News in Brief: Justice Department to File Suit Against Arizona Anti-Immigrant Law, and More …

The Justice Department has decided to file suit against Arizona over SB 1070, the state’s recent anti-immigrant law. The main argument of the suit will be that the immigration law illegally intrudes on federal prerogatives, law enforcement sources told The Washington Post. According to the legal doctrine of “preemption,” which is based on the Constitution’s supremacy clause, federal law trumps state statutes. Under the Arizona law, police are required to question anyone they suspect of being an undocumented immigrant.


Ahead of Barack Obama’s meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in Washington, DC, Israel has detailed easing its Gaza blockade in a move thought to be an attempt to show diplomatic momentum ahead of the meeting in Washington, reported The New York Times. The new guidelines were said to be in line with an Israeli security cabinet decision on June 20 and were released by the Israeli Foreign Ministry on Monday. Rather than only allowing items that were specifically approved, the restrictions on goods allowed to enter the blockaded Gaza Strip are centered around goods not permitted to enter.

Meanwhile, in an even rarer meeting, Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad and Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak met in Jerusalem on Monday. There was no statement released about the meeting.

An examination of public records by The New York Times has found that the American Treasury is helping to sustain settlements in the West Bank through tax breaks for organizations that support them, as the government enters into negotiations with Israel to end the settlement enterprise. At least 40 American groups have collected more than $200 million in tax-deductible gifts for Jewish settlement in the West Bank and East Jerusalem over the last decade, the investigation found.

A new report from the Israeli group B’Tselem has found that Jewish settlements now control more than 42 percent of the West Bank. Though the actual buildings of the settlements cover just 1 percent of the West Bank’s land area, their jurisdiction and regional councils extend to more than 42 percent of the area.


The Thai government has extended a state of emergency already covering about a third of the country after recent political protests, reported The Guardian UK. The authorities cited ongoing danger from anti-government groups, mainly supporters of ousted Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra. Peaceful anti-government protests turned violent in April and May, as fighting between government troops and the protesters killed 90 people and wounded almost 2,000.


Puerto Rico has launched a probe into last week’s police crackdown on student demonstrators in San Juan, the capitol, reported Democracy Now!. According to student organizers, over two dozen protesters were treated for injuries sustained after officers used batons, physical force and pepper spray to keep protesters from coming to a legislative session on the state budget.


The arrival of tar balls to Texas means the BP oil spill has reached all five Gulf states, reported Yahoo News. A string of storms in the area has made the water too choppy for cleanup boats to work for long periods off the coasts of Florida, Alabama and Mississippi, even as oil continues to gush into the ocean.


Sarah Palin has become the center of a scare-tactic media campaign by climate activists to push the Senate to enact sweeping climate change legislation, reported The Hill. The former Alaska governor and 2008 Republican vice-presidential nominee will have her face, along with the words “drill baby drill” and an image of an oil-soaked bird on bus advertisements within the Beltway, as well as in an online campaign. She will be part of a three-stage advertising campaign by the American Values Network, a faith-based group that has former Democratic National Committee Chairman Don Fowler and former Maryland Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend among its advisers. The ads will begin running Tuesday.