Top 5 Live-WURD Monday November 16
1. Terror in Paris
Investigations into the series of terrorist attacks that killed more than 120 people in Paris are moving forward, with people taken into custody and one of the gun-wielding suicide bombers identified.
French President Francois Hollande has blamed the Islamic extremist group ISIS for the wave of violence Friday that put parts of Paris under siege. He called the coordinated attacks on restaurants, bars, a concert hall and a sports stadium “an act of war.”
ISIS claimed responsibility for the massacres in a statement that said eight of its militants wearing explosive belts and armed with machine guns attacked selected targets across the city.
It was the deadliest terrorist attack in Europe since the Madrid train bombings of 2004, in which 191 people died.
The attacks were carried out by three teams of terrorists who staged coordinated attacks at six locations throughout Paris late Friday, including a concert hall, the Stade de France and at least two restaurants, Paris prosecutor Francois Molins said Saturday.
Molins said Saturday that at least 129 people were killed and 352 wounded in the attacks. Ninety-nine of the wounded are reported to be in a very serious condition, he said.
2. French warplanes strike Islamic State Syria bastion
French fighter jets launched their biggest raids in Syria to date targeting the Islamic State’s stronghold in Raqqa just two days after the group claimed coordinated attacks in Paris that killed more than 130 people, the defense ministry said.
“The raid … including 10 fighter jets, was launched simultaneously from the United Arab Emirates and Jordan. Twenty bombs were dropped,” the statement said.
The operation, carried out in coordination with U.S. forces, struck a command center, recruitment center for jihadists, a munitions depot and a training camp for fighters, it said.
3. Rivals at Democratic Debate Attack Hillary Clinton
Hillary Clinton, who had set out to use the second Democratic presidential debate to portray herself as the strongest potential commander in chief while France reeled from terror attacks, instead found herself pummeled by rivals on Saturday over her ties to Wall Street and her foreign policy record.
The debate in Des Moines opened with Mrs. Clinton, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Martin O’Malley bowing their heads to observe a moment of silence in honor of the victims of the attacks in Paris on Friday. And, at least at first, the three remaining Democratic candidates seemed acutely aware that traditional political punches could seem petty in the aftermath of the bloodshed.
But then Sanders and O’Malley unleashed pointed critiques of Clinton’s foreign policy stances, including her 2002 vote to authorize the use of force in Iraq, which Sanders tied to the rise of the Islamic State, which officials in Paris have said was responsible for the attacks.
“I would argue that the disastrous invasion of Iraq — something that I strongly opposed — has unraveled the region completely and led to the rise of Al Qaeda and ISIS,” Sanders said.
4. Reviewer of emails also was recipient
A member of the judicial panel weighing sanctions against state Supreme Court Justice Michael Eakin over offensive emails was himself a recipient of pornographic messages exchanged among another justice and law enforcement officials, documents obtained by The Inquirer show.
Eugene Dooley, one of 12 members of the state Judicial Conduct Board, was among a small group of friends who received emails containing sexually explicit content from former Supreme Court Justice Seamus McCaffery and others. McCaffery resigned from the bench after the porn scandal erupted last fall.
Dooley was on the board when it voted last year to clear Eakin of misconduct over his emails – a review that was revived last month after Attorney General Kathleen Kane made public a troubling set of Eakin emails and lambasted the conduct board, suggesting it had given him a pass.
Dooley, chief of police in East Whiteland Township, did not respond to numerous phone calls and emails at his workplace.
Robert Graci, the conduct board’s lawyer, declined to say whether Dooley had recused himself from voting to clear Eakin last year – or if he would recuse himself in the fresh review of the justice’s emails
5. President Obama faces difficult choices in response to Paris terror attacks
The Paris attacks are pressuring President Obama to confront Islamic State with more aggressive military action than he has been willing to consider in the past, opening a difficult deliberation for a leader who has tried to build a legacy on ending America’s wars, not extending them.
On Sunday, Obama pledged to “redouble our efforts” to fight international terrorism following the brutal bombings and shootings that killed 129 people in the French capital.
Obama mentioned fortifying borders and continuing diplomatic talks, but that strategy is likely to evolve and get tougher as world leaders gather in Turkey for the annual Group of 20 economic summit — an event now transformed by the terror strikes into an emergency-planning meeting on Islamic State.
Following a meeting with the Turkish President, Obama condemned the mass murders as “an attack on the civilized world” and pledged to “stand in solidarity” with French authorities as they hunt down the perpetrators.
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Solomon Jones is an Essence bestselling author and award-winning columnist. He is the creator and editor of Solomonjones.com and morning host on 900 am WURD radio. Click here to learn more about Solomon