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Presidents’ comments on Jerusalem

Fri, 2017-12-08 16:15

What have past presidents said about Israel’s capital?

80’s Man

Fri, 2017-12-08 09:45
A cartoon with a question requiring the student to demonstrate understanding of the cartoonist's intended meaning.

News quiz for week ending 12/8/17

Fri, 2017-12-08 05:00
A quiz with questions relating to the week's Daily News Articles.

‘Heroes all’: Survivors mark 76th anniversary of Pearl Harbor attack

Fri, 2017-12-08 05:00

(by HawaiiNewsNow staff) PEARL HARBOR – The crowds were smaller this year. There were fewer headlines and cameras and big names.

But none of that mattered to the survivors of the attack on Pearl Harbor and their families, who gathered — as they do every year — in the place where everything changed in an instant 76 years ago Thursday.

“I do this to honor my shipmates,” said attendee Gilbert Meyer, who was 18 and aboard the USS Utah when the attack on Pearl Harbor began.

The Texas resident, 94, has returned to Hawaii for the anniversary for the last 15 years and said that every time, it “brings back memories.”

This year, under the theme “Rising to the Challenge,” veterans and their loved ones came together on the lawn at the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument to honor the fallen.

As in years’ past, the commemoration started just before 8 a.m. to coincide with the exact moments on Dec. 7, 1941 that Japanese warplanes bombarded naval ships in Pearl Harbor and targeted other military installations on Oahu.

“This morning, as we have for the last 76 years, we gather here to pay our respects to America’s World War II generation, the greatest generation, and in particular the veterans and civilians who responded to the attack on Pearl Harbor,” said Adm. Scott Swift, commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet.

“None of these heroes considers themselves as such. They all say they were doing their job. But by the time the guns fell silent, they were heroes all.”

The gathering was notably smaller than last year’s, when thousands gathered at Pearl Harbor’s Kilo Pier to mark the 75th anniversary of the attack in a landmark ceremony filled with moments of reflection and calls to “never forget.”

Attendees, though, say the ceremony is always a moving event. And Thursday was no exception.

The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor dealt America a historic blow. When the last Japanese fighter planes left Hawaii skies – two hours and 20 minutes after the attack had started – 2,403 Americans were dead, the Pacific Fleet was in ruins, and the United States was thrown into war.

The Pearl Harbor ceremony is one of several happening statewide (throughout Hawaii) to mark the 76th anniversary of the attack.

There was also a commemoration at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. And the Blackened Canteen Ceremony, which promotes peace and reconciliation, took place at the USS Arizona Memorial.

There were other smaller gatherings of Pearl Harbor survivors and World War II veterans.

One happened Wednesday, when two of the five remaining survivors of the USS Arizona were taken on a helicopter flyover of Pearl Harbor.

Donald Stratton and Lauren Bruner were accompanied by families and friends on the 15-minute flight to Pearl Harbor.

Stratton was just 19 years old when the attack happened.

And 76 years later, he saw his old ship from above for the first time. He couldn’t help but become emotional.

“It’s hard to say, what you’re thinking,” he said. “That’s my ship and I remember being aboard and what happened and the shots, so … just brings back a lot of memories.”

Reprinted here for educational purposes only. May not be reproduced on other websites without permission from Hawaii News Now.

Watch the Dec. 7, 2017 Hawaii News Now report:

Trump to uphold law moving U.S. embassy to Jerusalem

Thu, 2017-12-07 05:00

Statement by President Trump on Jerusalem (1:07 p.m. Dec. 6, 2017, from the White House):

Thank you. When I came into office, I promised to look at the world’s challenges with open eyes and very fresh thinking. We cannot solve our problems by making the same failed assumptions and repeating the same failed strategies of the past. Old challenges demand new approaches.

My announcement today marks the beginning of a new approach to conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.

In 1995, Congress adopted the Jerusalem Embassy Act, urging the federal government to relocate the American embassy to Jerusalem and to recognize that that city — and so importantly — is Israel’s capital. This act passed Congress by an overwhelming bipartisan majority and was reaffirmed by a unanimous vote of the Senate only six months ago.

Yet, for over 20 years, every previous American president has exercised the law’s waiver, refusing to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem or to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital city.

Presidents issued these waivers under the belief that delaying the recognition of Jerusalem would advance the cause of peace. Some say they lacked courage, but they made their best judgments based on facts as they understood them at the time. Nevertheless, the record is in. After more than two decades of waivers, we are no closer to a lasting peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians. It would be folly to assume that repeating the exact same formula would now produce a different or better result.

Therefore, I have determined that it is time to officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

While previous presidents have made this a major campaign promise, they failed to deliver. Today, I am delivering.

I’ve judged this course of action to be in the best interests of the United States of America and the pursuit of peace between Israel and the Palestinians. This is a long-overdue step to advance the peace process and to work towards a lasting agreement.

Israel is a sovereign nation with the right like every other sovereign nation to determine its own capital. Acknowledging this as a fact is a necessary condition for achieving peace.

It was 70 years ago that the United States, under President Truman, recognized the State of Israel. Ever since then, Israel has made its capital in the city of Jerusalem — the capital the Jewish people established in ancient times. Today, Jerusalem is the seat of the modern Israeli government. It is the home of the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, as well as the Israeli Supreme Court. It is the location of the official residence of the Prime Minister and the President. It is the headquarters of many government ministries.

For decades, visiting American presidents, secretaries of state, and military leaders have met their Israeli counterparts in Jerusalem, as I did on my trip to Israel earlier this year.

Jerusalem is not just the heart of three great religions, but it is now also the heart of one of the most successful democracies in the world. Over the past seven decades, the Israeli people have built a country where Jews, Muslims, and Christians, and people of all faiths are free to live and worship according to their conscience and according to their beliefs.

Jerusalem is today, and must remain, a place where Jews pray at the Western Wall, where Christians walk the Stations of the Cross, and where Muslims worship at Al-Aqsa Mosque.

However, through all of these years, presidents representing the United States have declined to officially recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. In fact, we have declined to acknowledge any Israeli capital at all.

But today, we finally acknowledge the obvious: that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital. This is nothing more, or less, than a recognition of reality. It is also the right thing to do. It’s something that has to be done.

That is why, consistent with the Jerusalem Embassy Act, I am also directing the State Department to begin preparation to move the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. This will immediately begin the process of hiring architects, engineers, and planners, so that a new embassy, when completed, will be a magnificent tribute to peace.

In making these announcements, I also want to make one point very clear: This decision is not intended, in any way, to reflect a departure from our strong commitment to facilitate a lasting peace agreement. We want an agreement that is a great deal for the Israelis and a great deal for the Palestinians. We are not taking a position of any final status issues, including the specific boundaries of the Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem, or the resolution of contested borders. Those questions are up to the parties involved.

The United States remains deeply committed to helping facilitate a peace agreement that is acceptable to both sides. I intend to do everything in my power to help forge such an agreement. Without question, Jerusalem is one of the most sensitive issues in those talks. The United States would support a two-state solution if agreed to by both sides.

In the meantime, I call on all parties to maintain the status quo at Jerusalem’s holy sites, including the Temple Mount, also known as Haram al-Sharif.

Above all, our greatest hope is for peace, the universal yearning in every human soul. With today’s action, I reaffirm my administration’s longstanding commitment to a future of peace and security for the region.

There will, of course, be disagreement and dissent regarding this announcement. But we are confident that ultimately, as we work through these disagreements, we will arrive at a peace and a place far greater in understanding and cooperation.

This sacred city should call forth the best in humanity, lifting our sights to what it is possible; not pulling us back and down to the old fights that have become so totally predictable. Peace is never beyond the grasp of those willing to reach.

So today, we call for calm, for moderation, and for the voices of tolerance to prevail over the purveyors of hate. Our children should inherit our love, not our conflicts.

I repeat the message I delivered at the historic and extraordinary summit in Saudi Arabia earlier this year: The Middle East is a region rich with culture, spirit, and history. Its people are brilliant, proud, and diverse, vibrant and strong. But the incredible future awaiting this region is held at bay by bloodshed, ignorance, and terror.

Vice President Pence will travel to the region in the coming days to reaffirm our commitment to work with partners throughout the Middle East to defeat radicalism that threatens the hopes and dreams of future generations.

It is time for the many who desire peace to expel the extremists from their midst. It is time for all civilized nations, and people, to respond to disagreement with reasoned debate –- not violence.

And it is time for young and moderate voices all across the Middle East to claim for themselves a bright and beautiful future.

So today, let us rededicate ourselves to a path of mutual understanding and respect. Let us rethink old assumptions and open our hearts and minds to possible and possibilities. And finally, I ask the leaders of the region — political and religious; Israeli and Palestinian; Jewish and Christian and Muslim — to join us in the noble quest for lasting peace.

Thank you. God bless you. God bless Israel. God bless the Palestinians. And God bless the United States. Thank you very much. Thank you.

1:19 P.M. EST

Watch President Trump’s statement:

Trump’s truth-telling on Jerusalem marks an all-new Middle East

Thu, 2017-12-07 04:58

(by John Podhoretz, NY Post) – ‘This is nothing more or less than a recognition of reality,” President Trump said in announcing America’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Never have truer words been spoken, and they were delivered in the best speech Trump has ever given.

What Trump did was stunning. He could just have signed the waiver of the law passed in 1995 compelling the executive branch to move America’s embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. He did it six months ago, just like his three immediate predecessors did every six months since 1996. Or he could have not signed the waiver and simply said he was going to start the process of building the new embassy.

Instead, he called the international community’s seven-decade bluff and ended a delusion about the future that has prevented Palestinians from seeing the world and their own geopolitical situation clearly. It is a bold shift.

The idea that Jerusalem is not Israel’s capital has been a global pretense for decades, including here in the United States. It’s a pretense because Jerusalem has been Israel’s capital from the moment the new country secured a future by winning a bloody war for independence waged against it by Arab nations after they rejected the UN partition of the old British mandate into a Jewish state and an Arab state.

Under the plan, Jerusalem was to be an international city governed by the United Nations. But the Arab effort to push the Jews into the sea — an effort no other nation on earth intervened in to prevent — left a divided Jerusalem in the hands of the Jews in the West and Jordan in the East.

There would be no “international” Jerusalem because the Arabs made sure there could not be one.

So, in 1949, Israeli Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion moved the government from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. “The people which faithfully honored for 2,500 years the oath sworn by the Rivers of Babylon not to forget Jerusalem — this people will never reconcile itself with separation from Jerusalem,” Ben-Gurion told the United Nations at the time.

After Israel’s triumph in the Six-Day War in 1967, Jerusalem was unified and became, in the words spoken by every Israeli prime minister, the “eternal and undivided capital” of the Jewish state.

And yet the international fiction that Jerusalem is not only not Israel’s capital but isn’t even to be considered formally part of Israel has persisted for 50 years now.

Nominally, the idea is that Palestinians need to be allowed to believe they’ll secure sovereignty over at least a part of Jerusalem for them to pursue a final peace deal with the Israelis. And so most of the world has chosen to act as though Israel has no legal dominion over any part of Jerusalem.

That is, in a word, insane. Jerusalem is now home to 860,000 people — 10 percent of Israel’s population, nearly double that of its second city, Tel Aviv. Every one of them, Jew and Arab, is a citizen of the state. (The city is 60 percent Jewish and 35 percent Muslim.) It is the locus of Israel’s government, where the parliament sits, where the prime minister lives and where most government agencies are located.

The pretense has been allowed to continue for two reasons. The most rational reason is this: There has always been fear that any change in Jerusalem’s status might ignite a violent Palestinian response, retard peace efforts and inflame the “Arab street” throughout the Middle East. So why create a crisis when the status quo is at least stable?

Then there are those who simply believe Israel is a bad actor deserving of international scorn and isolation and should not be allowed to get away with it — it, in this case, being Jerusalem.

Trump rightly scorns the latter view and has an answer for the former: “This is a long overdue step to advance the peace process. And to work towards a lasting agreement.”

The Palestinians need to accept reality. They continue to act as though they will get what they want through rejection and resistance and rage. “It is time,” Trump said, “for the many who desire peace to expel the extremists from their midsts. It is time for all civilized nations and people to respond to disagreement with reasoned debate, not violence.”

The Palestinian refusal to accept Israel for what it is and what it has become has been the greatest bar to peace. And there are reasons to believe the so-called Arab street has bigger problems to concern itself with right now than Israel’s capital.

And not just the street — the capitals as well. Trump’s act comes at a time when there is a tectonic shift in the Middle East. If I had told you 20 years ago that Israel would one day find itself in a de facto alliance with Saudi Arabia and Egypt, you would’ve had me committed. But two weeks ago, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) reportedly urged Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to sign on to a peace deal Israel actually likes. MBS isn’t happy about Trump’s move, but that doesn’t change the fact that the sands are shifting rapidly after decades of stagnation.

In the end, as Trump said, “Israel is a sovereign nation with the right, like every other sovereign nation, to determine its own capital.” Indeed it is. Indeed it does. Bravo.

Published December 6, 2017 at The New York Post. Reprinted here on December 7 for educational purposes only.

“The good news they’re not telling you”

Wed, 2017-12-06 05:02

From a post at RealClearPolitics by Tim Haines on Nov. 21:

Laura Ingraham begins her show “The Angle” by saying:

If you just landed here from another planet, you would think that the only news stories that matter are the alleged Trump-Russia collusion, Robert Mueller’s flying subpoenas, and the growing gaggle of A-List gropers. But what you wouldn’t hear much about is the most important story of the year: America is back!

Though the media has been loathe to report this fact, 2017 has been a banner year for the U.S. economy. An incredible comeback from President Obama’s anemic non-recovery recovery. The Economist notes this week that blue collar wages are rising, as unemployment tumbles, wage growth among factory workers, drivers, and builders, now exceeds 4%. Theirs is growing faster than the wages of professionals and managers.

And when you dig deeper, there is even better news. The trades are thriving. Some building contractors are seeing their wages grow by double digits year over year. That is great news!

Watch the video below:

Wisconsin plans to require drug test for food stamp recipients

Wed, 2017-12-06 05:00

(by Scott Bauer, Associated Press at MADISON, Wis. — Republican Gov. Scott Walker moved ahead Monday with his plans to make Wisconsin the first state to drug test able-bodied adults applying for food stamps, a move blocked by the federal government or found to be unconstitutional when other states have tried.

Wisconsin’s plan was approved by the Republican-controlled Legislature more than two years ago, but it languished because it conflicts with federal rules prohibiting states from imposing additional eligibility criteria on food stamp recipients.

Florida had a drug test requirement for food stamp recipients that a federal appeals court blocked in 2014, finding it violated constitutional protections against unreasonable searches. Walker filed a federal lawsuit in 2015 seeking approval to test food stamp applicants, but it was rejected because then-President Barack Obama’s administration had not yet formally rejected the state’s request to do the testing.

Walker asked then-President elect Donald Trump’s administration in December 2016 to make clear that drug screening is permissible, but it has not taken action and now Walker is moving ahead anyway.

Walker approved a rule change to implement the screening and sent it to the Legislature for review Monday. Walker spokesman Tom Evenson said the governor believes he has the authority to implement the rule.

The Legislature has four months to review the rule and it could take a year after its approval before the testing would begin. Lawsuits by those who oppose the drug testing are expected once it’s implemented, assuming the federal government doesn’t step in and block it in the meantime.

(Walker’s drug testing program would require approximately 2,100 single, childless, able-bodied individuals out of 67,400 people on welfare to be drug tested, according to the Walker administration. If those people failed a drug test, they would not receive food stamps but would be eligible for state-sponsored rehabilitation.)

The Walker administration estimated that a small fraction of the program’s applicants — 224, or 0.3 percent, of the 67,400 applicants a year — would actually test positive for drugs. (The plan would cost $867,000 to treat the 224 people the Walker administration expects to test positive each year. The state, federal government and private insurers would share some of those costs.)

Walker has touted the drug testing as a way to put more drug-free workers into the workplace. (“Employers have jobs available, but they need skilled workers who can pass a drug test,” Walker said in a statement. “This rule change means people battling substance use disorders will be able to get the help they need to get healthy and get back into the workforce.”)

Opponents say that’s wrongheaded.

“The state could do far more to expand the workforce by investing in broader access to effective drug treatment programs, rather than spending scarce state resources on the administration of drug screening and testing requirements,” said Jon Peacock, research director for Kids Forward, which advocates for children and families in Wisconsin.

Peacock said he was certain there would be a legal challenge over the constitutionality of drug screening food stamp recipients as well as whether such a move would be a violation of federal law governing the food stamp program.

Walker has pushed to expand drug testing for public benefit recipients. The budget he signed this year called for drug screening all able-bodied, childless adults applying for state Medicaid BadgerCare health benefits, pending federal approval. …

Walker and 11 other governors in 2016 asked the federal government for permission to drug test food stamp recipients.

From an Associated Press report. Reprinted here for educational purposes only. May not be reproduced on other websites without permission from the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

Tuesday’s World #1 – NIGER: asks U.S. to begin using armed drones

Tue, 2017-12-05 05:00

(by Max Greenwood at The Hill and Idrees Ali at Reuters, Nov. 30) – The government of Niger has come to an agreement with the U.S. on the use of armed American drones, a U.S. official said on Thursday. The agreement will expand the U.S. ability to target militants in the region.

Reuters had already reported that Niger had sought to arm U.S drones against jihadist groups operating on its border with Mali, but it had not been previously reported that an agreement had been reached.

Nigerien Defense Minister Kalla Mountari told Reuters in an interview earlier this month that he had asked the U.S. to begin using armed drones against jihadist groups operating on the Mali border.

Similarly, the U.S. has been pushing to use armed drones in Niger, according to an NBC News report.

Nigerien Defense Minister Kalla Mountari has asked the United States to start using armed drones against jihadist groups operating on the Mali border, following a deadly ambush of allied U.S.-Nigerien forces.

The development comes nearly two months after an ambush in Niger left four U.S. Army soldiers dead. While the U.S. began weighing arming drones in the region before the attack, the ambush increased the sense of urgency within the Trump administration to do so.

During the ambush, a request for an armed drone to provide cover for the troops was denied. That request was blocked in the approval process, which goes through the Pentagon, the State Department and the Nigerien government.

What began as a small U.S. training operation has expanded to an 800-strong force that accompanies the Nigeriens on intelligence gathering and other missions. According to Reuters, the U.S. counterterrorism mission in Niger includes an 800-person force and a $100 million drone base in the city of Agadez. So far, only surveillance drones are deployed there.

U.S. forces do not have a direct combat mission in Niger, but their assistance to its military does include intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance in their efforts to target violent Islamist organizations.

Tuesday’s World #2 – PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY: Hamas threatens new intifada if US embassy moves to Jerusalem

Tue, 2017-12-05 04:58

(from France24 with Agence France-Presse, Dec. 3)  – The Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas which controls Gaza called Saturday for a new intifada* if Washington recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel or moves its embassy to the disputed city. (*Intifada means: uprising, rebellion; specifically: an armed uprising of Palestinians against what they see as Israeli “occupation” of the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The first Palestinian intifada was in 1987.)

Reports in Washington have suggested President Donald Trump may soon fulfill a campaign pledge on the American embassy, which like all other foreign missions is currently located in the coastal city of Tel Aviv.

“We warn against such a move and call on the Palestinian people to revive the intifada if these unjust decisions on Jerusalem are adopted,” Hamas said in a statement.

Any decision to move its embassy there would be “a flagrant attack on the city by the American administration” and give Israel “a cover for continuing its crime of Judaising the city and emptying it of Palestinians,” it said.

The status of Jerusalem is a key issue in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Both Israelis and Palestinians claim the city as their capital and previous peace plans have stumbled over debates on whether, and how, to divide sovereignty or oversee holy sites.

The last Palestinian intifada, or uprising, which claimed the lives of some 3,000 Palestinians and 1,000 Israelis, was sparked when conservative leader Ariel Sharon visited Jerusalem’s Temple Mount in 2000.

The Palestinian president’s office told Agence France-Presse on Friday that American recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel would “destroy the peace process.”

Since 1995 it has been US law (the Jerusalem Embassy Act) that Washington’s embassy in Israel must be moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem….

But every six months since the law was passed every US president has signed a waiver to hold off on a switch which would enrage Palestinians and their Arab supporters. (Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama have chosen to adhere to Palestinian demands rather than uphold U.S. law.)

President Trump has signed the waiver once, and grudgingly, after vowing to Jewish-American supporters that he would be the president to finally make the switch (from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem to uphold US law).

The next deadline came [yesterday, but President Trump has delayed his decision], and some in Washington suggested that he was planning a speech on the issue before Vice President Mike Pence heads to Jerusalem.

The White House has described reports he may refuse to sign the waiver as premature — but sources told AFP they expect Trump to formally declare Jerusalem Israel’s capital.

The international community has never recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel or its unilateral annexation of a band of territory around the city’s eastern sector, which it captured in the 1967 Six-Day war.  …

Tuesday’s World #3 – YEMEN: Former-president Saleh shot dead after switching sides in civil war

Tue, 2017-12-05 04:56

(by Raf Sanchez, UK Daily Telegraph, Dec. 4) – Yemen’s former president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, was killed Monday after he appeared to switch sides against his former rebel allies and join with a Saudi-led military coalition, plunging the complex war into further chaos.

Mr. Saleh held power for 33 years until he was ousted in 2011 but he remained a central figure in the country and spent two years battling alongside the (Shiite Muslim) Houthi rebels (who are backed by Iran) against (Sunni Muslim) Saudi Arabia and the man who replaced him as Yemen’s president.

The alliance between Mr. Saleh and the Houthis collapsed last week and he began to make public overtures towards Saudi Arabia as his troops fought the Houthis in street battles in Saana, the rebel-held capital.

The 75-year-old former president was reportedly shot as he tried to flee the city and Houthi fighters joyfully paraded his bloody corpse before the cameras, much as Libyan rebels did after killing Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

Abdul-Malek al-Houthi, the Houthi leader, said Mr. Saleh had been killed for “treason” and warned the Saudi-led coalition they would not succeed in Yemen. “Today is the day of the fall of the conspiracy of betrayal and treason. It’s a dark day for the forces of the coalition,” he said.

His death is a blow for Saudi Arabia and its UAE allies, who had reportedly wooed Mr. Saleh through his son in the hope of bringing an end to the war, which has so far been a frustrating stalemate for Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman.

More than two years of fighting has killed more than 10,000 people, destroyed the country’s infrastructure and left another seven million people on the brink of starvation.

Saudi Arabia has been heavily criticized for killing civilians in airstrikes and for its tight blockade of the country. It accuses Iran of arming the Houthis and supplying the rebels with missiles which they have fired into Saudi territory.

The Red Cross and other humanitarian groups said their operations in Sanaa had been paralyzed by the fighting and by heavy Saudi bombardment against the Houthis, prompting the UN to appeal for a ceasefire.

Mr. Saleh had been one of the Arab world’s wiliest and longest-reigning dictators and once described his more three decades in power as like “dancing on the heads of snakes.”

He was part of a young group of military officers who seized power in North Yemen in 1962 and then became the country’s president in 1978. In 1990 North and South were reunited and Mr Saleh became the ruler of the entire country.

He was forced from power in late 2011 after mass protests inspired by the Arab Spring and only narrowly survived an assassination attempt. He handed power to Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi, his vice president.

But when Houthi forces rose up against Mr. Hadi in 2015, Mr Saleh and his loyalists joined with them and seized control of much of North Yemen. Soon after Saudi Arabia began air raids against the Houthis in support of Mr Hadi.

Tensions between Mr Saleh and the Houthis had been growing since the summer and in a speech on Saturday he forcefully denounced his one time allies and said he was ready to “turn a new page” with Saudi Arabia and Mr Hadi.

His gamble backfired badly as Houthi forces overran his fighters in Sanaa over the weekend. He was reportedly trying to flee the city when his armoured vehicle was struck by an RPG (rocket-propelled grenade). Houthi fighters then allegedly killed him on the side of the road.

Mr Hadi appealed to Mr Saleh’s followers to join him against the Houthis and said he was ordering an offensive against Sanaa.

Residents of the city said the fighting appeared to be calming on Monday night as news of Mr Saleh’s death spread. “We are just waiting in the house expecting something bad to happen. For three days we have been at home because of street fighting,” said Najla al-Sonboli, a doctor.

The Red Cross said one of its medical warehouses had been hit during the fighting but it had been unable to check the extent of the damage because of the chaos in the city. A spokeswoman said the group had been unable to deliver supplies to hospitals and that at least 125 people had been killed.

Jamie McGoldrick the UN humanitarian coordinator for Yemen, appealed for a ceasefire so humanitarian aid could be delivered. “The streets of Sanaa city have become battlegrounds and people are trapped in their homes, unable to move out in search of safety and medical care and to access basic supplies such as food, fuel and safe water,” he said.

US: North Korean regime “will be utterly destroyed” if war comes

Fri, 2017-12-01 05:00

(by Pamela Falk, CBS News, Last Updated Nov 30, 2017 5:41 AM EST) UNITED NATIONS — After the launch this week of an intercontinental ballistic missile by North Korea, U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley and her counterparts from Japan and the Republic of Korea requested an emergency U.N. Security Council meeting.

At the Council meeting late Wednesday, the United States set out a path forward, asking China to cut off oil to North Korea and asking the U.N. to cut off North Korea’s voting rights at the U.N., saying, “we need China to do more.”

“Through sanctions we have cut off 90 percent of North Korean trade and 30 percent of its oil. But the crude oil remains. The major supplier of that oil is China.” Haley said.

“We are once again at a time of reckoning,” Haley said. “North Korea’s behavior has become more intolerable.” She added that “over 20 countries from every corner of the globe have restricted or ended their diplomatic relations.”

“The dictator of North Korea made a choice yesterday that brings the world closer to war, not farther from it,” Haley said. “We have never sought war with North Korea, and still today we do not seek it. If war does come, it will be because of continued acts of aggression like we witnessed yesterday. And if war comes, make no mistake, the North Korean regime will be utterly destroyed.”

The missile test, which was (overseen) by North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, was its first one since September.

Wednesday’s launch of what the North called the Hwasong-15 intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) demonstrated a greater range than other missiles it’s tested and showcased several capabilities the North must master if it were ever to actually try to unleash them at the United States.

…North Korea [claims] it now has a missile that can strike anywhere in the U.S. including Washington, D.C., and Kim Jong Un’s regime successfully launched its third intercontinental ballistic missile, CBS News’ Correspondent Ben Tracy reported.

[Following recent belligerent threats and] missile tests…, the U.S put North Korea back on a U.S state sponsors of  terrorism, allowing the U.S. to impose more sanctions. President Trump said Wednesday more major sanctions will be imposed on North Korea in response to its latest ballistic missile launch.

Continuing his efforts to work with China to peacefully force North Korea to end its nuclear program, the president tweeted on Wednesday, “Just spoke to President Xi Jinping of China concerning the provocative actions of North Korea. Additional major sanctions will be imposed on North Korea today. This situation will be handled!” Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the U.S. could target financial institutions doing business with North Korea.

In September, the U.S. drafted a U.N. resolution calling for a complete oil embargo along with an asset freeze and travel ban on North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un — a measure that had the support of U.S. allies but was met with resistance from China. Diplomats now say the U.S., along with Western nations and Japan, will be looking to increase pressure with tougher sanctions as a last resort to diplomatic and economic measures.

At the Security Council meeting, several Council members talked about the enforcement of existing sanctions and also suggested adding new sanctions.

U.K. Ambassador Matthew Rycroft said, “The latest missile launch is not a one-off. It follows 19 previous launches this year, and North Korea’s sixth nuclear test in September. The latest violation demonstrates, once more, North Korea’s disregard for our collective security and the international obligations, that all of us, as law-abiding states, take upon ourselves.”

“Japan will never tolerate a nuclear armed North Korea, Japan’s Ambassador Koro Bessho said, adding that North Korea is a “clear global threat to all member states.”

“You don’t bully and play games with nuclear weapons,” Ambassador Haley said.

North Korea’s state-run television claimed that it had successfully tested a new type of intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) that could reach all of the U.S. mainland.

North Korea has been under U.N. sanctions since 2006 due to its ballistic missiles and nuclear programs.

France’s Ambassador Francois Delattre called for tighter sanctions saying that the threat posed by North Korea, “has shifted from being regional to global, from being potential to immediate.” He said that France’s President Emmanuel Macron just called for an increase sanctions on North Korea after the missile test.

“Confronted with such a threat and challenge from North Korea, weakness or ambiguity are simply not an option,” Delattre said, adding that France favors tightening the sanctions with strong additional measures.

Italy’s Ambassador Sebastiano Cardi told CBS News, “Sanctions are working because we know of the constraints they are putting on the regime which is going short of foreign currency … We can do more also in terms of implementation.”

…At the U.N. Security Council meeting, China’s Deputy Ambassador to the United Nations, Wu Haitao, pushed back on the call for China to do more, calling for less confrontation with Pyongyang.

…President Trump himself had talked about dialogue before the recent launch, and the international watchdog agency’s chief, Yukiya Amano told CBS News that, if that day came, the agency would be ready to inspect North Korea’s nuclear sites.

Ambassador Haley concluded with both a warning and a word of reassurance to the leaders in Pyongyang, “we have never sought war with North Korea, and still today we do not seek it. If war does come, it will be because of continued acts of aggression like we witnessed yesterday.”

Reprinted here for educational purposes only. May not be reproduced on other websites without permission from CBSNews. Visit the website at cbsnews .com.

News quiz for week ending 12/1/17

Fri, 2017-12-01 04:58
A quiz with questions relating to the week's Daily News Articles.

TV Station Custodian

Fri, 2017-12-01 04:56
A cartoon with a question requiring the student to demonstrate understanding of the cartoonist's intended meaning.

What do you know about Pearl Harbor?

Thu, 2017-11-30 05:00

(from an editorial by Paul Greenberg)
To those who lived through that time, and still remember the Americans who didn’t, that day and that war still lives. Seared into memory. Not enough of us today will think of those Americans who gave their lives in the jungles of the Pacific or in the skies above Europe, who fought in North Africa or on the beaches of Sicily and Normandy or wherever they were sent to defend not only their country but the cause of freedom around the world. Cut down before their time, they never grew old. Still young in their fresh soldier boy’s uniforms or coats of Navy blue, their pictures still stand somewhere almost lost among all the others atop crowded mantles and chifferobes across the country, their gazes fixed on us from the past. If we would only look. And learn.

Dec. 7, 2017 marks the 76th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

In a speech Dec. 8, 1941 asking Congress to declare war on Japan after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, President Franklin D. Rooselvelt said in part:

“Yesterday, December 7, 1941 – a date which will live in infamy – the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan… No matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditated invasion, the American people will through their righteous might win through to absolute victory… With confidence in our armed forces – with the unbounded determination of our people – we will gain the inevitable triumph – so help us God. I, therefore, ask that the Congress declare that since the dastardly and unprovoked attack by Japan on Sunday, December 7th, a state of war has existed between the United States and the Japanese Empire.”   Listen to President Roosevelt below:


For photos of Pearl Harbor and the attack, go to the U.S. Navy’s history website at

Watch a video on the Pearl Harbor attack below:

THE ATTACK ON PEARL HARBOR The attack on Pearl Harbor was a surprise military strike conducted by the Imperial Japanese Navy against the United States naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii on the morning of December 7, 1941.

  • The base was attacked by 353 Japanese aircraft in two waves, launched from six aircraft carriers.
  • Four U.S. Navy battleships were sunk (two of which were raised and returned to service later in the war) and the four other battleships present were damaged.
  • The Japanese also sank or damaged three cruisers, three destroyers, an anti-aircraft training ship and one minelayer.
  • 188 U.S. aircraft were destroyed, 2,402 personnel were killed and 1,282 were wounded.
  • Nearly half of those who perished were sailors aboard the battleship USS Arizona, which Japanese torpedo bombers sank early in the attack, sending 1,177 of its 1,400-member crew to their deaths.
  • The USS Arizona Memorial, built over the remains of the ship, now forms a centerpiece of the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument, an historic site administered by the National Park Service. Visit the National Parks Service website for the USS Arizona Memorial at
  • The power station, shipyard, maintenance, and fuel and torpedo storage facilities, as well as the submarine piers and headquarters building (also home of the intelligence section) were not attacked.
  • Japanese losses were light, with 29 aircraft and five midget submarines lost, and 65 servicemen killed or wounded. One Japanese sailor was captured.
  • The following day [Dec. 8] the United States declared war on Japan.
  • Subsequent operations by the U.S., as well as the Axis alliance, prompted Germany and Italy to declare war on the U.S. on December 11, which was reciprocated by the U.S. the same day.
  • Despite numerous historical precedents for unannounced military action, the lack of any formal warning by Japan, particularly while negotiations were still apparently ongoing, led to President Franklin D. Roosevelt proclaiming December 7, 1941, “a date which will live in infamy.”  (excerpted in part from wikipedia)

Border Patrol’s ‘tunnel rats’ stalk drug smugglers in an underground game of hide-and-seek

Thu, 2017-11-30 05:00

(by John Wilkens, Los Angeles Times) – For the last seven years, the Confined Spaces Entry Team (who call themselves the tunnel rats) have been going underground to locate, map and seal off the tunnels used by cartels to smuggle drugs from Mexico to San Diego and beyond.

Theirs is a little-known part of the high-stakes hide-and-seek game that plays out daily along the border. While much of the attention…has been focused on…what happens aboveground, more than 80 tunnels have been found in California and Arizona since 2011.

Some have been almost 3,000 feet long and contain tracks for motorized carts, as well as lights, elevators and ventilation. One ended underneath a house in Calexico built just to provide cover for the tunnelers.

Warehouses constructed close to the border in Otay Mesa and Tijuana provide camouflage: an out-of-view place for a tunnel to start and another for it to end.

The area’s clay soil is particularly good for tunneling — not too soft or too hard.

“This,” said Lance LeNoir, gesturing at the warehouses and the ground between them, “is what makes San Diego grand central for the long, sophisticated tunnels.”

LeNoir is an operations officer for the Border Patrol. He heads the five-member tunnel rats, and he was standing one recent weekday morning near what’s known in law enforcement circles as the Galvez tunnel.

Discovered in December 2009, it stretches 762 feet from a warehouse in Tijuana toward a warehouse on the U.S. side, just west of the Otay Mesa Port of Entry.

The tunnel is 6 feet tall by 4 feet wide, large by tunneling standards, and 100 feet below the surface in some spots, sloped to allow groundwater to flow out of the way.

The traffickers had been working on it for about 18 months and had not yet finished when it was discovered after a tip from an informant. A dozen people were arrested inside.

Now what’s left of the tunnel, about 30 feet, is used for training by the tunnel rats. They practice rescues and test their equipment there.

The tunnel rats borrow their name from the Vietnam War forces who went underground in search of enemy fighters, sometimes engaging in hand-to-hand combat.

“They had it a lot tougher than we do,” LeNoir said. “We use the name in homage to them.”

In this March 6, 2017 image, a member of the Border Patrol’s Border Tunnel Entry Team looks on from a tunnel entrance in between two border barriers separating San Diego and Tijuana, Mexico, in San Diego. They are known in the Border Patrol as “tunnel rats” – agents who go in clandestine passages that have proliferated on the U.S.-Mexico border over the last 20 years to smuggle drugs. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

Several of the team members are military veterans, and their uniforms resemble those worn by soldiers: camouflage pants, helmets, vests, guns.

Team members volunteer for the assignment, and to join they first have to crawl through a two-foot wide pipe for about 20 yards. That helps weed out agents who are claustrophobic.

Increasingly, the tunnels are getting narrower and shorter — they’re quicker to build that way, and cheaper. One found last year was only 14 inches wide.

Getting inside the Galvez tunnel is simple by comparison. Visitors climb down 70 feet of metal ladders, installed in a concrete shaft built after the underground smuggling route was discovered. It intersects the tunnel in a spot between the primary and secondary border fences.

“These tunnels wouldn’t meet any mining or construction standards that we are familiar with,” LeNoir said. If wood is found inside shoring up the walls and roof, it’s not because of a devotion to structural integrity, he said, but because a collapse happened while they were working and they had to fix it.

The tunnel rats are part of the Tunnel Task Force, which also includes representatives from Homeland Security, the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). It was formed in 2003 as officials noticed that even though most drugs are driven across the border at ports of entry, hidden inside cargo trucks and other vehicles, tunnels were becoming a major issue.

Originally, the underground team was focused on smugglers who used existing storm drains and sewer systems to move people across the border illegally. As more and more cross-border tunnels were discovered — 13 in the San Diego sector alone in 2006 — the team began focusing on that. They developed skills in geology, air monitoring and emergency extractions.

After a tunnel is found and cleared of smugglers, the tunnel rats are called in to check it for evidence and map it. They make sure the air is safe and the ground stable, and then crawl in with tape measures, compasses and lasers. Then concrete is poured into the tunnels at various places on the U.S. side….

Team members said what they like most about the work is the variety.

Their work ebbs and flows from year to year. Through the end of August, seven tunnels — three operational and four not yet finished — had been discovered in the fiscal year that started Oct. 1, 2016, according to the Border Patrol. In the eights weeks so far this year: zero.

Sometimes the work has a feeling of deja vu. Officials on the Mexican side of the border don’t always have the resources to seal tunnels.

At least eight times in recent years, the Border Patrol says, newly discovered tunnels turned out to be old ones. The smugglers started in Mexico using what was already there and when they came to the concrete on the U.S. side, they dug around it — until they were found again, another round of hide-and-seek that shows no signs of ending.

Reprinted here for educational purposes only. May not be reproduced on other websites without permission from the Los Angeles Times. 

Justice Department threatens to sue Harvard over Asian-American admission records

Wed, 2017-11-29 05:00

(Compiled from articles by Michelle Williams at, Amber Randall at DailyCaller, WSJ and Fortune) – Harvard University may soon face a lawsuit from the federal government over admission records.

The U.S. Justice Department (DOJ) has threatened to sue the university as they seek information as part of an investigation into Harvard’s affirmative action policies and whether the university discriminates against Asian-American applicants.

The department sent a letter last week requesting the applications and Harvard’s evaluations of prospective students to the university.

“Harvard has not yet produced a single document,” the letter states. “We sincerely hope that Harvard will quickly correct its noncompliance and return to a collaborative approach.”

The Justice Department’s investigation stems from complaints that formed the basis of a federal civil lawsuit filed in 2014 in Boston. That suit, brought by the non-profit group Students for Fair Admissions, alleges Harvard intentionally discriminates against Asian-Americans by limiting the number of Asian students who are admitted. The suit is pending.

The lawsuit and Justice Department investigation focus on Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, which prohibits institutions that receive federal funding from discriminating on the basis of race, color, or national origin. Critics have alleged that offering a weighted application to black and Latino students discriminates against white and Asian applicants to college.

The DOJ previously posted a job opening for lawyers to work on an investigation into another 2015 complaint filed by Asian American Coalition for Education (a group of 64 Asian-American associations) with both the Justice Department and the Education Department that alleges Harvard discriminates against Asian-American applicants. Harvard has repeatedly argued that their policies are not biased against one group of students and that their process “considers each applicant as a whole person, and we review many factors.”

Explaining Harvard’s refusal to provide the Justice Department with the required documents, a university spokesperson said:

“As we have repeatedly made clear to the Department of Justice, the University will certainly comply with its obligations under Title VI.  In the process, we have an obligation to protect the confidentiality of student and applicant files and other highly sensitive records, and we have been seeking to engage the Department of Justice in the best means of doing so.”

The DOJ letter reads in part:

“The Department is left with no choice but to conclude that Harvard is out of compliance with its Title VI access obligations. Title VI does not allow entities under investigation to dictate what information qualifies as relevant.”

The letter, sent Nov. 17, gives Harvard until the first of December to comply with the records request or face a lawsuit from the Justice Department.

Compiled from articles by Michelle Williams at, Amber Randall at DailyCaller, WSJ and Fortune. Reprinted here for educational purposes only. May not be reproduced on other websites without permission.

Who is Wendell Brown?

Wed, 2017-11-29 04:58

Who is Wendell Brown?

Wendell Brown, a 30-year-old former linebacker at Ball State and in the Canadian Football League, has been detained in a Chongqing jail in China for 14 months after getting in a bar fight over a year ago.

In 2015, Wendell Brown traveled to Chongqing, China to play professional football. After suffering an injury, he accepted the opportunity to coach in the American Football League of China.

While there he taught English to adults and football to kids.

On Sept. 24, 2016, he attended a birthday party for a friend at a bar. According to Wendell, some men wanted to drink with him, but he declined. A fight broke out and Wendell raised his arms to deflect a thrown bottle.

He claimed he never hit anyone. But he was arrested for assaulting a man.

An hour later, he sat in a cell at the Chongqing Jiangbei detention center.

Wendell’s criminal trial was held in July 2017. His defense lawyer presented surveillance video that backs up Wendell’s claim that he never touched anyone.

Despite a lack of evidence that he ever hit the man, the judge has refused to render a verdict.

Months later, Wendell still sits in jail waiting for the wheels of justice to budge.

While President Trump was in China for a state visit in early November, three UCLA basketball players were arrested for shoplifting while traveling with their team in China. The president worked with President Xi Jinping to get the three UCLA basketball players released and returned safely to the United States.

The Brown family now hopes President Trump will help get their son Wendell released.

Tuesday’s World #1 – ZIMBABWE: Mugabe forced to resign after 40 year rule

Tue, 2017-11-28 05:00

(by MacDonald Dzirutwe, Reuters, Nov. 21) HARARE – Robert Mugabe resigned as Zimbabwe’s president on Tuesday (Nov. 21), a week after the army and his former political allies moved to end four decades of rule by a man once feted as an independence hero who became feared as a despot.

His former vice president, Emmerson Mnangagwa, whose firing this month prompted the military takeover that forced Mugabe out, [was] sworn in as president on [Friday, Nov. 24], Patrick Chinamasa, legal secretary of the ruling ZANU-PF party, told Reuters.

The 93-year-old Mugabe had clung on for a week after an army takeover, with his party ZANU-PF urging him to go. He finally resigned moments after parliament began an impeachment process seen as the only legal way to force him out.

Wild celebrations broke out at a joint sitting of parliament when Speaker Jacob Mudenda read out Mugabe’s brief resignation letter. Mugabe, confined to his Harare residence, did not appear.

People danced in the streets of Harare and car horns blared at the news that the era of Mugabe — who had led Zimbabwe since independence in 1980 — was finally over. Some brandished posters of Mnangagwa and army chief General Constantino Chiwenga.

The army seized power after Mugabe sacked Mnangagwa, ZANU-PF’s favorite to succeed him, in a bid to smooth a path to the presidency for his wife Grace, 52, known to her critics as “Gucci Grace” for her reputed fondness for luxury shopping.

…Thousands of people rallied against Mugabe in the days after the army intervened. Since the crisis began, Mugabe has been mainly confined to his “Blue Roof” mansion in the capital where Grace is also believed to be.

ZANU-PF chief whip Lovemore Matuke told Reuters that Mnangagwa would be sworn in within 48 hours and serve the remainder of Mugabe’s term until the next election, which must be held by September 2018.

“I am very happy with what has happened,” said Maria Sabawu, a supporter of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), outside the hotel where the impeachment process was happening.

“I have suffered a lot at the hands of Mugabe’s government,” she said, showing her hand with a missing finger that she said was lost in violence during a presidential run-off election between Mugabe and opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai in 2008.

Mugabe had led Zimbabwe since a guerrilla struggle ended white-minority rule in the British colony formerly known as Rhodesia.

He took the once-rich nation to economic ruin, leading the forced takeover of white-owned farms at the end of the century (by 2000), which devastated agricultural foreign exchange earnings and led to hyperinflation.

(He was able to stay popular by) brandishing his anti-colonial credentials and styling himself the Grand Old Man of African politics and he retained the admiration of many people across the continent.

Amnesty International, however, said that under Mugabe tens of thousands of people were tortured, forcibly disappeared or killed in a culture of impunity that allowed “grotesque crimes to thrive.”

“The people of Zimbabwe deserve better. The next generation of leaders must commit itself to upholding the constitution, living up to Zimbabwe’s international human rights obligations and treating its people with dignity and justice,” the rights group said in a statement.

Additional reporting by Cris Chinaka in Harare and Johannesburg bureau; Writing by Robin Pomeroy.

Tuesday’s World #2 – ARGENTINA: Searchers for missing sub defy gale force winds

Tue, 2017-11-28 04:58

(by Hugh Bronstein, Reuters, Nov. 26) – BUENOS AIRES – Searchers for an Argentine submarine missing since Nov. 15 battled gale-force South Atlantic winds on Sunday while a navy spokesman held out hope that the 44 crew members may still be alive in an “extreme survival situation.”

The ARA San Juan had only a seven-day supply of air when it reported its last position, according to officials. Relatives of crew members focused on the possibility that the submarine may have been able to rise high enough in the ocean to refill its oxygen tanks at some point after its disappearance.

Argentina’s official weather service ordered an alert for “intense winds of between (31 and 56 mph), with gusts,” in Chubut province, the location from which search vessels were sailing.

“The bad weather conditions really are adverse,” navy spokesman Enrique Balbi told a news conference.

The ARA San Juan (pictured) has been missing for a week after reporting a fault before dropping out of communications.

Asked by a reporter about the chances that the crew may still be alive, Balbi left that as a possibility.

“We’ve been searching for 11 days but that does not remove the chance that they could still be in an extreme survival situation,” Balbi said.

The U.S. Navy’s Undersea Rescue Command sent a ship from Chubut’s port Comodoro Rivadavia on Sunday, outfitted with a remotely operated mini-sub to be used as a rescue vehicle if the San Juan is found. The ship was expected to reach the search zone some 430 kilometers (267 miles) off Argentina’s southern coast by Monday afternoon.

A sudden, violent sound detected underwater near the last known position of the 213 feet long diesel-electric submarine suggested it might have imploded on the morning of Nov. 15th, after reporting an electrical problem and being ordered back to base.

Oscar Vallejos, a naval veteran and father of San Juan crew member Celso Vallejos, told local television that he refused to believe his son would not return alive.

“Hope always high,” said the burly Vallejos, his posture ramrod straight and eyes hidden behind sunglasses. A black baseball-style cap identified him as a navy war veteran.

Other crew family members were less sure.

“We are in a state of total uncertainty,” Maria Victoria Morales, mother of Luis Garcia, an electrical technician aboard the missing Cold War-era submarine, told Reuters by telephone.

A Russian plane arrived in Argentina on Friday carrying search equipment capable of reaching 6,000 meters (20,000 feet) below the sea surface, according to the Argentine navy.

The international search effort includes about 30 ships and planes manned by 4,000 personnel from 13 countries including Brazil, Chile and Great Britain.

The 66-meter (216.5 foot) sub—which was built in Germany in 1983—is carrying a crew of 44 submariners. Forty-three of the crew members are male, but the sub is also carrying Eliana Maria Krawczyk, the first female submarine officer in Argentina.

Additional reporting by Eliana Raszewski; Editing by Phil Berlowitz and Will Dunham