Egypt: No sign yet of Terrorist act in Russian plane crash
Russia has blamed the Oct. 31 crash of a passenger plane over Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula on an explosive device smuggled aboard by the Islamic State, and Western intelligence agencies have reached a similar conclusion, but on Monday, Egypt said that it has found no evidence of terrorism.
“The technical investigative committee has so far not found anything indicating any illegal intervention or terrorist action,” Egypt’s civil aviation authority said in a statement attributed to chief investigator Ayman el-Muqadam. The committee, he added, is “continuing its work.” The plane took off from the popular Red Sea vacation spot Sharm al-Sheikh, and the subsequent drop in tourism has been a blow to Egypt’s economy. AP
UN: 2 billion people have improve living standard
The United Nations says that 2 billion people have lifted themselves out of low human development in the last 25 years.
The Human Development Index by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) calls for equitable and decent work for all. The report was launched on Monday in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa.
“Work … is crucial for human progress,” the report said. “Of the world’s 7.3 billion people, 3.2 billion are in jobs, and many others engage in unpaid care, creative and voluntary work or prepare themselves as future workers. Fast technological progress, deepening globalization, aging societies and environmental challenges are rapidly transforming what work means today and how it is performed.”
Decent work contributes to both the richness of economies and the richness of human lives, said UNDP administrator Helen Clark. “All countries need to respond to the challenges in the new world of work and seize opportunities to improve lives and livelihoods,” said Clark.
According to the UN, 830 million people are now classified as working poor who live less than $2 a day. Over 200 million people, including 74 million youths, are also considered unemployed, while 21 million people are currently in forced labor. AP
After Ted Cruz takes 10-point lead in Iowa, Donald Trump calls him ‘a maniac’
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) has taken a 10-point lead in the Iowa caucuses, according to new poll, and so GOP presidential rival Donald Trump went on the attack on the Sunday talk shows. On Fox News Sunday, when host Chris Wallace asked Trump what he thought about Cruz, Trump said, “I don’t think he is qualified to be president.”
Wallace asked why, and Trump lit in: “I don’t think he has the right temperament. I don’t think he’s got the right judgment. When you look at the way he has dealt with the Senate, where he goes in there like a, you know, frankly, like a little bit of a maniac — you are never going to get things done that way.” Cruz responded on Twitter with a video of the song “Maniac” from the 1980s hit movie Flashdance. CNN via The Week
Paris Climate Pact Triggers Partisan US Reactions
Americans are digesting a global climate accord that is dividing Washington along predictable partisan political lines.
“This agreement will mean less of the carbon pollution that threatens our planet, and more of the jobs and economic growth driven by low-carbon investment,” said a jubilant President Barack Obama shortly after the deal was announced Saturday. “What matters is that today we can be more confident this planet is going to be in better shape for the next generation. And that is what I care about,” Obama added.
“President Obama has promised to cut back American energy production dramatically,” said Republican Senator John Barrasso last week. “The American people oppose sending their money to a United Nations climate slush fund.”
In a statement, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell blasted the accord as “unattainable” and “based on a domestic energy plan that is likely illegal, that half the states have sued to halt, and that Congress has already voted to reject.”
The accord is not a formal treaty and therefore requires no Senate ratification to go into effect. Whoever succeeds Obama in 2017 could halt or continue America’s adherence to its provisions. Republican presidential contenders say the planet can be protected without what they see as Obama’s job-killing climate agenda.
“A lot of members of Congress are on the wrong side of history,” said Secretary of State John Kerry on ABC’s This Week program. “And I don’t believe you can be elected president of the United States if you do not understand climate change and you aren’t committed to this kind of a plan.” VOA
2 California mosques vandalized
One mosque had “Jesus is the Way” spray-painted across the front. Another mosque was defaced and left with a fake grenade in the driveway. Both acts of vandalism took place in the same California city, about an hour west of where the San Bernardino terror attack took place this month.
And Hawthorne police said both incidents are now classified as hate crimes.
Early Sunday morning, Hawthorne police received a call about vandalism and a possible explosive device in front of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community Baitus-Salaam Mosque, the Police Department said. When officers arrived, they found what looked like a grenade and evacuated the area. But the object turned out to be a fake plastic grenade.
Someone had also spray-painted “Jesus” across the mosque’s fence. CNN
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