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Westlake Legal Group > News Corporation (Page 275)

Texas man arrested for threatening San Antonio mayor 14 times in 2 days on Facebook

A Texas man was arrested Friday on charges that he sent more than a dozen threatening messages to San Antonio’s mayor over two days, leading the mayor’s staff to believe the man could be “the next mass shooter,” according to a warrant affidavit.

Adam Thomas Converse, 25, is facing charges of making a terroristic threat to a public servant and resisting arrest, the San Antonio Express-News reported.

Westlake Legal Group San-Antonio Texas man arrested for threatening San Antonio mayor 14 times in 2 days on Facebook fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc Bradford Betz article 9c8c5523-da2e-5c4b-b482-add5f5cee89e

Police say Adam Thomas Converse resisted arrest when officers tried to detain him earlier this month. (Bexar County Central Records)

According to a warrant affidavit cited by the paper, Converse sent at least 14 threatening messages to San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg through Facebook Messenger on Oct. 4 and Oct. 5.

“It would be nicer to leave you all dead with no hope of life after death … I want to see people dead,” one of the messages reportedly said.

“People will lose hands, arms, feet, and heads. Don’t even try me,” read another, according to the affidavit.

NEW JERSEY MAN ALLEGEDLY THREATENED FARMERS WHO DENIED HIM SEX WITH ANIMALS

Nirenberg’s communications director reported the messages to police, saying that “his office feared (Converse) could be the next mass shooter based on his comments.”

Officers from San Antonio’s Mental Health Unit went to Converse’s residence on Oct. 5 and saw him walk out with a machete on his belt loop, the Express-News reported.

The affidavit said Converse told officers “he was a contract assassin with the government and if he had a license to kill, he would kill people.”

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Police said Converse resisted arrest when officers tried to detain him. He was taken to a hospital for a mental evaluation and later arrested.

Nirenberg’s office did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.

Westlake Legal Group San-Antonio Texas man arrested for threatening San Antonio mayor 14 times in 2 days on Facebook fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc Bradford Betz article 9c8c5523-da2e-5c4b-b482-add5f5cee89e   Westlake Legal Group San-Antonio Texas man arrested for threatening San Antonio mayor 14 times in 2 days on Facebook fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc Bradford Betz article 9c8c5523-da2e-5c4b-b482-add5f5cee89e

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The Should-Be Solution to the Student-Debt Problem

Westlake Legal Group 11MoneyArt-facebookJumbo The Should-Be Solution to the Student-Debt Problem Student Loans Personal Finances Education Department (US) Credit and Debt Colleges and Universities

With more than 7.5 million student loan borrowers in default and nearly 2 million others seriously behind on their payments, there’s little question that the handful of federal programs designed to help struggling borrowers pay what they can afford aren’t working for everyone.

The idea is simple: Borrowers make payments based on how much money they earn. But these so-called income-driven repayment plans are mind-numbingly complicated. There are four different versions to sort through, all with slightly different rules. They can be tricky to get into and easy to fall out of, yet they’re becoming increasingly essential.

Enrollment in income-driven plans has grown to eight million, a more than fourfold increase from 2013, making it a crucial coping mechanism for a broad population of borrowers. But many of them carry higher balances, suggesting they pursued advanced degrees — an indication that the most at-risk borrowers, who often carry less debt, are not finding their way in.

“There was a narrative that this was going to, if not solve, significantly reduce, the problem around defaults on student loans,” said Mark Huelsman, associate director of policy and research at Demos, a public policy organization. “But we haven’t seen that happen.”

Haley Garberg, a newly married 33-year-old physical education teacher, has been in various repayment plans for nearly a decade. Her first job after graduating in 2008 paid $22,000 annually — a salary that didn’t come close to covering her living expenses and a $700 monthly loan payment. With her parents’ help, she made those payments for a couple of years. But she eventually called her loan servicer and managed to get into a plan that saved her nearly $200 a month — enough wiggle room to afford internet service.

Still, Ms. Garberg was living close to the edge. She moved back with her parents in 2013 to build up her savings as she also dealt with a rare breathing condition that required three surgeries over the following year. A $3,000 insurance deductible meant she had to take out a personal loan to pay her share of the bills, and when she couldn’t afford her inhalers, at roughly $300 to $400 a month, she would do without them. She switched plans again in 2014, and pursued a master’s degree in hopes of boosting her earning power.

“Income-driven repayment doesn’t care that you have 18 bills to pay,” she said.

First instituted 25 years ago, income-dependent repayment was expanded during the administrations of George W. Bush and Barack Obama. It also grew more complicated. Borrowers must sort through an alphabet soup of income-driven repayment plans: I.C.R., I.B.R. (which comes in two flavors, new and classic), PAYE and REPAYE.

Monthly payments are often calculated as 10 to 15 percent of discretionary income, but one plan costs 20 percent. Discretionary income is defined as the amount earned above 150 percent of the poverty level, which is adjusted for household size. For a single person, the federal poverty level is typically $12,490, so single borrowers generally pay 10 percent of what they earn above $18,735. (After 20 years — sometimes 25 — any remaining debt is forgiven. So far, about 20 borrowers have remained enrolled long enough for that to happen, according to the Education Department.)

But the payment calculation is the same for all borrowers, and doesn’t account for local variations in cost of living. And, as Ms. Garberg discovered, it also doesn’t consider borrowers’ other costs.

“The assumption that nobody should be defaulting because we have I.D.R. is making the false conclusion that I.D.R. is affordable,” said Colleen Campbell, director for postsecondary education at the Center for American Progress, a left-leaning research and policy group. Some borrowers with low incomes and low balances often don’t receive any relief because of a quirk in the formula, she said.

Once borrowers are in a program, it can be necessary they stay there: Interest still accrues on many of the loans, meaning those who make zero or low payments for many years can fall deeper in debt. To exit the program could mean jumping up to a higher payment than they had faced before enrolling.

There’s also the psychological toll of watching your debt increase — all while you’re trying to pay it down — that often goes unacknowledged.

“The name of the game is to get out of it as soon as possible,” said Natalia Abrams, executive director of the Student Debt Crisis, an advocacy group. “It’s pretty insidious.”

And experts believe the programs are not reaching the most vulnerable borrowers who could benefit the most.

Those in default don’t look like your stereotypical college student, according to a report by the Center for American Progress. Defaulters tended to be older, nearly half never finished college and their median cumulative student debt held was rather low, at $9,625.

Those enrolled in income-driven plans, however, have much higher balances: an average of $58,000 to $68,000, depending on repayment plan and loan portfolio, according to an estimate from Demos, the public policy organization. That suggests many enrollees may have finished four years of college and worked toward advanced degrees.

Many of the most vulnerable borrowers are probably unaware the income-driven plans programs exist, academics and other experts said, while others may have gotten bad advice.

An audit released by the Education Department in February found that the private companies it hires to service student loans failed to inform borrowers of their repayment options — and may have directed them to less attractive alternatives like forbearance, which allows borrowers to temporarily suspend payments. Another government report delivered similar findings last year, and five attorneys general have sued one of the largest loan servicers for, among other things, failing to guide borrowers into income-driven plans.

Even the repayment calculator provided by the Department of Education has been criticized by student borrower advocates who say it could scare away those who don’t read the fine print. It assumes the borrower’s income will grow 5 percent annually — roughly double the recent historical average — which can make the total cost of repayment look unrealistically high.

Borrower advocates have pushed for changes that would give borrowers more discretionary income and restrain the growth of unpaid interest. They have also suggested automatically enrolling severely delinquent borrowers in income-based plans and streamlining the process to recertify every year, so that borrowers don’t accidentally fall out.

There is broad agreement on making recertification simpler, because those who fall out face higher payments. In 2017, the government proposed easing the process by giving the Education Department permission to access borrowers’ tax information from the Treasury Department, which would save borrowers the hassle of resubmitting their income and other information every year.

There have also been government efforts to make the entire loan repayment process easier, which includes applying to these relief programs. The Education Department has long sought to create a one-stop portal for borrowers, but the loan-servicing industry has resisted.

There have been a variety of proposals to streamline the plans, including in the Trump Administration’s most recent budget, which called for a single income-driven repayment program that could make forgiveness easier to reach for some borrowers while potentially costing others more. So far, no specific proposal for a single program has gained widespread bipartisan traction.

Student debt has been a hot topic on the campaign trail, with Democratic presidential candidates offering various proposals. Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Senator Kamala Harris of California, for example, have all proposed varying levels of debt forgiveness. And last week, Joe Biden suggested reworking income-based repayment, including by eliminating payments and the accrual of interest for those making under $25,000.

For now, the hodgepodge of income-driven repayment plans remains a cumbersome but necessary tool for all types of borrowers — and far from a solution to the problem of widespread educational debt.

Ms. Garberg recently learned through a company called Summer — which helps students navigate the repayment maze — that she was eligible for lower payments through a different plan, called Revised Pay As You Earn, or REPAYE. That cut her payments to about $240 a month; so far she has paid down about half her debt.

But her recent marriage has added another variable to the loan calculus: her husband. She is nervous about how her payments will change once his income is factored in. And, for now, it might delay another plan.

“I feel like I can’t have kids until my loans are paid off,” Ms. Garberg said. “How do you pay for day care?”

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California bills seeks to ban ‘lunch shaming,’ will guarantee state-funded meals for students

A new California bill hopes that “lunch shaming” will be a thing of the past as it guarantees that students in schools will receive state-funded lunches, even if their parents have failed to pay meal fees.

Gov. Gavin Newsom signed into law the new piece of legislation, which bans the process in which institutions deny students a meal of their choice due to unpaid fees.

The law amends the 2017 Child Hunger Prevention and Fair Treatment Act by requiring schools to invalidate policies that ask officials to give alternative meals to students who have unpaid fees, according to Newsom.

CANDY CORN ORIGINALLY HAD A MUCH SILLIER, MUCH DIFFERENT NAME 

He said students who are given these cheaper “alternative” lunches cause them to stick out from their peers.

Westlake Legal Group school-lunch California bills seeks to ban 'lunch shaming,' will guarantee state-funded meals for students fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/food-drink fox news fnc/food-drink fnc David Aaro bdfe310e-120a-564f-9f7c-9cb40ad51ef4 article

Middle school students getting lunch items in the cafeteria line.

Newsom said he was inspired by the story of Ryan Kyote, a 9-year-old boy from West Park Elementary who drew attention to how kids at his school were singled out because they didn’t have enough money in their food accounts.

Kyote used his allowance, which totaled $74.80, to pay off his third-grade class’s lunch debt, according to ABC 7.

“‘Creating a California for All’ means ensuring schools are inclusive, accepting, and welcoming of all kids. These bills help move us closer to that goal,” Newsom said in a statement.

Newsom met with Kyoto in August, a meeting the governor declared was an “honor.”

MILLENNIALS SAY ITALIAN FOOD IS THEIR FAVORITE BECAUSE IT’S ‘INSTAGRAMMABLE,’ SURVEY CLAIMS

“This amazing young man saved his allowance and used it to pay his classmates’ lunch debt. For Ryan, it was just wrong that some kids couldn’t afford to eat lunch. He’s right about that,” Newsom said at the time.

Steps to limit the so-called “lunch shaming” have taken root in recent years even before SB 265 was introduced by Newsom.

Sen. Bernie Sanders tweeted back in June after hearing of Kyote’s story that he would provide  “year-round universal school meals” if elected president of the United States.

CALIFORNIA BAN ON FUR PRODUCTS IS FIRST IN US

In June, U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar (D) introduced The No Shame at School Act, which bans identifying students who can’t pay for their school lunch.

“Across this country, students whose families are struggling to afford school meals are being singled out and humiliated at lunchtime,” Omar said at the time, according to the Hill. “These students are subjected to various shaming practices at schools. Some students have been literally branded with stamps.”

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Napa Valley Unified School District told ABC 7 that students with a negative lunch account still get a hot meal, with prices ranging from $.30 to $3.25.

Westlake Legal Group school-lunch California bills seeks to ban 'lunch shaming,' will guarantee state-funded meals for students fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/food-drink fox news fnc/food-drink fnc David Aaro bdfe310e-120a-564f-9f7c-9cb40ad51ef4 article   Westlake Legal Group school-lunch California bills seeks to ban 'lunch shaming,' will guarantee state-funded meals for students fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/food-drink fox news fnc/food-drink fnc David Aaro bdfe310e-120a-564f-9f7c-9cb40ad51ef4 article

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Retired Marine Gen. John Allen: ‘There is blood on Trump’s hands for abandoning our Kurdish allies’

Westlake Legal Group 7pFjzUoiBcrY0BT29CnIpV3-xXfuohYc6JPtSidFens Retired Marine Gen. John Allen: 'There is blood on Trump's hands for abandoning our Kurdish allies' r/politics

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American-born Israeli woman, 26, sentenced 7.5 years in Russia for 9 grams of cannabis in luggage

A 26-year-old woman with dual American and Israeli citizenship who has been jailed in Russia since April after authorities allegedly found nine grams of cannabis in her luggage, has been sentenced to seven and a half years in prison, her sister said.

Naama Issachar’s sister, Liad Gold, told Fox News on Sunday that her sister was sentenced Friday and the family has reached out to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for her. She said the prime minister called their mother the day of the sentencing to let her know that he will do everything he can to have her released as soon as possible.

“I feel incredibly terrible and sad and heartbroken for her,” Gold told Fox News. “She is very strong but she won’t survive there much longer.”

AMERICAN-BORN ISRAELI WOMAN, 25, DETAINED IN RUSSIA FOR 4 MONTHS OVER 9 GRAMS OF CANNABIS

Issachar, who was born and raised in Fair Lawn, N.J., and moved to Israel when she was 16, was returning home April 9 after a three-month trip to India, Gold said. Issachar, who has served in the Israeli army, was stopped by police at the Moscow airport as she boarded her connecting flight to Tel Aviv, brought into an interrogation room and was told cannabis had been found in her checked bag.

Issachar said she accidentally left the cannabis in her bag, her sister said. The 26-year-old was initially charged with cannabis possession, but the charge was upgraded in May to smuggling drugs into Russia.

Westlake Legal Group female-soldier American-born Israeli woman, 26, sentenced 7.5 years in Russia for 9 grams of cannabis in luggage Talia Kaplan fox-news/world/world-regions/russia fox-news/world/world-regions/israel fox-news/world fox-news/us/crime/drugs fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/middle-east fox-news/person/benjamin-netanyahu fox news fnc/world fnc article 17cb1bcb-81e6-50ee-99ed-388a01345301

Naama Issachar, 26, who has been behind bars in Russia since April after authorities allegedly found nine grams of cannabis in her luggage while she was traveling, has been sentenced to seven and a half years in a Russian jail, according to her sister. (Liad Gold)

Gold told Fox News her mother, Yaffa Issachar, who lives in Israel, has been in Russia for the past six months and plans to be there until her sister gets released.

She said her mother spoke with her sister, who was “shocked and scared” when she learned her fate, “but she knows we are doing everything we can to get her out.”

NETANYAHU’S CHIEF RIVAL, GANTZ, REJECTS PM’S APPEAL FOR UNITY GOVERNMENT IN ISRAEL

Tapes of Issachar’s hearings were released on Saturday night on Channel 12 in Israel, which show the 26-year-old telling the Russian judge, “I am aware that I acted irresponsibly before my flight, that I should have been aware of all of the items I have on my person. That is the reason that I took full responsibility for Charge 228 (possession) in my first trial in April,” The Jerusalem Post reported.

Gold told Fox News her sister denied charge 229, which is the smuggling charge.

Netanyahu’s office said the prime minister “personally intervened on behalf of Naama Issachar in recent weeks,” according to The Jerusalem Post.

Netanyahu reportedly spoke with Russian President Vladimir Putin about Issachar’s case when he visited Sochi last month and brought the topic up again during a telephone conversation this week.

“I think the punishment doesn’t fit the crime. I think it’s extreme and inhumane and she’s more than paid the price for what she did,” Gold told Fox News reacting to her sister’s sentencing.

“We continue to urge the Israeli government and the prime minister to continue to be involved in her case because she is being treated unjustly and unfairly in our opinion.”

Gold said she is “very happy and very grateful” that Netanyahu is involved and taking “a deep interest in my sister.” She added that she is optimistic they will find a way for her to get out of prison.

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“We will never stop until she’s out,” Gold said.

Westlake Legal Group female-soldier American-born Israeli woman, 26, sentenced 7.5 years in Russia for 9 grams of cannabis in luggage Talia Kaplan fox-news/world/world-regions/russia fox-news/world/world-regions/israel fox-news/world fox-news/us/crime/drugs fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/middle-east fox-news/person/benjamin-netanyahu fox news fnc/world fnc article 17cb1bcb-81e6-50ee-99ed-388a01345301   Westlake Legal Group female-soldier American-born Israeli woman, 26, sentenced 7.5 years in Russia for 9 grams of cannabis in luggage Talia Kaplan fox-news/world/world-regions/russia fox-news/world/world-regions/israel fox-news/world fox-news/us/crime/drugs fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/middle-east fox-news/person/benjamin-netanyahu fox news fnc/world fnc article 17cb1bcb-81e6-50ee-99ed-388a01345301

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White House petition asking US to recognize Taiwan surpasses 100K signatures

A White House petition calling for the United States to recognize Taiwan as an independent country surpassed 100,000 signatures over the weekend, a threshold that will require an official response from the Trump administration within 60 days.

The petition, posted on petitions.whitehouse.gov, was created on October 7 by someone with the initials “K.W.” It calls for the U.S. to recognize Taiwan, an “island country independently self-governed for 60 years now.”

Westlake Legal Group AP19283473894027 White House petition asking US to recognize Taiwan surpasses 100K signatures fox-news/world/world-regions/china fox-news/world/world-regions/asia fox news fnc/world fnc Bradford Betz article 0b000ba8-1e9c-597b-9e2c-e668e7e42b4f

People hold Taiwanese flags as they join others at a rally to mark Taiwan’s National Day, in the Tsim Sha Tsui district in Hong Kong, Thursday, Oct. 10, 2019.  (AP)

The petition calls Taiwan “a model for other Asian countries to follow, having transitioned from a dictatorship into democracy in 1996 without bloodshed, when it voted for its first presidential election.”

Taiwan “is a leader and partner to the United States, providing assistance to other countries with humanitarian aid and rescue teams during disasters. It is also a strategic partner in the Pacific, and important ally in helping to contain China,” the petition said.

Between Friday and Saturday, the petition garnered more than half the necessary signatures to prompt a response from the White House.

TAIWAN PRESIDENT REJECTS CHINA’S ‘ONE COUNTRY, TWO SYSTEMS’ OFFER

The petition comes amid mounting pressure from mainland China, which regards Taiwan as its own territory. In recent years, China has poached Taiwan’s few remaining diplomatic allies through a tactic dubbed by Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen as “dollar diplomacy.”

During a National Day speech last week, Tsai rebuked China’s offer of a “one country, two systems” formula to unify Taiwan with China, saying that such a framework has taken Hong Kong to “the brink of disorder.”

Today, just 15 countries – mostly small and impoverished – recognize Taiwan. Roughly 180 countries recognize China, which as the world’s second-largest economy offers generous inducements in exchange for formal diplomatic ties, far beyond those Taiwan can offer.

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Taiwan depends on the U.S. for support, including weapons to defend against China. The Trump administration has approved a flurry of arms packages, including new F-16 fighters jets, and signed a bill that encourages high-level visits.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group AP19283473894027 White House petition asking US to recognize Taiwan surpasses 100K signatures fox-news/world/world-regions/china fox-news/world/world-regions/asia fox news fnc/world fnc Bradford Betz article 0b000ba8-1e9c-597b-9e2c-e668e7e42b4f   Westlake Legal Group AP19283473894027 White House petition asking US to recognize Taiwan surpasses 100K signatures fox-news/world/world-regions/china fox-news/world/world-regions/asia fox news fnc/world fnc Bradford Betz article 0b000ba8-1e9c-597b-9e2c-e668e7e42b4f

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South Carolina police officer saves choking 4-month-old baby, dramatic bodycam video shows

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6094524693001_6094524894001-vs South Carolina police officer saves choking 4-month-old baby, dramatic bodycam video shows Stephen Sorace fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/south-carolina fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/proud-american fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox-news/health/healthy-living/childrens-health fox-news/good-news fox news fnc/us fnc article 5a2dcd1b-d18d-5d9a-ae4c-4f86f32500af

A South Carolina police officer is being hailed as a hero after a dramatic body camera video showed how his actions helped save a choking 4-month-old infant.

Cpl. Derrall Foster of the Belton Police Department said he arrived at the scene on Oct. 4 to find neighbors waving him down in a panic, Fox Carolina reported.

SOUTH CAROLINA DEPUTY SAVES CHOKING 12-DAY-OLD INFANT AFTER STOPPING SPEEDING VEHICLE

A baby named Maryelle had stopped breathing after choking on a Tylenol her mother, Kiersten Nivens, administered to help the infant’s teething. The desperate mother had run outside for help after her phone battery died.

“She was not blue yet, but she was not breathing,” Foster told the station. “She was very limp. I saw my 2-year-old as if it were her, and I knew we had to take care of the situation.”

TEXAS CHEERLEADER SAVES CHOKING TODDLER DURING HOMECOMING PARADE

Video shows Foster performing a modified version of chest compressions for infants, tapping her back to dislodge the medicine from her throat. But the child wasn’t responding and appeared lethargic, he told the station.

Foster didn’t give up and continued to pat her back multiple times until he heard the perfect sound: Maryelle’s cry.

CLICK TO VISIT THE ALL-NEW FOXBUSINESS.COM

“Oh God it was very relieving,” Foster said. “I’m just doing my job. That’s all I was doing.”

After the scare, Nivens told the station she was thankful for Foster and all the first responders who helped her child.

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6094524693001_6094524894001-vs South Carolina police officer saves choking 4-month-old baby, dramatic bodycam video shows Stephen Sorace fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/south-carolina fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/proud-american fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox-news/health/healthy-living/childrens-health fox-news/good-news fox news fnc/us fnc article 5a2dcd1b-d18d-5d9a-ae4c-4f86f32500af   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6094524693001_6094524894001-vs South Carolina police officer saves choking 4-month-old baby, dramatic bodycam video shows Stephen Sorace fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/south-carolina fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/proud-american fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox-news/health/healthy-living/childrens-health fox-news/good-news fox news fnc/us fnc article 5a2dcd1b-d18d-5d9a-ae4c-4f86f32500af

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The Kurds’ Prisons and Detention Camps for ISIS Members, Explained

Westlake Legal Group merlin_152756715_bd9018d1-830d-4448-95f1-568d8c4a39e6-facebookJumbo The Kurds’ Prisons and Detention Camps for ISIS Members, Explained United States Politics and Government United States International Relations United States Defense and Military Forces Trump, Donald J Terrorism Syrian Democratic Forces Refugees and Displaced Persons Kurds Kotey, Alexanda Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) Elsheikh, El Shafee Detainees Assad, Bashar al-

WASHINGTON — The escalating chaos in northern Syria as Turkey presses forward with its attack on the United States’ erstwhile Kurdish allies is raising fears about the fate of thousands of Islamic State detainees that the Kurds have been holding in makeshift wartime prisons.

When announcing that he had cleared the way for the Turkish military operation in northern Syria, President Trump insisted that Turkey must assume responsibility for the captured ISIS fighters and their families — then said the United States was taking custody of the most dangerous ones. But with the Pentagon preparing to withdraw American forces from northern Syria, it is far from clear that either aspiration will happen.

The situation is deeply complicated. Turkey has launched an invasion against Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces, who were the primary American ally in Syria against the Islamic State and who control northern Syria. Turkey has been fighting separatist Kurds inside its borders and considers the Syrian Kurds terrorists.

The presence of American troops alongside the Kurds had helped to maintain a fragile peace. But after Mr. Trump told Turkey that it could begin an operation into Syria and that the United States would pull its forces back from a zone along the border, Turkey and an Arab Syrian militia have killed many Kurds — and may have deliberately fired near American forces, too. On Sunday, the Pentagon announced that Mr. Trump had ordered American forces out of northern Syria.

Meanwhile, President Bashar al-Assad of Syria, backed by Russia, controls the southern part of the country and wants to retake it all. On Sunday, the Kurds apparently struck a deal with the Syrian government, but its details — and what it would mean for detainees — were not yet clear.

The Syrian Democratic Forces has operated an archipelago of about half a dozen ad hoc wartime detention sites for captive ISIS fighters, ranging from former schoolhouses in towns like Ain Issa and Kobani to a former Syrian government prison at Hasaka.

The prisons hold about 11,000 men, of whom about 9,000 are locals — Syrians or Iraqis — and about 2,000 come from 50 other nations whose home governments have been reluctant to repatriate them. Scores of those men are Europeans, from countries like Belgium, Britain, France and Germany, but far more come from other nations that are part of the Muslim world, like Egypt, Tunisia and Yemen.

The Kurds also operate more than a dozen camps for families displaced by the conflict that hold tens of thousands of people, many of them non-Syrian wives and children of Islamic State fighters. These include the giant Al Hol camp about 25 miles southeast of Hasaka, where some 70,000 people have been living in increasingly dire conditions, and a camp in Ain Issa.

One fear was that the Kurds are redeploying guards out of the prisons and camps to help fight the Turks, making it easier for ISIS members to break out. On Sunday, hundreds of ISIS women and children apparently were permitted to leave a section of the displaced-persons camp in Ain Issa where they had been detained, amid Turkish airstrikes that threatened their safety. It is not clear whether any male fighters have yet escaped the prisons.

The “worst-case scenario” is that the Kurds are so frustrated and angered by the United States’ action that “they decide to release wholesale some of the detainees,” said Christopher P. Costa, a former senior director for counterterrorism on Mr. Trump’s National Security Council who now heads the International Spy Museum.

The White House said Turkey would “now be responsible for all ISIS fighters in the area captured over the past two years.” But Turkey has given no public sign that it has agreed to take over that headache.

“It’s hard to imagine Turkey has the capacity to handle securely and appropriately the detainees long held by the Syrian Kurds — and that’s if Turkey even genuinely intends to try,” said Joshua A. Geltzer, a former senior director for counterterrorism at the National Security Council in the Obama administration.

It is also possible that the Syrian government could end up taking over some of the prisons as a result of a deal between the Kurds and the Assad regime. But it was not clear whether there was any plan for a controlled transfer of authority and responsibility amid the fast-moving events.

Yes, but that was largely untrue.

On Wednesday, as the chaos was intensifying in northern Syria, Mr. Trump made reassuring remarks to reporters, disclosing that the United States was taking custody of the worst ISIS detainees to ensure that they would not escape.

“We are taking some of the most dangerous ISIS fighters out,” Mr. Trump said. “We’ve taken them out and we’re putting them in different locations where it’s secure. In addition, the Kurds are watching. And if the Kurds don’t watch, then Turkey is going to watch because they don’t want those people out any more than we do.”

He added: “But we have taken a certain number of ISIS fighters that are particularly bad. And we’ve wanted to make sure that nothing happened with them, with respect to getting out. And I think we’re doing a great job.”

But even though Mr. Trump spoke in the past tense, as if that operation had been carried out, it was instead largely aspirational — and now appears increasingly unlikely.

The United States got only two high-value detainees out — far short of its goal.

The military had been making contingency plans to get a list of about five dozen of the highest-priority detainees from that group out of northern Syria since December, when Mr. Trump first announced that he would withdraw troops from the country before his administration slowed down that plan, one official said.

After Mr. Trump’s abrupt green light to Turkey, the military tried to carry out that aspiration. And special forces operators on Wednesday managed to take custody of two British men believed to be half of an ISIS cell that tortured and killed Western hostages, and who are now being held at an American base in Iraq.

But after the Kurds acquiesced to those two transfers, they stopped cooperating with the United States in anger at what they saw as Mr. Trump’s betrayal, according to American officials. The Pentagon’s decision on Sunday to pull American forces out of northern Syria means the opportunity to take custody of additional ISIS prisoners — even if the Kurds were to decide to start cooperating again — is rapidly evaporating, the officials said.

They are El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Kotey — two of the so-called Beatles, a four-member cell of British ISIS members who abused Western hostages, including James Foley, the American journalist beheaded in August 2014 for an ISIS propaganda video. Another cell member, who was later killed in a drone strike, is believed to have killed Mr. Foley.

The Justice Department intends to eventually bring the two to the Eastern District of Virginia for trial, but a court fight in Britain has delayed that transfer. The lawsuit is over whether the British government may share evidence with the United States without an assurance that American prosecutors will not seek the death penalty.

Eric Schmitt contributed reporting.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

The Kurds’ Prisons and Detention Camps for ISIS Members, Explained

Westlake Legal Group merlin_152756715_bd9018d1-830d-4448-95f1-568d8c4a39e6-facebookJumbo The Kurds’ Prisons and Detention Camps for ISIS Members, Explained United States Politics and Government United States International Relations United States Defense and Military Forces Trump, Donald J Terrorism Syrian Democratic Forces Refugees and Displaced Persons Kurds Kotey, Alexanda Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) Elsheikh, El Shafee Detainees Assad, Bashar al-

WASHINGTON — The escalating chaos in northern Syria as Turkey presses forward with its attack on the United States’ erstwhile Kurdish allies is raising fears about the fate of thousands of Islamic State detainees that the Kurds have been holding in makeshift wartime prisons.

When announcing that he had cleared the way for the Turkish military operation in northern Syria, President Trump insisted that Turkey must assume responsibility for the captured ISIS fighters and their families — then said the United States was taking custody of the most dangerous ones. But with the Pentagon preparing to withdraw American forces from northern Syria, it is far from clear that either aspiration will happen.

The situation is deeply complicated. Turkey has launched an invasion against Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces, who were the primary American ally in Syria against the Islamic State and who control northern Syria. Turkey has been fighting separatist Kurds inside its borders and considers the Syrian Kurds terrorists.

The presence of American troops alongside the Kurds had helped to maintain a fragile peace. But after Mr. Trump told Turkey that it could begin an operation into Syria and that the United States would pull its forces back from a zone along the border, Turkey and an Arab Syrian militia have killed many Kurds — and may have deliberately fired near American forces, too. On Sunday, the Pentagon announced that Mr. Trump had ordered American forces out of northern Syria.

Meanwhile, President Bashar al-Assad of Syria, backed by Russia, controls the southern part of the country and wants to retake it all. On Sunday, the Kurds apparently struck a deal with the Syrian government, but its details — and what it would mean for detainees — were not yet clear.

The Syrian Democratic Forces has operated an archipelago of about half a dozen ad hoc wartime detention sites for captive ISIS fighters, ranging from former schoolhouses in towns like Ain Issa and Kobani to a former Syrian government prison at Hasaka.

The prisons hold about 11,000 men, of whom about 9,000 are locals — Syrians or Iraqis — and about 2,000 come from 50 other nations whose home governments have been reluctant to repatriate them. Scores of those men are Europeans, from countries like Belgium, Britain, France and Germany, but far more come from other nations that are part of the Muslim world, like Egypt, Tunisia and Yemen.

The Kurds also operate more than a dozen camps for families displaced by the conflict that hold tens of thousands of people, many of them non-Syrian wives and children of Islamic State fighters. These include the giant Al Hol camp about 25 miles southeast of Hasaka, where some 70,000 people have been living in increasingly dire conditions, and a camp in Ain Issa.

One fear was that the Kurds are redeploying guards out of the prisons and camps to help fight the Turks, making it easier for ISIS members to break out. On Sunday, hundreds of ISIS women and children apparently were permitted to leave a section of the displaced-persons camp in Ain Issa where they had been detained, amid Turkish airstrikes that threatened their safety. It is not clear whether any male fighters have yet escaped the prisons.

The “worst-case scenario” is that the Kurds are so frustrated and angered by the United States’ action that “they decide to release wholesale some of the detainees,” said Christopher P. Costa, a former senior director for counterterrorism on Mr. Trump’s National Security Council who now heads the International Spy Museum.

The White House said Turkey would “now be responsible for all ISIS fighters in the area captured over the past two years.” But Turkey has given no public sign that it has agreed to take over that headache.

“It’s hard to imagine Turkey has the capacity to handle securely and appropriately the detainees long held by the Syrian Kurds — and that’s if Turkey even genuinely intends to try,” said Joshua A. Geltzer, a former senior director for counterterrorism at the National Security Council in the Obama administration.

It is also possible that the Syrian government could end up taking over some of the prisons as a result of a deal between the Kurds and the Assad regime. But it was not clear whether there was any plan for a controlled transfer of authority and responsibility amid the fast-moving events.

Yes, but that was largely untrue.

On Wednesday, as the chaos was intensifying in northern Syria, Mr. Trump made reassuring remarks to reporters, disclosing that the United States was taking custody of the worst ISIS detainees to ensure that they would not escape.

“We are taking some of the most dangerous ISIS fighters out,” Mr. Trump said. “We’ve taken them out and we’re putting them in different locations where it’s secure. In addition, the Kurds are watching. And if the Kurds don’t watch, then Turkey is going to watch because they don’t want those people out any more than we do.”

He added: “But we have taken a certain number of ISIS fighters that are particularly bad. And we’ve wanted to make sure that nothing happened with them, with respect to getting out. And I think we’re doing a great job.”

But even though Mr. Trump spoke in the past tense, as if that operation had been carried out, it was instead largely aspirational — and now appears increasingly unlikely.

The United States got only two high-value detainees out — far short of its goal.

The military had been making contingency plans to get a list of about five dozen of the highest-priority detainees from that group out of northern Syria since December, when Mr. Trump first announced that he would withdraw troops from the country before his administration slowed down that plan, one official said.

After Mr. Trump’s abrupt green light to Turkey, the military tried to carry out that aspiration. And special forces operators on Wednesday managed to take custody of two British men believed to be half of an ISIS cell that tortured and killed Western hostages, and who are now being held at an American base in Iraq.

But after the Kurds acquiesced to those two transfers, they stopped cooperating with the United States in anger at what they saw as Mr. Trump’s betrayal, according to American officials. The Pentagon’s decision on Sunday to pull American forces out of northern Syria means the opportunity to take custody of additional ISIS prisoners — even if the Kurds were to decide to start cooperating again — is rapidly evaporating, the officials said.

They are El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Kotey — two of the so-called Beatles, a four-member cell of British ISIS members who abused Western hostages, including James Foley, the American journalist beheaded in August 2014 for an ISIS propaganda video. Another cell member, who was later killed in a drone strike, is believed to have killed Mr. Foley.

The Justice Department intends to eventually bring the two to the Eastern District of Virginia for trial, but a court fight in Britain has delayed that transfer. The lawsuit is over whether the British government may share evidence with the United States without an assurance that American prosecutors will not seek the death penalty.

Eric Schmitt contributed reporting.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

The Kurds’ Prisons and Detention Camps for ISIS Members, Explained

Westlake Legal Group merlin_152756715_bd9018d1-830d-4448-95f1-568d8c4a39e6-facebookJumbo The Kurds’ Prisons and Detention Camps for ISIS Members, Explained United States Politics and Government United States International Relations United States Defense and Military Forces Trump, Donald J Terrorism Syrian Democratic Forces Refugees and Displaced Persons Kurds Kotey, Alexanda Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) Elsheikh, El Shafee Detainees Assad, Bashar al-

WASHINGTON — The escalating chaos in northern Syria as Turkey presses forward with its attack on the United States’ erstwhile Kurdish allies is raising fears about the fate of thousands of Islamic State detainees that the Kurds have been holding in makeshift wartime prisons.

When announcing that he had cleared the way for the Turkish military operation in northern Syria, President Trump insisted that Turkey must assume responsibility for the captured ISIS fighters and their families — then said the United States was taking custody of the most dangerous ones. But with the Pentagon preparing to withdraw American forces from northern Syria, it is far from clear that either aspiration will happen.

The situation is deeply complicated. Turkey has launched an invasion against Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces, who were the primary American ally in Syria against the Islamic State and who control northern Syria. Turkey has been fighting separatist Kurds inside its borders and considers the Syrian Kurds terrorists.

The presence of American troops alongside the Kurds had helped to maintain a fragile peace. But after Mr. Trump told Turkey that it could begin an operation into Syria and that the United States would pull its forces back from a zone along the border, Turkey and an Arab Syrian militia have killed many Kurds — and may have deliberately fired near American forces, too. On Sunday, the Pentagon announced that Mr. Trump had ordered American forces out of northern Syria.

Meanwhile, President Bashar al-Assad of Syria, backed by Russia, controls the southern part of the country and wants to retake it all. On Sunday, the Kurds apparently struck a deal with the Syrian government, but its details — and what it would mean for detainees — were not yet clear.

The Syrian Democratic Forces has operated an archipelago of about half a dozen ad hoc wartime detention sites for captive ISIS fighters, ranging from former schoolhouses in towns like Ain Issa and Kobani to a former Syrian government prison at Hasaka.

The prisons hold about 11,000 men, of whom about 9,000 are locals — Syrians or Iraqis — and about 2,000 come from 50 other nations whose home governments have been reluctant to repatriate them. Scores of those men are Europeans, from countries like Belgium, Britain, France and Germany, but far more come from other nations that are part of the Muslim world, like Egypt, Tunisia and Yemen.

The Kurds also operate more than a dozen camps for families displaced by the conflict that hold tens of thousands of people, many of them non-Syrian wives and children of Islamic State fighters. These include the giant Al Hol camp about 25 miles southeast of Hasaka, where some 70,000 people have been living in increasingly dire conditions, and a camp in Ain Issa.

One fear was that the Kurds are redeploying guards out of the prisons and camps to help fight the Turks, making it easier for ISIS members to break out. On Sunday, hundreds of ISIS women and children apparently were permitted to leave a section of the displaced-persons camp in Ain Issa where they had been detained, amid Turkish airstrikes that threatened their safety. It is not clear whether any male fighters have yet escaped the prisons.

The “worst-case scenario” is that the Kurds are so frustrated and angered by the United States’ action that “they decide to release wholesale some of the detainees,” said Christopher P. Costa, a former senior director for counterterrorism on Mr. Trump’s National Security Council who now heads the International Spy Museum.

The White House said Turkey would “now be responsible for all ISIS fighters in the area captured over the past two years.” But Turkey has given no public sign that it has agreed to take over that headache.

“It’s hard to imagine Turkey has the capacity to handle securely and appropriately the detainees long held by the Syrian Kurds — and that’s if Turkey even genuinely intends to try,” said Joshua A. Geltzer, a former senior director for counterterrorism at the National Security Council in the Obama administration.

It is also possible that the Syrian government could end up taking over some of the prisons as a result of a deal between the Kurds and the Assad regime. But it was not clear whether there was any plan for a controlled transfer of authority and responsibility amid the fast-moving events.

Yes, but that was largely untrue.

On Wednesday, as the chaos was intensifying in northern Syria, Mr. Trump made reassuring remarks to reporters, disclosing that the United States was taking custody of the worst ISIS detainees to ensure that they would not escape.

“We are taking some of the most dangerous ISIS fighters out,” Mr. Trump said. “We’ve taken them out and we’re putting them in different locations where it’s secure. In addition, the Kurds are watching. And if the Kurds don’t watch, then Turkey is going to watch because they don’t want those people out any more than we do.”

He added: “But we have taken a certain number of ISIS fighters that are particularly bad. And we’ve wanted to make sure that nothing happened with them, with respect to getting out. And I think we’re doing a great job.”

But even though Mr. Trump spoke in the past tense, as if that operation had been carried out, it was instead largely aspirational — and now appears increasingly unlikely.

The United States got only two high-value detainees out — far short of its goal.

The military had been making contingency plans to get a list of about five dozen of the highest-priority detainees from that group out of northern Syria since December, when Mr. Trump first announced that he would withdraw troops from the country before his administration slowed down that plan, one official said.

After Mr. Trump’s abrupt green light to Turkey, the military tried to carry out that aspiration. And special forces operators on Wednesday managed to take custody of two British men believed to be half of an ISIS cell that tortured and killed Western hostages, and who are now being held at an American base in Iraq.

But after the Kurds acquiesced to those two transfers, they stopped cooperating with the United States in anger at what they saw as Mr. Trump’s betrayal, according to American officials. The Pentagon’s decision on Sunday to pull American forces out of northern Syria means the opportunity to take custody of additional ISIS prisoners — even if the Kurds were to decide to start cooperating again — is rapidly evaporating, the officials said.

They are El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Kotey — two of the so-called Beatles, a four-member cell of British ISIS members who abused Western hostages, including James Foley, the American journalist beheaded in August 2014 for an ISIS propaganda video. Another cell member, who was later killed in a drone strike, is believed to have killed Mr. Foley.

The Justice Department intends to eventually bring the two to the Eastern District of Virginia for trial, but a court fight in Britain has delayed that transfer. The lawsuit is over whether the British government may share evidence with the United States without an assurance that American prosecutors will not seek the death penalty.

Eric Schmitt contributed reporting.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com