Syria | KERA News

Syria

Updated at 2:01 p.m. ET

More than 100 missiles were launched early Saturday morning by the U.S. and its allies France and the U.K., targeting three chemical weapons sites in Syria. The mission, according to Pentagon officials, has "significantly crippled" Syrian President Bashar Assad's ability to manufacture chemical weapons. No casualties have been reported.

Updated at 2:03 a.m. ET Saturday

The U.S., Britain and France carried out airstrikes early Saturday against three sites in Syria in response to a suspected chemical weapons attack last week by President Bashar Assad's regime.

As the Trump administration evaluates potential military operations against Syria, the White House has declined to explain why it believes it has the legal authority to conduct them without authorization from Congress.

But the White House does have a secret seven-page memo that may make the case.

Updated at 1:09 p.m. ET

President Trump had a ready retort to a Russian threat to shoot down any U.S. missiles in Syria: "Get ready Russia, because they will be coming, nice and new and 'smart!' "

Trump tweeted that news early Wednesday and added, "You shouldn't be partners with a Gas Killing Animal who kills his people and enjoys it!"

Updated: 1:10 a.m. ET on Monday

Dozens of Syrians in Douma have died by suffocation, following reports of a chemical attack. Douma is the last rebel-held enclave in eastern Ghouta, near the capital Damascus. The alleged attack comes amidst days of heavy bombardment by government forces in an effort to assert control over the town.

In 2012, as Syria's internal unrest deepened into full-scale civil war, Syrians living in the U.S. were offered an opportunity: If they met certain conditions and paid the requisite fees, they could register for temporary protection from deportation — and avoid having to return to the violence that awaited them back home.

The MacArthur Foundation will give $100 million to Elmo, Big Bird and their buddies to massively scale up early childhood development programs for Syrian refugees.

Sesame Workshop and the International Rescue Committee won a global competition by the MacArthur Foundation seeking solutions to what the judges called "a critical problem of our time."

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has confirmed that the United States and Russia have agreed to a cease-fire in southwestern Syria.

Tillerson — speaking to the press following a much-anticipated 2 1/2 hour meeting between President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin — said the agreement was set to take effect on Sunday. Jordan and Israel are also part of the deal, the Associated Press reports, quoting an unnamed U.S. official.

From Texas Standard:

It’s one day after United States Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) assured residents of Denton that the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, is not dead.

Cruz joined Host David Brown to talk about foreign affairs, repealing Obamacare and this year’s race for the Senate.

A U.S. Navy strike group has been ordered to relocate to the western Pacific Ocean, providing a physical presence near the Korean Peninsula as concerns mount over North Korea's missile program.

The Pentagon announced the deployment late Saturday. In a statement, U.S. Pacific Command spokesman David Benham said the Carl Vinson Strike Group set sail toward the peninsula from Singapore.

From Texas Standard:

The U.S. missile strike on a Syrian air base, Thursday raises a number of questions about President Donald Trump’s true intentions in the region. Trump announced that the strike was in retaliation for Syria’s chemical weapons attack on a town in the northern part of the country, earlier in the week. But after six years of war, 300,000 dead, 5 million refugees and now 59 cruise missiles, fired 100 years to the day after the U.S. entered the war in which chemical weapons were first used, many are asking what will happen next?

Hours after President Trump ordered a missile strike on a Syrian air base, responses from the rest of the world are beginning to stack up.

The U.S. military operation, which fired 59 Tomahawk missiles at the Shayrat air base, was conducted in retaliation for an apparent chemical attack by Syrian President Bashar Assad's forces.

Updated at 10:30 a.m. ET

Lawmakers on Capitol Hill want the Trump administration to outline a broader strategy in Syria following the president's decision to authorize U.S. missile strikes Thursday night in response to the apparent chemical weapons attack by Syrian President Bashar Assad.

From Texas Standard:

Tuesday, Syria launched a chemical gas attack on a northern area held by rebels. Pope Francis has called the attack an “unacceptable massacre,” according to the New York Times. And an unnamed state department official has called it a war crime.

Lauren Silverman / KERA News

More than 60 million people have been displaced from their homes because of conflict around the world – officials say that number is unprecedented.

SMU hosted a conversation about the global refugee crisis Tuesday evening. Former First Lady Laura Bush was among more than 150 people who attended.

Courtesy of Hydronalix

Robots aren’t just in our living rooms vacuuming rugs or in warehouses moving boxes. They’re everywhere: connecting pipes on offshore oil rigs, harvesting marijuana in Colorado and replacing batteries outside the International Space Station. They're even helping rescue refugees who are trying to cross the Mediterranean.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Robert Anderson

A Fort Worth plastic surgeon just returned from a 7,000-mile house call to Lebanon. Dr. Robert Anderson spent more than a week there with Dallas-based LEAP Global Missions, treating displaced Syrians living in refugee camps. What he saw, he says, was devastating.

After years of devastating war, days of increasing desperation and the collapse of one cease-fire, evacuations are underway in besieged eastern Aleppo.

Live images on Syrian state TV showed ambulances entering the rebel-held enclave on Thursday morning to evacuate the wounded. Aid groups confirm that evacuations have begun — despite reports of a brief burst of gunfire targeting ambulances.

As President Bashar Assad's army pushes into the last few neighborhoods controlled by rebels in Aleppo, the Syrian leader can claim a stronger position than at any point since the early days of a war that broke out in 2011.

This doesn't mean Syria's bloodletting is over, but it is entering a new phase.

Assad acknowledged this in an interview Wednesday with Russian television:

Donald Trump's election has sent tremors through America's refugee advocate community, and caused fear and uncertainty among the most recently resettled refugees, the Syrians. They listened with alarm as candidate Trump called them "terrorists" and blamed them, incorrectly, for violent attacks in America.

Almost Half Of Texas Voters Support Banning Muslims, New Poll Says

Feb 25, 2016
Jimmy Emerson / flickr.com/photos/auvet/

Almost half of the state’s voters support banning non-U.S. Muslims from entering the country, and more than half support immediate deportation of undocumented immigrants now living in the United States, according to the latest University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll.

Shutterstock

Commentator Lee Cullum recently attended a conference in Berlin where the main topic was supposed to be the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. But she says all anyone could think about were the migrants pouring into Germany from the Middle East. 

The migrant crisis in Europe and the Middle East lurches from one drama to the next by the day. First it's a rickety boat floundering in the Mediterranean. Next it's a new surge of migrants landing on European shores. Suddenly it's thousands of refugees stranded in an unwelcoming Hungary.

The numbers are also changing by the day. Here's a snapshot of the best and most recent figures as this unfolds:

Reaction from lawmakers – from Texas and elsewhere -- continues to pour in following last night’s presidential address to the nation about Syria.

Sen. John Cornyn, a Texas Republican, said that a U.S. attack that allows Syrian President Bashar Assad to remain in power wouldn’t promote U.S. national security interests. Cornyn calls a strike "reckless" and "ill-advised."

Lawrence Jackson / The White House

UPDATE at 11:25 a.m. Wednesday: President Obama addressed the nation Tuesday night to discuss the Syrian crisis. The address comes as Syrian President Bashar Assad says he might be willing to give up his chemical weapons. PBS and NPR provided live coverage of the president's address. NPR developed this viewer's guide to the president's speech.  Obama sat down with PBS on Monday to discuss the situation. Assad spoke with PBS' Charlie Rose over the weekend. In case you missed the speech, scroll below for the video of the president's remarks. NPR published a live blog during Obama's address -- here's a recap.

Bill Ingalls / NASA

Democrats and Republicans who represent Texas in Congress are weighing in about a potential U.S. military strike against Syria.