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NEWS BRIEFS: Agents arrest 34 illegal immigrants in Wisconsin

Agents arrest 34 illegal immigrants in Wisconsin

Madison (AP) — State and federal agents have arrested 34 people they say are illegal immigrants across southern Wisconsin.

According to Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen’s office, state Justice Department and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents began the sweep on Oct. 13 and completed it on Friday. The sweep covered a number of southern Wisconsin cities, including Milwaukee, Whitewater, Fort Atkinson, Beaver Dam, Kenosha and Waukesha.

Justice Department officials said all of the immigrants arrested have criminal histories that include such offenses as sexual assault, possession of cocaine and battery.

Business money will speed new Minnesota road projects

St. Paul, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota highway upgrades that are low or not even on state transportation priority lists will be accelerated after business interests agreed to kick in money, a cost-sharing arrangement that Gov. Tim Pawlenty wants used more often.

Pawlenty and Transportation Commissioner Tom Sorel touted two examples during a news conference this week that served as an invitation for other expansion-minded businesses to do likewise.

UnitedHealth Group will put $5 million into an $18 million interchange reconstruction near the insurance company’s Minnetonka campus. A developer and investment company seeking a bioscience industrial park in southern Minnesota will donate $13 million in land right of way to speed a new $36 million highway interchange near Pine Island.

The cost-sharing concept isn’t new; Best Buy Co. chipped in $7 million for interstate freeway work deemed essential when it built a new headquarters complex in Richfield.

Pawlenty said he wants his administration to use the concept more aggressively and said the mutual benefit to the state trumps any concerns that deep-pocketed interests will scale priority lists unfairly.

U.N. climate chief says he doubts full treaty will be reached this year

Amsterdam, Netherlands (AP) — Reaching a global warming treaty will be impossible this year, but the political ingredients of a deal must be settled at a conference in December, the U.N.’s top climate official said Wednesday.

“Time is running out,” said Yvo de Boer, the secretary-general of the U.N. climate change secretariat. “We do not have another year to sit on our hands. The deal must be done in Copenhagen.”

De Boer said the key to reaching an accord during the December conference in the Danish capital would be for wealthy countries to offer a financial package to help poorer countries adapt to inevitable climate changes and to shift toward low-carbon technologies for energy and development.

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