FSRN Weekly Edition – April 7, 2017
- Trump orders military action against Syrian government air base
- Rep. Nunes steps down from Russia probe while under investigation for ethics violations
- Senate Majority leader presses nuclear option button; Gorsuch confirmed
- Refugee facing deportation in Australia highlights criticisms of systematic ’miscarriage of justice’
- Athens initiative aims to raise funds and break down stigma with tours to meet city’s homeless
- LA explores legalizing street vending amid crackdown on immigrants
President Donald Trump made his first foray into a war with Syria, ordering US naval forces to launch more than 50 cruise missiles Thursday night. The first direct U.S. military action against the regime of Syrian President Bashar al Assad came after missiles apparently carrying poison gas payloads hit rebel-held areas in the Idlib province Tuesday, killing more than 80 people, including dozens of children. FSRN’s Nell Abram has more.
The tension between Russia and the U.S. comes as the investigation Russian interference in the election that brought Trump to power continues… but with staffing changes.
House Intelligence Committee Chair Devin Nunes has temporarily stepped down from leading the body’s probe. The California congressman is now the focus of another investigation – this time by the House Ethics Committee over his handling of classified information. Shannon Young has more.
The war that has raged on Capitol Hill since Inauguration Day reached new heights Thursday with a pitched parliamentary battle on the Senate floor. After triggering what’s called the nuclear option, the GOP forced a rule change that paved the way to final confirmation for Judge Neil Gorsuch to fill out the Supreme Court bench. But the procedural change ultimately handed control of future high court confirmations to the majority party in the Senate, altering checks and balances on partisan power along the way. FSRN’s Reaux Packard has more.
Iraqi officials say they are still recovering remains from the site of a mid-March U.S. airstrike in Mosul; so far they’ve removed nearly 300 bodies from the scene. Residents are leaving the city by the busload; joining the more than 300,000 who have fled since the October start of a U.S.-backed offensive against ISIS/the Islamic State.
As with Syrians fleeing civil war, Iraqis have faced severe difficulties when seeking refugee status in developed countries. A 60-year-old would-be refugee from Iraq is grabbing attention in Australia. Refugee advocates there say the case highlights what they call systemic failures in the country’s asylum system. Georgia Clark has this report.
In Greece, tens of thousands of refugees are still languishing in squalid immigration detention camps more than a year after an EU deal that aimed to stop the flow and resettle them. And Greek authorities are cracking down on refugees who are not interned, raiding the temporary squats where many of them are housed.
The humanitarian crisis hit the country while it was already dealing with an economic meltdown that has yet to let up. Despite three bailouts to the cumulative tune of $370 billion, Greece’s economic landscape is a desert, with little hope of an end to austerity on the horizon. Countless Greeks, unable to pay their debts, are sleeping out on the streets. One social enterprise is funding aid by offering tours to meet the city’s homeless. Reporter Heidi Fuller-Love takes the tour.
California is leading moves to push back against ramped-up deportation efforts. Earlier this week, the state’s Senate passed a so-called ‘sanctuary state’ bill that would prevent local and state police
On a local level, Los Angeles is taking up the long-stalled issue of legalizing street vending. According to one count, as many as 50,000 people sell food on the city’s streets.
But in the era of the Trump administration, selling a bacon-wrapped hot dog could mean much more than a fine or getting your food cart confiscated. It could mean deportation for the many undocumented immigrants who can find no other work. FSRN’s Lena Nozizwe reports that is one of the reasons that the LA City Council has put legalizing street vending on the fast track.