News in Brief: Migrant Bodies Piling Up in Arizona Heat, and More

Recent heat waves made July a deadly month for immigrants crossing the Arizona-Mexico border, with 57 bodies recovered from the deserts south of Tucson on the American side, according to a New York Times report on Tucson’s morgue. Tougher enforcement measures and increased border security have forced migrants to take their chances in the dry, mountainous landscape of south of Tucson, where roaming helicopters and frequent checkpoint stops create a scene reminiscent of a war zone. This past spring, controversy erupted in southern Arizona after volunteers for activist group No Mas Muertes, or No More Deaths, faced fines and criminal charges for leaving water and supplies along migrant trails. As Tucson high school students walked out of class to protest SB 1070 in April, southern Arizonans showed their colors, with pro-rights supporters flaunting No Mas Muertes regalia, and pro-border folks proudly wearing guns in their holsters.

FBI Agents Cheated on Tests

The Justice Department is investigating hundreds of FBI agents suspected of cheating on routine tests on bureau policies, according to a Raw Story report. FBI Director Robert Mueller told Congress on Wednesday that he does not know how many of his agents cheated. The allegations raise concerns that FBI agents do not know their agency’s own rules for conducting surveillance on Americans.

French Immigrant Tensions: Officials Target Roma After Riots

The French government vowed this week to evict Roma and other nomadic peoples from their camps and squats. French officials said at least 300 “Gypsies,” who are more respectfully know as members of Roma and similar ethnicities, will be evicted from their temporary homes, and any foreigners who break will immediately be reported. The announcement comes about a week after travelers armed with crowbars and hatchets rioted in the small French town of Saint Aignan in response to a police killing of a nomadic man. Apart from the obvious ethnic tension, the riots seemed to have little to do with the violence that erupted in Grenoble’s Muslim neighborhoods two weeks ago after police shot dead a suspected robber there.

Michigan Oil Spill Tops One Million Gallons

The Environmental Protection Agency reported Wednesday that one million gallons of oil may have spilled into the major Kalamazoo river in Michigan, prompting the state Gov. Jennifer Granholm to call the cleanup efforts “wholly inadequate.” The oil is now within 80 miles of Lake Michigan. Oil began spilling from a pipeline own by Canadian company Enbridge on Monday.

Second Sailor’s Body Found in Afghanistan

The body of a second US Navy sailor was found shot to death in a dangerous part of Afghanistan on Thursday morning, according to The Associated Press. The family of 25-year-old Petty Officer 3rd Class Jarod Newlove has been notified in Seattle. A Taliban spokesman said the body of a US soldier was recovered by Taliban soldiers after a firefight and left for US forces to recover.