Dec 17 2014

Newsflash: Pakistan Mourns 132 Children Killed on a School, Cuba Frees Alan Gross, President Obama Signs Spending Measure into Law

Daily News Flash | Published 17 Dec 2014, 10:30 am | Comments Off on Newsflash: Pakistan Mourns 132 Children Killed on a School, Cuba Frees Alan Gross, President Obama Signs Spending Measure into Law -

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Uprising’s guest expert Courtney Morris, Assistant Professor of African American and Women’s Studies at Penn State University, analyzes today’s new headlines:

Burials are underway for the 132 Pakistani children killed in a horrifying attack on a school in Peshawar. Members of a Taliban group have taken credit for the armed attack which is being considered the deadliest such attack in Pakistan’s history. Today kicks of a 3-day period of national mourning in Pakistan. Meanwhile, Army Chief Gen. Raheel Sharif is in Afghanistan today to enlist the help of Afghan President Ashraf Ghani to present a united front against the Taliban. Gen. John F. Campbell of the joint US and NATO forces in Afghanistan is also meeting with the Pakistani official. It is thought that Taliban forces involved in the attack have sanctuary inside Afghanistan, which shares a long, porous border with Pakistan.

Click here for The New York Times article, Pakistani Army Chief Asks Afghans to Help Find Taliban Commanders Behind Massacre.

Click here for the Reuters’ article, Anger and grief as Pakistan buries students massacred at school.

Cuba has agreed to free Alan Gross, an American contractor held prisoner in a Cuban military hospital for five years over alleged spying on behalf of the US government. The move is part of a prisoner swap agreement, with the US, which will free the last 3 of the so-called Cuban Five prisoners. The Cuban Five were arrested and imprisoned in the US more than a decade ago, and accused of being spies. In fact they were part of a Cuban counter-intelligence program aimed at undermining US-based attacks on Cuba. Two of the five have served their terms and were released over the past year. The last three will now be returned to Cuba. According to US news reports, “The White House is indicating the beginning of new talks on everything from travel restrictions to eventual lifting of the Cuban embargo.”

Click here for the ABC News article, Alan Gross: Cuba Releases American After Five Years in Prison.

Click here for The New York time background article, Alan Gross and the Cuban Five: A Timeline.

And finally President Obama last night quietly signed a $1.1 trillion spending measure passed by both houses of Congress. The measure will ensure that all but one government departments are fully funded through next September. The Department of Homeland Security will need to renew its funding in February, a set-up for a fight over the President’s Executive Action on Immigration. The bill was opposed by some Democrats because it weakens parts of the already-weak financial reform law known as the Dodd-Frank bill, and possibly extends the public bailout of corporations engaged in risky trading. Senator Elizabeth Warren in particular raised her voice against the bill, even as she quashed rumors that she might run for President. Incidentally former Florida governor, Jeb Bush has just announced his sights for the Republican Presidential ticket.

Click here for The Wall Street Journal’s article, Obama Quietly Signs $1.1 Trillion Spending Bill.

Click here for The Guardian’s article, $1.1tn US budget deal imperiled by revolt over taxpayer net for risky bank trades.

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