BTB Week of February 23
by Taylor Derrisaw | published Mar. 4th, 2015
UK Girls Believed to be in Syria, joining ISIS
According to CNN, three girls from the UK are on their way to join ISIS in Syria after misleading their parents about their whereabouts. Amira Abase, 15, who is one of the girls suspected of leaving the country, told her father she was going to a wedding before embarking on a plane to Istanbul with two others.
Ibrahim Kalin, a spokesman for the Turkish government, said that Turkish authorities are doing everything possible to bring the girls home. Despite these efforts, British authorities believe their best option is waiting for the trio to reach out to them.
London Metropolitan Police Commander Richard Walton commented on the matter: “There’s a good possibility, a strong possibility, that we can stop them going into Syria. And our main objective here is to make contact with these three young girls — for them to make contact with us, preferably.”
The girls’ families have also released statements calling for them to come back home. According to the Huffington Post, Abase Hussen, Abase’s father, said “We miss you, we cannot stop crying, please think twice, don’t go to Syria.”
Measles Death in Berlin Starts Compulsory Vaccination Debate
On Feb. 23, an 18-month-old toddler in Germany died of measles, according to BBC News.
The European country has seen over 500 cases of measles since October, compared to 120 in California.
The death of the toddler has sparked debate on whether or not compulsory vaccinations should be enforced. Mario Czaja, Berlin’s health senator, said that “The death of the young boy showed that measles continues to be a serious disease.” Czaja is in favor of mandatory vaccinations, according to the Guardian.
At this point, German politicians are hoping for the parties to come to an agreement on vaccinations as to whether they be strongly encouraged or mandatory. German Health Minister Hermann Gröhe said “The irrational fear-mongering of some vaccination opponents is irresponsible. Anyone who refuses their child protection endangers not only their child, but others as well."
Despite the debate, the Health Ministry commented that they had no intention of introducing mandatory vaccinations, according to the Guardian.
Giuliani Respond to Criticism Over Obama Remarks
Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani has received a plethora of media attention over his remarks toward Barack Obama in recent weeks.
At a private political dinner, Giuliani commented that “Obama doesn’t love America,” which has received criticism from both sides of the aisle. Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky said, “It was wrong to question Obama’s motives,” according to USA Today.
In response to the backlash the former Mayor received after his comments were made public, Giuliani said in an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal: “My blunt language suggesting that the president doesn’t love America notwithstanding, I didn’t intend to question President Obama’s motives or the content of his heart.”
To many, however, the comment doesn’t seem to fully justify Giuliani’s previous remarks. Jonathon Capehart of the Washington Post commented on Giuliani’s “apology,” saying “Instead of apologizing, which he was constitutionally incapable of doing during eight years in City Hall, Giuliani tries to rationalize and make excuses for the inexcusable.”
Despite the backlash, Giuliani has some support from the right wing. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal said “the ‘gist’ of his comments about Obama were right,” according to USA Today.