Six people were killed at an air force base in India’s northern Punjab state in a terror attack that is being seen as an effort to derail recent peace efforts between India and Pakistan.
Officials said four gunmen and two security personnel were killed when gunmen dressed in army uniforms mounted an attack early Saturday at the air base in Pathankot town, about 50 kilometers from India’s border with Pakistan and about 430 kilometers north of New Delhi.
The attackers used an Indian police officer’s car, which was apparently hijacked the previous evening, to infiltrate the air force facility.
Although no group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, suspicions fell upon militant groups that operate from Pakistan, whom New Delhi blames for mounting terror attacks in India. VOA
Terror group uses Trump and US Police brutality to recruit
The Somali militant group al-Shabab has released a new recruiting video that highlights U.S. police shootings and the call by presidential candidate Donald Trump to ban Muslims from entering the United States.
The video released Friday may be the first instance of a U.S.-designated terrorist group using Trump’s call or other current issues in the U.S. to attract followers online. Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said last month that the Islamic State militant group was “showing videos of Donald Trump insulting Islam and Muslims in order to recruit more radical jihadists.”
That claim has yet to be proven. But now al-Shabab is using Trump. Its new video shows a clip of the Republican candidate reading out his demand for a ban on Muslim visitors.
The new video also shows instances of American police beating or shooting black males. The police footage, some of it originally captured on police cameras, has prompted a fierce debate in the United States over appropriate limits on the use of violence by police. The violence has given rise to the “Black Lives Matter” movement, which has organized protests in several cities.
The al-Shabab video is used to argue that the United States is a deeply racist society where blacks are thrown in jail as a means of oppression. It suggests that American blacks can find solace in Islam. VOA
Texas has a new open carry gun law on its books set to take effect on New Year‘s Day. It permits Texans with concealed handgun licenses to now carry their holstered weapons in plain view.
But the law will still ban handguns from certain public places including churches, hospitals, correctional facilities, and some places where alcohol is served or sold.
Businesses also have the option to ban customers from openly carrying handguns by posting signs outside stores. Gun holders who ignore those signs risk violating state trespassing laws and would face penalties and fines.
Whole Foods (WFM), which is headquartered in Austin, Texas, does not welcome firearms into its stores.
H-E-B, a popular grocery chain based in San Antonio, will continue to allow concealed handguns, but it’s not allowing visible carry at its stores. Whataburger CEO Preston Atkinson wrote on the company’s website that licensed carriers can bring concealed weapons, but the company will not permit open carry at its 780 locations.
The Texas branch of the NFIB, a small business association, said there have been different reactions to the new law among its 24,000 members. Some national retailers have also asked gun owners to leave their weapons at home but haven’t publicly addressed how they’re handling Texas’ open carry statute. They include Target, Chipotle and Starbucks.
Texas is one of 45 states that allow some form of open carry. Only five states (New York, Florida, Illinois, South Carolina and California) and D.C. ban open carry, according to the National Rifle Association. CNN
About 190 workers, most of them immigrants from Somalia, have been fired from a Colorado meat packing plant after walking off the job during a dispute over workplace prayer. The workers walked off their jobs at Cargill Meat Solutions in Fort Morgan, Colo., earlier this month.
Jaylani Hussein with the Council on American-Islamic Relations says that depending on the season, the Muslim workers prayed at different times of the day. The workers say that earlier in the month, the plant’s policy towards allowing them to pray on the job was changed, which made some of them unable to pray at all. Hussein says that on Tuesday, Minnesota-based Cargill fired most of the workers who walked out.
“Prayer is the first priority to every Muslim. We can sustain without a job, but we cannot sustain without prayer,” according to Khader Ducal, who is assisting the Somali workers file for unemployment. USA Today
NASA says this year’s El Nino “shows no signs of waning,” and its biggest impact on the U.S. is expected to hit early in the new year. The latest satellite imagery suggests the current El Nino is on track to rival or even surpass the biggest one ever recorded, in the winter of 1997-98.
A comparison of the satellite images shows that 1997’s El Nino peaked in November, while this year’s is impacting a larger area of high sea levels in December. This year’s pattern, dubbed the “Godzilla El Nino,” has already been bringing more rainfall and snow to the West Coast. On Wednesday, California officials reported that snowpack in the Sierra Nevada — a significant source of the state’s water supply — has reached 136 percent of normal level.
That’s generally welcome news after years of drought — but heavy precipitation also raises the threat of severe flooding or mudslides.
The strong El Nino of 1997-98 nearly doubled the average rainfall for Southern California and fueled fierce storms that killed at least 17 people across the U.S. In addition to its impact on the West Coast, a strong El Nino can bring more precipitation across most of the south and up the East Coast.
Northern states are likely to have a drier and warmer winter than average. Meteorologists say El Nino helps explain why this December broke high temperature records as the eastern half of the country basked in 60- or even 70-degree weather the week of Christmas. CBS News
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