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Analysis, background reports and updates from the PBS NewsHour putting today's news in context.

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    A French soldier enforcing the Vigipirate plan, France's national security alert system, patrols in front of the Sacre Coeur Basilica on November 16, 2015 in Paris, three days after a series of deadly coordinated attacks claimed by Islamic State jihadists, which killed at least 129 people and left more than 350 injured on November 13. AFP PHOTO/JOEL SAGET        (Photo credit should read JOEL SAGET/AFP/Getty Images)

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    JUDY WOODRUFF: A massive investigation of the terrorist attacks in Paris was in full swing across France and Belgium today. The death toll stood at 129, with some 350 wounded in Friday’s coordinated assault, now claimed by the Islamic State group.

    Hari Sreenivasan is in Paris, where he begins our coverage.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: Thanks, Judy.

    It was a day of remembrance and resolve. The victims of the massacre were remembered, memorialized once again, but France also began a forceful response against the Islamic State.

    Silence fell across Paris at noon today and across much of Europe, as millions remembered victims of Friday’s attacks.

    The French president remembered victims from 19 countries at a courtyard at the Sorbonne.

    A short time later, Francois Hollande went before Parliament to declare that France is at war.

    PRESIDENT FRANCOIS HOLLANDE, French President (through interpreter): The French people are ardent, valiant, courageous. They don’t give up. They stand up when each of their children is put in the ground. Those who wanted to murder them by deliberately striking innocent people are cowards who fired on an unarmed crowd.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: Across the country, authorities conducted a sweeping dragnet of people they suspect of militant ties and found caches of weapons, including rocket launchers.

    BERNARD CAZENEUVE, French Interior Minister (through interpreter): Throughout France overnight, police and armed police, with the help of the central and regional branches of our intelligence services, carried out 168 raids in the homes of people under suspicion.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: At the same time, a fuller picture of those suspected in the plot came into focus, including Abdelhamid Abaaoud, the alleged mastermind. The Belgian-born militant is seen here in the Islamic State propaganda magazine, but is now believed to be in Syria.

    In all, at least eight men mounted the Friday attacks at the Bataclan theater, at the Stade de France and two restaurants. At least one attacker carried a possibly fake Syrian passport and may have entered Europe through Greece, with the flood of refugees. Most of the others are believed to be French-born Muslims who may have traveled to Syria. Seven died in the attack, while the eighth, 26-year-old Salah Abdeslam, is thought to have escaped to Brussels.

    With that in mind, President Hollande announced drastically stepped-up security measures, including broader police powers and border controls. It’s the third day of mourning for the city of Paris. Government buildings, museums even the Eiffel Tower are closed. People around the city are now thinking about what to do next.

    WOMAN: Closing down the borders won’t change anything. You know, there’s always — we always have refugees coming in the country, or in any other countries.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: We sat down with 49-year old Emmanuel Pohrel outside a cafe as trucks made their morning deliveries.

    WOMAN: If you think of security all the time, you just become crazy and paranoid.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: Pohrel is also concerned about the increasing scrutiny refugees and immigrants will face.

    WOMAN: I don’t think those people who come in are terrorists. They’re just going away from a country where there’s a war.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: This is a tension playing out across the city and perhaps the country, even as young and old visit the sites of Friday night’s rampage to pay their respects, to grieve.

    While we spoke to Brigitte Fraisse outside the Cambodian restaurant that was struck Friday night, the place her daughter introduced her to, another woman walking by.

    That woman said, close the borders, while Ms. Fraisse said open the borders. In a different neighborhood, we met a 63-year-old realtor named Thierry Preguica.

    THIERRY PREGUICA, France (through interpreter): I think the Western world crumbles little by little. I think we’re facing a problem we don’t control any longer.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: Preguica is on the side of increased security at the borders.

    THIERRY PREGUICA (through interpreter): Unfortunately, today, we need to strike hard, because we are facing a very determined, blind enemy, who has no logic, or, rather, has a barbaric logic. So, today, our established rules, they are a bit dated, I think.

    PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: We have always understood this would be a long-term campaign. There will be setbacks and there will be successes. The terrible events in Paris were obviously a terrible and sickening setback.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: President Obama, at the G20 in Turkey, acknowledged Islamic State had struck a major blow, but he defended U.S. strategy against repeated questions about whether he’s underestimated the militants.

    PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: We have the right strategy, and we’re going to see it through. There will be an intensification of the strategy that we put forward, but the strategy that we are putting forward is the strategy that ultimately is going to work.

    We haven’t underestimated our abilities. This is precisely why we’re in Iraq as we speak and why we’re operating in Syria as we speak. And it’s precisely why we have mobilized 65 countries to go after ISIL. There has been an acute awareness on the part of my administration from the start that it is possible for an organization like ISIL that has such a twisted ideology and has shown such extraordinary brutality and complete disregard for innocent lives, that they would have the capabilities to potentially strike in the West.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: In a video released today, an Iraqi fighter with ISIL threatened more strikes against the countries in the coalition, and inside the U.S.

    AL-KARAR AL-IRAQI, ISIS (through interpreter): We say to the states that take part in the crusader campaign that, by God, you will have a day, God willing, like France’s. And by God, as we struck France in the center of its home in Paris, then we swear that we will strike America at its center in Washington.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: Aware of the risk, U.S. authorities have increased security at airports and in major cities. But there are Republicans in Congress and on the campaign trail who say that the U.S. must do more.

    SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM, Republican Presidential Candidate: There is no substitute for a ground component in this war. The region would supply the bulk of the forces. We would have to be part of it. At the end of the day, we can destroy ISIL. We must destroy ISIL. And the average American gets it. I want to fight them in their backyard, so we don’t fight them in our backyard. Those are your two choices.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: The president pushed back against suggestions that thousands of American troops should be sent to the Middle East.

    PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: We play into the ISIL narrative when we act as if they’re a state and we use routine military tactics that are designed to fight a state that is attacking another state. That’s not what’s going on here.

    These are killers with fantasies of glory who are very savvy when it comes to social media and are able to infiltrate the minds of not just Iraqis or Syrians, but disaffected individuals around the world. And when they activate those individuals, those individuals can do a lot of damage.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: Paris was the latest demonstration of that damage, indicating a possible strategic shift outside the group’s self-proclaimed caliphate, including the suspected bombing of a Russian airliner over Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula that killed more than 200, suicide bombings in Beirut suburbs last week that killed more than 40, and attacks in Turkey and Tunisia that killed nearly 200 people.

    Based on intelligence supplied by the U.S., France is already responding to Friday’s attacks with intense new airstrikes in Syria, targeting Raqqa, the city the Islamic State uses as its capital.

    And tonight in Paris, after standing darkened for two nights, the Eiffel Tower is again lit, now in the blue, white and red of the French tricolor flag, its spotlight shining across a tense and grieving city.

    The post Mourning attacks in Paris, France grapples with stepped-up security appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    James Foley reporting from Aleppo, Syria, in July of 2012. Photo courtesy of the Find James Foley Campaign

    James Foley reporting from Aleppo, Syria, in July of 2012. Photo courtesy of the Find James Foley Campaign

    WASHINGTON — The mother of American journalist James Foley, who was publicly beheaded in August 2014 by the Islamic State, says her family felt abandoned by the American government. She wants to see a review of the U.S. hostage policy.

    Testifying at a House hearing, Diane Foley of Rochester, New Hampshire, demanded proof that the current U.S. policy not to negotiate to seek the release of Americans held captive abroad is actually saving lives and decreasing the rate of Americans being captured.

    Foley says she fears that the U.S. policy not to engage with her son’s captors led the U.S. to underestimate the group and their deep hatred for the United States. She wondered whether the U.S. would have been able to learn about the group by at least talking with them.

    The post Mother of slain journalist wants U.S. to review hostage policy appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    People climb a hill to watch the sunset in Kabul, Afghanistan on Nov. 16. Photo by Mohammad Ismail/Reuters

    People climb a hill to watch the sunset in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Nov. 16. Photo by Mohammad Ismail/Reuters

    The Islamic State militant group apparently doesn’t need a footprint in Afghanistan for ordinary Afghans to feel its effects.

    “Psychologically, ISIS (another name for Islamic State) has invaded the minds of the people,” said Scott Smith, director of the U.S. Institute of Peace’s Afghanistan and Central Asia program.

    According to The Asia Foundation’s 2015 survey on Afghanistan released Tuesday, which asked Afghans for the first time about the Islamic State, three-quarters of respondents said they had heard of the militant group, and of those about half believe it is a current or future threat to their district.

    There have been reports of the Islamic State in two areas of Afghanistan, around Jalalabad in the east and Helmand in the south, but in general the group has focused its territorial claims in Syria and Iraq. Some factions within Afghanistan have proclaimed an affiliation with the Islamic State, but it’s unclear if they have true operational links or merely opportunistic motivations.

    The Islamic State doesn’t have ties with the Taliban, which has an insurgent element battling the Afghan government. In fact, the group has dismissed the Taliban as “illegitimate,” said Smith.

    Afghans’ fears are based more on perception, he said. They’re worried the Islamic State group might enter Afghanistan and start a three-way conflict with the Taliban and government, which could bring suicide attacks, restrict people’s freedom of movement and have other devastating effects.

    “It’s all very murky, but in some ways they’re more real in the minds of Afghans” than other current threats, he said. “Maybe it’s because ISIS has projected itself so thoroughly on the world scene.”

    If that is the case, then perhaps related is Afghanistan’s growing access to global communication, considered one of the successes of the past 14 years since the Taliban was toppled. The survey found that 82 percent of Afghan households now have at least one mobile phone, and 25 percent of households have Internet access. “Good news — and bad news — gets relayed to people more quickly,” Smith said.

    One of the other significant findings in this year’s survey was that Afghans’ optimism about where their country is headed dropped to its lowest point in a decade.

    Some Afghans are disillusioned with the current national unity government, which “has focused more on internal rivalries than on getting things done,” said Smith.

    In addition, Afghan security forces are stretched thin, and Taliban fighters have been able to take over cities such as Kunduz in the north, albeit temporarily, which gives Afghans the sense that “the Taliban had a more successful fighting season than the government did.”

    Along with security concerns, respondents cited lack of jobs and corruption at the local level among the troubles in their daily lives.

    Afghan women mark their calendars as they attend a class of the country's first ever gender and women's studies Master's program in Kabul University, Afghanistan on Oct. 19. Photo by Mohammad Ismail/Reuters

    Afghan women mark their calendars as they attend a class of the country’s first ever gender and women’s studies Master’s program in Kabul University, Afghanistan, on Oct. 19. Photo by Mohammad Ismail/Reuters

    The picture for women in Afghanistan is gradually improving, according to the survey. The cabinet now includes four female ministers and the unity government has appointed two female provincial governors.

    “Afghan women are increasingly aware of their rights and aware of the institutions to contact in a domestic conflict” with rural women more likely to seek help if they have a family problem than women in urban settings, the survey said.

    The biggest problems women continued to face were access to education, illiteracy and few job opportunities, the last of which was cited as the biggest problem for young people as well.

    More than 9,500 Afghans in all 34 provinces answered the survey questions in face-to-face interviews in June. It is The Asia Foundation’s 11th annual survey.

    You can view all of the surveys dating back to 2004, along with past NewsHour coverage.

    The post What do Afghans think about the Islamic State? appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Photo by Flickr user emdot.

    Photo by Flickr user emdot.

    Oxford Dictionary announced this week that the 2015 Word of the Year is not a word at all but an emoji – more specifically the ‘face with tears of joy’ emoji.

    This is the first time since the tradition began in 2004 that a pictograph was chosen. Officials who chose the Oxford Dictionary’s word of the year said the emoji “best reflected the ethos, mood, and preoccupations of 2015.”

    The title recognizes the newfound status and influence of emojis in our everyday digital communication. Whether it’s a ‘heart’, a ‘fistbump’ or a ‘slice of pizza’, emojis are found everywhere as a pithy and fun method of expression. So much so that people dressed up as emojis for Halloween and presidential candidate Hillary Clinton opted for emojis to communicate.

    In fact, 2015 saw an exponential rise in the word emoji, also known as an emoticon. The word has been around since the 1990s, but the usage more than tripled in 2015 alone.

    Though there are more than 1,000 emoji characters, Oxford University Press’ partnership with SwiftKey, a mobile technology company, revealed that was the most used globally in 2015. One-fifth of that usage was from the UK, and another 17 percent from the U.S. That’s a sharp rise from the 4 percent and 9 percent respectively in 2014.

    Oxford Dictionary’s Word of the Year – which is chosen by a team of lexicographers and consultants to the dictionary team – is known as a reflection of cultural development and trends. Last year, the word was vape and the year before that was selfie.

    Some of the words on the 2015 shortlist included lumbersexual, which is defined as “a young man who cultivates an appearance and style of dress suggestive of a rugged outdoor lifestyle,” and on fleek, which means “extremely good, attractive, or stylish.”

    The word Brexit, which is defined as “a term for the potential or hypothetical departure of the United Kingdom from the European Union’, British + exit” reflected the political atmosphere of 2015.

    The post Oxford Dictionary says the 2015 word of the year is an emoji appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    SAN ANSELMO, CA - NOVEMBER 23:  Antiretroviral pills Truvada sit on a tray at Jack's Pharmacy on November 23, 2010 in San Anselmo, California. A study published by the New England Journal of Medicine showed that men who took the daily antiretroviral pill Truvada significantly reduced their risk of contracting HIV.  (Photo Illustration by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

    Antiretroviral pill Truvada have significantly reduced people’s risk of contracting HIV. Photo Illustration by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images.

    After actor Charlie Sheen revealed on today’s “Today Show” that he has been HIV-positive for four years, news spread across the Internet. Here are some facts about HIV, from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

    1.

        About 1.2 million people in the United States, and 35 million people globally, are estimated to be living with HIV.

    2. In the U.S., the CDC estimates nearly 13 percent of those people don’t know they’re infected.

    3. HIV is spread in the U.S. mainly through having unprotected sex or sharing injection-drug equipment with someone who has the virus.

    4. The CDC recommends that everyone between the ages of 13 and 64 have an HIV test at least once as part of routine health care, and that people seek out testing if they have such risk factors as having had sex with someone whose HIV status they didn’t know.

    5. Cocktails of powerful medications have turned HIV into a manageable chronic disease for many people who can afford them. Those drugs also reduce the amount of HIV virus circulating in the body, what’s called the “viral load,” often to undetectable levels. That, in turn, reduces their chance of transmitting HIV to sexual partners, one reason that health officials urge early treatment.

    6. There is no vaccine. Latex condoms if used consistently and correctly are highly effective at preventing sexual transmission. Also, a daily pill sometimes is prescribed for healthy people to help prevent them from becoming infected by partners who have the virus, something called “pre-exposure prophylaxis.”

    The post 6 facts you should know about HIV appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    The Paris attacks have generated a range of responses from the men and women who hope to be the next commander in chief of the United States. Here is NewsHour’s look at the candidates’ takes and their possible presidential approaches.

    REPUBLICANS

    Jeb Bush

    Declare war. Move against the Islamic State with our allies. Allow U.S. entry for Christian refugees, scrutinize others.

    Bush spoke on Meet the Press Sunday morning, criticizing both President Obama and two of his GOP rivals. ““This is viewed as a law enforcement exercise by the Obama administration,” he said. “We should declare war.” When asked by moderator Chuck Todd if he would trust frontrunners Ben Carson or Donald Trump as commander in chief, he replied, “I don’t know. The words that I hear them speaking give me some concern.” Monday on CBS This Morning, Bush said that the U.S. should work to help Christian refugees but increase scrutiny for others.

    Ben Carson

    Block Middle Eastern refugees from entering the U.S.

    The Republican frontrunner told a group of party activists Friday that the U.S. should at least temporarily block entry for Middle East refugees. Carson told FOX News Sunday, “We should use our expertise and resources to help get them resettled over there, and to support them over there, but to bring them here under these circumstances is a suspension of intellect.”

    Chris Christie

    New Jersey officials on alert. The U.S. must increase action against the Islamic State.

    Hours after the attacks, the Garden State governor wrote that he was working with federal and state agencies to ensure security in his state. The following day at the Sunshine Summit in Orlando, Florida, Christie criticized the Obama administration saying, President Obama “likes to see (the world), as a fantasy. I see the world as it really is, and it’s time to have a president who sees the world as it really is, not how he wishes it would be.”

    Ted Cruz

    Block Muslim refugees from Syria. Allow some Christian refugees to enter U.S.

    In a Saturday rally at the conservative Christian Bob Jones University in South Carolina, Cruz told voters that Muslims from Syria should not be allowed into the United States now, but that the White House should allow entry to in Christians fleeing persecution. On Sunday, the Texas senator pushed back against Democrats, in particular Hillary Clinton, who avoided using the phrase “radical Islam.”

    Carly Fiorina

    Provide more weapons, training to allies fighting the Islamic State.

    In a video posted to her Twitter account, Fiorina said that as president she would provide Middle Eastern allies with more weapons and training to fight the Islamic State. Speaking at the Sunshine Summit in Florida on Saturday, Fiorina blamed President Obama and his administration’s foreign policy decisions for the Paris terrorist attacks.

    Jim Gilmore

    Step up action against the Islamic State.

    Gilmore released a statement on Friday evening, criticizing President Obama and pushing for a more hawkish policy. “This enemy does not respect or fear weakness, and we have given them more than enough of that these last seven 7 years,” the former Virginia governor wrote. “This will only end when we exact justice on this enemy. And by justice, I mean kill them. They will not wait to kill us.“

    Lindsey Graham

    France should invoke NATO charter, call allies to go to war. The U.S. should send ground troops to fight the Islamic State.

    Speaking on CNN Sunday, the South Carolina senator told CNN that France should invoke Article 5 of the NATO treaty, which requires members of NATO to come to one another’s defense. Graham warned another “9/11 is coming,” and the U.S. must send troops to the Middle East to combat the Islamic State.

    Mike Huckabee

    Block all U.S. entry from Syria and other nations where the Islamic State exists. Increase military action against the Islamic State.

    The day after the attacks, Mike Huckabee tweeted that he would partially shut U.S. borders, closing them to anyone arriving from nations where the Islamic State operates.

    The former Arkansas governor also wrote that he would step up attacks on the Islamic State with a multinational coalition. Nations not participating would be sanctioned under Huckabee’s plan.

    Bobby Jindal

    Block Middle Eastern refugees from relocating to Louisiana. Secure American borders.

    Jindal took to Twitter to announce his stance as governor Monday.

    At Florida’s Sunshine Summit earlier in the weekend, Jindal pivoted to talk of immigration in the U.S. saying America must seal its borders.

    John Kasich

    Invoke NATO Treaty Article 5 and go to war against the Islamic State to defend France.

    In a campaign statement, Kasich wrote that the U.S. should invoke Article 5 of the NATO Treaty, which requires nations to come to one another’s defense, and step up military action against the Islamic State. He wrote that he would summon European, Turkish and Sunni Arab allies to work with the U.S. to try and defeat IS.

    George Pataki

    Block Syrian refugees. Move against the Islamic State with our allies.

    In a statement released on his website the night of the Paris attacks, Pataki wrote, “ISIS, al Qaeda and their branches are recruiting, planning and plotting to kill us here – we must kill them there. We must put an immediate halt to granting asylum to Syrian refugees.”

    Rand Paul

    Temporarily block refugees from Islamic State-controlled territory. Impose 30-day wait for approval for most travelers to the U.S.

    The Kentucky senator has introduced a bill to block visa insurance, thereby temporarily blocking most entry, for countries with a high risk of terrorism. The plan would also impose a 30-day waiting period for all entries unless the person has been approved through the Department of Homeland Security’s Global Entry program. At the Sunshine Summit in Florida on Saturday, Paul criticized opponent Marco Rubio (below) for opposing similar legislation in the past. In an interview with Fox News Saturday, Paul said he continues to believe the national debt is still the most significant threat to national security.

    Marco Rubio

    Block Syrian refugees. Invoke Article 5, the mutual defense clause.

    Rubio opposes allowing more refugees from Syria into the United States now. In a statement released on his website, the Florida senator wrote that it is impossible to determine which refugees may have violent motives. He wrote, “There is no background check system in the world that allows us to find that out, because who do you call in Syria to background check them?” In a video released Saturday, Rubio said the Islamic State is fighting with Western civilization and Western values. On Sunday, Rubio told ABC’s “This Week” that the U.S. should invoke NATO Treaty Article 5 and form a coalition for war.

    Rick Santorum

    Send 10,000 troops to fight the Islamic State. Block Syrian refugees from entry.

    Santorum has long called for sending some 10,000 American troops to the region to help battle the Islamic State. He stressed his hawkish view on Twitter the day after the attacks.

    Santorum wants to limit all legal immigration to the United States and told Breitbart News on Monday that Syrian refugees should be barred from entering and that he is suspicious of the proportion of men arriving as refugees.

    Donald Trump

    Block Syrian refugees from entry. Target terrorist banks and oil resources.

    In a Monday phone interview with CNBC, Trump said that the U.S. must block Syrian refugees from entering the country. The real estate CEO believes that coalition forces should target terrorist banking abilities and oil resources, which they use to generate funding. In a speech in Texas on Saturday, Trump said that increased gun ownership would have helped prevent deaths during the Paris attacks.

    DEMOCRATS

    Hillary Clinton

    Allow 65,000 Syrian refugees into the country after thorough screening. Islamic State cannot be contained; it must be defeated.

    At the Democratic debate on Saturday, the former secretary of state said she continues to support allowing 65,000 Syrian refugees into the United States, as long as they go through a careful screening process. On how to fight the Islamic State, Clinton said the terrorist group “cannot be contained” and must be “defeated.” That was in contrast to a statement by President Obama one day before the attack, concluding that the terrorist group had been “contained.” At the debate, Clinton said the attacks were committed by a “barbaric, ruthless, violent, jihadist terrorist group.”

    Martin O’Malley

    Allow 65,000 Syrian refugees into the country after thorough screening. Move against the Islamic State with allies. Step up assessment of threats.

    At the debate Saturday, O’Malley stood by his past support of allowing 65,000 Syrian refugees into the country once they’ve been screened thoroughly. In an interview with MSNBC, when asked if he thought President Obama underestimated the Islamic State, O’Malley stated, “I believe…we have not yet developed a farseeing national security strategy that identifies threats before they arise to a position that they become military problems for us.”

    Bernie Sanders

    Do not ban Syrian refugees. Move against Islamic State with a coalition, potentially including Russia and Iran.

    In a speech on Monday in Cleveland, Sanders stressed his opposition to any ban on Syrian refugees coming to the United States and accused those calling for such bans of fomenting “Islamaphobia.” He told a crowd Sunday in Indianola, Iowa, that he is open to working with Iran and Russia to fight the Islamic State. One day earlier, at the Democratic debate, Sanders argued that climate change aids the Islamic State and al-Qaida in their recruiting by cutting resources and opportunity. The Vermont senator said climate change remains the most significant threat to national security.

    The post Your guide to every candidate’s strategy on Islamic State and refugees appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Soccer - German training - Stade de France stadium Saint-Denis, France - 12/11/15Germany national soccer team head coach Joachim Loew at training.REUTERS/Charles Platiau - RTS6OYB

    Germany national soccer team head coach Joachim Loew at training in the Stade de France. Germany was present in the stadium when Paris was rocked by terrorist attacks Friday. Today, Germany’s friendly match with the Netherlands was called off due to a security threat. Photo by Reuters/Charles Platiau.

    A German official has stated that no explosives were found and no arrests made after a friendly soccer match between Germany and the Netherlands was cancelled due to a threat of attack

    The match was called off because police officials believed they had concrete evidence that individuals wanted to set off explosive devices in the stadium. A separate bomb threat had also been called in about an hour before the game was cancelled.

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel was set to attend the game, but had not yet arrived at the stadium when the match was cancelled. Germany was playing against France on Friday when a wave of terrorist attacks hit Paris. Initially, the team had not wanted to play Tuesday’s game, however, they decided to go ahead as a show of unity with the French.

    Most fans were waiting outside when the order to evacuate the stadium came. The number of people actually in the stadium was fairly limited, and largely made up of staff, VIP guests and media. After the decision to evacuate the stadium was made, the crowd left in relative calm.

    The French team is playing a friendly match in the U.K. at Wembley Stadium Tuesday evening. Before the game began, English fans sang the “Marseillaise” national anthem along with the French supporters. The stadium’s arch was also lit up in blue, white and red, and fans on both sides carried the French flag.

    The post After security threat, Germany vs. Netherlands match called off appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Photo by Flickr user torbakhopper.

    A new task force on transgender equality began Tuesday with a forum where transgender community leaders spoke about discrimination, violence, policing and other issues. Photo by Flickr user torbakhopper.

    WASHINGTON — A group of lawmakers kicked off a new congressional task force for transgender rights on Tuesday with the first-ever congressional forum on transgender life in the U.S.

    The LGBT Equality Caucus announced the creation of the Transgender Equality Task Force last week. It is chaired by Rep. Mike Honda (D-Calif), and other members including Rep. Mike Quigley (D-Ill.), Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.), Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.), Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Rep. Joe Kennedy (D-Mass.), Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-N.J.), Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) and Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.).

    At the forum, leaders in the movement for transgender rights testified on how discrimination, violence and policing affect the transgender community.

    Joanna Cifredo, who is on the board of directors for Whitman-Walker Health, pointed to a recent survey in which only 22 percent of respondents said they knew a transgender person. This “limited exposure” to trans people makes it easier for negative attitudes about the community to persist, she said.

    Many of the panelists brought up education as an important tool to help people accept transgender people from a young age.

    “Transgender youth must be protected in school so they have opportunities later in life,” LaLa Zannell, an organizer with the New York City Anti-Violence Project, said.

    Catherine Hyde, Trans Parents Forum Facilitator for the PFLAG chapter in Columbia-Howard County, Maryland, talked about her personal experience as the parent of a transgender child.

    “When you parent a transgender child, the fear for their physical and emotional safety is a constant anxiety,” she said. “We need comprehensive legislation to protect our children.”

    Protections for transgender people must involve an increase in education in law enforcement, and for them to foster a relationship with the transgender community, Irene Burks, a police commander in Prince Georges County, said.

    “It must be done nationally, and with the support of our congressional leaders,” she said.

    A core problem, she said, is the fact that there is no national database to track violence against transgender people. And creating that database, she said, would give law enforcement a resource where they can keep track of those incidents and the nation a more accurate idea of how often violence is committed.

    Meanwhile, more resources must be made available to transgender people fighting problems with housing and employment, said Isa Noyola, program manager at the Transgender Law Center.

    “We must require social workers, counselors, medical professionals, case managers, and non-profit leaders who provide direct services to transgender people to reexamine the ways they are engaging our transgender community,” she said.

    The post House lawmakers create new transgender equality task force appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson pauses as he speaks to the media following a fundraising luncheon in La Jolla, California  November 17, 2015.   REUTERS/Mike Blake - RTS7NA6

    This video is not currently available.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: This evening, the speaker of the House, Paul Ryan, announced that he plans to bring legislation to the floor on Thursday to create a pause in the U.S. refugee program.

    And in the Republican presidential race, just moments ago, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal said that he is suspending his campaign.

    Joining us now from San Diego is one of the current front-runners in that race, Ben Carson.

    And for the record, I knew Dr. Carson before he was a candidate, when he was — one of my children — was the doctor for one of my children.

    Dr. Carson, thank you for joining us.

    Let me start with the refugee question.

    The administration says that its process for vetting refugees is the very toughest on refugees who come in from Syria, that they receive additional scrutiny more than any others who come into this country. Why isn’t that enough?

    BEN CARSON, Republican Presidential Candidate: Well, first of all, you know, I think we should be compassionate, as we always have been, and recognize that there are a lot of people who have been displaced. Half of the country of Syria has been displaced.

    And we should be looking for ways to protect and provide safe zones for them, and utilizing our professional resources to help them over there.

    But we also have to use a little bit of common sense and recognize that, if we bring large numbers of such people into our country — and they’re coming from an area where a lot of the radical Islamic jihadists exist. Those people would be very foolish not to infiltrate that number with some of their own people.

    I can’t believe that they would just leave them alone and not try to do that. And we have to recognize that it doesn’t take that many people. When you look at what happened in France on Friday, it didn’t take 10,000 people to do that. It didn’t even take 1,000 or 100.

    So we have to be very careful, and we have to protect the American people. And we have to have vetting procedures that we can all agree on, not that just one group says, yes, this is the best vetting procedure that there is.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: But we know it’s a humanitarian crisis. We know that European countries are being strained.

    You have said yourself your heart hurts for these refugee families, for the children. But, in essence, you would turn them away, for the time being at least?

    BEN CARSON: Well, my heart would also hurt if we allowed people in here who destroy the lives of hundreds or maybe thousands of Americans.

    We have a responsibility to our people first. And when you get on an airplane, they always say, in case of an emergency, air masks will drop down, put yours on first, and then administer oxygen to your neighbor.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Dr. Carson, we just heard — before we talked to you, Gwen talked to Senator Sanders.

    We also know that Governor Bush said today that he wouldn’t ban Syrian refugees from coming in. He called accepting refugees a noble tradition in this country.

    BEN CARSON: And, like I said, we have to have a vetting procedure that we can all agree on that is safe.

    And I don’t think that that’s an unreasonable request. Just because one person says, yes, this is the best vetting procedure there is in the world, that’s not good enough. We need to have something that we can all agree on.

    And I think the average person who recognizes that you’re bringing people from an area of the world where there are very dangerous terrorists would likely infiltrate the group of people that you were bringing over here with some of their own. If somebody can tell me why that’s irrational reasoning, I’m all ears.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Well, Governor Bush went on to say that the problem needs to be solved in Syria. And he and others have talked about putting a coalition together, strengthening that coalition to go after ISIS there.

    BEN CARSON: Well, there is no question that we need to fight them over there, so that they can direct their attention to that area of the world, and less attention to our area of the world.

    We fight them over there, or we fight them over here. So, yes, we must be extremely serious. We must look at what has worked in the past and expand on that.

    You know, even last week, you know, with Sinjar, look at what happened there. The Kurds were able to cut off the supply routes, and then our special ops people were able to work with the Kurds and soften targets, so that when we came in with our air support, it wasn’t all that difficult.

    And that’s a model that should be repeated and expanded upon. And we should set our sights on Mosul and some of the other places as well and begin to take back some of that caliphate that they have managed to build, and also to strangle them in terms of finances, in terms of resources from oil, everything. We should go all out for this. We shouldn’t just do pinpricks.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Well, when it comes to ISIS and other foreign policy questions, I’m sure you know one of your foreign policy national security advisers, Duane Clarridge, is quoted today in The New York Times as saying — and I’m quoting — “Nobody,” he said, “has been able to sit down with you and have you get one iota of intelligent information about the Middle East.”

    He was asked about some questions you have been asked by the press recently where you have appeared to struggle with questions about national security.

    BEN CARSON: Well, you know, I think that’s a narrative that people want to paint.

    You know, for instance, you know, this Sunday, when Chris Wallace kept saying, who would you call first, who would you call first, I wasn’t interested in answering that question, because I have learned that, if I say I would call Egypt first, or I would call Israel first, or I would call Jordan first, or whoever I said I would call first, then the next thing would be, well, but why would you not call this one first?

    And I know how that works. And that’s just silly. What I was talking about is, we have to have a broad plan, a coalition that brings in all of our friends and all of the people who have interests in that region throughout the…

    JUDY WOODRUFF: But what about your own — go ahead.

    BEN CARSON: Go ahead.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: And then I want to — go ahead.

    BEN CARSON: Yes.

    So, you know, what I sort of object to is these sound bite answers that people can then pull apart and say, see, I told you he doesn’t know anything, when, in fact, you really need a much more comprehensive answer to some of these questions.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Well, this is your own adviser, Mr. Clarridge, saying that, in his words, you need weekly briefings, in his words — quote — “to make you smart.”

    One of your other advisers…

    BEN CARSON: Well, he’s not — look, he’s not my adviser. He’s not my adviser.

    He is a person who has come in on a couple of our sessions to offer his opinions about what was going on. To call himself my adviser would be a great stretch. And he has no idea who else I’m sitting down and talking to.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Who is your principal adviser of national security? Because one of our other advisers, Armstrong Williams, has said that — he said you’re still on a steep learning curve.

    BEN CARSON: I am. You know, I know a lot more than I knew. A year from now — a year from now, I will know a lot more than I know now.

    In medicine, we have something called continuing medical education. You have to get those credits in order to be recertified. I think that applies to every aspect of our lives, particularly in a rapidly changing world.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Dr. Ben Carson, we thank you for talking with us.

    BEN CARSON: Thank you. My pleasure.

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    <> on June 12, 2015 in Des Moines, Iowa.

    This video is not currently available.

    GWEN IFILL: The next person to occupy the White House will likely be faced with the continuing fallout from this week’s Paris attacks.

    Tonight, we are joined by two of the presidential candidates to hear how they would handle terror threats at home and abroad.

    We begin with Democratic candidate Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont.

    Welcome, Senator.

    SEN. BERNIE SANDERS, Democratic Presidential Candidate: Good to be with you.

    GWEN IFILL: In the wake of the Paris attacks, you have called for what you describe as an international effort to eliminate the stain of ISIS from the world.

    How would you do that?

    SEN. BERNIE SANDERS: The good news, in the midst of all of this tragedy, is that countries all over the world, whether it is France, whether it is Russia, whether it is the Muslim countries in the Gulf region, we now have a common interest.

    And that is to come together to destroy this barbaric organization called ISIS. And what has got to happen — and I don’t suggest this is easy, but we have got to overcome a lot of the internal squabbling and disagreements which now exist.

    God knows the United States, correctly, has strong differences of opinion with Russia. Iran and Saudi Arabia have very, very strong differences of opinion. But what leadership is about now is bringing together all of these countries, including the countries in the Gulf region who have the most to lose, and to say, you know what, we’re going to work on a coordinated military strategy and a political strategy to destroy ISIS.

    That’s what I have been saying for a long time. And I believe it is even truer today.

    GWEN IFILL: In your opinion, has the Obama administration done enough to create a workable strategy?

    SEN. BERNIE SANDERS: This is tough stuff, and I know it’s very easy to criticize the president.

    But I think he has tried as hard as he can. I think John Kerry has been very effective in trying to bring these countries together. He got Saudi Arabia and Iran to sit down in a room. That is no small thing. To get Turkey and the Kurds to begin working together, no small thing, but that is what has — has to happen.

    So I think we have got to do more. I think the Obama administration has made a very good step forward, but we have got to do more. I think we’re seeing some results in the G20 conferences that are taking place and have taken place.

    But the bottom line is, we have got to be in this together. Russia lost over 200 people in a flight. God knows we saw what happened in Paris. We know what’s happened in the U.K. We are in this together. And when we work together, not the slightest doubt in my mind that ISIS will be destroyed.

    GWEN IFILL: The other thing that’s happened since the Paris attacks is what appears to be a pretty strong, in this country especially, anti-refugee backlash, many, many governors saying, no, not in my state.

    What’s your response to that?

    SEN. BERNIE SANDERS: I disagree.

    Look, when we talk about terrorism, what it’s really about is the terrorists trying to instill fear and terror in ourselves. And I’m hearing some people talking, well, maybe we will close down mosques, maybe we won’t let Muslims into this country, maybe we will turn our back on hundreds of thousands of people who have been destroyed,whose lives have been destroyed by terrorism, who have had to flee Syria, have to flee Afghanistan.

    Now, it goes without saying that we need to have a very, very strong screening process to make sure that those people who come into this country deserve to be in this country, that they are not terrorists. I think that we can do that.

    And I will tell you something else, that if we turn our backs on those people, you know, I think in — almost, in a way, we will be — we will be under — we will be destroying what this country is supposed to be about.

    Throughout our history, we have welcomed people who were in trouble.

    So, screening, yes, but turning our backs on people whose lives have been so affected by the war in Syria and Afghanistan, I don’t think that’s appropriate.

    GWEN IFILL: In your statement, you described this as Islamophobia and racism. Strong words.

    SEN. BERNIE SANDERS: Right.

    GWEN IFILL: Do you want to name names about who is guilty of that?

    SEN. BERNIE SANDERS: Oh, sure. It’s no great secret.

    A few months ago, Donald Trump said about people from Mexico that they are criminals and they’re rapists. Well, that’s — you know, and now we’re talking Trump and others are talking about, well, maybe we will close down mosques.

    Last I heard, we had a Constitution in this country which gave all of our people the right of religious freedom, you know? And then I’m hearing other people saying, well, you know, we may have to undermine the Constitution in terms of civil liberties.

    When we do all of those things, then, in fact, the terrorists win without having to explode a bomb in America. We’re undermining what we stand for as a country.

    I understand that people are frightened. What we saw in Paris was disgusting, was horrible, was barbaric. But we are a strong enough nation to say we’re not going to lose who we are as a people, that we’re going to protect our Constitution, we’re going to protect religious freedom, and we’re not going to turn our backs on women and children who have been thrown out of their own countries with the shirts on their backs.

    Yes, we’re going to open our doors, but we are going to screen. That’s my view.

    GWEN IFILL: Just today, the speaker of the House, Paul Ryan, Jeb Bush, and even Chuck Schumer have all said that perhaps we should consider a pause in accepting refugees into this country.

    SEN. BERNIE SANDERS: Well, I think we have to have a very, very effective screening mechanism.

    And I don’t know what people mean by a pause. If a pause means that we want to take a look at how we’re doing screening, to make sure that we’re doing it effectively, that’s — that’s one thing. But if a pause really is a subtext of saying, well, we’re going to turn our backs on refugees who are in desperate need of help — and, by the way, when I talk about the refugee crisis, it’s not just the United States.

    It has got to be Europe. It has got to be Saudi Arabia and countries in the Gulf region. It has to be the entire world coming together and saying hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of thousands of men, women and children, many children, are — need help.

    GWEN IFILL: And, finally — and, finally, I have to ask you.

    Today, Hillary Clinton received the endorsement of the Service Employees Union, two-million strong. There had been some split within that union about some who wanted to support you and some who wanted to support her.

    What’s your reaction to that endorsement today?

    SEN. BERNIE SANDERS: Well, obviously, I would have liked to have had that endorsement.

    But what you are going to see all over this country is leadership sometimes doing things that I think the rank-and-file don’t support. I think, in New York City, 1199, one of the large locals, is not supporting. I think we have support within the SEIU.

    We have won the support of the largest nurses’ union, one of the largest postal workers union. We’re going to get more union support. But I have absolute confidence that, given the fact that I have one of the highest voting — pro-union rate — voting records in the Congress, that I have been on a lot of picket lines, that I’m fighting for $15 an hour, I think my record will in fact convince millions of workers in unions and out of unions that, if we want to stand up for the working class of this country, I am the candidate.

    GWEN IFILL: Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, Democratic candidate for president, thank you for joining us.

    SEN. BERNIE SANDERS: Thank you.

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    The Eiffel Tower is lit with the blue, white and red colours of the French flag in Paris, France, November 16, 2015, to pay tribute to the victims of a series of deadly attacks on Friday in the French capital. Photo by Charles Platiau/Reuters

    The Eiffel Tower is lit with the colors of the French flag Monday night. Parisians Photo by Charles Platiau/Reuters

    Editor’s Note: The Paris terrorist attacks on Nov. 13 stunned the city and the world. As is often the case after traumatic events, schools have a unique and important responsibility in helping students understand and cope with tragedy.      

    Nicholas Hammond is the headmaster of The British School of Paris, an international school with more than 750 students from 52 countries. Hammond said the expressions of solidarity received from educators around the globe have given his teachers and him encouragement to deal with the difficult questions that children ask.


    We held our weekly assembly as normal first thing on Monday morning. Students came into the hall and sat quietly. We talked about what had happened.

    I’ve never given an assembly to a more attentive student body, even the ones who are usually away in their own thoughts seemed engaged and were listening. They were absolutely still and silent in our minute’s silence. This mattered to them. They applauded once the assembly finished; this is unusual.

    teachersloungeThe attacks occurred not far from where we sat, about 15 miles. Some of our students had attended the football match Friday evening; some of our children live in central Paris.

    During Monday’s meeting, we followed the advice of in-service teacher trainings on trauma and also applied bereavement and counseling training.

    Our tutors spoke about the importance of working together, supporting each other and ensuring that we remain a community bound by ideals of co-operation, reason and understanding. We talked about how it was perfectly natural to be a little bit scared and that it was normal to be concerned. We talked about the incident being serious rather than sad.

    And then we carried on, not quite as normal, but as close as we could make it.
    Students are now really starting to talk about things, and I suspect we will hear more and more from them as the week goes on. It is hard to believe that it is only Tuesday.

    With students from Afghanistan to Zambia, we celebrated our diversity and the strength that it gives us. We have 52 different nations represented on campus, including students from the Middle East, India, Pakistan and East Asia. We have Afghans, Russians, Europeans, South and Central Americans and kids from North, East, West and South Africa. Australians, Canadians, New Zealanders as well. We are about 30 percent British and 10 percent French nationals.

    We have students who subscribe to all major world religions and some without an active religious element in their life.

    And then we carried on, not quite as normal, but as close as we could make it. The school was subdued, quieter. More serious, perhaps.

    One thing I never expected was the flood of emails offering solidarity. They have come from schools all over the world. From Tokyo, Ankara, from the Netherlands, from the U.K., from Doha in the Middle East and also from international organizations, like the Council of British International Schools.

    The simple fact that other teachers bothered to take a moment out of their packed schedule to send us an email and say that they were thinking of us, has made a difference. Such expressions of hope give us as educators the power to stand tall, to smile in front of our classes whatever we may personally feel and to deal with the difficult questions that children ask.

    We know we are not alone. That really helps.

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    A Syrian refugee family walks across rail tracks near Greece's border with Macedonia, outside the village of Idomeni, September 7, 2015. Thousands of migrants and refugees were crowding at Greece's border with Macedonia on Monday morning, their entry slowly rationed by Macedonian police. REUTERS/Yannis Behrakis - RTX1RJAW

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    JUDY WOODRUFF: But, first, in the wake of the Paris attacks, there is a growing concern among Republican candidates, governors and lawmakers about refugees from Syria to the United States.

    Political director Lisa Desjardins reports.

    LISA DESJARDINS: On the campaign trail, Republican candidates have seized on the refugee issue.

    Ohio Governor John Kasich, who initially said he might support the resettlement of refugees in his state, is now opposed. He explained his thinking at a national security speech in Washington today.

    GOV. JOHN KASICH, Republican Presidential Candidate: And once we have a rational program and we can determine who it is that’s coming, then it’s another story. But at this point in time, in light of what we’re seeing in the world, it’s reasonable to stop.

    LISA DESJARDINS: Last night at a rally in Tennessee, it was Donald Trump.

    DONALD TRUMP, Republican Presidential Candidate: What I like is, build a safe zone in Syria. Build a big, beautiful safe zone, and you have whatever it is, so people can live and they will be happier.

    LISA DESJARDINS: The U.S. has let in around 2,500 refugees from Syria in the past four years. In September, President Obama unveiled a plan to welcome 10,000 more by next fall. That’s just a fraction of the migrants fleeing the region, and officials say they face the toughest vetting of any immigrants to the U.S.

    Typically, that can mean two years of processing or more. But governors do not trust the process, and in the wake of the Paris attacks, more than two dozen say they now oppose Syrian refugees moving to their states.

    Still, governors technically can’t stop the federal government from resettling refugees within their borders. That means all eyes are on Congress.

    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell today said he is considering possible action.

    SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL, Senate Majority Leader: What you’re hearing from all the governors around the country, saying they’re not interested in taking refugees from Syria for the foreseeable future, the — at the very least, it strikes me that we need a pause or a moratorium.

    LISA DESJARDINS: Paul Ryan, the new speaker of the House, pushed his Republican Conference to come up with a plan, and soon.

    REP. PAUL RYAN, Speaker of the House: We have assembled a task force starting Saturday to consider legislation as quickly as possible.

    LISA DESJARDINS: As Republicans mustered to block refugees, Attorney General Loretta Lynch defended the current system today before a House panel.

    LORETTA LYNCH, Attorney General: There are challenges to that process because of the situation in Syria. But I would note, however, that we do have the benefit of having that significant and robust screening process in place.

    LISA DESJARDINS: In a blog post late today, the White House said it continues to look for ways to improve the vetting of Syrian refugees.

    For the PBS NewsHour, I’m Lisa Desjardins.

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    Football Soccer - Germany vs Netherlands - International Friendly - HDI Arena, Hanover, Germany - 17/11/15. Heavy armed Police stand outside the stadium after the match was called off by police due to a security threat.     REUTERS/Fabian Bimmer  - RTS7MF4

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    JUDY WOODRUFF: The manhunt widened in France today for suspects in the Paris attacks that killed 129 people. And as the investigation intensified, so did military action by France and now Russia as well.

    Hari Sreenivasan is in Paris tonight.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: Thanks, Judy.

    The search did widen for suspects today, as did the retaliation against the Islamic State. This is a country in mourning in some ways, but it’s also trying to strike a balance between freedom and security of movement.

    French police conducted dozens more raids overnight, and they announced a possible second fugitive in Friday night’s attacks may be on the loose. That’s in addition to 26-year-old Salah Abdeslam, who is already being hunted. Equally elusive is what drove those in the plot.

    One neighbor of a dead attacker, 28-year-old Sami Amimour, said he’d been a bus driver, but had lost his job.

    MAN (through interpreter): We never thought he would do that, never, ever. It’s because of the people around him. But then he got fired from his job. And because of that, he started to attend mosques more and more often. I heard he was under police surveillance. He couldn’t leave the neighborhood. He had to check off every day. And then he went to Syria.

    PRESIDENT FRANCOIS HOLLANDE, France: (through interpreter): These fanatics attack the living and the dead, all who have humanity today and tomorrow and those of yesterday.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: President Francois Hollande has called for stepped up security measures, but today he again declared France’s determination to remain an open society.

    FRANCOIS HOLLANDE (through interpreter): They wanted to weaken the French passion to welcome the world to its doorstep, diminish the pride that we have as a country that exchanges with all cultures. They have already lost that fight, as, today, France, by standing up firm, determined against terror.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: This as French planes also hit the Islamic State’s makeshift capital of Raqqa in Syria with more bombing runs. And in Brussels, the French defense minister invoked a never-before-used mutual defense provision in the European Union charter. All 27 other E.U. countries responded favorably, meaning they would provide all aid and assistance within their power.

    JEAN-YVES LE DRIAN, French Defense Minister (through interpreter): It’s the very first time it’s been used. I feel that that’s an important point to make. Now, what’s this actually going to mean in practice? Well, either taking part in France’s operations in Syria or Iraq, or by easing the load or providing support for France in other operations, so, lightening our load elsewhere. What I have said to my colleagues is that France can’t do everything.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: While Parisians are nearly unanimous in their grief and support for victims of the attack, they are less so to France’s response.

    Parisians have heard of the air raids in Syria by France over the last 24 hours. Some, like 23-year-old Yassine Doublali, see it as necessary.

    YASSINE DOUBLALI, France (through interpreter): We just don’t have a choice anymore. We’re there. We are facing events we have never faced before. Men are blowing themselves up, using heavy weapons, those used in a war, so we have to respond with heavy means as well.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: Sixty–year-old Agnes Hontebeyrie thinks it doesn’t go far enough.

    AGNES HONTEBEYRIE, France (through interpreter): Only a war on foot, on the ground, send troops there. That’s the only way now to end this horrific conflict. My feeling just, like before World War II, when Churchill said you wanted peace, you got war, that’s exactly what this makes me think of.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: Francois Folch thinks the bombing will not be effective unless it is part of a coalition approach.

    FRANCOIS FOLCH, France: I don’t think this Islamic State is a real danger. I don’t think so. There’s one condition. Everyone has to get together, Obama, Putin, Cameron, Merkel. And if we are together, it’s nothing.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: Diane Baiga says the air raids won’t fix the problems.

    DIANE BAIGA, France (through interpreter): I think that we won’t solve what’s happening in France by bombings.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: She says tighter border controls and stopping arms sales to conflict regions would be more effective in preventing this, but, otherwise, she doesn’t think her son is any safer today than Friday.

    DIANE BAIGA (through interpreter): I don’t see how they could protect me, and protect my son, adding soldiers in the streets? Me? That scares me, because, today, I don’t see what kind of answer they can provide.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: Russia also hammered targets in Syria purportedly tied to ISIL with renewed fury today, using fighter aircraft and cruise missiles launched from bombers and submarines, this after Russian investigators concluded a Russian passenger plane flying over Egypt late last month was bombed, killing 224 aboard. Almost all were Russians.

    National television showed the chief of Russia’s federal security service briefing a grim-faced President Vladimir Putin.

    ALEXANDER BORTNIKOV, Director, Federal Security Service (through translator): Vladimir Vladimirovich, according to analysis by our specialists, a homemade bomb containing up to one kilogram of TNT detonated during the flight, causing the plane to break up in midair. We can unequivocally say it was a terrorist attack.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: Putin set a $50 million reward for information that leads to the arrest of the attackers. And he pledged those responsible would be found.

    PRESIDENT VLADIMIR PUTIN, Russia (through interpreter): We will search for them everywhere wherever they are hiding. We will find them in any spot on the planet and punish them.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: Later, Putin sat with his defense minister for an elaborate briefing at a military command center with generals updating him on the progress of airstrikes. Then, he ordered his military to begin operations in concert with the French.

    PRESIDENT VLADIMIR PUTIN (through interpreter): Very soon, a French navy group headed by an aircraft carrier will arrive in your area of operation. You need to establish a direct contact with the French and work with them as with allies. It is necessary to work out a joint action plan with them, both at sea and in the air.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: In Washington, Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook said the U.S. will not be coordinating with Russia on its air campaign because of Russia’s continued support for the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad.

    PETER COOK, Pentagon Press Secretary: If the Russians would like to focus their efforts on ISIL, which is the thrust of our efforts in terms of the coalition, we’d welcome that. There’s been no additional talk of further cooperation or coordination with the Russians at this point. Their policies of supporting the Assad regime continue, in our view, to be counterproductive.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: Back in Paris, Secretary of State Kerry did promise increased coordination with the French on attacking ISIL, which he called by its Arabic acronym, Da’esh

    JOHN KERRY, Secretary of State: We have to step up our efforts to hit them at the core, where they’re planning these things, and also obviously to do more on borders and in terms of the movement of people.

    But the level of cooperation could not be higher. We have agreed even to exchange more information. And I’m convinced that over the course of the next weeks, Da’esh will feel even greater pressure. They are feeling it today, they felt it yesterday, they felt it in the past weeks.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: But Europe is also feeling pressure. A soccer match in Germany was canceled today after police reported a possible plot to bomb the stadium in Hannover. Later, officials said they found no explosives and made no arrests.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Picking up on what you were describing is going on now in France, we understand there’s just been, just in the last few minutes, been police activity there at the Place de la Republique.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: Yes, Judy, if I looked a little distracted a few minutes ago, it’s because there was a flurry of police activity off in the corner.

    And they just arrested three males in a car that had Belgian plates. It was guys with balaclavas that were part of the French special police. And we don’t actually know if those particular individuals were guilty of anything other than, I don’t know, speeding.

    But, technically speaking, the special police don’t come out just for any old reason. And now you wouldn’t even know that there were any police activity there at all.

    And again this is just kind of the climate and how tense everyone is around here. In the past two days, now everyone looks around the corner when they hear police cars whizzing by. I’m sure this is a big city. Police cars whiz by all the time with their sirens on, but now it takes kind of a different meaning for people.

    I was having dinner the other night and something hit an awning on top of the restaurant’s — and literally a woman just fell flat on the floor because she was still so nervous. She didn’t know what was happening. She didn’t know whether it was a shot somewhere, and you saw other people in the restaurant immediately knew what she was going through and went over to comfort her.

    But there is just a certain tension in the air that I can’t describe.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Now, Hari, we understand the French Parliament is convening tomorrow. What’s that about? What’s on the agenda?

    HARI SREENIVASAN: So, Francois Hollande wants the Parliament to extend the state of emergency for an extra three months. He declared it Friday right after the attacks. And this is perhaps one of the first political tests. Right?

    Imagine right after 9/11 if all of Congress met and they started to have a debate on extending or changing the Constitution, perhaps, or extending emergency powers. Would there be a tremendous amount of debate at that point or is that the point where members of Congress or in this case members of Parliament will show a unified face?

    And this is a country, like — that values its liberties, that values the democracy, and this is also right now a country that wakes up and in the morning they pick up a paper and they read there were 168 raids the night before, there were 120 other raids the other night.

    At what point do people start asking the government more difficult questions about accountability and exactly who’s being arrested and why are they being rounded that, what’s the evidence that you have?

    So I think it’s an interesting political test. They might not vote on it tomorrow, but Hollande wants this extension by the end of the week.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: So, Hari, here in the U.S., these attacks have sparked, as you know, a big political conversation about what to do about refugees. What’s the discussion like there?

    HARI SREENIVASAN: It’s interesting. The more information comes out, the more the average public at least we meet on the street is able to discern the information.

    One of the individuals that we had in our story tonight, he said something that was interesting. He said, you know, the enemy is invisible. They could be the Frenchmen that are next to us.

    And that was informed by the fact that he knew in the last couple of days that some of these attackers were French-born, they spoke French, they were Frenchmen for all practical purposes. But, in the first few hours, the piece of information that everyone grabbed on to was the fact that one of these individuals had a Syrian passport, a passport that had been checked in from Greece, that this was a strong connection to the migrant crisis, that this was — that was the problem.

    And now just even a few days later, you see people start to slice and dice a little bit more and say, OK, perhaps the migrant crisis is a different conversation, maybe there are overlaps here, but let’s not just start to lump everything into the same category.

    And that I think just happens. The more informed they are, the better decisions they are able to make.

    JUDY WOODRUFF:
    Hari Sreenivasan reporting for us again from Paris, we thank you.

    The post France, Russia step up Islamic State bombing as Paris investigation grows appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    frontline1

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    GWEN IFILL: Tonight on Frontline: an unprecedented look at how Islamic State militants have spread across one country at the center of the war on terrorism.

    With remarkable access to the militants themselves, tonight’s report, “ISIS in Afghanistan,” shows how the group is expanding its control in the country, fighting some members of the Taliban, co-opting others, and battling Afghan national army forces.

    William Brangham has the story.

    WILLIAM BRANGHAM: After months of negotiations, Afghan journalist Najibullah Quraishi got permission from ISIS militants to come visit their stronghold in Afghanistan.

    In his Frontline report, Quraishi shows not only how ISIS is gaining power in that nation, but also how they’re indoctrinating young Afghan children into their cause.

    NARRATOR: In the ISIS-held district of Shaigal, the group is using many techniques to groom young children to fight and die for the Islamic State.

    MAN (through interpreter): This is the latest Islamic State video. You will see 17 or 18 people being killed.

    MAN (through interpreter): Where is this?

    MAN (through interpreter): Sham.

    MAN (through interpreter): In Iraq?

    MAN (through interpreter): Yes, in Iraq.

    NARRATOR: The fighters tell Najibullah they receive propaganda videos directly from ISIS in Syria and Iraq. They say they show the videos to the village children every day.

    MAN (through interpreter): The village is saying they’re all infidels and special forces soldier.

    MAN (through interpreter): What are they going to do with them now?

    MAN (through interpreter): They’re taking them to the kill zone for execution. They’re wiping them off the face of the earth.

    NAJIBULLAH QURAISHI, Journalist: I was asking them, why they are watching in front of these young children. They said they should learn, they should know from now, and it’s normal for them.

    NARRATOR: The videos don’t just show attacks and atrocities. This is an ISIS military school for children somewhere in the Middle East.

    NAJIBULLAH QURAISHI: All these videos, they’re just telling them how to kill people, how to behead, and how to become suicide bombers. And their main thing is to kill infidels.

    This is their aim. And they are clearly telling, this is in Koran. So what does the child believe? What does he think? He thinks, yes, I am Muslim, and he’s telling me the truth.

    NARRATOR: Najibullah films the Afghan children copying what they have just watched.

    MAN (through interpreter): Bend your knees a little, feet apart. Keep your arms straight. Fire. God is great.

    NAJIBULLAH QURAISHI: When I saw these young children, I was really, really upset, really sad. I was thinking about Afghanistan future, Afghanistan’s next generation. What we have next?

    These children who learn how to kill people, how to do jihad, how to behead, how to fire? This would be Afghanistan?

    MAN (through interpreter): You stand with the Kalashnikov like this, OK?

    NAJIBULLAH QURAISHI: I was thinking maybe the war will never end, never. And the people will keep suffering from war.

    WILLIAM BRANGHAM: Najibullah Quraishi joins me now from London.

    Welcome.

    This is a very, very powerful piece of reporting. You really get to see ISIS in action in a way that many of us in the West have never seen before. Why is it, do you think, they let you in?

    NAJIBULLAH QURAISHI: Well, when I heard first about ISIS in Afghanistan, then I started contacting the people who used to work for me. I mean some local journalists.

    And then we found some villages and elders. So, through the elders, we send a message out to them, to their leader. I mean ISIS commander in Afghanistan. I asked them if they allow me to film them about their presence in Afghanistan.

    So, then they told to the villages of the people I sent over to wait. So, I was waiting for almost eight — or over eight months, until they called us in. And they said, come, and we’re ready to be filmed.

    So I was excited that I am going to meet them or filming them about their daily life, or at least I would expose them, what they are doing there.

    And the other side of my life was my family, my wife, my children. To be honest, this was kind of 50/50. I was, like, 50 percent hope that I would come back again and 50 percent I wasn’t.

    To expose such kind of stories, it’s always dangerous. It’s always — there is a risk. But we have to tell the story. If not, then who shall tell?

    WILLIAM BRANGHAM: The scenes of the children and the education, if you can call it that, that they’re getting are really quite terrifying.

    And I was wondering if you could just tell us a little bit more about the men who think that this is a good thing to teach children, to teach children so young to learn how to kill.

    NAJIBULLAH QURAISHI: I have never seen this in my journalism life before.

    At the beginning, I didn’t know when they mentioned me they have a school, they are children, if I want to go and film. I was thinking maybe there is a proper lesson, they maybe learn some mathematics, some grammar or some language or something or maybe proper Koran. I was thinking like this.

    But, suddenly, I come across with jihad for 3 years old, or 4- or 5-year-old children. You’re telling what is jihad and how to kill. So then I was shocked.

    MAN (through interpreter): What is this word? Jihad. What is jihad?

    NAJIBULLAH QURAISHI: These guys mainly come from Pakistan.

    They were telling me that this is the time they should teach the children, and they should learn from now and they should be prepared.

    MAN (through interpreter): Fire it from a standing position, like this.

    NAJIBULLAH QURAISHI: For them, they should be ready for fighting, for everything at the age of 12 or 13 for something like this.

    They were asking the children about the weapons, for example, how many bullets it takes, where this pistol made from, where is Kalashnikov made from, why we should use this, and who should we — against with this, and lots of different things which the children knew from this age.

    Then, on the film, you can see the second generation, which is all the teenagers, like 13 or 17. And they’re ready to blow themselves up or to do a suicide attack.

    I came to the conclusion about Afghanistan’s future and Afghanistan’s next generation. Still, we have over 90 percent uneducated people. We don’t have security. Day by day, all the terrorists come into Afghanistan, all the farmers.

    Right now in Afghanistan, we have Haqqani Network. We have Hezb-e-Islami or Hekmatyar. We have the Taliban. And now we have this crazy group, the most — worst group ever I have seen in my life. And I cannot see any bright future about that country, and I don’t think if there is any — any power to defeat them.

    WILLIAM BRANGHAM: Given the news of the most recent attacks that we have seen in France just recently, everyone’s been wondering about ISIS’ motives.

    And you have actually now spent a good deal of time with some of these militants. What — when you heard about the attacks in France, did that come as a surprise to you or not?

    NAJIBULLAH QURAISHI: Well, to be honest, no.

    No, it doesn’t come as a surprise for me, because their aim is not — they’re not talking about one village or one district or one country. They’re talking about the world. They’re not like a Taliban.

    For example, the Taliban says, we are in Afghanistan, and we are not threat for other countries or Russia or Iran or other countries. Our aim is to capture Afghanistan and to have Sharia law here in Afghanistan.

    But they are not like this. They say, we want to go to Europe, we want to go to, like, other countries, like Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, China, Iran, Pakistan. And they’re threatening the world. They’re not threatening only one country or one province or one district.

    WILLIAM BRANGHAM: Najibullah Quraishi, thank you very much for joining us. And thank you for this terrific piece of journalism.

    NAJIBULLAH QURAISHI: You’re welcome. Thanks a lot.

    GWEN IFILL: Frontline airs tonight on most PBS stations.

    The post How the Islamic State indoctrinates Afghan children appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    A Syrian refugee holds onto his daughter as he waits to cross into Turkey at Akcakale border gate in Sanliurfa province, Turkey, June 15, 2015.REUTERS/Umit Bektas TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Umit Bektas: The man in the picture was gesturing to all of us on the other side of the barbed wire, asking the soldiers, officials and media for help. He was far from the only one: countless people were begging to be let across the border. These refugees had rushed from the town of Tel Abiad because they were expecting fighting between Isis and Kurdish forces.
“Take us in, we’re dying here,” I heard someone say.
The baby girl in his arms looked terrified. She was so young but there was something in her eyes…  it seemed like she knew what was going on. She wasn’t crying, even though she was hanging on to the barbed wire, also in spite of the heat, the shouting and chaos around her. There she was with her big eyes, looking out. It appeared to me that was in shock.
A few minutes after I took this photo the Turkish officials and military allowed these people to cross the border into Turkey. They arrived dehydrated, desperate to drink water and cool down.
There was a complete lack of facilities: no water, no toilets, no shade, no buildings at all. When I captured this image it was midday and the heat was intense, at more than 30 degrees Celsius. NGOs and soldiers had started to throw bottles of water across but it was obvious that there wasn’t enough to go round.
There are tens of thousands of children who are suffering like the girl in this image - she is just one of them.    
 - RTX1GQAC

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    GWEN IFILL: The hundreds of thousands of refugees entering Europe have made headlines for months. But in the wake of the Paris attacks, there are new questions about how they have been able to make their journey.

    Again to Hari Sreenivasan in Paris.

    HARI SREENIVASAN:
    The question was already tearing at the fabric of Europe: how to deal with hundreds of thousands of people, many fleeing from Syria. Now the Paris attacks claimed by the Islamic State have some politicians demanding change.

    JOELLE GARRIAUD-MAYLAM,
    French Senator: I have been saying for months that these refugees have been infiltrated. I was always told that all the checks had been made and that it was totally safe, but I was sure something like that would happen.

    HARI SREENIVASAN:
    We met Senator Joelle Garriaud-Maylam along the Champs Elysees. Among her official roles, she is on France’s Defense Committee.

    JOELLE GARRIAUD-MAYLAM:
    I know many people who’ve come from Belgium, or, you know, Spain, who haven’t had the slightest control, and who know very well that there’s weapons trafficking, which is extremely dangerous.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: That kind of sentiment is increasingly putting refugees on the defensive.

    MAN: They are not Islam. And they don’t know the God, never, believe me. God, he didn’t say to Islam to kill the people. It’s not Islam, not our Islam.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: Top European and U.N. officials support that view, warning that public fury against the Islamic State, or Da’esh in Arabic, shouldn’t be misdirected.

    MAN: I think that the strategy of Da’esh is exactly to create an environment of fear, to make European countries close their borders to Syrian refugees and also to divide our societies.

    THORBJORN JAGLAND, Secretary-General, Council of Europe: We cannot blame the refugees for this, because they are actually fleeing away from terrorism.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: For his part, French President Francois Hollande said today his country will stick with a plan to take in 30,000 refugees over the next two years.

    PRESIDENT FRANCOIS HOLLANDE, France (through interpreter): However, our duty of showing humanity in regards to refugees goes hand in hand with the protection duty of all French people. France must check before people get inside the European territory and then on French soil that there are no risks for our country.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: But other European leaders take much harder stances. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban had put up border fences and condemned the flow of Muslim migrants even before Paris, and now:

    VIKTOR ORBAN, Hungarian Prime Minister (through interpreter): It has been proven that the terrorists use the mass migration to blend in among the masses of people who have left their homes in the hope of a better life. We don’t think that everyone who comes from there is a terrorist, but even one terrorist is too many.

    It’s bad even to think about how many terrorists may have gone through the territory of our country. Time to stop this happening across Europe.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: For the past 20 years, people have been able to move freely across 26 countries through what’s known as the Schengen agreement. After Friday night’s attacks, that very idea of an open Europe is under threat.

    Is this the end of Schengen as we know it?

    FRANCOIS GERE, Executive Director, French Strategic Analysis Institute: Probably, very likely. It’s the end probably of a number of things, including the way the E.U. operates and the way the E.U. sees itself and its future.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: Francois Gere is executive director of the French Strategic Analysis Institute. He studies conflicts and terrorism. Gere is sympathetic to the plight of the migrants, but, to him, the sheer numbers pose a problem.

    FRANCOIS GERE: For instance, 1,000 migrants, you have 0.1 terrorists, well, it’s enough to have — to create a cell for any kind of aggression.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: Those likely to feel any changes to border controls first are frequent travelers, like Stephan Viallet, whom we met at the Gare du Nord train station on his weekly trip to Belgium without the need for a passport.

    STEPHAN VIALLET, Traveler: We’re at a point where we need to do something that’s radically different from what we currently experience. Otherwise, we can’t control, and in the case of events like this one, we’re completely lost.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: The attacks have forced some travelers to let the scales tip toward security.

    MAN: We lose a lot of the peace of liberty, but we win maybe another liberty, another freedom. You see what I mean?

    HARI SREENIVASAN: Others are hesitant.

    WOMAN (through interpreter): The point is, we shouldn’t give up our rights that we fought for, the liberty of moving.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: And even more fuel in the debate came just today in Turkey. Authorities detained eight people at Istanbul’s main airport, and said they were suspected Islamic State militants, planning to make their way to Germany, posing as refugees.

    The post Paris terror and the migrant crisis tear at Europe’s open borders appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    A member loyal to the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) waves an ISIL flag in Raqqa June 29, 2014. The offshoot of al Qaeda which has captured swathes of territory in Iraq and Syria has declared itself an Islamic "Caliphate" and called on factions worldwide to pledge their allegiance, a statement posted on jihadist websites said on Sunday. The group, previously known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), also known as ISIS, has renamed itself "Islamic State" and proclaimed its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghadi as "Caliph" - the head of the state, the statement said. REUTERS/Stringer (SYRIA - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)  FOR BEST QUALITY IMAGE ALSO SEE: GF2EAAO0VU501 - RTR3WBPT

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    JUDY WOODRUFF: On Capitol Hill, many lawmakers have spent the past two days behind closed doors, in briefings on the Paris attacks and the potential threat to the U.S.

    To discuss that threat, we are joined now by two leading members of Congress, both from California.

    Representative Ed Royce is the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. And Representative Adam Schiff is the ranking Democrat on the House Select Committee on Intelligence.

    Gentlemen, we welcome you both.

    Chairman Royce, let me begin with you.

    What have you learned from these briefings on the capability, the motivation of ISIS that you weren’t aware of before and that you can share with the public?

    REP. ED ROYCE (R), California: Well, I think that the biggest surprise has just been the magnitude of the attacks here. We have seen over 900 casualties as a result of these ISIS attacks.

    And what we’re learning also is the ability of the ISIS organization to have used the safe haven that they have in their caliphate in order to train with new methodology of bomb-making for them, and also with automatic weapons. And you see the result of that, on the streets of Paris, for example. But you also see something else.

    The document forgery of Syrian passports now has emerged as a new issue, and we have seen even a case today with false Syrian passports used in Latin America. We saw the case in Greece where one of the ISIS terrorists had used a false passport.

    You pay $2,000 today, you get a passport that’s so good that it’s often hard for E.U. authorities even to determine whether it’s false or real. So this is a security challenge for Europe, as we see. And, lastly, I would just say the ability once in Europe, once you have got a visa waiver, for those in Europe that may have gone to fight with ISIS and they come back to Europe, they now have that visa waiver they can take advantage of to come, for example, here to the United States. These are all concerns.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: That’s a lot of information to process.

    Congressman Schiff, as a member of the Intelligence Committee, does that track with what you’re learning, or is there more?

    REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D), California: Well, it does.

    I think what we have seen graphically in the last few weeks is something we have been watching in the intelligence community for the last several months, and that is ISIS originally focused on building its caliphate, on holding its ground. It has now opened, really, a second front, and that is trying on attack in the West.

    We have seen a number of plots largely disrupted in Europe, but only recently to see the horrific attacks in Paris, the bombing of this Russian plane, the bombing in Beirut. Clearly, ISIS is now moving to export its violence around the world, and, in that respect, adopting many of the techniques of al-Qaida. And it has really eclipsed al-Qaida as the preeminent terrorist threat we face now.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Well, given all this, Chairman Royce, just how vulnerable is the United States? We just heard a short time ago the president’s adviser on national security, Lisa Monaco, said the administration believes right now there’s no credible threat to the United States.

    How do you see that?

    REP. ED ROYCE: Well, the good news, of course, is that since 9/11, we have had 12 attempts for attacks in New York. All of them have been thwarted. So we can credit our capabilities with that.

    But, of course, we have an additional challenge here, and that is that ISIS has now learned how to use encryption for their communications. So, in the past, we had the capability at times to intercept these messages. Now, we will learn more about the attacks in Paris. It is possible that ISIS used encryption in order to plan and carry out those attacks in order to keep Parisian and French authorities from using the usual methodology to discover those attacks in progress.

    And so, if that is indeed the case, then we are going to be more vulnerable than we would have been in the past.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Congressman Schiff, what does it say then, if this is a new capability on the part of ISIS, that the U.S. has to be prepared to deal, whether it’s encryption or any other aspect of this new ability that they have?

    REP. ADAM SCHIFF: I think it means a few things. In the near term, what we’re most concerned about is not a Paris-style attack, but homegrown radicals being inspired by what they see in Paris to lash out here in the United States.

    ISIS, I think, doesn’t currently have the capability to reach us. We’re a harder target to get to than Europe. We have far fewer people who have left the United States to join the fight and have returned. But over the long term, if ISIS is able to continue holding ground in Iraq and Syria, if they’re continued to allow the time, the space, and devote the resources to plotting against us, we are vulnerable to a Paris-style attack.

    And the challenges, as the chairman pointed out, in dealing with these new encrypted technologies also add to the burdens of trying to thwart this. I think it underscores one point, Judy, and that is, even with the best of intelligence, you are not going to be able to stop a determined enemy that is adapting to what you’re doing if they have that time and space to plot against you.

    And so we’re going to have to change the dynamic on the battlefield in Iraq and Syria, I believe, to really seriously degrade this threat to us.

    JUDY WOODRUFF:
    Well, picking up on what the U.S. may have to do on the battlefield, Chairman Royce, I mean, is there a clear path ahead for the United States to pursue when it comes to confronting ISIS in Iraq and Syria?

    REP. ED ROYCE: I think there is. I think that, in terms of most of the fighting on the ground, you have a battle going on along a 650-mile front today.

    It is between Kurdish Peshmerga forces and some Yazidi forces fighting against ISIS. But they do not currently have at their disposal the type of weaponry they need. They don’t have the artillery and the long-range mortars, the anti-tank weapons. We have an opportunity to go around Baghdad that doesn’t want us necessarily to arm the Kurds, but to give them that weaponry to make those 180,000 soldiers, 30 percent of them women, by the way, more effective in that fight.

    I think we should do that. I think we should also work more closely with the Sunni tribes in the area that are fighting ISIS. And, lastly, I think we should give them closer air support, more in the way of airpower used in conjunction with Kurdish forces that would receive more weaponry, to carry out the war on the ground and begin to roll ISIS back, because when it’s perceived that ISIS is losing territory, that’s when it’s harder for them to recruit on the Internet and tell people that they’re invincible.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: So, Congressman Schiff, are those the kind of things that you think there — first of all, would you support those kind of measures? And do you think there could be bipartisan support for the administration to do what we just heard?

    REP. ADAM SCHIFF: I certainly support providing greater material support to the Kurds, and if the Iraqi government isn’t willing to make that happen sufficiently, to provide direct support for the Kurds.

    I also support those efforts of our Kurdish allies in Syria. They have been among the most effective fighting forces. This is a challenge because both of those actions would alienate, to some degree, the Iraqi government, as well as the Turkish government. But, nonetheless, these are the people fighting on the ground, and we need to support them.

    You know, I will say this also, though. I don’t think merely supplying the Kurds or adding to the aerial sorties or introduction of small numbers of operators will change the dynamic on the ground appreciably. The Kurds aren’t going to be able to go into large non-Kurdish areas.

    And I think that ultimately means we’re going to have to explore some things we haven’t wanted to, such as the establishment of a buffer zone or a safe zone, explore with the Turks and Jordanians whether they’re willing to put their people on the ground to police that zone, if we’re willing to protect it from the air.

    That, I think, would have the possibility of changing the dynamic. And, finally, at the end of the day, the Iraqi government is going to have to allow Sunnis to be incorporated into the government and into the armed forces. They’re going to have to give them an alternative to ISIS, or this problem is just going to persist, no matter what we do.

    REP. ED ROYCE:
    And I will add that I agree with my colleague on the concept of that safe zone.

    I think it is absolutely essential that it be established along that border. And I think it will give us a great advantage in terms of pushing back ISIS.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Chairman Ed Royce and Representative Adam Schiff, we thank you both.

    REP. ADAM SCHIFF:
    Thank you.

    REP. ED ROYCE: Thank you.

    The post How Congress sees the fight against the Islamic State appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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