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Survivors of Islamic State Carnage Feel Little Relief at Al-Baghdadi's Death

Survivors of Islamic State Carnage Feel Little Relief at Al-Baghdadi's DeathBAGHDAD — In the Islamic State strongholds in Syria and Iraq where Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and his allies lived, there was bitterness at the news that the head of the Islamic State group had died — not that it had happened, but that it had not happened sooner.Al-Baghdadi, who was killed in a nighttime raid by U.S. Special Operations forces in Syria early Sunday, brought a trail of carnage into their lives through the Islamic State group, also known as ISIS, destroying their homes and their cities and ultimately forcing hundreds of thousands of people to flee.The chaos unleashed by the Islamic State's rise and the battles to destroy it are far from over, and the fighting, displacement and destruction are likely to disrupt people's lives for years to come, so it is perhaps not surprising that al-Baghdadi's death gave the survivors little solace."I lost my brother because of the ISIS organization and the despicable Baghdadi," said Mohammad Salif al-Jaddi, an employee at the electricity department in the Iraqi city of Mosul. "I hope to see the Islamic State organization totally obliterated."The raid was no doubt a serious blow to the Islamic State group, which has been decimated by five years of fighting Iraqi and Syrian Kurdish troops working closely with the United States, although its reach has already spread beyond the region.At the same time, there was little sense, among experts or among those who dealt with the daily specter of the Islamic State, that the death of al-Baghdadi — after he was tracked down and killed at a house near Idlib — would bring an end to the group's efforts to spread terrorism and fear.Since the Islamic State group lost the last of its territory in northeastern Syria, its cells have continued to carry out guerrilla attacks in the area. Although it is not yet clear how the group will respond to al-Baghdadi's death, experts said they expected the group to continue on with new leadership, a sentiment shared by those who experienced life under the Islamic State."I don't think that Daesh ends by killing this person who destroyed our revolution, killed my brother and displaced us," said Yasmin Mashaan, a refugee in Germany from Deir el-Zour, an Islamic State stronghold on the Euphrates, using another name for the group."I am happy when every tyrant receives such a fate, whether it is Baghdadi who killed my brother, or Bashar al-Assad, who killed my other four brothers," she said, referring to the Syrian leader.The violence and upheaval in Syria has many authors. But the Islamic State group brought a unique form of daily terror to the territory that it sought to transform into its brutal, medieval vision of God's rule on earth.Although the militants brought a level of administrative order to the areas it ruled at first, its violent subjugation of the civilians living there, coupled with the battles that consumed its territory as the U.S.-led coalition tried to destroy the group, made it all but impossible for civilians to survive the Islamic State's rule intact.Religious morality police patrolled the streets, beating women for not covering their faces fully, detaining and flogging men for not growing their beards long enough and beheading people for offenses as small as smoking. Mass graves discovered since the fall of the so-called caliphate bluntly testify to the mass executions that took place there.Civilians lived under constant threat of airstrikes from the U.S.-led coalition. Escape routes were seeded with Islamic State snipers and land mines.For Hussam Hammoud, 27, an activist from Raqqa, the onetime capital of the Islamic State, al-Baghdadi's death was a reminder of the suffering experienced by those who were forced to live under his uncompromising and extremist movement."The victims of this organization are all over the place," said Hammoud, who said that he fled to Turkey because the Syrian army, which was his original enemy, was now advancing toward him. "We are happy that he was killed, but we do not think our misery will end because of that."With Russia, Turkey, the Syrian government, U.S. troops and Kurdish fighters all jostling for position in northeastern Syria, the onetime heart of the so-called caliphate, in the aftermath of Trump's decision to withdraw troops from the area, many Syrians are still suffering from the violence there.Arin Sheikhdoms, a journalist from Qamishli, a city in northeastern Syria on the border with Turkey, said there was some satisfaction in seeing al-Baghdadi killed."This comes as revenge for all the Syrian victims of this terrorist organization," he said. "Unfortunately, our happiness was incomplete, as we are still mourning the martyrs we lost" after Turkey invaded the area earlier this month.In Mosul, where the fight against the Islamic State group left the old city in rubble and forced countless families to flee while leaving everything behind, there was little room for satisfaction from his death."He deserves a worse and more abhorrent death than this one because what he did was not a small thing at all," said Abu Nufal Mukhtar al-Makawi, an Arabic language teacher in Mosul, who said that he was still looking for the bodies of his three sons who were taken by the Islamic State."His dirty fighters waged a brutal and vicious fight and ended up killed in the streets of Mosul and their bodies eaten by the dogs and their body parts are buried in the trash where they belonged," he added, saying they had "annihilated Islam and the country and especially Mosul."This article originally appeared in The New York Times.(C) 2019 The New York Times Company



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Survivors of Islamic State Carnage Feel Little Relief at Al-Baghdadi's Death

Survivors of Islamic State Carnage Feel Little Relief at Al-Baghdadi's DeathBAGHDAD — In the Islamic State strongholds in Syria and Iraq where Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and his allies lived, there was bitterness at the news that the head of the Islamic State group had died — not that it had happened, but that it had not happened sooner.Al-Baghdadi, who was killed in a nighttime raid by U.S. Special Operations forces in Syria early Sunday, brought a trail of carnage into their lives through the Islamic State group, also known as ISIS, destroying their homes and their cities and ultimately forcing hundreds of thousands of people to flee.The chaos unleashed by the Islamic State's rise and the battles to destroy it are far from over, and the fighting, displacement and destruction are likely to disrupt people's lives for years to come, so it is perhaps not surprising that al-Baghdadi's death gave the survivors little solace."I lost my brother because of the ISIS organization and the despicable Baghdadi," said Mohammad Salif al-Jaddi, an employee at the electricity department in the Iraqi city of Mosul. "I hope to see the Islamic State organization totally obliterated."The raid was no doubt a serious blow to the Islamic State group, which has been decimated by five years of fighting Iraqi and Syrian Kurdish troops working closely with the United States, although its reach has already spread beyond the region.At the same time, there was little sense, among experts or among those who dealt with the daily specter of the Islamic State, that the death of al-Baghdadi — after he was tracked down and killed at a house near Idlib — would bring an end to the group's efforts to spread terrorism and fear.Since the Islamic State group lost the last of its territory in northeastern Syria, its cells have continued to carry out guerrilla attacks in the area. Although it is not yet clear how the group will respond to al-Baghdadi's death, experts said they expected the group to continue on with new leadership, a sentiment shared by those who experienced life under the Islamic State."I don't think that Daesh ends by killing this person who destroyed our revolution, killed my brother and displaced us," said Yasmin Mashaan, a refugee in Germany from Deir el-Zour, an Islamic State stronghold on the Euphrates, using another name for the group."I am happy when every tyrant receives such a fate, whether it is Baghdadi who killed my brother, or Bashar al-Assad, who killed my other four brothers," she said, referring to the Syrian leader.The violence and upheaval in Syria has many authors. But the Islamic State group brought a unique form of daily terror to the territory that it sought to transform into its brutal, medieval vision of God's rule on earth.Although the militants brought a level of administrative order to the areas it ruled at first, its violent subjugation of the civilians living there, coupled with the battles that consumed its territory as the U.S.-led coalition tried to destroy the group, made it all but impossible for civilians to survive the Islamic State's rule intact.Religious morality police patrolled the streets, beating women for not covering their faces fully, detaining and flogging men for not growing their beards long enough and beheading people for offenses as small as smoking. Mass graves discovered since the fall of the so-called caliphate bluntly testify to the mass executions that took place there.Civilians lived under constant threat of airstrikes from the U.S.-led coalition. Escape routes were seeded with Islamic State snipers and land mines.For Hussam Hammoud, 27, an activist from Raqqa, the onetime capital of the Islamic State, al-Baghdadi's death was a reminder of the suffering experienced by those who were forced to live under his uncompromising and extremist movement."The victims of this organization are all over the place," said Hammoud, who said that he fled to Turkey because the Syrian army, which was his original enemy, was now advancing toward him. "We are happy that he was killed, but we do not think our misery will end because of that."With Russia, Turkey, the Syrian government, U.S. troops and Kurdish fighters all jostling for position in northeastern Syria, the onetime heart of the so-called caliphate, in the aftermath of Trump's decision to withdraw troops from the area, many Syrians are still suffering from the violence there.Arin Sheikhdoms, a journalist from Qamishli, a city in northeastern Syria on the border with Turkey, said there was some satisfaction in seeing al-Baghdadi killed."This comes as revenge for all the Syrian victims of this terrorist organization," he said. "Unfortunately, our happiness was incomplete, as we are still mourning the martyrs we lost" after Turkey invaded the area earlier this month.In Mosul, where the fight against the Islamic State group left the old city in rubble and forced countless families to flee while leaving everything behind, there was little room for satisfaction from his death."He deserves a worse and more abhorrent death than this one because what he did was not a small thing at all," said Abu Nufal Mukhtar al-Makawi, an Arabic language teacher in Mosul, who said that he was still looking for the bodies of his three sons who were taken by the Islamic State."His dirty fighters waged a brutal and vicious fight and ended up killed in the streets of Mosul and their bodies eaten by the dogs and their body parts are buried in the trash where they belonged," he added, saying they had "annihilated Islam and the country and especially Mosul."This article originally appeared in The New York Times.(C) 2019 The New York Times Company



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Disney Cruises donates $1M to Dorian relief, addresses leaving 'some' crew in the Bahamas

Disney Cruises donates $  1M to Dorian relief, addresses leaving 'some' crew in the BahamasDisney Cruise Line has weighed in on concerns about employees in the Bahamas amid Hurricane Dorian. The company is donating $ 1M to relief efforts.



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Putin-Kim summit sends message to U.S. but sanctions relief elusive for North Korea

Putin-Kim summit sends message to U.S. but sanctions relief elusive for North Korea“When Kim meets Putin, he is going to ask for economic assistance and unilateral sanctions relaxation. Moscow is unlikely to grant his wishes,” said Artyom Lukin, a professor at Far Eastern Federal University in Vladivostok. “Being a veto-holding U.N. Security Council member, Moscow can hardly afford to undermine its authority even for the sake of friendship with Kim,” Lukin said.



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Elizabeth Warren’s Student Loan Relief Would Lift Black, Latino Borrowers

Elizabeth Warren’s Student Loan Relief Would Lift Black, Latino BorrowersThe policy would also help close racial wealth gaps in the U.S., according to an estimate provided to the campaign by Arizona State University assistant professor Raphael Charron-Chenier and Brandeis University law professor Thomas Shapiro. “Gains to net worth for households of color would be meaningful under the policy, increasing median wealth by roughly $ 6,741 for Black households as a whole and $ 3,280 for Latino households as a whole,” they wrote in the analysis. High levels of student debt have become a drain on the economy, said David Bergeron, a senior fellow at the liberal Center for American Progress, who worked with the U.S. Department of Education for 35 years specializing in higher education.



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Relief, and questions, in Norway after dramatic cruise rescue

Relief, and questions, in Norway after dramatic cruise rescueNorway breathed a collective sigh of relief on Monday after the dramatic rescue of a stricken cruise ship off its coast, but questions mounted about why the vessel chose to sail into notoriously perilous waters in a storm. It was one of the biggest rescue operations in modern times, with almost 500 passengers, many of them elderly, airlifted off the ship through day and night by a relay of helicopters fighting heavy winds. “The risk to the passengers and the vessel was high,” Dag Sverre Liseth, director of the marine department at the Accident Investigations Board Norway, told AFP.



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Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation may have concluded but Trump cannot breathe a sigh of relief just yet

Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation may have concluded but Trump cannot breathe a sigh of relief just yetAfter two years, more than 30 indictments or guilty pleas and close to 200 individual charges – special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation is expected to be wound up within a few more days. It is up to Mr Barr as to what Congress, and by extension the US public, see of the report. Mr Barr has pledged transparency over a report that at least one US official is said to have called “comprehensive”.



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Some sighs of relief in Washington as Trump returns empty handed from Kim summit

Some sighs of relief in Washington as Trump returns empty handed from Kim summitTrump said he walked away from a deal because of Kim’s demands to lift all U.S.-led sanctions on North Korea in return for the denuclearization of its Yongbyon atomic complex but not others that the United States knows about. In contrast, North Korea’s foreign minister said Pyongyang offered to dismantle Yongbyon in return for a partial lifting of sanctions as a step toward better relations between the nations, technically still at war because the 1950-53 Korean War ended in an armistice rather than a peace treaty. Before the summit, there were hints Washington was open to declaring an end to the war, some sanctions relief, and opening of liaison offices, a first step toward diplomatic ties, if the North reined in its nuclear program.



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Shutdown stories: Federal workers say no relief in sight

Shutdown stories: Federal workers say no relief in sight“I don’t see an end in sight to this right now, and I don’t think there will be unless something major happens like a strike among the essential employees who are working without pay.”



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Venezuela's Guaido Says Opposition Seeks Financing, Debt Relief

Venezuela's Guaido Says Opposition Seeks Financing, Debt ReliefSince becoming head of the legislature this month, Guaido has been aggressively pushing the Venezuelan military and foreign governments to recognize him rather than the authoritarian leader Nicolas Maduro as the legitimate head of state. In a Jan. 11 statement, a group of Venezuelan bond investors said they’d recognize the National Assembly as “the only legitimately elected body” and wouldn’t negotiate with Maduro over unpaid debt.



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