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Saturday, March 25, 2017

They Adopted Refugee Families for 12 Months. Then Came ‘Month 13"

TORONTO — One year after Canada embraced Syrian refugees like no other country, a reckoning was underway.
Ordinary Canadians had essentially adopted thousands of Syrian families, donating a year of their time and money to guide them into new lives just as many other countries shunned them. Some citizens already considered the project a humanitarian triumph; others believed the Syrians would end up isolated and adrift, stuck on welfare or worse. As 2016 turned to 2017 and the yearlong commitments began to expire, the question of how the newcomers would fare acquired a national nickname: Month 13, when the Syrians would try to stand on their own.
On a frozen January afternoon, Liz Stark, a no-nonsense retired teacher, bustled into a modest apartment on the east side of this city, unusually anxious. She and her friends had poured themselves into resettling Mouhamad and Wissam al-Hajj, a former farmer and his wife, and their four children, becoming so close that they referred to one another as substitute grandparents, parents and children.
But the improvised family had a deadline. In two weeks, the sponsorship agreement would end. The Canadians would stop paying for rent and other basics. They would no longer manage the newcomers’ bank account and budget. Ms. Stark was adding Mr. Hajj’s name to the apartment lease, the first step in removing her own.

THE NEW YORK TIMES

Friday, March 24, 2017

GOP source: Ryan telling Trump they don't have votes on health care

Washington (CNN)House Speaker Paul Ryan met Friday with President Donald Trump to tell him Republicans don't have the votes to pass the GOP health care bill.
A key portion of the Trump-Ryan conversation was over the ownership of the health care bill and whether the President will take either full or partial responsibility over a decision to pull the bill, two people familiar with health care talks say.
Ryan showed Trump the numbers, and asked what the President wants the speaker to do.
The decision is largely in the hands of the White House, the sources say, and the speaker wants to make it "the President's call".
Efforts on Capitol Hill to sway members are ongoing, but things aren't heading in the right direction.
"Not good. Not good at all," the source said.
 

Thursday, March 23, 2017

London attack: Khalid Masood named as perpetrator

London (CNN)Police investigating the deadliest terror attack to hit the UK in 12 years named the perpetrator Thursday as a 52-year-old British man, Khalid Masood.
As the inquiry into the atrocity gathered pace, Prime Minister Theresa May revealed the attacker was once linked to violent extremism. He was thought to have been inspired by Islamist ideology, she said.
 

London attacks: Why financial markets shrugged off Westminster terror incident

Major terror attacks that have rocked the world in recent decades have had variable degrees of impact on financial markets.
After the attacks on the twin towers in September 2001, Wall Street’s Dow Jones Industrial Average plummeted and major stock markets shut for four trading days— the first time since the Great Depression.
Considering the sheer scale of the damage, the impact was not surprising.

London terror attack suspect was British-born and previously investigated by MI5 over extremism, May confirms

Prime Minister gives defiant message to packed House of Commons: 'We are not afraid'

CNN

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

UK Parliament terror alert: One woman dead and police officer stabbed

London (CNN)Three people died after an attacker rammed a car into crowds of people in what authorities were treating as a terror attack outside the UK parliament in London, police said.
A police officer was one of those killed.
One woman was pulled alive from the River Thames amid chaos in the area, the heart of political life in Britain. The assailant also died.
 

Parliament shooting: Woman dies in Westminster attack

A woman has died on Westminster Bridge in central London in what police are treating as a terrorist incident.
A police officer was also stabbed in the nearby Houses of Parliament by an attacker, who was shot dead by police.
The attacker struck several pedestrians as he drove a car across the bridge, before crashing it into railings.
A doctor at St Thomas' Hospital said a number of other people were hurt - some with "catastrophic" injuries.
A Downing Street source said Prime Minister Theresa May was safe.
Prime Minister Theresa May was seen being ushered into a silver Jaguar car as what sounded like gunfire rang out at Parliament during the incident.
MPs said they had heard three or four gunshots and staff inside Parliament were told to stay inside their offices.
Commons Leader David Lidington told MPs the "alleged assailant was shot by armed police".

Islamic State 2.0: As the caliphate crumbles, ISIS evolves

(CNN) ISIS is on the back foot.
Nearly three years since the group's elusive leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi declared a self-styled Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, ISIS is reeling from losses across its so-called "caliphate".
It is fast losing its grip on Mosul, its biggest hub in Iraq, and its de-facto capital in Syria -- Raqqa -- is all but surrounded.
But it's not just territory that the militant group is losing.
Over the last six months, ISIS has seen its finances slashed, media operations crippled and several high-ranking leaders killed or captured.
 

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

U.S. and U.K. ban laptops and other devices on flights from Middle East

The U.S. and U.K. on Tuesday banned people flying from much of the Middle East and North Africa from carrying laptops, tablets and other large electronic devices in the airplane cabin because of concerns about terrorism.

CNN

Roger Stone, the ‘Trickster’ on Trump’s Side, Is Under F.B.I. Scrutiny

In President Trump’s oft-changing world order, Roger J. Stone Jr., the onetime political consultant and full-time provocateur, has been one of the few constants — a loyalist and self-proclaimed “dirty trickster” who nurtured the dream of a presidential run by the developer-turned-television-star for 30 years.

But two months into the Trump presidency, Mr. Stone, known for his pinstripe suits, the Nixon tattoo spanning his shoulder blades, and decades of outlandish statements, is under investigation for what would be his dirtiest trick — colluding with the Russians to defeat Hillary Clinton and put his friend in the White House.
At a hearing of the House Intelligence Committee on Monday, Democrats pressed James B. Comey, director of the F.B.I., for information on Mr. Stone. Asked by Representative Adam B. Schiff of California, a Democrat, if he was familiar with Mr. Stone, Mr. Comey replied tersely, “Generally, yes,” before saying he could not discuss any specific person.

THE NEW YORK TIMES