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POSTED February 21, 2012 7:48 p.m.

• EL PASO WOMAN IS FIRST CROSS-BORDER BULLETS VICTIM: EL PASO, Texas (AP) — A woman has become the first victim of bullets flying across the border from Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, into El Paso, Texas.

Authorities say the 48-year-old woman was hit on the calf by an assault rifle-type bullet while shopping in a busy street downtown. The wound was not life-threatening.

El Paso’s mayor asked Tuesday for residents to be calm as there is “no way to prevent incidents like this from happening.” He says the odds of getting hit by a stray bullet are minimal.

At the same time the woman was struck, Juarez police and alleged carjackers exchanged about 50 shots near the border. Three El Paso schools were put on lockdown.

Since drug-related violence in Juarez spiked in 2008, bullets have struck El Paso buildings but never a person.



• SANTORUM SAYS OBAMA ELECTED AS ‘A ROCK STAR’: PHOENIX (AP) — Republican presidential hopeful Rick Santorum belittled President Barack Obama on Tuesday as a rock star who won the White House four years ago, and dismissed fellow GOP rivals Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich as unable to provide solid conservative change for the nation.

“I’m someone who has a track record of standing up for the basic foundational pillars of our society, faith and family. I’m not a manager. I’m not a visionary,” the former Pennsylvania senator said, using labels clearly meant to refer to Romney and Gingrich.

Santorum has been surging in public opinion polls in the past two weeks, and has come under attack from Romney as a Washington insider ill-equipped to make the changes needed in government.



• TEXAS MAN GUILTY IN SEXUAL ASSAULT OF EX-NEIGHBOR
: WEATHERFORD, Texas (AP) — A Texas man who abducted his former neighbor and tortured the woman while holding her captive for nearly two weeks was convicted Tuesday.

Jeffrey Allan Maxwell, 59, faces up to life in prison after being found guilty of aggravated kidnapping and two counts of aggravated sexual assault. Jurors, who took less than an hour to convict Maxwell, will hear more evidence during the trial’s punishment phase set to begin Wednesday.

After the judge read the verdict, the victim shared hugs with some people in the courtroom and later smiled. She declined comment.

She testified last week that Maxwell abducted her from her rural home at gunpoint March 1 after beating her in the face and shackling her hands and legs. Then he drove 100 miles away to his Corsicana house, 50 miles south of Dallas. She was rescued 12 days later when

The woman told jurors that he whipped her and sexually assaulted her on a deer-skinning device in his garage and that she endured several more assaults as she was held captive for 12 days. She testified that he kept her chained to a bed and gagged during the first several days, and one day he locked her in a wooden box when he left to run errands.



• TREASURY TO RELEASE CORPORATE TAX PLAN
: WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration will propose lowering the current 35 percent corporate tax rate, while at the same time eliminating loopholes and subsidies and imposing a minimum tax on the overseas profits of American companies.

The 35 percent nominal corporate tax rate is the highest in the world after Japan. But deductions, credits and exemptions allow many corporations to pay taxes at a much lower rate.

The administration plan is not likely to go as far as a House Republican proposal to lower the rate to 25 percent. But Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner told a House committee last week that the administration wants to create more incentives for corporations to invest in the United States.

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