pornography sites so that protestors inside the Capitol could not access this key site.

Former Wisconsin Assistant Attorney General Charles Hoornstra said that, if Walker is blocking the website, it could be a violation of state and federal laws concerning free speech laws. The accusation by the Wisconsin Democratic Party accompanies an accusation by the Teaching Assistants Association that Wisconsin state authorities cut off wifi access to a room they had taken over as a headquarters inside of the Capitol.

Eye 1

Another senior Libyan diplomat resigns

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Protesters carry a Libyan flag during a street protest in a square in Benghazi, Libya, February 23, 2011

A senior Libyan diplomat has resigned from his post as counselor at the country's embassy in Canada in protest at the violent crackdown on pro-democracy protesters.

Ihab al-Mismari announced his resignation on Wednesday, saying his decision was due to the embassy's effort aimed at hiding and downplaying the brutal attacks against protesters in his homeland, AFP reported.

"They are killing the friends with whom I grew up; they are killing my brothers and sisters," al-Mismari said.

Footprints

US: Update - Indiana official who urged 'Use live ammunition' on Wisconsin protesters loses job

An Indiana state official who tweeted that riot police in neighboring Wisconsin should "use live ammunition" to clear out pro-union demonstrators has lost his job.

The Indiana Attorney General's Office said Wednesday that Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Cox "is no longer employed by this agency."

The office made the announcement after reviewing statements Cox purportedly made in tweets and blog posts, including one in which he said he advocated "deadly force" against "thugs" who threatened state elected officials in Wisconsin.

The tweets that got Cox in trouble were made in an exchange with Adam Weinstein, a copy editor at Mother Jones who has been writing about the worker protests at the Wisconsin Capitol. Wisconsin workers and their supporters have been demonstrating for well over a week against Republican Gov. Scott Walker's plan to strip public sector workers of nearly all their bargaining rights. Walker says the legislation is needed to help solve Wisconsin's looming budget deficit.

Vader

House Democrat: Wisconsin Governor Walker like a 'dictator'

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Washington - Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN), the co-chair of the House progressive caucus, said Wednesday that Wisconsin's Republican Gov. Scott Walker is behaving like a "dictator."

Walker has been "absolutely unreasonable, and is basically taking on the posture of a dictator," Ellison told reporters on a conference call organized by the Progressive Change Campaign Committee.

The standoff between Republicans and Democrats in Wisconsin continues for a second week as Walker refuses to back down on a budget measure curtailing the collective bargaining rights of public employee unions. Fourteen Democrats fled the state last week to protest the measure and prevent Republicans from getting the votes.

Cheeseburger

Seattle restaurant puts TSA workers on no-eat list

tsa

A restaurant near Seattle-Tacoma International Airport is so tired of the way the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has been treating their customers that they've actually banned agents from eating at the establishment.

KC McLawson, a worker at the restaurant, told journalist Christopher Elliott exactly how far her boss had taken the ban.

"We have posted signs on our doors basically saying that they aren't allowed to come into our business," she said. "We have the right to refuse service to anyone."

Telephone

US: On prank call, Wisconsin governor discusses strategy

On a prank call that quickly spread across the Internet, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker was duped into discussing his strategy to cripple public employee unions, promising never to give in and joking that he would use a baseball bat in his office to go after political opponents.

Walker believed the caller was a conservative billionaire named David Koch, but it was actually a liberal blogger. The two talked for at least 20 minutes - a conversation in which the governor described several potential ways to pressure Democrats to return to the Statehouse and revealed that his supporters had considered secretly planting people in pro-union protest crowds to stir up trouble.

The call also revealed Walker's cozy relationship with two billionaire brothers who have poured millions of dollars into conservative political causes, including Walker's campaign last year.

Walker compared his stand to that taken by President Ronald Reagan when he fired the nation's air-traffic controllers during a labor dispute in 1981.
Part 1:

Part 2:

"That was the first crack in the Berlin Wall and led to the fall of the Soviets," Walker said on the recording.

The audio was posted on the Buffalo Beast, a left-leaning website in New York, and quickly went viral.

Eye 1

US: Update: 'Use live ammunition' against Wisconsin protesters, Indiana official says

wisconsin protests

Update (3:15 pm ET): Indiana deputy attorney general loses job

The Indiana Attorney General's office announced Wednesday that the deputy attorney general who called for Wisconsin riot police to use deadly force on protesters is no longer employed by the agency, according to WISH.

Update (2:30 pm ET): Indiana official delete personal blog

An Indiana deputy attorney general who called for Wisconsin riot police to use "live ammunition" on protesters has deleted his personal blog.

Jeff Cox had claimed that Mother Jones would try to "silence" him.

Original report continues below...

One official in Indiana suggested over the weekend that riot police should use deadly force on those protesting Wisconsin Republican Gov. Scott Walker's plan to strip unions of their rights.

Stormtrooper

Libyan aircraft crashes after troops refuse bombing orders

A Libyan military aircraft crashed Wednesday southwest of Benghazi after the crew refused to follow orders to bomb the city, Libya's Quryna newspaper reported.


The pilot and co-pilot parachuted out of the craft, and the plane crashed in an uninhabited area, the paper said.

The Russian-made Sukhoi-22 aircraft crashed west of the city of Ijdabiya, 160 km (100 miles) southwest of Benghazi, Quryna reported, citing military sources.

Display

US: Buffalo Beast Website Goes Down Following Walker, Koch Prank Call

The online news site Buffalo Beast has gone offline after publishing a prank phone call between Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and a Buffalo Beast editor who posed as David Koch.

Buffalo Beast Publisher Paul Fallon told The Huffington Post that the audio is "absolutely legit" (listen to it here).

The Buffalo Beast website seems to be suffering from traffic overload, causing many to see this message: "Error establishing a database connection." Some pages also say, "The page you are looking for might have been removed, had its name changed, or is temporarily unavailable."

It's not the first time the Web has made the news in the Wisconsin protests. A pro-union website was blocked at the Capitol Building in Madison.

The Buffalo Beast was founded in 2002 as an alternative biweekly newspaper in Buffalo, N.Y. It became an online-only news operation in 2009.