Suicide Bomber Kills 37 in Western Iraq: police officers, medical official

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Thirty seven people were killed when a suicide bomber rammed an explosives-packed Humvee military vehicle into a construction site, used by the army and police, according to two police officers and a medical official.

The blast killed 22 security personnel and 15 civilians, the medical and police sources said. The nine-story building under construction, used as a base by security personnel, was located in the center of Ramadi in western Anbar province.

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Report: Joan Rivers on Life Support

From the Daily Mail:

Sources close to Rivers have said that the television host is reliant on machines to stay alive and that the family will have to decide in the next few days whether or not to turn the machines off.

It is hoped that the star, who was put into a medically induced coma after she went into cardiac and respiratory arrest during routine surgery on Thursday, will then bounce back and recover her full health.

Sources told TMZ that no decisions will be made on Rivers’ health for at least a couple of days.

The comic’s daughter, Melissa rushed to her mother’s side on Thursday after flying from LA to New York.

The star remained in a serious condition in a New York City hospital on Friday, one day after going into cardiac arrest at a doctor’s office during a routine procedure.

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Twitter Campaign Targets Gov. Pence on Common Core Standards

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence (R) was the target of a Twitter campaign on Friday launched by Common Core opponents, who want Pence to know they’re not buying his claim that he is the first governor to repeal the Common Core standards.

As the IndyStar observes, Pence appeared to be aiming for a 2016 presidential run in Dallas on Friday as he attended Americans for Prosperity’s Defending the American Dream Summit, which is considered to be an essential event for White House hopefuls.

Pence’s claim that he repealed the Common Core standards landed him hundreds of tweets throughout the day from Common Core opponents who say he betrayed his citizens, and add his replacement standards are remarkably similar to the Core.

“Our goal is to get [Pence’s] attention so he’ll be motivated to go back to Indiana and address the sloppy Common Core rebrand that was done there,” wrote Shane Vander Hart at Truth in American Education.

Sample tweets recommended by Vander Hart included, “Hoosier parents #DeserveBetter than junk standards thrown together instead of a real plan to #StopCommonCore,” and “@GovPenceIN your Common Core rebrand violates free market principles, your state #DeservesBetter.”

Pence’s replacement standards are so similar to the Common Core that the Obama administration granted Indiana a one-year extension of its No Child Left Behind waiver, at the same time that it rescinded Oklahoma’s waiver – a state in which Common Core was fully repealed in June.

Parent organizer of Hoosiers Against Common Core Heather Crossin said governors such as Mary Fallin (R) of Oklahoma and Bobby Jindal (R) of Louisiana are exhibiting more leadership than Pence.

“It is apparent that since Gov. Pence is considered to be contemplating a presidential run, he will have to start answering to the nation about what occurred in [Indiana] on Common Core. It’s moved far beyond Hoosiers,” Crossin wrote in an email. “As a Republican candidate seeking the Oval Office, he will have a hard time explaining that with a Republican supermajority and an appointed [State Board of Education], tweaking and rebranding Common Core was the best he could do.”




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St. Louis Mayor Courts More Immigrants to Compete with Native-Born Workers

St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay believes that attracting more immigrants, even low-skilled and possibly illegal immigrants, is the key to an economic turnaround even though there are plenty American-born workers who are struggling to find jobs.

According to National Journal, Slay has volunteered to provide temporary shelter” to 60 illegal immigrant juveniles from Central America and will work with Casa de Salud, “a program that is targeted toward immigrants who are here, who need healthcare, and who are not connected to the system.” He said the program targets “generally low-income families, some of them undocumented, who come into our community,” and it is a “regional effort that we’ve undertaken.

Even in the wake of the Ferguson riots, Slay “is on a mission to make his city a magnet for immigrants” and “sees them as the answer to bringing back prosperity to the Rust Belt after decades of economic decline.”

In addition to “supporting programs to help high-skilled immigrants find work in local companies” even though there is no shortage of American high-tech workers, Slay told National Journal that attracting all types immigrants is “an economic imperative for us” and St. Louis should take “advantage of the influx of people coming into our country as much as we possibly can.”

U.S. Civil Rights Commissioner Peter Kirsanow has repeatedly emphasized that illegal immigration “has a disparate impact on African-American men because these men are disproportionately represented in the low-skilled labor force.” He mentioned that “50.9 percent of native-born blacks had not continued their education beyond high school” and noted that even massive legal immigration has not helped native-born black workers.

A recent poll that The Polling Company found that a majority of likely voters want fewer immigrants at this time and a whopping “90% of likely voters feel that “U.S.- born workers and legal immigrants already here should get first preference for jobs.”




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ISIS, al-Shabaab, Al-Qaeda, Muslim Radicalization Networks Propel San Diego to #4

Recent discovery of terrorist ISIS fighter Douglas McAuthur McCain’s body in Syria has spurred investigation into the radicalization of Muslims within the United States. 

San Diego is fourth on a list of five cities with the most “known or suspected terrorists,” according to recently leaked classified government documents. Following the 9/11 attacks, investigations in San Diego uncovered terrorists and their links to terrorist organizations al Qaeda, al-Shabaab, and ISIS, among others.

Classified government documents obtained by The Intercept include statistics on watch-listed individuals in the U.S. The 2013 document, prepared by the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC), lists the top five cities with the highest number of known or suspected terrorists (KST) in the U.S. (in order): New York, New York; Dearborn, Michigan; Houston, Texas; San Diego, California, and Chicago, Illinois.

NCTC reports have noted the high level of terrorist activity in Somalia, as terrorist group al-Shabaab has intermittently controlled various key regions of Somalia. A Center for Disease Control and Prevention document cites Office of Refugee Resettlement statistics that list Minnesota, California, Georgia, and Washington, D.C. as locations where the majority of Somalis have settled in the U.S. Thousands have come to the U.S. as refugees under the banner of fleeing war and persecution in their home country. Current population estimates of Somali-born individuals living in the U.S. range from 35,760 to 150,000.

In fiscal year 2014 so far, October 1-July 20, 290 Somalis either turned themselves in or were caught trying to sneak into the U.S. undetected through official ports of entry, according to a leaked U.S. Customs and Border Protection report obtained by Breitbart Texas. In 2010, KPBS reported on circuitous routes taken by Somalis looking to cross into the U.S. over the southwest border. Those routes would take Somalis through locations including Cuba and Tijuana, Mexico before crossing into the U.S.

In November, 2013, three Somali men in San Diego, cabdriver Basaaly Saeed Moalin, local mosque imam Mohamed Mohamed Mohamud, and money transmitter Issa Doreh were sentenced for crimes involving conspiring to or providing material support to the Islamic Somali terrorist group al-Shabaab. An FBI press release described jihadi group al-Shabaab as “a violent and brutal militia group that engages in suicide bombings, targets civilians for assassination, and uses improvised explosive devices.”

Somalia has been marked “a desirable haven for transnational terrorists, something al-Qaeda has tried to capitalize on before, and is trying again now,” according to a Council on Foreign relations analysis.

U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy said of the three men sentenced, “Months of intercepted phone conversations included discussion of suicide bombing, assassinations, and jihad,” according to the release. Evidence at trial showed that the defendants “conspired to transfer the funds from San Diego to Somalia through the Shidall Express.”

Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) and the U.S. Attorney’s office were commended by multiple people involved in the 2013 case for their tireless and effective efforts to dismantle the effort to provide support for terrorists.

A fourth man, San Diego cabdriver Ahmed Nasiri Taalil Mohamud, was also convicted for charges of conspiracy. “Moalin, a taxi driver, reportedly taught weekend classes at the local Somali mosque. Mohamud, an imam, has led prayer services at Masjid Al-Ansar for the past 10 years,” according to a 2010 post on the Anti-Defamation League website. Masjid Al-Ansar is located just over a block from Masjid Nur.

Breitbart recently reported that Masjid Nur is the mosque associated with Douglas McAuthur McCain, an American recently killed fighting for ISIS in Syria. McCain was from Minnesota, but worked and went to college in San Diego.

August 29, Breitbart Texas released a newly leaked document from the Texas Department of Public Safety, warning federal agents of ISIS’s active efforts to exploit weaknesses in the U.S. southwest border. The warning referred to “Outright calls for ISIS to infiltrate the southwestern border through Mexico to stage terrorist attacks.” Though the report focused on Texas, Breitbart Texas confirmed agents received the ISIS terror warning across the entire U.S.-Mexico border.

In December, 2012, San Diego woman Nima Yusuf was sentenced after admitting to conspiring with multiple Minnesota al-Shabaab recruiters to provide money and personnel to fight under al-Shabaab. According to an FBI report, Yusuf tried to recruit a local San Diego man to fight for al-Shabaab. In a 2010 phone conversation, Yusuf “suggested that America was responsible for the 9/11 attacks and expressed hope for an even greater catastrophe in the future: “Oh. It will be happening again. Trust me, more this time it will be double…triple their deaths. [Laughter.]”

Infamous 9/11-associated terrorist Anwar Al-Awlaki, born in America, moved to San Diego in 1996, where he attended graduate school and served as imam at the Rabat mosque, ABC News reported. While in San Diego, Al-Awlaki met with an associate of “Blind Sheik” Omar Abdel Rahman, a terrorist “convicted in connection with the 1993 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center.”

Al-Awlaki also met with the first two of the 9/11 hijackers who entered the United States during his time in San Diego. Khalid al-Midhdar and Nawaf al-Hazmi reportedly rented apartments in Clairemont, took flight lessons at Montgomery Field, attended Al-Awlaki’s mosque, and had private meetings with him to discuss attacks on the USS Cole and 9/11. Officials, according to 10 News, say Al-Awlaki advised the “underwear bomber” and attempted Times Square bomber Faisal Shahzad.

Al-Awlaki once was considered a moderate Muslim before leaving the states and was recorded as saying, “Islam is a religion of peace” in a 2001 Washington Post video. In 2002, living at his family’s home in Yemen, Al-Awlaki created online videos “preaching jihad against the United States,” according to ABC.

Another 9/11 hijacker, Hani Hanjour, was identified as having San Diego connections. After the attacks, four more San Diegans were arrested as material witnesses, and three were charged, ABC reported.

Law enforcement and intelligence efforts in San Diego are hailed as part of the reason that San Diego has not seen a greater level of terrorist activity. Unique qualities make San Diego a draw for many around the country, including terrorists. Programs operated by the FBI and the JTTF, the San Diego Sheriff’s department and Police department, as well as information provided through the county website have reportedly aided in suppressing activities of terrorists present in the region.

Exponentially increased traffic at the southwest border in recent years provides yet another opportunity for enemies of the U.S. to obtain access to the country. It is the men and women of U.S. Customs and Border Protection that provide the country with a first line of defense to prevent more terrorists from entering the country.

Follow Michelle Moons on Twitter @Michelle Diana




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