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Tijuana drug tunnel impresses US November 30, 2011

Mexican security forces surrounded the Tijuana entrance of the tunnel

US police have found one of the most sophisticated drug-smuggling tunnels to date on the border with Mexico.

The tunnel was discovered on Tuesday and links warehouses in Tijuana, Mexico, with San Diego.

“It is clearly the most sophisticated tunnel that we have found in the last five years, perhaps ever,” a US police spokeswoman in San Diego said.

A similar tunnel was discovered in the area two weeks ago, adding to dozens that have been found in recent years.

Local media describe Otay Mesa as a busy area containing many warehouses, making it easier for smugglers.

The tunnel is 15ft (4.5m) deep and contains both lighting and transport carts, AFP news agency reports.

The tunnel extends twice as far into the US as it does into Mexico

Mexican security forces found the entrance in a Tijuana warehouse after being alerted to the discovery by the US authorities.

The warehouse is near Tijuana airport, and also stands close to the local headquarters of the federal police.

Mexican security forces seized three tonnes of marijuana at the tunnel’s entrance, which they suspect had only recently been put into use.

The use of underground tunnels for smuggling has increased in recent years as the US authorities have clamped down on overland smuggling activity.

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New Hampshire sets primary date November 3, 2011

Candidates have signed forms in recent weeks registering for the primary

New Hampshire’s presidential primary will be held on 10 January 2012, finalising the early season election calendar after months of uncertainty.

The date was confirmed after Nevada Republicans voted to shift their presidential caucus to early February.

The western state had originally scheduled its contest for mid-January.

New Hampshire Secretary of State Bill Gardner warned that his state’s primary would be held in December if Nevada did not change its initial date.

The 2012 election season will begin on the first working day of the 2012, with the Iowa caucuses on 3 January.

Traditionally, the contests in Iowa and New Hampshire have been paired as “first-in-the-nation”, a distinction threatened in this election cycle by the earlier scheduling of contests in Nevada and Florida.

Mr Gardner, who has sole authority in New Hampshire to set the primary date, stressed the political importance of his state’s contest.

“No-one has finished below second and become president since we’ve started listing the candidates,” he said.

He thanked his counterparts in Iowa and South Carolina for supporting New Hampshire’s wish to be the first primary of 2012.

“They were very helpful at the critical time during the last month… demonstrating the solidarity of the early states,” Mr Gardner said.

New Hampshire’s primary will now be followed by January nomination contests in South Carolina and Florida.

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Occupy Sacramento lawyers file federal lawsuit against city for park crackdown November 2, 2011


November 1, 2011

by legitgov

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Occupy Sacramento lawyers file federal lawsuit against city for park crackdown 01 Nov 2011 Attorneys working on behalf of Occupy Sacramento protesters have filed a federal lawsuit contending the First Amendment free assembly rights of participants are being violated by the 11 p.m. curfew for Cesar Chavez Park. To date, 79 arrests have been made of people attempting to occupy the park past the posted time limit. Sacramento is one of a handful of city that has never allowed protesters to maintain their occupation overnight.

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Florida seeks to move primary date, upending GOP calendar September 30, 2011

(CNN) — A Republican-appointed commission in Florida could turn the 2012 GOP presidential nominating calendar topsy-turvy Friday if it goes ahead with plans to shift the state’s primary to January 31.

The move would flout Republican National Committee rules that forbid any state — other than the first four early voting states — from holding a contest before March 6, likely sparking a chain reaction as those states move their contests into January to protect their roles in the process.

Florida’s representatives on the RNC approved the current calendar rules at a meeting last year.

But top Florida Republicans have since demanded that their state go fifth in the 2012 process, after the first four “carve out” states of Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina.

RNC officials had been hoping to allow the Sunshine State to move its contest to Feb. 21, which would still violate party rules but satisfy Florida’s desire to go fifth.

Florida Republicans told CNN this week, however, that the prospect of states like Missouri and Colorado also holding caucus or primary contests in February forced their hand.

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A spokeswoman for the RNC said they were still working to keep the calendar intact.

“We’re going to continue working with Florida and other states until the deadline on October 1st to ensure they remain within the Party rules,” said spokeswoman Kirsten Kukowski. “Any state that violates the rules will lose 50% of its delegates.”

Florida Republicans, who want a primary date all to themselves, are not budging, even in the face of penalties from the RNC.

“Nothing has changed,” said Florida House Speaker Dean Cannon. “I believe Jan. 31st is the right day for Florida and anticipate the committee making that date official.”

Under committee rules, states in violation of the calendar can be stripped of half their delegates to next August’s Republican National Convention in Tampa.

RNC members are also mulling stiffer penalties for rule-breaking states, like banishing those delegations to far away hotels in the Tampa area and giving their delegations the worst seats inside the convention hall.

A spokesman for the Republican Party of Florida brushed off the threats.

“If there is some process in 24 hours time that ensures Florida as fifth, then I think the commission could be swayed,” said RPOF spokesman Brian Hughes. “But short of that, the Speaker’s prediction seems accurate.”

Iowa Republican Party Chairman Matt Strawn issued a joint statement Thursday with his counterparts from New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina, promising to leap ahead of Florida and into January if the Florida commission moves ahead with its plan.

“The four sanctioned, early states have been very clear that we will move together, if necessary, to ensure order as outlined in RNC rules,” Strawn said. “If we are forced to change our dates together, we will.”

The first four states would also face penalties if they move from February into January, but South Carolina GOP Chairman Chad Connelly dared the RNC to punish his state if Florida triggers the chaos.

Connelly said he would wait until after Florida finalizes its primary date before naming South Carolina’s date.

Georgia, which had flirted with moving up its primary date, decided to hold its primary on March 6, in compliance with committee calendar rules.


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