June 19th, 2009
02:32 PM ET
9 years ago

Burris will not face perjury charges for Blagojevich testimony

(CNN) - Sen. Roland Burris will not face state perjury charges in connection with his sworn testimony about an alleged "pay-for-play" scheme to fill the U.S. Senate seat vacated by President Barack Obama, a state prosecutor said Friday.

Burris, appointed to the Senate seat just days before Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich was impeached and removed from office in January, gave incomplete but truthful answers to questions about his conversations with Blagojevich's representatives, said John Schmidt, the state's attorney in Sangamon County.

Schmidt began looking at perjury charges in February amid disclosures that Burris spoke with Blagojevich's brother about possibly raising money for the governor.


Filed under: Rod Blagojevich • Roland Burris
June 19th, 2009
01:50 PM ET
June 19th, 2009
01:44 PM ET
9 years ago

Border Czar tours his domain

NOGALES, Arizona (CNN) - The Blackhawk helicopter swoops across the hot, wind-blown Arizona desert and settles onto a cement pad.

The new U.S. Border Czar, Alan Bersin, has arrived to inspect operations at one of his most critical facilities, the Maricopa port of entry just outside Nogales, Arizona.

It's the largest port of entry in Arizona, handling about 1,500 commercial trucks a day, making it a major trade corridor between the United States and Mexico, Officer James Tong of U.S. Customs and Border Protection tells Bersin.

It is also a major corridor for the smuggling of cocaine, heroin and marijuana into the U.S.

Last year, 37,000 pounds of marijuana were seized along this arid stretch of border. And on the day of Bersin's visit, two teenage girls were caught trying to sneak heroin past border guards in Nogales.

"That told me that in reaction to increased enforcement ... the cartels are ... recruiting teenagers as their new couriers," said Bersin.


Filed under: Uncategorized
June 19th, 2009
12:05 PM ET
9 years ago

Obama calls Lakers, Penguins coaches

WHITE HOUSE (CNN) - The head coaches for the Los Angeles Lakers and the Pittsburgh Penguins received congratulatory calls yesterday from President Obama.

The president - a basketball fan himself who still plays occasionally - called Lakers coach Phil Jackson to congratulate the team for winning the NBA finals, according to the White House. They also discussed the keys to the Lakers' success, and "the President's interest in the Lakers' triangle offense."

Obama also made a point to congratulate Jackson on his record-setting 10th championship as a head coach - four with the Lakers, and six with Obama's hometown Chicago Bulls. He told Jackson he has admired him since his days as coach of the Bulls, and looked forward to meeting him and congratulating the Lakers in person at the White House.


Filed under: President Obama
June 19th, 2009
10:39 AM ET
9 years ago

Obama reiterates commitment to immigration reform

(CNN) - President Obama on Friday reiterated his commitment to passing comprehensive immigration reform, telling a Hispanic audience that the country must be guided by the principle "love thy neighbor as thy self."

"The American people believe in immigration, but they also believe that we can't tolerate a situation where people come to the United States in violation of the law," Obama said before the eighth annual National Hispanic Prayer Breakfast in Washington.

"Nor can we tolerate employers who exploit undocumented workers in order to bring down wages," he told the crowd at the breakfast, which was sponsored by Esperanza, the largest Hispanic faith-based evangelical network in the country.

Obama said the "fair, practical and promising way forward" is by strengthening border security, clarifying the status of those who are here illegally, and requiring illegal immigrants to pay a penalty and taxes, learn English and go to the back of the line for citizenship.


Filed under: President Obama
June 19th, 2009
10:21 AM ET
9 years ago

Democrats pull in more than $8.4 million for May

WASHINGTON (CNN) - The Democratic National Committee pulled in roughly $8.35 million last month, outpacing the $5.7 million raised by its Republican counterpart.

More than $8.2 million of the cash haul came from contributors.

The DNC also has more than $12 million cash on hand - roughly $9.5 million less than the GOP has in the bank, according to documents filed with the Federal Election Commission Friday.

So far this year, the national party has raised nearly $29 million. It still carries roughly $5.6 million in debt.

The Republican National Committee reported Friday that the party ended the month of May with no debt.

Filed under: DNC
June 19th, 2009
09:10 AM ET
9 years ago

RNC reports $5.7 million cash haul for May

WASHINGTON (CNN) - The Republican Party said Friday it raised $5.7 million last month.

The Republican National Committee reported that they now have $21.5 million cash on hand, and no debt. The $5.7 million raked in last month follows a reported $5.4 million raised in April and $6.7 million in March.

"I am pleased that the Republican National Committee continues to show solid fundraising numbers, and we are grateful to the countless Americans who have contributed to our Party," said RNC Chairman Michael Steele in a statement.

"We have important and competitive elections this fall and next year. With another month of strong fundraising numbers, we are confident and well positioned to win,"

The RNC says their average contribution in May was $40.93.

The Democratic National Committee has yet to release their fundraising numbers for May. As of the end of April the DNC had $9.1 million cash on hand, with $5.4 million in debt.

Filed under: Fundraising • RNC
June 19th, 2009
09:09 AM ET
9 years ago

$1 billion 'cash for clunkers' passed

WASHINGTON (CNNMoney.com) - The Senate on Thursday passed a $1 billion effort to subsidize new auto sales by giving vouchers toward the purchase of new cars.

President Barack Obama is expected to sign the bill.

The "cash for clunkers" measure was attached to the $106 billion war spending bill that was approved by the Senate late Thursday. It drew some opposition from lawmakers who were opposed to spending more money on the auto industry.

The measure would give consumers vouchers worth as much as $4,500 to turn in gas guzzlers and buy new cars that are more fuel efficient.

Full story

Filed under: Congress • President Obama
June 19th, 2009
09:04 AM ET
9 years ago

House expected to vote on Iranian resolution

A new House resolution would decry 'ongoing violence against demonstrators' in Iran.

A new House resolution would decry 'ongoing violence against demonstrators' in Iran.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - The U.S. House of Representatives is scheduled to vote Friday on a resolution that supports "all Iranians who embrace the values of freedom, human rights, civil liberties and the rule of law."

The resolution also "condemns the ongoing violence against demonstrators."

The supporters include Foreign Affairs Chairman Howard Berman, a California Democrat, and Republicans Mike Pence and House Minority Whip Eric Cantor.

UPDATE BELOW: Sen. John McCain has introduced a similar resolution in the Senate.

The U.S. government is in a precarious position regarding how to respond to the massive rallies in Tehran opposing the results of last week's presidential election which showed a victory for incumbent hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.


Filed under: Iran
June 19th, 2009
05:56 AM ET
7 years ago

White House fires back at Bush comments: 'We won'

The White House responded Thursday to recent comments by former President George W. Bush.

The White House responded Thursday to recent comments by former President George W. Bush.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – A day after former President George W. Bush seemed to criticize the Obama administration for departing from a number of his anti-terrorism policies, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs fired back.

Asked about Bush's remarks during Thursday's press briefing Gibbs had a simple response. "We won," Gibbs told reporters.

In a vigorous defense of his own national security policies during a speech in Pennsylvania Wednesday, Bush appeared to take issue with the new administration's early decision to close the detention center in Guantanamo Bay and ban the use of aggressive interrogation techniques.

"I told you I'm not going to criticize my successor," Bush said, according to a report by the Washington Times. "I'll just tell you that there are people at Gitmo that will kill American people at a drop of a hat and I don't believe that persuasion isn't going to work. Therapy isn't going to cause terrorists to change their mind."

Gibbs said Thursday that the American people had made their own decision about battling terror.

"I think we've had a debate about individual policies. We had that debate in particular – we kept score last November and we won," Gibbs said.

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