Top 5 Live-WURD Wednesday November 18
1. One man’s escape from Damascus to Philly
Khaldoun is son of a university professor and a gynecologist, with a brother who’s a cardiology fellow at Temple University and with a U.S. visa. Now 21, Khaldoun is one of just a trickle of Syrian migrants to reach the United States and apply for political asylum.
Now, in the wake of Friday’s terrorist attack by ISIS on Paris that killed 129 people, even that weak stream may flow to a halt.
More than two dozen governors from Texas to New Hampshire vowed that their states would seek to block any Syrian refugees from arriving – citing widespread panic that ISIS terrorists might be embedded among refugees.
Pennsylvania’s Gov. Wolf bucked that trend, vowing to continue to work to accept refugees. In a taste of the brewing political wars, GOP state Rep. Lou Barletta, who was elected on a platform of fighting undocumented immigrants, claimed there was no good way to vet refugees for terror ties, and pleaded with Wolf to change his mind.
2. Bobby Jindal suspends his presidential campaign
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal says he is dropping out of 2016 race for president, ending a campaign that failed to gain much support among Republicans.
Jindal tells Fox News, “This is not my time.”
He says he’s not ready to endorse another candidate, but intends to support the eventual Republican presidential nominee.
The governor, who is term-limited and will be out of office in January, says he will work with a think tank he started a few years ago, called America Next.
Jindal focused his entire campaign effort on the early voting state of Iowa. But he never won much support there against higher-profile Republican contenders Donald Trump and Ben Carson. Jindal’s fundraising lagged, and his low poll numbers kept him off the main debate stages.
3. Settlement gives thousands of local students debt relief
The Art Institute of Philadelphia is among a network of for-profit colleges nationwide that will forgive nearly $103 million in student loans under a multistate settlement of complaints that alleged the company used high-pressure tactics to enroll unqualified students.
In Pennsylvania, 2,683 students stand to benefit from a total of more than $4 million in debt relief, said Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane, whose office noted 39 state attorneys general joined the settlement with the Pittsburgh-based Education Management Corp., which enrolls more than 100,000 students online and at 110 locations in 32 states and Canada.
In New Jersey, nearly 1,000 students are eligible to get about $1.3 million in relief, according to Acting Attorney General John J. Hoffman. The company has no campuses in that state but the students either were enrolled online or attended classes in a nearby state, the attorney general said.
“We allege that EDMC took advantage of, and caused harm to, many students through deceptive recruiting practices and exaggerated claims,” Hoffman said in a statement. “Today’s consumer settlement is important because it not only provides a degree of relief for EDMC students who were left with unfulfilled promises and significant debt, but ensures greater accountability and transparency by the company going forward.”
4. Lincoln U. tightens security after gunfire
Lincoln University is tightening security after five gun shots were fired at a dormitory earlySaturday on the rural Chester County campus.
No one was hurt in the incident, which followed an altercation at a party Friday evening. University police are investigating with assistance from state police and the Chester County District Attorney’s office. No arrests have been made.
Under new procedures, only one of the university’s gates – the one on Baltimore Pike facing the gymnasium – will be open to visitors, who will have to show identification to the officer on duty, Interim President Richard Green said in a memo to students, faculty and staff.
Students, staff and faculty are being required to carry their university identification at all times.
“This is what we’re doing for now to make sure the campus is safe,” said Maureen Stokes, a university spokeswoman.
Lincoln officials held a mandatory safety meeting for students Tuesday and asked all staff and faculty to attend. Carmina Taylor, whose son is a senior at Lincoln, said parents should have been informed earlier of the incident.
5. Brother of Paris suspect: Surrender
The older brother of Salah Abdeslam, the man being hunted internationally for his alleged role in the Paris terror attacks last week, urged the suspect Tuesday to turn himself over to authorities.
“I would tell him to surrender. That’s the best solution,” Mohamed Abdeslam told CNN’s Erin Burnett. “But of course, if he has something to do with it, he must accept responsibility.”
Authorities are combing through evidence as they try to track down the 26-year-old fugitive. And there could be another suspect tied to the attacks on the loose.
A source close to the investigation told CNN that there’s a “strong presumption” that another suspect linked to the attacks is at large, in addition to Abdeslam.
In their push to unravel the attack plot and the suspected network behind it, counterterrorism and intelligence officials say they’ve discovered cell phones believed to belong to the attackers.
According to the officials, one of the phones contained a message, sent sometime before the attacks began, to the effect of: OK, we’re ready.
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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