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Newsflash: ISIS Launches Multiple Attacks in Iraq and Egypt, Texas Executes Another Man, Obama’s Budget Triples Aid to Central America

Uprising’s guest expert Cristina Mislan, Assistant Professor of Journalism Studies at the Missouri School of Journalism, analyzes to day’s news headlines:

Just a day after US officials and Kurdish rebels declared a major victory against the Islamic State group in Kobane, Syria, reports have emerged of a major attack by ISIS in the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk against the local Kurdish population. Separately a series of bombings killed nearly two dozen people in Samarra and Baghdad. In Egypt, the first major attack by a group aligning itself with ISIS also took place. A number of simultaneous bombings left 26 people dead in the Sinai. The New York Times called it, “the most complicated and widely coordinated terrorist attack in Egypt in years.” A group calling itself the Sinai Province of the Islamic State took credit. And, Jordan’s negotiations with ISIS over a prisoner swap have come to a standstill, leaving the family of a Jordanian captured pilot on tenterhooks. ISIS demanded that Jordan deliver an Al Qaeda female prisoner named Sajida al-Rishawi to the Turkish border last night before it would release the pilot. His fate, and that of a Japanese journalist being held with him, remains unknown.

Click here for the Reuters article, Islamic State attacks Kurdish outposts across Iraq.

Click here for The New York Times article, Bomb Attacks at Security Sites in Sinai Kill at Least 26.

Click here for the USA Today story, Agonizing silence on fate of ISIS hostages.

Texas has executed yet another man – the second in the US this week to die at the hands of the state. A 57-year old African American man named Robert Ladd was killed by lethal injection after the Supreme Court denied an appeal on the grounds of mental disability. Ladd was convicted of the brutal murder of a woman in 1996. Earlier this week Georgia killed another African American man named Warren Hill, whose attorneys made a strong case for a stay based on intellectual disability that the Court also denied. Both men were killed by lethal injection. The Court, two days ago, did stay the executions of three prisoners in Oklahoma, two white, and one black, in response to a legal challenge of the cruelty and pain caused by at least one chemical used in that state’s lethal injection cocktail. Arguments in their case will be heard by Justices in April.

Click here for The Huffington Post article, Robert Ladd Executed In Texas Despite Claims Mental Impairment Made Him Ineligible.

Click here for The New York Times article, US justices delay the executions of 3 on Oklahoma’s death row.

And finally President Obama revealed the main thrusts of his 2016 budget proposal yesterday. In an op-ed in the New York Times, Vice President Joe Biden expanded on one major aspect of the proposal – aid to Central American countries. In response to the brief influx of child migrants arriving in the US from countries like Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador, the Obama Administration plans to ask Congress to set aside $1 billion in aid, tripling the amount usually offered to the region. Biden wrote, that the aid would “help Central America’s leaders make the difficult reforms and investments required to address the region’s interlocking security, governance and economic challenges.” Strangely he cited the US-funded Plan Colombia as a model. Colombia has struggled for years with a right wing US-backed government, funding paramilitaries that are as vicious as the rebels they fought.

Click here for The Hill.com article, Obama to request $1B for Central America in wake of border crisis.