• Nation and World Briefs
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     | August 19,2014
     

    AUSTIN, Texas

    No arrest warrant for Perry

    A judge isn’t issuing an arrest warrant for Texas Gov. Rick Perry, a court official said Monday, and the Republican is planning to continue galloping around the country gearing up for a possible 2016 presidential run — despite being indicted on two felony counts of abuse of power back home.

    Perry on Friday became the first Texas governor since 1917 to be indicted, and is facing charges that carry a maximum sentence of 109 years in prison for carrying out a threat to veto funding for the state’s public integrity unit last summer.

    Perry has emphatically denied all wrongdoing. His attorneys scheduled a Monday afternoon news conference in Austin to discuss their next moves.

    Linda Estrada, a Travis County grand jury clerk, said that the judge overseeing the case, Bert Richardson, decided against issuing an arrest warrant.

    Instead, Perry will receive a summons which has not been issued yet. He eventually will have to be booked and fingerprinted.



    DES MOINES, Iowa

    Clintons to attend major fundraiser

    Hillary Rodham Clinton will headline a high-profile fundraiser next month in the nation’s first presidential caucus state of Iowa, creating a big campaign splash as Democrats scramble to hold a key Senate seat in November and the former secretary of state considers a campaign of her own in 2016.

    Former President Bill Clinton and Mrs. Clinton will attend retiring Sen. Tom Harkin’s annual steak fry in Indianola on Sept. 14, Iowa Democrats said Monday. It will be the former first lady’s first appearance in Iowa since 2008 when she finished a disappointing third in the state’s presidential caucuses.

    Clinton has urged Democrats to mobilize for November’s midterm elections and party officials said she would likely appear at other events around the country to help the party’s major fundraising committees.

    And Harkin’s steak fry, an event that draws thousands of grassroots activists each year, and future presidential campaign staff and volunteers, could be among the biggest, potentially serving as the unofficial start of Clinton’s second presidential bid. Early polls show her as the leading candidate to succeed President Barack Obama, her onetime rival.



    CAIRO

    No deal yet on Gaza truce

    Egypt late Monday announced a 24-hour extension in talks between Israel and the Hamas militant group aimed at salvaging a long-term arrangement that would allow reconstruction of the Gaza Strip following a monthlong war that killed more than 2,000 people.

    The announcement came just minutes before a temporary truce was set to expire at midnight, averting a resumption of the fighting that has caused devastating damage across Gaza and disrupted life throughout southern Israel.

    “Palestinians and Israelis agreed on extending the cease-fire by 24 hours to continue current negotiations,” the Egyptian government said in a statement. Palestinian and Israeli officials confirmed they had accepted Egypt’s request for an extension.

    A Palestinian negotiator said the sides had exchanged draft proposals for a long-term truce that were to be addressed during the 24-hour extension in talks. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to brief the media.

    Since last week, Egypt has been hosting indirect talks between Israel and Hamas aimed at ending the war.



    MISSION, Texas

    Militias complicate border situation

    On a recent moonlit night, Border Patrol agents began rounding up eight immigrants hiding in and around a canal near the Rio Grande. A state trooper soon arrived to help. Then out of the darkness emerged seven more armed men in fatigues.

    Agents assumed the camouflaged crew that joined in pulling the immigrants from the canal’s milky green waters was a tactical unit from the Texas Department of Public Safety. Only later did they learn that the men belonged to the Texas Militia, a group that dresses like a SWAT team and carries weapons but has no law-enforcement training or authority of any kind.


    The situation ended peacefully with the immigrants getting arrested and the Border Patrol advising the militia members “to properly and promptly” identify themselves anytime they encounter law-enforcement officers. But the episode was unsettling enough for the Border Patrol to circulate an “issue paper” warning other agents.

    The presence of armed militia members working on their own in a region known for human smuggling, drug smuggling and illegal immigration has added one more variable to an already complex and tense situation.

    Although the Aug. 6 incident in Mission resulted in no harm, it’s not hard to imagine deadlier outcomes throughout the Rio Grande Valley, a wide area patrolled by more than 3,000 border agents, as well as hundreds of state troopers, game wardens, deputies and local police officers. Gov. Rick Perry is also sending as many as 1,000 National Guard troops.

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