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Cash-strapped Iranian students in U.S. hope nuclear deal will ease tuition woes
When Mohammad Hamedi Rad arrived in the United States last year, he carried his Iranian passport, a hard-won student visa and a backpack containing $14,000 in hundred dollar bills, because there was no simpler way of getting money into the country. "It was scary," Hamedi Rad, a chemical engineering graduate student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, said of his late-night arrival in Chicago, where he declared the funds to airport customs officials. I was extremely nervous." Hamedi Rad's experience is by no means unheard of among many of the thousands of high-achieving, mostly middle-class young Iranians who are coming to the United States to study in increasing numbers despite U.S. and international sanctions on their homeland. After gaining admission, they must navigate a way around sanctions on Iranian banks that make direct legal wire transfers to the West a practical impossibility, impeding the students' ability to pay tuition or transfer money for living expenses.
Sun, 08 Dec 2013 08:07:49 -0500
Four dead in apparent Connecticut murder-suicide
(Reuters) - A man suspected of shooting three women to death inside a Connecticut apartment committed suicide in front of police just moments after putting down a 13-month-old child that had been in his arms, police said on Sunday. Officers from the Manchester Police Department responded late Saturday to reports of multiple shots fired at an apartment complex and confronted the suspect outside in the parking lot. "He was armed with a handgun and carrying a 13-month-old child," according to a statement from Captain Christopher Davis. Sun, 08 Dec 2013 10:11:22 -0500
U.S. war veteran released by North Korea returns home
By Laila Kearney SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - An 85-year-old Korean War veteran held for more than a month by North Korea as a war criminal arrived in San Francisco on Saturday to be reunited with his family North Korea detained Merrill E. Newman for crimes it accused him of committing during the conflict six decades ago as a member of the U.S. special forces. "I'm tired, but I'm ready to be with my family." He was visiting North Korea, one of the world's most isolated and unpredictable states, as a tourist when he was pulled off an Air Koryo flight in Pyongyang minutes before it was due to depart for Beijing on October 26. The official added that "all efforts are now on (Kenneth) Bae," referring to another U.S. citizen being detained by North Korea since November 2012. Bae, a Korean American who worked as a Christian missionary, was convicted by North Korea in May of crimes against the state.
Sun, 08 Dec 2013 06:28:39 -0500
Tea party battles business over Braves stadium
ATLANTA (AP) A deal for hundreds of millions of dollars in public money to draw the Atlanta Braves north of their downtown home is pitting conservative tea party activists against the elected and civic leaders in the staunch Republican county, with opponents saying the use of public money to help a private business is not what American capitalism should be about.
Sun, 08 Dec 2013 09:57:21 -0500
Insurance agents feeling left out of "Obamacare"
MIAMI (AP) When insurance agent Kelly Fristoe recently spent 30 minutes helping a client pick a mid-level health plan and the federal marketplace website froze, he called the government's hotline and tried to finish the application. But the operator refused to credit Fristoe as an agent on the application, meaning he wouldn't get the commission or be listed as the follow-up contact if his client needed help again later.
Sun, 08 Dec 2013 09:42:22 -0500