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Ethiopia Arrests 14 Al-Shabaab, ISIS Terrorists

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Ethiopia’s National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS), says it has arrested 14 Al-shabaab and ISIS terrorist members who were on a mission to carry out attacks on various areas in the country.
The state-owned Ethiopian News Agency (ENA) quoted NISS as saying that Al-Shabaab and ISIS sent their members to the capital, Addis Ababa, and various parts of the country “to carry out terrorist acts that damage human life and property as well as tarnish the image of the country”.
It said communication equipment and other materials prepared to be used for the destructive missions were also seized.
ENA said members of the terrorist group had been recruiting people, plotting terrorist attacks and identifying targets for their attacks.
“One of the Al-Shabaab terrorists, Abdul Abdi Jamal, nicknamed Abdulqadir, entered the country to carry out crime in coordination with Al-Shabaab by establishing direct links with the Al-Shabaab leader, Jafar or Gure, in Somalia,” it said.
ENA added that the coordinator of the ISIS terrorist cell in Ethiopia, Aman Assefa Gedimwork, was arrested by the NISS on suspicion of plotting to carry out terrorist attacks.
NISS said the terrorist groups plotted to attack various parts of the country, seizing the window of opportunity opened by the conflict in Tigray Region, where the federal government has been carrying out a military operation.
In the fighting, the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) has admitted firing rockets at two cities in a neighbouring state.
ENA quoted the Ethiopia State of Emergency task force as saying that late Friday, rockets were fired towards the cities of Bahir Dar and Gondar in the Amhara Region.
As a result, it said the airport areas were damaged.
Regional and political tensions have risen since 2018 when newly-elected Ethiopian Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed, merged several ethnically-based regional parties into a single national force, amid an ambitious reform programme.
Violence erupted at the start of the month in Tigray involving federal and local forces, following the reported takeover of an army base in the Tigrayan capital, Mekelle, which prompted the prime minister to order a military offensive.
Prior to the Tigray escalation, dozens of people in western Oromia region were killed and injured in attacks.
The Ethiopian Federal Government has also declared a six-month state of emergency in the Tigray Region, whose government is controlled by TPLF.

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Key Suspect In Haitian President’s Murder Extradited To US

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Rodolphe Jaar, a key suspect in the murder of former Haitian President Jovenel Moise, was yesterday extradited to the United States from the Dominican Republic, media reported.
Earlier, media reported that Jaar, a Haitian businessman and convicted drug trafficker, was arrested in the Dominican Republic.
On Wednesday, the suspect was detained by United States federal agents in Miami upon his arrival from the Dominican Republic, the Miami Herald newspaper reported.
Moise was shot dead at his residence on July 7, 2021, while his wife sustained injuries and subsequently received medical treatment in the United States.
Haitian authorities have detained over 40 suspects in Moise’s assassination, including 18 Colombian citizens and five United States citizens.

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Otto Warmbier’s Family Awarded $240,000

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The family of Otto Warmbier, an American student who was detained in North Korea for 17 months and died in 2017 shortly after being returned to the United States in a coma, was awarded more than $240,000 in seized assets from Pyongyang, a New York federal court ruled.
Why it matters: The payment is part of a $500 million wrongful death lawsuit, in which Warmbier’s family alleged that North Korea took him hostage, tortured him and was responsible for his death.
Warmbier, a 21-year-old University of Virginia student at the time, travelled to North Korea in 2015, where he was arrested and accused of stealing a propaganda poster from a restricted area of his hotel.
After publicly confessing to the crime with a script that some experts have said was likely drafted by North Korean officials, Warmbier was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor.
After a total of 17 months in captivity, he was flown back to the United States on June 13 with severe brain damage that North Korea attributed, without evidence, to botulism, and he died six days later in a Cincinnati hospital.
A federal judge in December, 2018 ruled that North Korea was responsible for Warmbier’s death and ordered Pyongyang to pay his family $500 million.
The big picture: The $240,000 awarded by the Northern District Court of New York last week was seized from the country’s Korea Kwangson Banking Corp after the government and bank did not respond to multiple court orders and notices.

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‘Why Schumer Picked A Filibuster Fight He Couldn’t Win’

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Chuck Schumer doesn’t typically lead his caucus into losing votes that divide Democrats. He made an exception for election reform.
The Senate majority leader has run a 50-50 Senate for a year now, longer than anyone else. The whole time, Kyrsten Sinema and Joe Manchin have consistently communicated to Schumer that he wouldn’t get their votes to weaken the filibuster, no matter the underlying issue. But his decision to force the vote on the caucus anyway – and get 48 Democrats on the record for a unilateral rules change dubbed “the nuclear option” – will go down as one of Schumer’s riskiest moves as leader.
The New Yorker was a defender and wielder of the filibuster while serving as minority leader during Donald Trump’s presidency. But Democrats’ year of work on writing elections and voting legislation – and GOP opposition to an effort designed to undo state-level ballot restrictions – turned Schumer into a proponent of scrapping the Senate’s 60-vote threshold, at least for this bill.
He and most of his members have endorsed what they see as a limited change to chamber rules. Even so, Schumer has set the table for a future majority with a slightly bigger margin, whether it’s Democratic or Republican, to follow through where he fell short and perhaps go further.
Schumer gave Manchin months of space to work on a compromise elections bill, despite activists pushing him to move quicker. The leader’s insistence on a vote that will split his caucus has only trained more ire on the West Virginian and Sinema of Arizona, whom he needs to execute the rest of President Joe Biden’s agenda. Yet Schumer says he had no choice.
“We sent our best emissary to talk to the Republicans. That was Joe Manchin. And we gave him months,” Schumer said in an interview on Wednesday. “The epiphany that occurred on a rules change? He didn’t even get any bites.”
Though social spending, coronavirus relief and infrastructure have at times consumed the Senate this Congress, no topic has riveted Democrats like voting and election reform. Schumer designed Democrats’ first version of the bill “S. 1” – denoting it as the party’s top priority. Even when senators were digging into other legislation, Schumer was still maneuvering on elections, convening weekly meetings with a small group of senators for months.

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