WBRZ http://www.wbrz.com/ WBRZ National News National News en-us Copyright 2014, WBRZ. All Rights Reserved. Feed content is not avaialble for commercial use. () () Fri, 28 Nov 2014 13:11:48 GMT Synapse CMS 10 WBRZ http://www.wbrz.com/ 144 25 Suspected shooter dead in downtown Austin gunfire http://www.wbrz.com/news/suspected-shooter-dead-in-downtown-austin-gunfire/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/suspected-shooter-dead-in-downtown-austin-gunfire/ National News Fri, 28 Nov 2014 5:08:15 AM Suspected shooter dead in downtown Austin gunfire

AUSTIN, Texas - A suspected gunman has been shot dead in Austin, Texas after police say he opened fire on several downtown buildings, including the police headquarters.

Police say the man opened fire before dawn today. A police officer standing in front of the police station saw the gunman and shot him dead.

Police say officers noticed the gunman was wearing some type of vest. They've backed away from his body and his vehicle, and the bomb squad has been brought in.

The incident has led to part of Interstate 35 through downtown Austin being closed as officers try to secure the scene.

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Early bird shoppers turn out on Thanksgiving http://www.wbrz.com/news/early-bird-shoppers-turn-out-on-thanksgiving/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/early-bird-shoppers-turn-out-on-thanksgiving/ National News Thu, 27 Nov 2014 3:56:39 PM APNewsNow Early bird shoppers turn out on Thanksgiving

NEW YORK - Americans are heading to the stores for gift shopping on Thanksgiving in what's quickly becoming a new holiday tradition.

Just a few years ago when some stores started opening late on the holiday, the move was met with resistance from workers and shoppers who believed the day should be sacred.

Last year, more than dozen major retailers opened at some point on Thanksgiving evening. And this year, at least half of them are opening earlier in the evening.

The Thanksgiving openings are one way retailers are trying to compete for Americans' holiday dollars. Retailers used to focus sales promotions on Black Friday. But increasingly, they've been pushing promotions earlier to grab deal-hungry shoppers' attention.

The National Retail Federation expects 25.6 million shoppers to take advantage of the Thanksgiving openings and it's starting to take a bite out of Black Friday business. Indeed, sales dropped 13.2 percent to $9.74 billion on Black Friday last year.

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California Burger King employee finds $100,000 http://www.wbrz.com/news/california-burger-king-employee-finds-100-000/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/california-burger-king-employee-finds-100-000/ National News Thu, 27 Nov 2014 12:43:21 PM APNewsNow California Burger King employee finds $100,000

SAN JOSE, CA - An assistant manager at a Northern California Burger King found a backpack loaded with about $100,000 in a booth, but so far no one has come forward to claim it.

He spotted the blue backpack left in his San Jose eatery early Wednesday.

He said when it was still there by that afternoon he called the owner who opened it, hoping to find identification or a phone number.

Instead, he found a whopping amount of $100 bills.

Officers came to the restaurant and opened the bag, which also contained some candy, a small amount of marijuana and a bank deposit slip.

Police are now working with the bank to find the bag's owner.

Images: KGO-TV

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LAPD updates arrests to 145 in Ferguson fallout http://www.wbrz.com/news/lapd-updates-arrests-to-145-in-ferguson-fallout/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/lapd-updates-arrests-to-145-in-ferguson-fallout/ National News Thu, 27 Nov 2014 12:04:00 PM Tami Abdollah LAPD updates arrests to 145 in Ferguson fallout

LOS ANGELES - The Los Angeles Police Department is updating its tally of arrests from a third night of demonstrations linked to the shooting protest in Ferguson, Missouri.

Commander Andrew Smith told the Los Angeles Times on Thursday that 145 people were arrested late Wednesday after they refused to disperse during a protest.

Thirty-five people were arrested in Oakland following a march that deteriorated into vandalism.

Because of holiday court closures, many of those arrested will spend the weekend in jail if they can't make the $500 bail.

Image: Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times

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Man arrested after pointing banana at deputies http://www.wbrz.com/news/man-arrested-after-pointing-banana-at-deputies/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/man-arrested-after-pointing-banana-at-deputies/ National News Thu, 27 Nov 2014 10:28:31 AM Brock Sues Man arrested after pointing banana at deputies

GRAND JUNCTION, CO - A Colorado man is behind bars after he pointed a piece of fruit at two sheriff's deputies on Sunday and pretended it was a gun.

Nathan Channing, 27, was locked up in Mesa County Jail on a felony menacing charge after he pointed a banana at law enforcement officers, who thought the piece of offending yellow fruit was a handgun.

The suspect, who interestingly enough resides in Fruitvale, Colorado, told the sheriff's deputies that he is comedian that makes prank videos and publishes them on YouTube. Authorities did not find this particular gag amusing, according to the Daily Sentinel in Grand Junction.

Joshua Bunch, one of the arresting deputies, wrote in the report that his training and experience have shown him handguns in many shapes and colors. According to the newspaper, Bunch perceived the banana to be a handgun and felt he responded appropriately.


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Longevity, icon status get toys into hall of fame http://www.wbrz.com/news/longevity-icon-status-get-toys-into-hall-of-fame/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/longevity-icon-status-get-toys-into-hall-of-fame/ National News Thu, 27 Nov 2014 10:14:21 AM Carolyn Thompson Longevity, icon status get toys into hall of fame

ROCHESTER, NY - Before the holiday wish lists and mad buying rush each year comes a dose of nostalgia with the National Toy Hall of Fame's annual picks for enshrinement.

Bubbles, little green army men and the Rubik's Cube were inducted this year. But is the road to such playtime immortality really all fun and games?

According to the judges, well, yes.

Sure, there's occasional lobbying for a favorite. But judges say any real pressure is nostalgia driven, a matter of balancing head versus heart.

A group of historians and curators picks 12 finalists and sends them to experts in education, play and psychology to rank.

Only toys with longevity, icon status and the ability to inspire kids are seriously considered. To see a list of previous inductees, click here.

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Twitter tracks other apps you've installed http://www.wbrz.com/news/twitter-tracks-other-apps-you-ve-installed/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/twitter-tracks-other-apps-you-ve-installed/ National News Thu, 27 Nov 2014 9:46:15 AM Brock Sues and APNewsNow Twitter tracks other apps you've installed

NEW YORK - Twitter says it is now tracking what other apps its users have installed on their mobile devices so it can target content and ads to them better.

Twitter said Wednesday that users will receive a notification when the setting is turned on, and can opt out using settings on their phones. On iPhones, this setting is called "limit ad tracking." On Android phones, it's "opt out of interest-based ads."

Twitter says it is only collecting the list of apps that users have installed, not any data within the apps. It won't collect the app lists from people who have previously turned off ad targeting on their phone, but many users have expressed interest in disabling the functionality.

To turn off the ad-tracking "service" on your mobile device, follow these simple steps:

Android Devices

1.) Tap the overflow icon (three vertical dots)

Android overflow

2.) Tap Settings

4.) Under "Other", you can adjust the setting to Tailor Twitter based on my apps

iOS Devices

1.) From the Me tab, tap the gear icon (a small cog wheel)
2.) Tap Settings

iOS twitter settings

3.) Tap the account you would like to change the setting on
4.) Under Privacy, you can adjust the setting to Tailor Twitter based on my apps


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Lab-coated Muggles use Harry Potter to study brain http://www.wbrz.com/news/lab-coated-muggles-use-harry-potter-to-study-brain/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/lab-coated-muggles-use-harry-potter-to-study-brain/ National News Thu, 27 Nov 2014 8:29:34 AM Lauran Neergaard Lab-coated Muggles use Harry Potter to study brain

WASHINGTON - Harry Potter swoops around on his broom, faces the bully Malfoy and later runs into a three-headed dog. For scientists studying brain activity while reading, it's the perfect excerpt from the young wizard's many adventures to give their subjects.

Reading that section of "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" activates some of the same regions in the brain that people use to perceive real people's actions and intentions. Scientists then map what a healthy brain does as it reads.

The research at Carnegie Mellon University has implications for studying reading disorders or recovery from a stroke.

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Giant balloons draw oohs, ahhs at Macy's parade http://www.wbrz.com/news/giant-balloons-draw-oohs-ahhs-at-macy-s-parade/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/giant-balloons-draw-oohs-ahhs-at-macy-s-parade/ National News Thu, 27 Nov 2014 8:11:42 AM APNewsNow Giant balloons draw oohs, ahhs at Macy's parade

NEW YORK - Spectators of all ages oohed and ahhed as giant inflated characters floated through the streets of Manhattan during the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Thursday's spectacle featured six new giant balloons, including Thomas the Tank Engine, Paddington bear and the Red Mighty Morphin Power Ranger.

It was around 37 degrees with a hint of drizzle and light winds as clowns shot a burst of confetti from canisters to get the show rolling.

The honor of leading the parade went to the Pride of the Mountains Marching Band from Western Carolina University.

Drum line instructor Chelsea Levine said the opportunity for their 505-member band to perform in the parade was "an incredible honor."

Veteran clown Steve Smith says all the happy kids in the crowd really "make the parade."

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Full holiday menu for Obamas; 6 pies for dessert http://www.wbrz.com/news/full-holiday-menu-for-obamas-6-pies-for-dessert/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/full-holiday-menu-for-obamas-6-pies-for-dessert/ National News Thu, 27 Nov 2014 8:06:48 AM APNewsNow Full holiday menu for Obamas; 6 pies for dessert

WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama is spending a quiet Thanksgiving at the White House where the belly-stuffing menu featured all the holiday's basics.

There's thyme-roasted turkey and honey-baked ham, cornbread stuffing and oyster stuffing, braised winter greens and macaroni and cheese. Don't forget the green bean casserole, sweet potato gratin, mashed potatoes and dinner rolls.

If there's room for dessert, the Obamas can pick from among six pies: banana cream, coconut cream, pumpkin, apple, pecan and cherry.

The president said in his weekly radio and Internet address that the first family planned to spend the day with friends and family - catching up, eating good food and watching some football.

He says Thanksgiving is his favorite holiday "because, more than any other, it is uniquely American."

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Protesters dwindle to small groups in Ferguson http://www.wbrz.com/news/protesters-dwindle-to-small-groups-in-ferguson/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/protesters-dwindle-to-small-groups-in-ferguson/ National News Thu, 27 Nov 2014 7:02:08 AM APNewsNow Protesters dwindle to small groups in Ferguson

ST. LOUIS - A handful of people are gathered in downtown St. Louis for what the organizer is calling a "pro-community" car cruise.

Organizer Paul Byrd says the Thanksgiving morning cruise is meant to be peaceful and to counteract the violence seen earlier this week in Ferguson after a grand jury decided not to indict Officer Darren Wilson in the fatal shooting of Michael Brown.

The Imperial, Missouri, man declined to say whether he supported Wilson but said he supports police officers.

There was minimal police presence across from Busch Stadium, where a handful of mostly pickup trucks were waiting in the cold, and no protesters.

Wednesday night's protests in Ferguson were mostly quiet, with no reports of major confrontations or damage. Protests in Los Angeles and Oakland, California, saw dozens of arrests.

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Clues are in the bones http://www.wbrz.com/news/clues-are-in-the-bones/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/clues-are-in-the-bones/ National News Wed, 26 Nov 2014 5:59:13 PM Michael Marsh Clues are in the bones

DENVER, COLORADO- Ancient bones from gigantic animals found in the mountains of Colorado provide a look at what happened 12,000 years ago when the Earth got as warm as it is today. The bones are of mastodons, mammoths, giant sloths, bison, insects, plants and pollen that were unearthed four years ago near Snowmass, Colorado. Researchers are using what they found to unlock the secrets of the past and just published the first batch of data. What they found will be used to check against their climate models. The research will go on for years.

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President's bills http://www.wbrz.com/news/president-s-bills/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/president-s-bills/ National News Wed, 26 Nov 2014 5:52:00 PM Michael Marsh President's bills

WASHINGTON- The President says there is no free lunch, and it's true when it comes to his Thanksgiving Day meal or any other expenses. He has to pay out -of-pocket for his meal of turkey, ham, two kinds of stuffing, sweet and regular potatoes and six pies. Its a traditional practice that presidents pay for meals for themselves, their families and guests. The former White House Usher says the payment rules go back to the 1800's. Gary Walters says it started when the White House was first occupied by President John Adams and there was no staff. Then, the presidents brought their own staff and paid for everything. The practice includes the basics, things like toothpaste to dry-cleaning.

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Grand jury documents rife with inconsistencies http://www.wbrz.com/news/grand-jury-documents-rife-with-inconsistencies/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/grand-jury-documents-rife-with-inconsistencies/ National News Wed, 26 Nov 2014 2:35:33 PM Holbrook Mohr, David A. Lieb and Phillip Lucas Grand jury documents rife with inconsistencies

FERGUSON, MO - Some witnesses said Michael Brown had been shot in the back. Another said he was lying face-down when Officer Darren Wilson finished him off. Still others acknowledged changing their stories to fit published details about the autopsy, or admitted that they didn't see the shooting at all.

An Associated Press review of thousands of pages of grand jury documents reveals numerous examples of statements made during the shooting investigation that were inconsistent, fabricated or provably wrong. For one, the autopsies ultimately showed Brown wasn't struck by any bullets in his back.

Prosecutors exposed these inconsistencies before the jurors, which likely influenced their decision not to indict Wilson in Brown's death.

Bob McCulloch, the St. Louis County prosecutor, said the grand jury had to weigh testimony that conflicted with physical evidence and conflicting statements by witnesses as it decided whether Wilson should face charges.

"Many witnesses to the shooting of Michael Brown made statements inconsistent with other statements they made and also conflicting with the physical evidence. Some were completely refuted by the physical evidence," McCulloch said.

The decision Monday not to charge Wilson with any crime set off more violent protests in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson and around the country, fueled by claims that the unarmed black 18-year-old was shot while peacefully surrendering to the white officer in the mostly African-American city.

What people thought were facts about the Aug. 9 shooting have become intertwined with what many see as abuses of power and racial inequality in America.

And media coverage of this aftermath made it into the grand jury proceedings. Before some witnesses testified, prosecutors showed jurors clips of the same people making statements on TV.

Their inconsistencies began almost immediately after the shooting, from people in the neighborhood, the friend walking with Brown during the encounter and even one woman who authorities suggested probably wasn't even at the scene at the time.

Jurors also were presented with dueling versions from Wilson and Dorian Johnson, who was walking with Brown during the Aug. 9 confrontation. Johnson painted Wilson as provoking the violence, while Wilson said Brown was the aggressor.

But Johnson also declared on TV, in a clip played for the grand jury, that Wilson fired at least one shot at his friend while Brown was running away: "It struck my friend in the back."

Johnson held to a variation of this description in his grand jury testimony, saying the shot caused Brown's body to "do like a jerking movement, not to where it looked like he got hit in his back, but I knew, it maybe could have grazed him, but he definitely made a jerking movement."

Other eyewitness accounts also were clearly wrong.

One woman, who said she was smoking a cigarette with a friend nearby, claimed she saw a second police officer in the passenger seat of Wilson's vehicle. When quizzed by a prosecutor, she elaborated: The officer was white, "middle age or young" and in uniform. She said she was positive there was a second officer - even though there was not.

Another woman testified that she saw Brown leaning through the officer's window "from his navel up," with his hand moving up and down, as if he were punching the officer. But when the same witness returned to testify again on another day, she said she suffers from mental disorder, has racist views and that she has trouble distinguishing the truth from things she had read online. Prosecutors suggested the woman had fabricated the entire incident, and wasn't even at the scene the day of the shooting.

Another witness had told the FBI after the shooting that he saw Wilson shoot Brown in the back, and then stand over his prone body to finish him off. But in his grand jury testimony, this witness, acknowledged that he had not seen that part of the shooting, and that what he told the FBI was "based on me being where I'm from and that can be the only assumption that I have."

The witness, who lives in the predominantly black neighborhood where Brown was killed, also acknowledged that he changed his story to fit details of the autopsy that he had learned about on TV.

"So it was after you learned that the things you said you saw couldn't have happened that way, then you changed your story about what you seen?" a prosecutor asserted.

"Yeah, to coincide with what really happened," the witness replied.

Another man, describing himself as a friend of Brown's, told a federal investigator that he heard the first gunshot, looked out his window and saw an officer with a gun drawn and Brown "on his knees with his hands in the air." He added: "I seen him shoot him in the head."

But when later pressed by the investigator, the friend said he hadn't seen the actual shooting because he was walking down the stairs at the time, and instead had heard details from someone in the apartment complex.

"What you are saying you saw isn't forensically possible based on the evidence," the investigator told the friend.

Shortly after that, the friend asked if he could leave.

"I ain't feeling comfortable," he said.

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Sloppy weather slows Thanksgiving travelers http://www.wbrz.com/news/sloppy-weather-slows-thanksgiving-travelers/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/sloppy-weather-slows-thanksgiving-travelers/ National News Wed, 26 Nov 2014 11:43:26 AM Sloppy weather slows Thanksgiving travelers

MINEOLA, N.Y. - More than 550 flights have been canceled nationwide so far today -- the bulk of them in the Northeast, where rain and snow is hampering pre-Thanksgiving travel.

Highways have been sloppy along the Washington to Boston corridor. Forecasters are expecting major Northeastern cities to see mostly rain, although New York could get one to four inches of snow. New York's governor has 1,800 plow operators standing by to clear snow between New York City and Albany.

Some travelers tried to change their plans and take earlier flights. West Point Cadet Jameson Albers originally had a 5:30 p.m. flight home to Nashville from New York's LaGuardia Airport. He says he moved it up to 11:30 a.m. "to try to get in before the really bad weather hits."

One man refueling his car in Maryland today said there were no traffic problems last night -- the first leg of his drive from North Carolina to New Jersey -- but that today would be another story.

The wintry weather was not confined to the Northeast. An Alberta clipper left many highways in North and South Dakota slick, and a winter storm warning was issued for parts of Minnesota.

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FBI investigating threat made against the Grove at Ole Miss http://www.wbrz.com/news/fbi-investigating-threat-made-against-the-grove-at-ole-miss/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/fbi-investigating-threat-made-against-the-grove-at-ole-miss/ National News Wed, 26 Nov 2014 12:44:35 PM FBI investigating threat made against the Grove at Ole Miss

OXFORD, Miss.- The FBI is looking into an anonymous threat made against trees and shrubs in the Grove at the University of Mississippi.

The Grove is a popular spot on the Oxford campus for pre-game and postgame tailgating.

The Ole Miss football team also walks through the Grove on way to the stadium.

UM Police say the letter was given over to the FBI on Wednesday. He says law enforcement officers are encouraging fans to report suspicious behavior.

University officials had no other comment.

No. 18 Ole Miss (8-3, 4-3 SEC) hosts No. 4 Mississippi State (10-1, 6-1 SEC) this Saturday in the Egg Bowl.

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Ferguson protesters storm St. Louis City Hall http://www.wbrz.com/news/ferguson-protesters-storm-st-louis-city-hall/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/ferguson-protesters-storm-st-louis-city-hall/ National News Wed, 26 Nov 2014 11:29:34 AM Ferguson protesters storm St. Louis City Hall

ST. LOUIS - Authorities have arrested at least two people at a protest over the Ferguson grand jury decision in which several demonstrators stormed City Hall in St. Louis.

An undetermined number of protesters made it into the building Wednesday while shouting "Shame, shame."

The protest march included several hundred people and began with a mock trial of Ferguson Officer Darren Wilson, who shot and killed 18-year-old Michael Brown. It was held on the steps of the Old Courthouse, the site of the Dred Scott trial.

More than 100 additional police officers were called to the building and it was locked down.

A total of 58 people were arrested at area protests overnight, including 45 in Ferguson.

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Omaha zoo announces birth of rare white lion cub http://www.wbrz.com/news/omaha-zoo-announces-birth-of-rare-white-lion-cub/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/omaha-zoo-announces-birth-of-rare-white-lion-cub/ National News Wed, 26 Nov 2014 11:02:34 AM APNewsNow Omaha zoo announces birth of rare white lion cub

OMAHA, NE - Omaha zoo officials say one of its lionesses has given birth to a rare white cub.

The Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium says the male cub is one of three cubs born late last week, two males and one female. Zoo officials say lion cubs typically weigh about 3 pounds at birth and that their cubs weigh just over 4 pounds.

They say the cubs soon will go on display with their mother and will likely open their eyes within a week or two.

Zoo officials say the inheritance of the white coloring is not fully understood and may be linked to a rare recessive gene from each parent.

Image: KETV

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Obama administration sets stricter smog standard http://www.wbrz.com/news/obama-administration-sets-stricter-smog-standard/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/obama-administration-sets-stricter-smog-standard/ National News Wed, 26 Nov 2014 10:57:41 AM Obama administration sets stricter smog standard

WASHINGTON - The Obama administration is announcing steps to cut levels of smog-forming pollution linked to asthma, lung damage and other health problems.

The Environmental Protection Agency is calling for a new, lower threshold for ozone pollution of 65 to 70 parts per billion. That's down from the current standard of 75 parts per billion, put in place by President George W. Bush in 2008.

But the EPA is leaving open the possibility it could enact an even lower standard of 60 parts per billion sought by environmental groups.

The EPA estimates that meeting the stricter rules will cost industry about $3.9 billion in 2025 if the government goes with a standard of 70 parts per billion. At a level of 65 parts per billion, the EPA said, the cost grows to $15 billion.

Industry groups say the cost would actually be far higher and that it would be nearly impossible for refineries and other businesses to comply. But EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy says lower ozone standards would actually spur more businesses, investment and jobs by making communities healthier.

The EPA was under a court-ordered Dec. 1 deadline to issue a new smog standard.

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Some immigrants get benefits under Obama's actions http://www.wbrz.com/news/some-immigrants-get-benefits-under-obama-s-actions/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/some-immigrants-get-benefits-under-obama-s-actions/ National News Wed, 26 Nov 2014 9:53:21 AM Jim Kuhnhenn Some immigrants get benefits under Obama's actions

WASHINGTON - Many immigrants in the United States illegally who apply for work permits under President Barack Obama's new executive actions would be eligible for Social Security and Medicare benefits upon reaching retirement age, according to the White House.

Under Obama's actions, immigrants who are spared deportation would be eligible to obtain work permits and a Social Security number. As a result, they would pay into the Social Security system through payroll taxes.

Not all such immigrants would be entitled to the benefits, however, because like all Social Security and Medicare recipients they would have to work 10 years to become eligible for retirement payments and health care.

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