ATHENS, Ga. (AP) -- The director of a program that helps refugees resettle in the Athens area says he's optimistic about the program's future despite concerns from local leaders.<br />
The Athens Banner-Herald reports ( http://bit.ly/VJDqNW ) Mayor Nancy Denson asked state officials who control refugee resettlement in Georgia to put a plan on hold by the International Rescue Committee to bring refugees to the Athens area.<br />
Denson said she was concerned with the potential strain on the city's social services and school system, and said Athens could offer very little outside of low-wage work for the refugees.<br />
Director of the International Rescue Committee's Atlanta's office J.D. McCrary says nearly all refugees are self-sufficient after about six months and get assistance from the federal government and not local or state governments during the transition.
House Republican leaders rallied around one of their own, Whip Steve Scalise, on Tuesday after he said he regrets speaking 12 years ago to a white supremacist organization and condemns the views of such groups.
President Vladimir Putin's chief political foe was convicted along with his brother on Tuesday in a fraud case widely seen as a vendetta by the Kremlin, triggering one of Russia's boldest anti-government demonstrations in years.