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Elliott Abrams bristles at Rep. Ilhan Omar's 'attack' for his Iran-Contra role The Kaepernick-Reid NFL settlement: How we got here, and what's next

Elliott Abrams bristles at Rep. Ilhan Omar's 'attack' for his Iran-Contra roleElliott Abrams, who pleaded guilty in 1991 to withholding information from Congress, was appointed as U.S. envoy to Venezuela on Friday.


Colin Kaepernick and Eric Reid have settled their joint collusion-grievance filing with the NFL. Here's what we know, and what we don't.
British schoolgirl Shamima Begum who joined Isil found in Syria and 'wants to come home' Kuzma wins Rising Stars MVP, credits bonus

British schoolgirl Shamima Begum who joined Isil found in Syria and 'wants to come home'A British schoolgirl who fled to Syria to join Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant has said she does not regret it, but wants to return to the UK to give birth. Shamima Begum, 19, vanished from her home in Bethnal Green in London four years ago, along with two other teenage girls, Kadiza Sultana and Amira Abase. A girl who identified herself as Shamima Begum, was found in a refugee camp in Syria as the Isil caliphate collapsed, the Times reported. In an interview with the newspaper she described how she had been living in the caliphate and had married an Isil fighter from the Netherlands called Yago Riedijk. She was heavily pregnant and due to give birth any day. Kadiza Sultana, Amira Abase, and Shamima Begum  Credit: PA The girl is living in the al-Hawl refugee camp in northern Syria along with 39,000 other refugees. She described having seen a severed head in a bin during her time with Isil, and escaping bombs dropping, the Times reported. The teenager also said she had already given birth to two children, both of whom died in infancy. She told the Times: "I’m not the same silly little 15-year-old schoolgirl who ran away from Bethnal Green four years ago. And I don’t regret coming here." She added: "I am scared this baby is going to get sick in this camp, that's why I want to get back to Britain, because I know my baby will be looked after." The three girls had joined another London teenager, Sharmeena Begum, in Syria. All were married off to jihadists.  Shamima Begum said at least one of her friends, Kadiza Sultana, had been killed when a bomb hit a house in Raqqa. Renu, eldest sister of Shamima Begum, 15, holds her sister's photo while being interviewed by the media at New Scotland Yard, central London Credit: PA The other two girls reportedly stayed on to fight in Baghuz in eastern Syria, along with a few hundred Isil fighters, as the caliphate came to an end. Shamima Begum and her husband fled instead, and the husband surrendered to Kurdish forces. The girl told the Times she had spoken to her mother in the UK and asked for her support when she goes home. She had also read what had been written about her online by people back in the UK. "The caliphate is over," she told the Times. "There was so much oppression and corruption that I don’t think they deserved victory. I know what everyone at home thinks of me. But I just want to come home to have my child. All I want to do is come home to Britain." British teenagers Kadiza Sultana, Amira Abase and Shamima Begum passing through security barriers at Gatwick Airport, en route to Syria in 2015 Credit: AFP The Home Office said it does not comment on individual cases, although anyone who returns to the UK after travelling to IS territory faces criminal investigation and stricter laws are now in place. Security Minister Ben Wallace said: "The UK advises against all travel to Syria and parts of Iraq. Anyone who does travel to these areas, for whatever reason, is putting themselves in considerable danger. "Everyone who returns from taking part in the conflict in Syria or Iraq must expect to be investigated by the police to determine if they have committed criminal offences, and to ensure that they do not pose a threat to our national security. "There are a range of terrorism offences where individuals can be convicted for crimes committed overseas and we can also use Temporary Exclusion Orders to control an individuals' return to the UK." A displaced Syrian woman and a child walk toward tents at the Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camp of al-Hol in al-Hasakeh governorate in northeastern Syria Credit: AFP Tasnime Akunjee, a lawyer who was instructed by the Bethnal Green girls' families after they ran away, said he was "glad (Ms Begum) is alive and safe". He told the Press Association the authorities should be reminded of former Metropolitan Police Commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe's position at the time of their disappearance. "The position of the Metropolitan Police was that they should be treated as victims, so long as they hadn't committed any further offences while they are out there," he said. Mr Akunjee said he had spoken to the girls' families, who had "expressed the position that they want time and space to process what's happened". The Western-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) are expected to announce the territorial defeat of Isil in the coming days. Around 2,000 US special forces are expected to be brought home by April. Giving evidence to MPs in the wake of the British schoolgirls's disappearance, in 2015, senior police officers said they would not be treated as criminals if they returned home. They said there was a "difference between the person running around with a Kalishnikov" and three schoolgirls who had been duped into travelling to Syria. The girls funded their travel to Syria by stealing jewellery from relatives, paying more than £1,000 in cash to a local travel agent for their flights to Turkey. Donald Trump has said Isil is "defeated"and that an announcement is imminent on "100 percent of the caliphate" having been retaken. The war to push Isil out of its so-called caliphate had lasted more than four-and-a-half years. The area once covered part of Syria and Iraq that was around the size of Britain. Pentagon officials have warned that Isil remains an "active insurgent group in both Iraq and Syria". Sign up for your essential, twice-daily briefing from The Telegraph with our free Front Page newsletter.


Los Angeles Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma took home the Rising Stars MVP on Friday. Kuzma's 35 points in Team USA's 161-144 victory broke Kobe Bryant's record for the most points ever by a Lakers player in the Rising Stars Challenge.
10 Things to Know for Today Kaepernick, Reid settle grievances against NFL

10 Things to Know for TodayCongress is set to resolve its clattering brawl with President Donald Trump in uncommonly bipartisan fashion as lawmakers prepare to pass a border security compromise. European plane manufacturer Airbus says it will stop making its superjumbo A380 in 2021 for lack of customers.


The NFL and Colin Kaepernick and Eric Reid issued a joint statement Friday saying they had resolved the collusion grievances filed by the players.
Amazon drops New York headquarters plan amid protests Kuchar apologizes to caddie, pays him full $50K

Amazon drops New York headquarters plan amid protestsAmazon abandoned plans for a new headquarters in New York City on Thursday, blaming opposition from community leaders angry at the huge subsidies being offered to one of the world's most successful companies. The online retail giant had promised the sprawling complex in the borough of Queens would create 25,000 jobs in exchange for nearly $3 billion in state and city incentives -- which had riled some New Yorkers. "While polls show that 70 percent of New Yorkers support our plans and investment, a number of state and local politicians have made it clear that they oppose our presence and will not work with us to build the type of relationships that are required to go forward with the project," Amazon said in a statement.


Matt Kuchar planned to call caddie David Giral Ortiz later Friday to apologize. He also has paid Ortiz the $50,000 he requested, and pledged a donation to the Mayakoba Classic charities.
Kashmir car bomb kills 44; India demands Pakistan act against militants Lakers no longer favored to make playoffs

Kashmir car bomb kills 44; India demands Pakistan act against militantsThe Pakistan-based Islamist militant group Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) claimed responsibility for the attack. Kashmir is a Muslim-majority region at the heart of decades of hostility between India and Pakistan. The explosion targeting a convoy of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) was heard from several miles away, according to witnesses.


The Lakers opened the season as overwhelming -600 favorites to make the postseason at The SuperBook. Now, LeBron's team has equal odds to make and miss the playoffs.


 New Zealand Local News
 
 

New Zealand Views and Opinions
 
Why U.S. Engagement Policy Is The Correct One

Invariably, when one thinks of the efficacy of a nation’s military, the mind’s eye is drawn to the ability of that country to deliver a \"warhead onto the forehead\" of their enemies. Indeed, owing to the Pentagon’s slick packaging of the First Gulf War, modern conflict, in the American mind, became synonymous with high-tech toys, grainy videos of successful missile shots, and a quick resolution of hostilities.

Living Wages Are A Global Problem

The recent protests for an increased minimum wage are part of a larger global protest. The purpose is the same for low wage earners all over the world; increase wages to match the cost of living, and allow workers to form unions if desired and needed. The global protest has gained media attention all over the world, but critics claim that is the only accomplishment the movement will have.

Ukraine: Not What It Seems

After tense days of fighting this week, people in Ukraine are mourning the dead and celebrating the removal of President Victor Yanukovych from power. The final struggle that began on February 18, was the bloodiest endured by the protesters of Euromaidan. By February 22 the fighting was over.

In a Five to Four Decision, Voting Just Got Harder

In a five to four decision along party lines, the Supreme Court ruled on the controversial Shelby County v. Holder case. The ruling, believed by many sets the nation back decades in Civil Rights, while others see it as the fault of Congress dropping the ball on updating the act when it should have years ago.

Coup Or Civil War In Egypt

The day after new protests erupted in Egypt the military in a show of support presented an ultimatum to Mohamed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood-led government. Morsi was to step down from power and meet all of the demands of the Egyptian people, or face being removed by the military on Wednesday. As the ultimatum deadline draws closer in Egypt, Morsi refuses to leave, insisting that parliamentary elections are needed before he should be removed, and that he doesn't have permission from the United States to remove himself from power. Most recently he stated he will pay with his life to preserve the sanctity of the ballot box.

 

 
 
 
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