FSRN Weekly Edition – January 8, 2016
- Obama takes executive action on guns; calls on Congress to do more
- ICE raids targeting Central American adults with children trigger community panic
- Homeless population in LA braces for strong El Niño season
- Geo-political shifts follow Saudi Arabia’s mass executions; 47 people put to death
- France commemorates Charlie Hebdo attacks amid state of emergency and proposed changes to constitution
- Agroforestry program aims to protect Congo Basin rainforest while increasing yields for farmers
President Obama issued executive action on guns this week – encompassing expanded background checks, firearms technology and broader access to mental health care. Opponents say they will challenge the action in the courts and seek to block funding for various initiatives included in the plan. After announcing the action in remarks at the White House earlier in the week, Obama held a town-hall style meeting Thursday, inviting both supporters and opponents of gun control — though the NRA declined to attend. Tanya Snyder has more on the president’s plan.
Just after the new year, immigration agents began conducting deportation raids in at least three states, enforcing removal orders against Central Americans. FSRN’s Shannon Young has more.
The arrival of El Niño-fueled storms in Los Angeles, California this New Year brought power outages, flooding and mudslides. It’s just the beginning of a series of storms in the forecast that meteorologists expect will be more severe than normal. While the weather conditions are creating major problems for commuters and homeowners. FSRN’s Lena Nozizwe reports that thousands of homeless residents of LA, are left out in the rain and cold.
Tensions between Saudi Arabia and Iran escalated dramatically since the start of the year. Last weekend, Saudi Arabia put forty-seven people to death in a mass execution. Among them was influential political dissident and Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr al Nimr. Nell Abram talks with Omer Aziz, a fellow at the Yale Information Society Project. He recently published a piece in the Huffington Post called “Wahhabism, Saudi Arabia, and Their Gift to Yale.”
In France, officers shot and killed a man reportedly carrying a butcher’s knife, shouting “Allahu Akbar” and wearing what appeared to be an explosive belt at a police station in Paris. A bomb squad later determined the belt was a fake. The incident punctuated Thursday’s one-year anniversary of the deadly Charlie Hebdo attacks.
Commemorations for the 17 victims, including four at a Jewish supermarket and staff at the French satirical magazine occurred amid an ongoing state of emergency. Initially declared after last November’s attacks, soon thereafter the parliament voted overwhelmingly to extend the order from 12 days to three months. Now lawmakers are considering constitutional changes. Khaled Sid Mohand reports from Paris.
Rural farmers in Cameroon are boosting returns on their investments by introducing agroforestry techniques to their agricultural practices. Agroforestry involves integrating tree crops into both farming and ranching systems. While farmers attest to higher yields and better incomes, proponents also note that the model keeps carbon in trees, thereby fighting climate change. FSRN’s Ngala Killian Chimtom reports.