Eradicating Poverty. An American Civil War. African Antiterrorism.


Terrorist Attack Kills Eight In New York: A 29-year old man from Uzbekistan, living in the US since 2010, rented a truck from Home Depot and used it to kill eight people and injure more than a dozen when he drove nearly a mile down a crowed bike path in Manhattan Tuesday afternoon. After smashing into a school bus, Sayfullo Saipov jumped out of the truck, began running down the highway carrying a pellet gun and a paintball gun, and shouted “Allahu Akbar,” Arabic for “God is great.” He was shot in the abdomen by police and taken to the hospital in critical condition.Handwritten notes in Arabic indicating allegiance to ISIS were found near the truck.Students walking home from nearby schools thought at first it was a Halloween prank. One student said he realized it was not a joke when he saw the man staggering through the intersection, screaming words he could not make out. Officials say this was the deadliest terrorist attack on New York City since September 11, 2001.


US Pledges $60 Million For Antiterrorism Force In The Sahel: On Monday, theUS pledged $60 million to a new United Nations-backed antiterrorism force that will operate in five African countries. The 5,000-member force made up of soldiers and police officers and established by Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, and Niger in February will fight the growing threat of drug smugglers, human traffickers, and extremist groups such as ISIS and Al Qaeda that operate in the Sahel region of western and north-central Africa. The UN Security Council unanimously endorsed the force in June but financing its $500 million annual cost was not resolved. The European Union has committed about $58 million to the force. The US has been seeking to cut its contributions to the UN and therefore resisted committing resources. The $60 million pledge suggests the American position may be changing, and the decision was welcomed by France, which has strong post-colonial ties to all five of the African countries.

Xi Jinping Vows To Eradicate Rural Poverty By 2020: Nearly seven decades after the Chinese Communist Party rose to power on a promise of prosperity for all, President Xi Jinping has vowed to fulfill the Communists’ original promise, staking his legacy on an ambitious plan to eradicate rural poverty by 2020. His plan targets more than 43 million people who still live on less than 95 cents a day, the poverty line set by the Chinese government. Nearly 500 million people, or about 40 percent of China’s population, live on less than $5.50 per day. As China works to modernize its economy, it faces the reality that the world’s newest superpower remains a developing country with a huge poverty problem.

Xi sees poverty reduction as essential to quelling frustration over inequality, as well as ensuring the party’s grip on power across the country. The state news media often shows Xi visiting poor villages, sampling the food and water, and checking in on the health of residents. International organizations have praised the government for lifting hundreds of millions out of poverty, but some experts worry that Xi’s current plan is more about making headlines than bringing lasting change. The government’s focus on 43 million people may be too narrow, as millions more live just above the “official” poverty line. Also, some allege Xi ignores the suffering of the more than 200 million rural migrants in China’s cities, where many struggle to receive education, health care, and other benefits as the local government does not consider them residents.


General Kelly Mischaracterizes History: White House Chief of Staff John Kelly was asked whether a Virginia church should have removed plaques honoring Confederate General Robert E. Lee and President George Washington, both Virginians. Kelly answered it was “very dangerous” to do so and it shows “how much of a lack of appreciation of history and what history is,” adding “I will tell you that Robert E. Lee was an honorable man.” Kelly’s remarks paralleled comments made by President Trump that Confederate monuments should remain in place to preserve the country’s heritage.

Kelly then proceeded to mischaracterize the reason the American Civil War began, saying “the lack of an ability to compromise led to the Civil War, and men and women of good faith on both sides made their stand where their conscience had them make their stand.” His “compromise” remark was immediately criticized by historians and other critics who pointed out that the United States made several compromises on slavery before war eventually erupted in 1861 between the slave-owning states of the Confederate South and northern states that insisted slavery must end.

Mueller Indictments Barely Mentioned On Conservative Media: Despite indictments against two former members of Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign, and a guilty plea by another, conservative media attempted to distract and refocus attention on Democrats, dismissing any connections to Trump. Adequate, but not extra coverage was given to the criminal indictments against Paul Manafort, former head of the Trump campaign, and his protege, Rick Gates, and little was made of the guilty plea of former Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos. Referring to the charges in the indictments Monday Trump tweeted: “Sorry, but this is years ago, before Paul Manafort was part of the Trump campaign. But why aren’t Crooked Hillary & the Dems the focus?????”

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