President Barack Obama will make a rare primetime address to the nation Sunday laying out how he will keep Americans safe and defeat the Islamic State group, days after 14 people were shot dead in California.
Obama declared Saturday that the United States “will not be terrorized,” as IS praised the couple behind a mass shooting in San Bernardino as “soldiers” of its self-proclaimed caliphate. “We are Americans. We will uphold our values — a free and open society,” Obama said in his weekly address.
Investigators are combing over evidence and looking into the background of Syed Farook, 28, and his 29-year-old Pakistani wife Tashfeen Malik, the pair who opened fire Wednesday at a social services center.
The FBI said federal agents raided a property in Riverside, California, but declined to provide the address. AFP
Myanmar’s feared former junta leader Than Shwe has endorsed his one-time nemesis Aung San Suu Kyi as a “future leader” of the country, according to his grandson. Than Shwe, a postal clerk turned general who ran the country with an iron fist for nearly two decades, met with democracy champion Suu Kyi on Friday.
Her party is preparing for power after November’s massive election win. The talks mark a dramatic turnaround in fortune for Suu Kyi, who was kept under house arrest for 15 years by the 82-year-old retired general for leading the democracy movement against his army.
“Everyone has to accept the truth that Daw Aung San Suu Kyi will be the future leader of Myanmar after winning the elections,” Than Shwe was quoted as saying on a Facebook post late Saturday by his grandson, Nay Shwe Thway Aung. Daw is a term of respect.
“I will support her earnestly as much as I can if she really works for the development of the country,” he added, according to the post. The former strongman’s grandson said he acted as an intermediary for the talks. AFP
NYT calls for gun control on front page
The New York Times called for tighter gun control on its front page Saturday, the first time the newspaper has placed an editorial there in 95 years.
“It is a moral outrage and a national disgrace that civilians can legally purchase weapons designed specifically to kill people with brutal speed and efficiency,” the editorial board wrote in the wake of Wednesday’s mass shooting in San Bernardino, California. In 1920, the Times used a front-page editorial to blast Warren G. Harding, then the Republican presidential nominee.
Opponents of gun control are saying, as they do after every killing, that no law can unfailingly forestall a specific criminal. The NYT said, Politicians (GOP) abet would-be killers by creating gun markets for them, and voters allow those politicians to keep their jobs. New York Times
French voters are going to the polls Sunday to elect regional leaders, in what expected to result in gains by a far right, often Islamaphobic party. The election comes as France remains under tight security following the November terrorist attacks in Paris that left 130 people dead.
It is widely speculated that Marine Le Pen’s far right anti-immigration National Front (FN) party will make political gains against the ruling Socialist party. French President Francois Hollande’s personal approval ratings have soared with his hardline stance since the terrorist attacks, but his party’s ratings remain low.
The FN’s ratings have been rising since the Paris attacks. FN party leaders have consistently linked terrorism with immigration. A second round of elections is scheduled for next Sunday. VOA
‘Comfort women’ museum opens in South Korea
A museum focused on “comfort women,” who were forced into wartime brothels for the Imperial Japanese Army, opened Saturday in Daegu, southeastern South Korea, with central and local government officials attending the ceremony.
Kwon Yong-hyun, vice minister of gender equality, said that although President Park Geun-hye hopes for active exchanges with Japan more than any other South Korean administration has, the issue of comfort women is preventing her from moving in that direction.
Kwon said the situation is similar for China and emphasized that the South Korean government’s position is that “Japan should recognize the problem, apologize to victims and educate future generations” about the issue.
The museum, created at the initiative of private groups, exhibits items such as photographs and mementos of more than 20 former comfort women from Daegu and other parts of North Gyeongsang province. Kyodo via Japan Times
A man stabbed three people at an east London Tube station, and authorities say they are investigating the attack as a terrorist incident. The assailant, believed to be 29, was subdued with a stun gun and arrested Saturday night, London’s Metropolitan Police said.
One man, 56, suffered serious injuries, but they’re not considered life-threatening, police said. Two others had minor injuries in the attack. Police are looking into reports that the suspect yelled, “This is for Syria,” during the attack, said Chioma Dijeh, a spokeswoman for the Metropolitan Police. Dijeh said that the suspect had not yet been charged. She would not confirm whether police were seeking anyone else in relation to the attack, saying only that police inquiries were ongoing. CNN
Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio is gaining the support of evangelical pastors in the key state of Iowa. Although Donald Trump and Ben Carson have been the Republican frontrunners, Rubio has been steadily rising in the polls.
CBN News reports that, during private meetings with evangelical pastors in Iowa, Rubio answered questions on policy and spirituality. Praised for his articulate speech on the debate stage, Rubio also gave clear answers to the pastors’ questions. He affirmed America’s Judeo-Christian heritage and every person’s right to religious liberty.
“This nation was founded on the belief that every person has natural rights that come from their Creator, and that’s where we get free enterprise, that’s where we get our republic,” he continued. “If you don’t have a creator, then what is the source of your rights? The government? The law?”
One pastor asked Rubio about his relationship with Jesus Christ. “As far my relationship with Jesus Christ the best way I’ve been able to describe it to people that are not believers is God became a man, came down to earth and died for our sins,” he said. Christian Headlines
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