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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.
By Barbara Liston ORLANDO, Florida (Reuters) - Guess who's coming to dinner? In the leafy far suburbs of Orlando, the uncomfortable answer increasingly is a Florida black bear. Calls about bears, including reports of sick or injured ones, more than quadrupled in Florida over the past decade, according to statistics maintained by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. More than half of actual complaints come from central Florida, where urban sprawl has brought more people into former wilderness areas near or adjacent to the 600-square-mile (1,550-square-km) Ocala National Forest, fracturing bear habitat and plopping homes alongside long-established bear trails.
(Reuters) - Eleven more pilot whales were found dead in the lower Florida Keys on Sunday, believed to be from a pod of 51 that became stranded there last week, and authorities said chances were slim of finding the remaining whales alive. The pod of 51 short-finned pilot whales were first observed stranded on the edge of the Florida Everglades National Park on Tuesday. With the 11 whales found dead on Sunday, about six miles north of Sugar Loaf Key, a total of 22 have been confirmed dead, the U.S. Coast Guard said in a written statement. The Coast Guard said 29 whales remained missing, having last been seen alive on Friday.
Today is Monday, Dec. 9, the 343rd day of 2013. There are 22 days left in the year.
NEW YORK (AP) ? The High Line, a park that turned a dilapidated stretch of elevated railway on Manhattan's West Side into one of New York's newest tourist attractions, may have brought a different kind of visitor: a cockroach that can withstand harsh winter cold and never seen before in the U.S.
NEW YORK (AP) ? A week after four people died in a New York commuter train derailment, two federal lawmakers proposed Sunday that trains nationwide be outfitted with cameras pointed at engineers and at the tracks.
A massive winter storm that left parts of the Southeastern United States in a deep freeze pushed up the East Coast on Sunday, with snow and ice snarling road travel and forcing another round of airline cancellations. The storm system dropped between 3 and 6 inches of snow on West Virginia early Sunday before blanketing the Washington, D.C., metro area with its first accumulation of the season. Marching north, it was expected to pummel the East Coast with snow, sleet, and freezing rain from Baltimore to north of Portland, Maine, according to the National Weather Service. The storm system coated roads and highways from Virginia through southeastern Pennsylvania with snow and ice, and reduced visibility made car travel treacherous.
PHILADELPHIA (AP) ? A powerful storm that crept across the country dropped snow, freezing rain and sleet on the Mid-Atlantic region and headed northeast Sunday, turning NFL playing fields in Pennsylvania into winter wonderlands, dumping a foot of snow in Delaware and threatening a messy Monday commute in the northeast corridor.