Washington, May 7 - As lawmakers mull immigration reform to deal with the problem of 11 million illegal immigrants, including some 260,000 Indians, a conservative think tank claimed the bipartisan plan would cost a whopping $6.3 trillion.
But critics, both conservative and liberals, alike cast doubts on the Heritage Foundation study with the Washington Post suggesting that it "distorts the immigration debate" and top fiscal conservatives slamming it as rehash of a flawed 2007 study.
Washington, May 4 : US unemployment rate edged down to 7.5 percent in April from 7.6 percent in March, its lowest level since December 2008, the Labor Department reported.
Total non-farm payroll employment increased by 165,000 last month, with the private sector creating 176,000 jobs last month. US governments at all levels shed 11,000 jobs last month against the background of government spending cuts, reported Xinhua.
In April, the number of total unemployed Americans stood at 11.66 million, down from 11.74 million in March.
Washington, May 4 : The US Air Force announced its X-51A Waverider aircraft has achieved the longest hypersonic flight in history, flying for three and a half minutes on scramjet power at more than five times the speed of sound.
The final flight of the unmanned aircraft built by Boeing reached Mach 5.1 over the Pacific Ocean May 1. It travelled over 230 nautical miles in just over six minutes, reported Xinhua.
New York, May 4 - A Jersey City man has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for targeting Indian-American families for their high-quality jewellery in a series of home break-ins in 2009.
Miguel Ortiz and his crew of burglars took their search for gold to a "sinister" level, said Superior Court Judge Charles Delehey on Thursday sentencing Ortiz at the Burlington County Courthouse in Mount Holly, New Jersey, according to phillyBurbs. com.
Washington, May 4 - In the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings, the US will tighten oversight to help ensure that foreign students seeking to enter the US have valid student visas, according to various media reports.
Effective immediately border agents at places like the airport or another entry point to the country will verify every international student making sure they have a valid student visa, ABC News reported.
If a student is no longer enrolled the information is updated in the student and exchange visitor information system called Student and Exchange Visitor Programme (SEVIS).
Washington, May 4 - The first airplane that can fly both day and night powered exclusively by the sun's rays has taken off from California in the first stage of an attempt to fly across the US without using any fuel.
The solar-powered plane, dubbed Solar Impulse, set off Friday from San Francisco shortly after 6 a. m. local time (1300 GMT) and was expected to land in Phoenix, Arizona, 19 hours later for the aircraft's first stop in the first-ever fuel-free transcontinental plane flight.
Washington, May 4 - North Korea, Iran and Syria are among the top 10 countries deemed worst for press freedom, according to an annual ranking by a Washington-based watchdog.
"Just 14 percent of the world's population lives in societies that enjoy vibrant coverage of public affairs, a legal environment that undergirds a free press and freedom from intrusion by the government or other political forces," the Freedom House watchdog said.
"In the world's 10 worst rated countries, independent media are either non-existent or barely able to operate," the watchdog said.
North Korea was ranked the worst country in the world for press freedom.
New York, May 4 - The UN Security Council has voted unanimously to establish the UN Assistance Mission in Somalia (or UNSOM), the world body said.
The mission will be based in the Somali capital Mogadishu from June 3 for a one-year initial period.
The Council stressed the need for "effectively coordinated international support for Somalia's federal government", and said the mission's mandate would in particular include providing assistance to the government and the existing African Union peacekeeping force
(AMISOM) with advice on peace and state building.
Washington, May 3 - The US-India Business Council (USIBC) has welcomed President Barack Obama's nomination of a "friend of India", Michael Froman, to the position of US Trade Representative (USTR).
"There is no individual better qualified to fill this important position at this crucial time than Mike Froman," said Ron Somers, President of the business advocacy association comprising nearly 400 of America's and India's top companies.
"Froman has played a vital role in the US-India trade and commercial relationship as the US Government's chair of the US-India CEO Forum, and as the US 'Sherpa' for the G20," he said.
Washington, May 3 - Dr. Pankaj Chaturvedi, a cancer surgeon at Mumbai's Tata Memorial Hospital, has won a prestigious US award for his innovative leadership in the fight to reduce tobacco use and tobacco-related disease in India.
The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids presented Chaturvedi with the Judy Wilkenfeld Award for International Tobacco Control at its annual awards gala here Thursday.
The Wilkenfeld Award was established in honour of Judy Wilkenfeld, the founder of Tobacco-Free Kids' international programme, who passed away in May 2007.
The award recognizes international tobacco control advocates who contribute significantly to reducing tobacco use and inspire others to do the same in the spirit exemplified by Wilkenfeld.
Washington, May 3 - The Boston Marathon bomber brothers initially planned to carry out a suicide-bomb attack on America's July 4 Independence Day, the surviving suspect told the investigators, according to various media reports.
But they decided to move up the date as their pressure cooker bombs were ready earlier than they expected, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, told investigators, CNN reported citing an unnamed law enforcement official.
It is unclear which specific event would have been targeted but one of the biggest July Fourth celebrations in the country is held in Boston, the news channel said.
Washington, May 3 - US President Barack Obama Thursday kicked off a three-day visit to Mexico and Costa Rica, with focus expected to be on trade, energy, security and immigration issues.
On his trip, Obama earlier said, "A lot of the focus is going to be on economics."
"We've spent so much time on security issues between the United States and Mexico that sometimes I think we forget this is a massive trading partner, responsible for huge amounts of commerce and huge numbers of jobs on both sides of the border," Xinhua quoted the president as saying.
New York, May 2 - A US based Sikh rights group has announced a million-dollar reward for those individuals whose testimony and evidence may result in the conviction of Congress leader Sajjan Kumar.
The reward will be given to those individuals who will come forward with tips, evidence and testimony leading to the reversal of a Delhi court's judgement acquitting Kumar in a 1984 anti-Sikh riots case, Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) announced.
SFJ said it would engage top advocates to prosecute the appeal against the acquittal of Kumar before Delhi High Court.
Washington, May 2 - The US government Wednesday condemned the clashes that took place in the Venezuelan parliament and described the violence as " particularly inappropriate".
Physical clashes broke out in the Venezuelan parliament Tuesday, with a number of legislators getting injured, amid heightened tension over the country's disputed presidential election result. Opposition and ruling party members traded blows during the brawl, with each side blaming the other for starting the violence.
Washington, May 2 - NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory satellite has captured video images of a massive explosion that erupted Wednesday from the edge of the sun.
The explosion, known as a coronal mass ejection (CME), can shoot over a billion tonnes of particles into space at more than one million miles per hour (1.6 million km per hour), NASA said on its website.
None of the particles shot into space are expected to impact Earth as the CME is headed in a different direction, the US space agency said.