NEW YORK – Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and other Silicon Valley leaders have formally launched a political group aimed at revamping immigration policy, boosting education and encouraging investment in scientific research.

Zuckerberg announced the formation of Fwd.us (pronounced “forward us”) in an op-ed article in The Washington Post late Wednesday. In it, he said the United States needs a new approach to these issues if it is to get ahead economically. This includes offering a path to citizenship for the 11 million or so immigrants who now live in the United States illegally.

“We have a strange immigration policy for a nation of immigrants,” Zuckerberg wrote. “And it’s a policy unfit for today’s world.”

Zuckerberg, whose great-grandparents were immigrants, said he wants “comprehensive immigration reform that begins with effective border security, allows a path to citizenship and lets us attract the most talented and hardest-working people, no matter where they were born.”

The move comes at an opportune time. Zuckerberg’s goals echo a sweeping immigration bill that a bipartisan Senate group is expected to roll out in the coming days.

Companies such as Microsoft and Google, along with New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, have been pushing to make it easier for highly skilled workers and entrepreneurs to work in the United States. Although Fwd.us supports increasing the number of visas available to these workers, its goals are broader.

Zuckerberg also called for higher standards and accountability in schools and increased focus on learning about science, technology, engineering and math. Today’s knowledge and ideas-based economy, he wrote, is very different from the economy of the 20th century that was based on natural resources, industrial machines and labor.

Column by Ann Coulter taken down

NEW YORK – The Fox Nation website has removed a column by conservative commentator Ann Coulter because it had a reference to killing the daughter of Sen. John McCain.

Fox said Thursday that the column was deemed offensive. It had been posted Wednesday night.

Coulter wrote about how MSNBC’s Martin Bashir suggested Republican senators wouldn’t support stronger gun control legislation until a member of their family was killed. She wrote: “Let’s start with Meghan McCain!”

McCain tweeted Thursday that she “couldn’t imagine living a life that seems so void of love, compassion and perspective.” Her mother, Cindy McCain, tweeted that “Ann Coulter needs to get a life!”

Reebok ends relationship with rapper Rick Ross

NEW YORK – Reebok has ended its relationship with Rick Ross following heavy criticism and a protest of lyrics by the rapper considered by some to be pro-rape.

The sneaker brand said in a statement Thursday that “Reebok holds our partners to a high standard and we expect them to live up to the values of our brand. Unfortunately, Rick Ross has failed to do so.”

Ross formally apologized for his lyrics on Rocko’s song “U.O.E.N.O.” in a tweet last week.

In Rocko’s song, Ross raps about giving a woman the drug MDMA, known as Molly, and having his way with her.