The safety of Americans abroad is a top priority for the U.S. government. Whether working in a U.S. embassy or on an aid mission, all American lives are valued. When these lives are taken hostage by terrorists, their rescue becomes extremely complex.
President Masoud Barzani of Iraq’s autonomous Kurdistan region is in Washington this week. The president is asking the U.S. government to do more to help combat Islamic militants in northern Iraq.
Lawmakers on Wednesday evening honored lives lost during the Armenian genocide 100 years ago — and pressed the global community to recognize what happened, urging President Barack Obama to lead on the issue.
“We must speak the truth and not dishonor those who died,” said House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. “We will continue to insist on the truth until it is widely accepted and apologized for.”
Syria needs both political action and humanitarian help by the international community to alleviate its ongoing predicament, experts said on Tuesday.
“It’s a global crisis with global impact,” said Denis Sullivan, professor of political science and international affairs at Northeastern University. “Yes it begins inside Syria. Yes it bleeds across the border into the neighboring states and it continues throughout the region and into the Mediterranean and into Europe, and we only hear a little bit of it here, so it’s not our problem, we think.”
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi stressed the importance of maintaining a relationship between the United States and Iraqi governments at a pro-business reception on Thursday.
“If we are partners, we should keep that partnership. It’s important. It’s vital. Partners must trust each other,” Al-Haider said.
Pakistan’s government is not doing enough to ensure the safety of its religious minorities, and its blasphemy law “has caused a lot of injustice amongst the whole society,” critics said on Tuesday.
Asia Bibi, a Pakistani Christian, was arrested in June 2009, for allegedly insulting Islam. The blasphemy law has put 24 Christians to death, according to Bibi’s attorney, Naeem Shakir.
Haider al-Abadi, Iraq’s recently appointed Prime Minister, is not yet a full-fledged success, but he is doing all he can to bring stability to his volatile country, a panel of experts said on Monday.
“I think relative to where Iraq was in the past, there’s been some markers of progress against beating back ISIS militarily. [Al-Abadi’s] been slightly better in terms of dealing with the optics and the general mood of sectarian issues, but there’s a heck-of-a-lot of work that needs to be done,” said Brian Katulis, a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, a progressive institution.
The cherry blossoms that signal the start of Spring are expected to bloom this weekend, allowing visitors and local residents the chance to enjoy the beauty of the trees with some weekend events.
The National Cherry Blossom Festival will hold a parade on Saturday from 10 a.m. along 7th to 17th Streets NW. Also on Saturday, the 55th annual Sakura Matsuri Japanese Street Festival will take place. The event is said to be the U.S.’s largest one-day celebration of all things Japanese. The festival will open at 10:30 a.m., and will be held between 9th and 14th Streets along Pennsylvania Avenue.
Experts disagreed Wednesday on whether President Obama's draft authorization for the use of military force goes too far, or doesn't go far enough.
Obama's proposed resolution has a three-year time limit, and once passed by Congress would override the 2002 AUMF used by President George W. Bush to take military action in Iraq.
Oprah Winfrey and Michelle Obama honored Maya Angelou on Tuesday, dedicating the stamp that will bear the face of the late poet and memoirist.
The U.S. Postal Service unveiled the "forever" stamp at a star-studded event at the historic Warner Theatre.
"I miss her so, and those of you who've lost those who were close to you know, that that missing comes at some of the most unexpected times," Winfrey said.
Maria Llanos is a mother of two. She and her husband, both on disability, live with her mother in Chicago’s West Side.
Llanos and her husband both visit the Northwestern Settlement House’s food pantry when she needs help to make ends meet.
The Islamic State, or ISIS, is using everything from sledgehammers to bulldozers to rewrite Iraq’s cultural history, a priceless legacy of art and archaeology that they consider inappropriate according to their interpretation of the Quran.
A recent video released by ISIS showcases their destruction of historical objects in Mosul’s museum, some dating back to as early as the 7th century B.C. According to Iraq’s Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, ISIS bulldozed the ancient site of Nimrud, a capital of the Assyrian Empire in the 800s B.C.
When Minnie Wilson, 64, was a child growing up in Bassfield, Miss., she grew accustomed to seeing things she considered supernatural.
The retired factory worker who now lives in LaGrange usually kept quiet about her otherworldly experiences, fearful that no one would believe her.
On several school field trips to the Art Institute of Chicago as a child I found myself gravitating toward an Assyrian artifact that hung in the museum’s ancient and Byzantine art exhibit. The artifact that no longer graced the walls of the Art Institute was an Assyrian relief dating to the 800s B.C. It depicted the head of a winged genie. As a child I was proud that as an Assyrian I was able to connect personally with a piece of antiquity that connected to a period on earth so far back in time. On a recent visit, though, the winged genie was not there. The loss made me question how museums determine what pieces of art they show off and what pieces of art they tuck away.
I wanted to know how two of Chicago’s finest museums, the Art Institute of Chicago and the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago, decide what art to display.
Blase Cupich, Chicago’s new Catholic Archbishop, has received a warm welcome from the Windy City. Cupich, 65, previously served as a bishop in Spokane, Washington before replacing Cardinal Francis George, who has retired and is battling cancer.
Chicago-area Assyrians are seeking ways to help their brethren in Iraq and Syria. Territorial expansion by Islamic radicals, know as ISIS, or the Islamic State, has caused devastation and displacement of the region’s indigenous Assyrians, who are Christians. And now they face a brutal winter.
Assyrians in Chicago also are worried that their distinct culture and language may not survive in the land between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers.
“It breaks my heart in multiple ways,” said Sargon Yaro, a high school math teacher and deacon of Rogers Park’s Holy Apostolic Catholic Assyrian Church of the East, Saint George’s Cathedral. “First, as a people, being evicted from a place that belongs to us. Being the indigenous people [of Iraq], we not only get evicted, they take our churches.”
A federal judge decided Thursday to keep an Aurora man in custody on charges he intended to join and provide material support to an al-Qaida affiliate in Syria.
Sporting a shaved-head and shackled at the feet, Abdella Ahmad Tounisi, 20, did not react after U.S. District Judge Samuel Der-Yeghiayan’s ruling. Tounisi has been in custody since April 2013 when he tried to board a flight to Turkey at O’Hare International Airport. According to the FBI, Tounisi was set on joining Jabhat al-Nusrah, a group associated with al-Qaida. Tounisi revealed his intentions in email exchanges with FBI agents, who posed as jihadist recruiters on a fake website.
In an attempt to give his successor as clean a slate as possible, Cardinal Francis George voluntarily released documentation surrounding decades worth of sex abuse Thursday morning. Archbishop-Designate Blase Cupich will assume authority over the Chicago Archdiocese on Nov. 18, at which point George’s 17-year term will end.
“We are committed to transparency with the people we serve,” George said in a news release issued Thursday. “We cannot change the past but we hope we can rebuild trust through honest and open dialogue. Child abuse is a crime and a sin. The Archdiocese of Chicago is concerned first and foremost with bringing healing to abuse victims.”
Democrat Brad Schneider has lost his congressional seat in Illinois’ 10th Congressional District to Republican Robert Dold. “Tonight’s not the end, these issues aren’t going away, and come tomorrow I hope to see you all on the front lines fighting for the middle class, fighting for equal rights, fighting for the promise that all of our kids will have a better future than our parents gave to us,” Schneider said to cheers at his election party in Northbrook’s Hilton Hotel.
What is left of Pilgrim Baptist Church in Chicago’s Bronzeville neighborhood stands fenced in, its limestone façade is supported by white bracings. A tattered church sign with bold blue lettering hangs with no upcoming events listed. The peaceful yet eerie nature of the church can be attributed to a fire that happened eight years ago while workers renovated its roof.
On Sundays, Pilgrim parishioners worship across the street from the historic church at 3300 S. Indiana Ave. Services are held on the first floor of a multi-story building owned by the church. The second floor of the building has offices and a spacious room where church members arrange breakfasts and tea parties. Worshippers dress in their Sunday best, sing songs and clap along to hymns. A cross with illustrations of four doves is painted on a wall that faces the flock.