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Authorities discovered this drug tunnel in San Luis, near Yuma, in July. The entrance on the U.S. side of the border features a built-in ladder and ropes for helping get people and materials down the 55-foot entrance shaft.

Drug tunnels are not a new problem on the border, but authorities say the number of sophisticated tunnels may be. Since November 2010, authorities have seized four tunnels into San Diego, and in July, the DEA found a 240-yard tunnel near Yuma. Read more»

Police say they are uncovering far fewer drop houses, like this one seized in west Phoenix in 2009. Smugglers use the houses to hold illegal immigrants en route to destinations deeper in the country. Six smugglers were arrested and 17 immigrants rescued from this house.

Police seizures of drop houses, where smugglers stash undocumented aliens en route to other parts of the country, have plummeted in Arizona this year. Read more»

Goshen North Wind Farm, in Idaho, is one of several wind-power projects already being operated by BP.

Federal officials said Tuesday that they are on track to decide by early next year whether two new utility-scale renewable-energy projects – one wind, one solar – can move forward in Arizona. Read more»

Nelson Garcia of U.S. English, Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, and Rosalie Pedalino Porter of the group ProEnglish, from left, speak outside the Capitol in support of King’s bill to make English the official language of the U.S. government.

Rep. John Conyers didn’t speak a word of English at Thursday’s hearing on a bill to make English the official language of the nation, but he still made his opinion of the bill crystal clear. Read more»

Rep. Trent Franks, R-Glendale, shown in a file photo from May, argued that a 20-week-old fetus can feel pain and that allowing its abortion is 'barbaric in the purest sense of the word.'

A bill by Rep. Trent Franks, R-Glendale, to ban abortions in the District of Columbia after 20 weeks of pregnancy failed to get the two-thirds majority needed to pass the House on Tuesday. Read more»

The government identified 17 solar energy zones in six Western states as areas where business opportunity is high and environmental risk is low, and where it hopes to speed development of utility-scale solar power projects.

The federal government identified two sites in Arizona Tuesday as hot spots for solar energy, part of a larger plan to spur development of utility-scale solar projects in six Western states. The Arizona sites cover just under 6,000 acres and have the potential to generate 663 megawatts of electricity, Read more»

Rep. Trent Franks, R-Glendale, said it’s incumbent on Congress to take action and impose abortion restrictions if local officials pass policies that can 'torture pain-capable children.'

The House Judiciary Committee Wednesday approved a bill by Rep. Trent Franks, R-Glendale, to ban abortions in the District of Columbia after 20 weeks of pregnancy. Read more»

State and federal police took part in a December operation that netted 870 pounds of marijuana and the arrest of two men, one U.S. citizen and one Mexican. State officials said 287(g) agreements helped make such operations with federal officials possible.

Arizona police agencies said the loss of 287(g) state-federal partnerships might not be the critical blow to immigration law enforcement that some had feared. Read more»

The full U.S. Senate on Friday confirmed former Pima County Superior Court Judge John S. Leonardo to be the next U.S. Attorney for Arizona. Leonardo will fill the federal prosecutor’s job held by former U.S. Attorney Dennis Burke, who resigned in August during the investigation of Operation Fast and Furious. Read more»

The gurney on which Arizona death row inmates are strapped prior to getting the lethal injection leading to their executions.

When prison officials pronounced convicted killer Samuel Lopez dead from a lethal injection at 10:37 a.m. Wednesday, it was the fourth execution in Arizona in the first six months of 2012. At that pace, the state could be on track to match its record of seven executions in a single year. Read more»

Arizona Department of Transportation affirmative action program was not the reason a non-minority Tempe contractor could not get work with the state, a federal appeals court ruled Wednesday. Read more» 1

Arizona Republican Sens. Jon Kyl, left, and John McCain, shown here at a February hearing, have not pushed for the approval of Rosemary Marquez, a White House nominee to a U.S. District Court judgeship in Arizona.

President Barack Obama nominated Rosemary Marquez to a judgeship on the U.S. District Court for Arizona on June 23, 2011. One year later, the nomination has not moved an inch. Read more»

A Senate committee Thursday gave preliminary approval to former Pima County Superior Court Judge John S. Leonardo’s nomination to be the next U.S. Attorney for Arizona. Read more»

A federal appeals court ruled Wednesday that Border Patrol supervisors cannot be sued for the actions of subordinates who routinely stopped vans “based principally on ‘the Latin, Hispanic or Mexican appearance’” of their occupants. Read more»

Not all tunnels are as elaborate as this one, found in Nogales in 2001. Scores of tunnels have been found in the border town in recent years.

The Border Tunnel Prevention Act of 2012, signed into law last week by President Barack Obama, makes it a criminal offense for property owners to build, finance or let others build border tunnels on their property. Read more»

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