U.S. Politics

10 things you need to know today: January 2, 2017

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1. ISIS claims responsibility for Istanbul New Year’s attack
The Islamic State on Monday claimed responsibility for a New Year’s attack that killed at least 39 people and wounded dozens more at a crowded Istanbul nightclub, called Reina. ISIS said that a “heroic soldier of the caliphate” carried out the assault seeking revenge for “Muslim blood spilt” by Turkish “airstrikes and artillery,” a reference to Turkish strikes against the Islamist extremist group in Syria. Turkish authorities are conducting a massive manhunt for the gunman, who fled after opening fire outside the club, then continuing inside. The victims included people from nearly a dozen countries. ISIS also claimed responsibility for a Monday suicide car bombing that killed at least 22 people at a Baghdad market, as well as for two other attacks in the Iraqi capital over the weekend.

Source: The Washington Post, The Associated Press

2. Expelled Russian diplomats leave the U.S.
Thirty-five Russian diplomats expelled on suspicion of spying left the U.S. on Sunday, Russian news agencies reported. One of President-elect Donald Trump’s top aides, incoming White House press secretary Sean Spicer, said Sunday that the Obama administration’s decision to kick out the officials and impose sanctions might have been an excessive response to Russia’s suspected hacking of Democrats during the presidential election campaign. Spicer’s comments on ABC’s This Week came a day after Trump said he was skeptical about intelligence reports linking Russia to the cyberattacks, and that the Obama administration’s retaliation was “unfair” if somebody else was behind the hacking.

Source: BBC News, Reuters

3. At least 800 migrants try to crash border fence into Spain’s Ceuta enclave
Hundreds of sub-Saharan African migrants stormed a border fence in a bid to get into Spain’s North African enclave of Ceuta from Morocco on Sunday. Spain said the number of migrants who attempted the crossing reached 1,100. All reportedly were sent back to Morocco, except for two who were taken to a hospital in Ceuta. Morocco put the number of migrants at 800, and said they all had been arrested. Five police officers from Spain and 50 from Morocco were injured. In early December, another 400 migrants from sub-Saharan Africa forced their way over the Ceuta border.

Source: Reuters

4. Burundi minister assassination threatens to deepen political crisis
Burundi’s minister of water, environment, and planning, Emmanuel Niyonkuru, was shot and killed Sunday on his way home from a New Year celebration. President Pierre Nkurunziza called the killing an “assassination” and said via Twitter that the “crime will not go unpunished.” The killing could increase tensions in the country, in the African Great Lakes region of East Africa. Violent protests broke out after Nkurunziza decided in April 2015 to run for a third term despite a two-term limit in the country’s constitution. A court said the first term didn’t count because Nkurunziza was elected by members of Parliament, not voters, that time. He won a third term in a vote many rivals boycotted.

Source: The New York Times

5. Chicago homicides rose dramatically in 2016
Chicago saw its biggest spike in homicides in 60 years in 2016, with the citywide total rising to 762 homicides from 485 in 2015, according to figures released by the Chicago Police Department on Sunday. The total for 2016 in the nation’s third largest city was greater than those in New York City and Los Angeles combined. The number of shooting incidents in Chicago, which has become a focus in the national debate over handguns and gun control, rose from 2,426 in 2015 to 3,550 last year.

Source: The Associated Press

6. 17 remain missing a day after deadly Indonesia ferry fire
A search resumed Monday for 17 people still missing after a fire that killed at least 23 people on a tourist ferry, the Zahro Express, operating near Jakarta, Indonesia. The blaze erupted and quickly spread through the boat, which was carrying about 260 people from a port near Jakarta to the resort island of Tidung. Most of the passengers were Indonesians celebrating the New Year. Investigators believe a short circuit in the engine room caused a fuel tank to explode.

Source: The Associated Press, BBC

7. Broncos, 49ers, and Chargers lose coaches in NFL shakeup
The San Francisco 49ers and San Diego Chargers fired their head coaches on Sunday following losing seasons. Chargers head coach Mike McCoy was fired after a loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, capping a second consecutive year at the bottom of the AFC West and third without making the playoffs. The 49ers fired both coach Chip Kelly and general manager Trent Baalke after Sunday’s narrow loss to the Seattle Seahawks and a dismal 2-14 season. Also, Denver Broncos coach Gary Kubiak informed his team he is stepping down despite a winning 24-11 record in Denver — including the 2016 Super Bowl — and the Broncos’ win over the Oakland Raiders on Sunday. “In all honesty, I’ve struggled this year,” said Kubiak, alluding to health problems that include migraines and fatigue. “I’m glad we sent him off with a win,” said Broncos quarterback Trevor Siemian.

Source: The Associated Press, USA Today

8. New York City’s Second Ave. subway line opens
New York opened its long-awaited Second Avenue subway line to the public on Sunday. The line was proposed in 1929, but the groundbreaking did not occur until 1972. Construction on the current segment began in 2007. The new line on Manhattan’s far East Side is expected to provide relief for passengers who have been jamming into the Nos. 4, 5, and 6 trains along Lexington Avenue on the Upper East Side, the nation’s most overcrowded subway line. The new line, served by the Q train, is only three stops spanning nearly two miles. It cost $4.4 billion and is expected to carry some 200,000 passengers a day, with plans to extend the line north into East Harlem.

Source: The New York Times

9. French workers get ‘right to disconnect’ from the office
France’s “right to disconnect” law took effect on Sunday, Jan. 1, giving many employees the right to ignore work emails when they are off duty. Under the law, French companies with more than 50 employees will have to negotiate with their workers and develop clear policies limiting work-related technology use and communication outside the workplace. French officials hope the new measure will help reduce worker burnout. “Employees physically leave the office, but they do not leave their work,” Socialist lawmaker Benoit Hamon told the BBC in May. “They remain attached by a kind of electronic leash, like a dog.”

Source: The Washington Post, The Guardian

10. Two arrested for high-flying protest of Dakota Access Pipeline during Vikings game
Two anti-Dakota Access Pipeline protesters were arrested Sunday and charged with trespassing and burglary for unfurling a banner from the rafters at the Minnesota Vikings’ Minneapolis stadium during a game between the Vikings and the Chicago Bears. The protesters, identified by police as Karl Mayo, 32, and Sen Holiday, 26, dangled beside the banner. The banner had the word “divest,” the logo of U.S. Bank, which has the stadium’s naming rights, and #NoDAPL printed on it.

Source: CNN, ABC News

One thought on “10 things you need to know today: January 2, 2017

  1. Re: #2. Expelled Russian diplomats leave the U.S
    There it is again, folks! “Thirty.-five Russian DIPLOMATS EXPELLED ON SUSPICION OF SPYING.”
    It looks like this is another example of U.S. Foreign Policy based on “SUSPICION”?
    WHERE IS THE GODDAMN PROOF? Shouldn’t WE, the AMERICAN voters (as well as the rest of the World) be told the actual PROOF — not just “suspicions” — that our relations with other Sovereign Nations is based on???
    I am NOT one of Trump’s followers, ready to jump off a cliff like lemmings supposedly do, and I certainly don’t love OR PLEDGE ALLEGIANCE to Russia, but I damn sure believe that a nation’s actions should be based on PROOF, rather than on SUSPICION !
    America’s justice system is based on “INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY.” Should we not treat other NATIONS the same?


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