News You Should Read Today – November 19 – 2015

Status of Paris Attacks Mastermind Unknown After Raid (businessinsider.sg)Status of Paris attacks mastermind unknown after raid
It was still unclear Thursday whether the mastermind of last week’s attacks in Paris was one of the people inside an apartment stormed Wednesday in a seven-hour raid by French police. Paris Prosecutor Francois Molins has said only that Abdelhamid Abaaoud, a Belgian national of Moroccan descent, was not among the eight people arrested during the operation in Saint-Denis.

“As of now, the identities of those who were arrested in the building are not yet formally known, but I can specify that Abdelhamid Abaaoud and [fugitive attacker] Salah Abdeslam are not among those we have in custody,” he said Wednesday.

Molins said at least two people were killed, but would not give a precise number. Early reports said a woman who detonated an explosives vest was killed and another body was found in the rubble riddled with bullets that made it immediately unidentifiable. Three police officers were wounded and a police dog was killed during the raid.

Molins said the raid was of “extreme difficulty” and nearly 5,000 rounds of munitions were fired into the apartment. VOA

 

 

Status of Paris Attacks Mastermind Unknown After Raid (businessinsider.sg)Suspected Paris mastermind, cousin died in raid (breaking news)
The Belgian jihadi suspected of masterminding deadly attacks in Paris died along with his cousin in a police raid on a suburban apartment building, officials said Thursday. Paris Prosecutor Francois Molins’ office said 27-year-old Abdelhamid Abaaoud was identified based on skin samples, but authorities did not know how he died. His body was found in the apartment building targeted in the chaotic and bloody raid in the Paris suburb of Saint-Denis on Wednesday.

Three police officials say a woman who died in the raid was Abaaoud’s cousin. One said Hasna Aitboulahcen is believed to have detonated a suicide vest after a brief conversation with police officers. The official confirmed an audio recording, punctuated by gunshots, in which an officer asks: “Where is your boyfriend?” and she responded angrily: “He’s not my boyfriend!” Then loud bangs are heard.

The exact relationship between Abaaoud and Aitboulahcen was not clear. AP

 

 

Obama tells China to halt South China Sea construction (ndtv.com)Obama tells China to halt South China Sea construction
President Obama on Wednesday called on China to stop building on contested islands in the South China Sea, putting the dispute on the agenda at a two-day economic summit of Pacific Rim leaders.

Obama urged Beijing to halt all military activity in the area to “lower tensions” with its Southeast Asian neighbors. The U.S. has not taken a position on conflicting territorial claims in the region, but it has aggressively defended rights of free navigation through the contested waters, angering China. The New York Times

 

 

China, Norway Condemn Hostage Killings By Islamic State (AP)China, Norway condemn hostage killings by Islamic State
China on Thursday joined Norway in condemning the killing of their citizens who had been held hostage by the Islamic State militant group. Chinese President Xi Jinping said “terrorism is the common enemy of human beings,” and that his country opposes it in all its forms. The government vowed to bring those responsible to justice.

Islamic State militants used their online English-language magazine, Dabiq, to claim killing 50-year-old Chinese national Fan Jinghui and 48-year-old Norwegian Ole-Johan Grimsgaard-Ofstad.

It showed photos of two bodies, and a caption said the two were “executed after being abandoned by the kafir [infidel] nations and organizations.” VOA

 

 

Bernie Sanders explains what Democratic socialism is (sfgate.com)Bernie Sanders explains what Democratic socialism is
Many have wondered what Bernie Sanders means when he describes himself as a “Democratic socialist.” Now, in a speech on Thursday at Georgetown University, the presidential candidate will attempt to explain his political label, which, with its echoes of communism, he has acknowledged could be a liability for his campaign.

The Vermont senator, who is second in most polls after Hillary Clinton, told reporters in Iowa last month he understands that many people get “very, very nervous” when they hear the word “socialist” and that he prefers to dwell on the “democratic” part. He’ll also offer specific details on foreign policy, including defeating the Islamic State, according to his campaign. USA Today

 

 

Global temperatures hit new high (ecowatch.com)Global temperatures hit new high
Less than two weeks before a crucial global climate summit in Paris kicks off, NOAA, NASA and other global temperature monitors released data showing that the planet is halfway to two degrees of warming, the much publicized limit of “controllable” climate change.

Global data from NOAA released Thursday shows that the average temperature across the entire planet for the month of October was a record shattering 0.98 degrees Celsius (1.76 degrees Fahrenheit) warmer than average for the month of October — making it the highest average temperature reached compared to normal in Earth’s historical record.

Looks like Earth is already halfway to the danger zone. CNN

 

 

New ISIS video includes New York's Times Square (jihadwatch.org)New ISIS video includes New York’s Times Square
The NYPD said Wednesday it was aware of a newly-released ISIS video that makes reference to Times Square, but also said there was no specific threat to the city.

CBS New York reported the video, which was posted by several sources Wednesday afternoon, began with footage of French President François Hollande following the terror attacks in Paris last Friday, along with remarks from militants.

In what appeared to be a threat directed at the U.S., Times Square was shown along with New York City taxis and several Midtown locations, interspersed with what appeared to be a man preparing an explosive device and strapping it to himself. The video does not show a suicide bomber or militant in New York.

The NYPD said it was aware of the video, and will remain vigilant. CBS News

 

 

U.S. discriminate against Christian refugees (christianheadlines.com)Report: U.S. discriminate against Christian refugees
Recently released statistics show that Christian refugees are being “unintentionally discriminated against” by the U.S. government’s refugee program. According to Christian Today, the statistics show that only 2 percent of Syrian refugees allowed in the US since 2011 are Christian. More than 96 percent are Muslim, the US state department statistics show.

The nation’s refugee program relies on the United Nations refugee camps to decide who to accept into the United States, but Syrian and Iraqi Christian supporters say that Christians fleeing the violence avoid the camps because they feel they could be targeted there.

“Christians are not to be found in the UN camps, because they have been attacked and targeted by Islamists and driven from them,” said Lord Carey, former archbishop of Canterbury. “They are seeking refuge in private homes, church buildings and with neighbors and family.”

Since the fighting started in Syria in 2011, more than 2,200 Muslims have been accepted into the U.S. Only 53 Christians from Syria were accepted. The U.S. refugee program is under fire after the attacks in Paris, in which it is speculated that the attackers may have entered Europe disguised as refugees. Christian Headlines

France Accepts Refugees Despite Terrorist Attacks (crosswalk.com)France accepts refugees despite terrorist attacks
France’s President, Francois Hollande, has said that France will honor its commitment to accept refugees.

The Paris terrorist attacks last Friday have caused many nations to reconsider their acceptance of refugees from the Middles East, especially after reports surfaced that one of the Paris attackers had gotten into the country pretending to be a refugee from Syria. However, ABC News reports that Hollande is standing by France’s commitment to accept refugees.

“France will remain a country of freedom,” Hollande stated. “Life should resume fully. What would France be without its museums, without its terraces, its concerts, its sports competitions? “France should remain as it is. Our duty is to carry on our lives.”

President Obama has agreed with Hollande, even going so far as to mock some Republicans for refusing to accept refugees for security reasons. Hollande has said that 30,000 refugees will be welcomed into France over the next two years. Christian Headlines

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