Emirates Advises Citizens Not To Wear Traditional Dress While Traveling

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, prime minister of United Arab Emirates, wears traditional dress as he listens to an Emirati employee while visiting al-Maktoum International Airport in Dubai.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, prime minister of United Arab Emirates, wears traditional dress as he listens to an Emirati employee while visiting al-Maktoum International Airport in Dubai. Kamran Jebreili/AP hide caption

toggle caption Kamran Jebreili/AP

The government of the United Arab Emirates is advising its citizens to avoid wearing the country’s traditional dress while traveling abroad.

It came after an Emirati man wearing the country’s flowing white robe, called a kandura, a headscarf and a headband was mistaken for a member of ISIS while traveling in the United States. He was handcuffed by the police and later hospitalized in Avon, Ohio, on Wednesday. The incident was widely reported in Emirati media.

The tweet advises UAE citizens to avoid wearing Emirati national dress while traveling abroad, and particularly in public places, “in order to preserve their safety.” It came from an official government Twitter account used to provide advice to Emiratis traveling abroad.

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— ?????? (@Twajudi) July 2, 2016

A separate statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs “urged women to abide by bans on face veils in parts of Europe,” as Reuters reported.

The statements do not explicitly link the new guidance to the Ohio incident.

Cleveland’s WEWS reported that the incident began when “the sister of a hotel clerk” at the Fairfield Inn & Suites dialed 911 from the hotel lobby, claiming she heard businessman Ahmed al-Menhali “pledging his allegiance to ISIS over the phone.”

The news station released a body camera video from the Avon police department showing what happened next. “There he is! On the ground, do it now!” an officer yelled. The squad rushed towards Menhali, guns pointed. “Grab his hands, cuff him up!”

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One officer held Menhali’s chest down with his knee as he lay on the ground. Menhali was visibly confused and said, “What is this? I’m a tourist and this is not good,” as the police rifled through his pockets. They tossed at least one of his cellphones into the bushes.

Police removed the handcuffs less than 10 minutes later. But shortly after, Menhali collapsed on the ground and EMTs transported him to the hospital in a stretcher.

Menhali had been recovering from a stroke in Ohio since April, according to The National, a UAE news site. He said that he had suffered a panic attack during his ordeal with the police.

“They were brutal with me,” Menhali told The National. “They pressed forcefully on my back. I had several injuries and bled from the forceful nature of their arrest.

He had been trying to book a room at the hotel, the news site added. “I always wear my traditional clothes during all my travels and never encountered such a thing,” Menhali said.

Avon’s police chief and mayor have apologized to Menhali. “No one from the police department wished to disrespect you, that was not the intent of any of the actions of our officers,” said Police Chief Richard Bosley in video carried by WEWS. “It is a very regrettable circumstance that occurred for you. You should not have been put in that situation like you were.”

The city is now reviewing its policies, WEWS reported. “The woman who made the false claim could still face charges,” it added.

The UAE summoned the U.S. Deputy Chief of Mission Ethan Goldrich over the incident, Emirati state news agency WAM reported.

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San Francisco Media Outlets Unite To Help End The City's Homelessness

A bird steals a bag of food from a homeless man while he sleeps in front of City Hall in San Francisco, California on June, 27, 2016.

A bird steals a bag of food from a homeless man while he sleeps in front of City Hall in San Francisco, California on June, 27, 2016. JOSH EDELSON/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption JOSH EDELSON/AFP/Getty Images

As a little girl growing up in a lovely house in Kansas City, Kansas, Audrey Cooper knew nothing about life with no place to call home. One day, her family took a trip out of state and her 8-year-old eyes beheld something she never forgot.

“The first homeless person I ever saw was on the streets of San Francisco,” Cooper recalls.

Long after that trip ended, Cooper left Kansas City for college in Boston and after graduation started a career in journalism ending up in of all places – San Francisco. She’s now the editor-in-chief at the San Francisco Chronicle. And three decades after that image was etched in her mind as child, it became one of the reasons she spearheaded what is being described as the most unprecedented effort by the media to address homelessness.

On Wednesday, June 29, The Chronicle and almost 80 other news organizations launched the SF Homeless Project – publishing stories exploring possible solutions to reducing or ending homelessness and improving the quality of life for the approximate 6,686 people living on San Francisco Streets.

San Francisco’s overall population is about 864,816. And to get its homeless people in supportive housing the city would have to expand its current efforts, which is estimated at $200 million up front and $50 million annually.

“You cannot live in San Francisco without coming into daily contact with a person that lives on the street,” Cooper notes.

She says The Chronicle has always covered homelessness, but she thought there was a need to do something different, something more effective. Once she came up with the idea in January, collaboration meetings with other news outlets in the Bay area began in February.

KQED News YouTube

She says the project has been quite a labor of love.

“It might have been less painful when I gave birth to my actual child,” she laughs.

Originally, says Cooper, there were about 40 outlets involved — ranging from small hyperlocal newspapers and community digital outlets, to larger publications and radio and television stations. Soon enough, word got around and the number of organizations doubled.

“Getting everybody to agree on that perfect day to publish was difficult,” Cooper says. “The NBA finals were going on, the summer is conventions for political parties . . . It (June 29) was a day that nothing was going on.”

In just a matter of days after publishing, they are seeing the effects of their efforts.

“I think we’ve already been successful . . . We’ve already made national news headlines. You see politicians dealing with the issues . . . There’s legislation by some lawmakers calling on the governor to declare a state of emergency.”

Jennifer Friedenbach, executive director of the Coalition on Homelessness, an advocacy organization, agrees that the coverage has been successful so far. She admits when she first read about the project – prior to its launch — in the New York Times, she was somewhat nervous, thinking the coverage would be “from a passerby’s perspective.”

“But a lot of the coverage has done a really good job of highlighting the plight of the homeless,” Friedenbach says. “I like that they’re highlighting the voices of people who are homeless.”

She’s hopeful these stories can force policy change, influencing lawmakers to get more proactive about reducing homelessness.

Nearly a quarter of The Chronicle’s 200-member staff has been involved in the project. And they’ve covered practically every issue affecting the homeless. Key among these is — mental health – with the newspaper reporting:

Angela Flax packs up her tent in San Francisco in February. Media outlets in San Francisco saturated Internet, broadcast and print publications this week with news stories about the city's homeless.

Angela Flax packs up her tent in San Francisco in February. Media outlets in San Francisco saturated Internet, broadcast and print publications this week with news stories about the city’s homeless. Eric Risberg/AP hide caption

toggle caption Eric Risberg/AP

“A hundred additional beds in a hospital psychiatric ward, the most expensive level of care, could cost $80 million a year, according to the Department of Public Health. The same number in a locked facility like a skilled nursing home or other non-hospital treatment center could cost up to $20 million. The city also needs thousands more supportive housing units for those who don’t need institutional care, at a cost of at least $50 million a year. But there could also be cost savings as a result.”

The Chronicle also focused on the shelter system, citing sufficient improvements could make them more successful: “The shelter system costs the city about $16 million a year. Doubling that amount could pay for such an overhaul, according to a city controller’s analysis.”

NPR member station KQED is also involved in the project and according to Holly Kernan, executive editor of news, they hosted “all of the collaboration meetings, because public media is mission driven and we are used to collaborating in the public interest.”

Among their stories were a question and answer piece about homelessness; a timeline on homelessness in San Francisco and a close up experience of life on the streets, featuring a video. Kernan said KQED’s coverage also looked at the housing affordability crisis and the “invisible homeless people living out of cars and on couches and those living one crisis away from being without shelter.”

She dismissed any notion that doing a project of this nature is advocacy, saying it’s all about journalism as the Fourth Estate.

“Our role as watchdogs is to ask tough questions, hold politicians accountable and get good information to the public,” she says.

“It’s our responsibility to convene community conversations and that’s what we are doing with this project. It’s also our job to tell stories and we’ve tried to give people a sense of the humanity and breadth of stories beyond the label ‘homeless.’ “

Both Cooper and Kernan say their organizations will continue coverage throughout the year, keeping this project alive.

“I want people all over the Bay Area to have a renewed sense of pride in their media and how much they need to support us,” Cooper says.

“This newsroom is earning more readers and saving the world.”

A world, that hopefully by the time Cooper’s 4-year-old son becomes a man, will be free of homeless people living on the streets on San Francisco – the place where she saw her first homeless person — thanks in part to her journalism.

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Michael Cimino, Director Of 'The Deer Hunter,' Dies At 77

The director Michael Cimino in Italy during the '70s.

The director Michael Cimino in Italy during the ’70s. Mondadori Portfolio/Mondadori via Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Mondadori Portfolio/Mondadori via Getty Images

Michael Cimino, the Academy-award winning director of The Deer Hunter, has died at the age of 77 in Los Angeles.

Cimino received broad critical acclaim for the 1978 Vietnam War epic The Deer Hunter, which was nominated for nine Oscars and won five. He then followed it up with Heaven’s Gate, one of the most famous flops in film history.

The Los Angeles County Coroner confirmed Cimino’s death, but said the cause is not yet known.

The Deer Hunter, starring Robert De Niro, Christopher Walken and Meryl Streep, tells the haunting story of the impact of the war on a group of friends from Pennsylvania. It’s “perhaps best remembered for a nail-biting sequence in which Mr. De Niro and Mr. Walken’s characters, having been taken prisoner by the North Vietnamese, are forced to play Russian roulette with one another,” as The New York Times reports.

The Los Angeles Times says the Russian Roulette scenes “became instantly iconic, symbolic of the maddening pressures that set upon men at war.” The film as a whole is viewed as “an authentic American tragedy and essential anti-war document,” as The Guardian reports.

Director Michael Cimino (left) talks with actor Robert De Niro (center wearing beret) during a break while filming "The Deer Hunter" on location in Bangkok.

Director Michael Cimino (left) talks with actor Robert De Niro (center wearing beret) during a break while filming “The Deer Hunter” on location in Bangkok. Neal Ulevich/AP hide caption

toggle caption Neal Ulevich/AP

Cimino was riding high from the triumph of The Deer Hunter. Next for him was Heaven’s Gate, the revisionist Western that Fresh Air’s critic-at-large John Powers recently called “the most famous cinematic disaster of my lifetime” and “the nail in the coffin of Hollywood’s auteur filmmaking of the 1970s.”

The film was a financial disaster with a budget that ended up tripling during production. It lost about $114 million, adjusted for inflation, according to Time.

John said the film is “a vainglorious folly in love with its own beauty and supposed profundity.” And yet, he added that the film does have its defenders, particularly in Europe. In summary:

“Cimino has a great sense of space, a marvelous eye for landscape and a taste for epic storytelling. He was trying to make a masterpiece, and though he wound up with a critical and box-office drubbing, the failure to pull off a masterpiece is hardly the worst crime an artist can commit.”

After Heaven’s Gate, Cimino released several others but largely went into seclusion. He “declined all interviews with American journalists for 10 years,” as Vanity Fair reported.

In a 2010 interview with the magazine, he defended his legacy: “Nobody lives without making mistakes,” he said. “I never second-guess myself. You can’t look back. I don’t believe in defeat. Everybody has bumps, but as Count Basie said, ‘It’s not how you handle the hills, it’s how you handle the valleys.'”

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Sanders Centers Platform Fight On Trans-Pacific Trade Deal

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., delivers a speech titled "Where We Go From Here" on June 24 in Albany, N.Y.

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., delivers a speech titled “Where We Go From Here” on June 24 in Albany, N.Y. Mike Groll/AP hide caption

toggle caption Mike Groll/AP

Sen. Bernie Sanders went out of his way Sunday to find praise for the Democratic party’s platform drafting committee, but there is one major sticking point: The Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Sanders wants the final platform to unequivocally oppose the free-trade deal that was negotiated by the Obama administration, saying it “threatens our democracy” in an op-ed published in The Philadelphia Inquirer on Sunday.

The runner-up in the Democratic primary contest did refer to the draft platform, which was released on Friday, as “an excellent start” for its provisions calling for a 21st-century Glass-Steagall Act, expanding Social Security, closing loopholes in the corporate tax code, infrastructure investment, ending the death penalty and eliminating superPACs.

Sanders called for stronger language on enacting a national minimum wage at $15 per hour. The draft platform states, “We believe that Americans should earn at least $15 an hour,” but it does not explicitly call for legislation to enact that.

But his strongest condemnation was reserved for how the party proposes handling TPP. Here’s what the draft platform says about it:

On the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), there are a diversity of views in the party. Many Democrats are on record stating that the agreement does not meet the standards set out in this platform; other Democrats have expressed support for the agreement. But all Democrats believe that any trade agreement must protect workers and the environment and not undermine access to critically-needed prescription drugs.

It’s an issue that has divided the White House from many Democrats. Hillary Clinton helped promote the deal as it was being drafted when she was Secretary of State. But Clinton came out in opposition to it last October, just before the first Democratic primary debate.

In his op-ed on Sunday, Sanders said, “If both Clinton and I agree that the TPP should not get to the floor of Congress this year, it’s hard to understand why an amendment saying so would not be overwhelmingly passed.”

The full platform committee is set to vote on the draft when it meets in Orlando, Fla., next weekend.

He also cited the opposition to the deal by trade unions and environmental groups, some of the most reliable activists in the party.

Not only will the platform fight come to a head next weekend, it could also be a crucial factor in whether Sanders fully backs Hillary Clinton. While he has said that he will vote for her and do whatever he can to defeat Republican Donald Trump, Sanders has stopped short of endorsing the Democrats’ presumptive nominee.

When Vice President Joe Biden told NPR on Thursday that “Bernie’s going to endorse her,” Sanders’ response was, “We’re not there quite yet.”

In an interview with MSNBC, he foreshadowed that the platform fight was a final hurdle. “Right now my hope is that we can reach an agreement on some very important issues and I can go forward to the millions of people who supported me and say, ‘Look, this is the progress that you’ve made. This is where we’re gonna go as a country,'” Sanders said.

Sanders said that all of Clinton’s backers on the platform drafting committee were against the amendment to oppose TPP.

One Clinton ally defending TPP is Labor Secretary Tom Perez. His role in the administration makes him a key advocate for the deal, but that could make his potential selection as a running mate for Hillary Clinton tricky.

When pressed about the fight over TPP within the party on NBC’s Meet The Press on Sunday, Perez focused on what he says are the goals of the deal.

“So we want to make sure that when we negotiate with Mexico and Vietnam and others that we have the strongest protections for the workers that we’ve ever had. And that’s what we’ve set out to do, and that’s what I believe we have done,” Perez said. “The president and Secretary Clinton have a disagreement on whether TPP has gone that far. This is not the first time in the history of the Democratic Party that there have been differences of opinion.”

But Bernie Sanders’ enduring fight against the Trans-Pacific Partnership means that difference of opinion could have real consequences for party unity heading into the Democratic National Convention, which starts in Philadelphia three weeks from Monday.

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The Beast Born Of Snow: What It Feels Like In The Jaws Of An Avalanche

Skiers free-ride down a slope despite a high avalanche risk, at the ski resort in Val-d'Isere, in the French Alps, on March 2, 2014.

Skiers free-ride down a slope despite a high avalanche risk, at the ski resort in Val-d’Isere, in the French Alps, on March 2, 2014. Philippe Desmazes/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Philippe Desmazes/AFP/Getty Images

It is April Fools Day 2011 and Jimmy Chin, the renowned adventure photographer and filmmaker, is shooting a couple of professional snowboarders in the Teton Range in Wyoming. This is one of the first really warm days of the spring season and so there is a lot of action in the snowpack. It is the kind of day where the risk of avalanche is high enough that everyone has their antennae up. But all three men are expert mountaineers who know how to read the conditions.

Chin — who is on skis — has just worked his way through a narrow band of snow called a couloir, and is continuing his descent down the peak. He makes one turn and then a second. And then there is a crack and the slope becomes riddled with a spider web of breaches. The snow drops out from under Chin and he begins a 2,000-foot tumble down the mountain in what would later be described as a class 3 to 4 (out of a scale of 5) avalanche — an event that can snap trees, pummel cars and crush houses. Surviving is a matter of expertise, equipment and luck.

About 30 people die in avalanches each year in the U.S. Those numbers have held pretty steady in spite of more and more adventurers exploring the back country in winter, something experts credit to avalanche awareness programs. Twenty-five percent of people caught in an avalanche are killed by the trauma, the rest die from asphyxiation. Jimmy Chin’s April Fool’s avalanche was trying to obliterate him any way it could.

“There’s a tremendous amount of mass moving. If you can imagine you are in a car crash, but then think of being in a train crash,” he says.

As he somersaulted down the mountain engulfed in a blizzard, Chin says it was like being held under by a giant wave. He couldn’t catch his breath. Snow was pushing into his eyes, down his throat and crushing his face. At times he estimated he was down 30- to 50-feet deep and he prayed the slide didn’t stop then because there would be no chance for rescue.

To try to move towards the surface Chin employed survival technique No. 1 they teach you in avalanche safety courses: swim for the surface. He struggled as best he could encumbered by skis and winter gear. And with some luck, it worked. In an outcome that left everyone shaking their heads Jimmy Chin popped out the toe of the avalanche buried up to his waist but, aside from some bruises, intact.

‘Like A Monster In A Horror Film’

Two months ago, Mount Everest reopened to climbers after two years in which avalanches killed at least 35 people on the mountain. Those were serac avalanches, one of them triggered by the 2015 Nepal earthquake, in which large chunks of hanging ice broke off and crushed the victims.

Photographer Jimmy Chin on assignment in the Karakoram mountains of Pakistan.

Photographer Jimmy Chin on assignment in the Karakoram mountains of Pakistan. Brady Robinson/Courtesy of Jimmy Chin hide caption

toggle caption Brady Robinson/Courtesy of Jimmy Chin

Jimmy Chin was caught in a slab avalanche, where a mountainside will give way pushing an icy white tidal wave sometimes 20- to 30-feet tall at speeds reaching 80 mph in just seconds.

Bruce Tremper has been measuring avalanches for 40 years and recently retired from the Utah Avalanche Center.

“Avalanches are like a monster in a horror film,” he says. “They lie underneath the perfect facade, this nice white snow, laying in wait for somebody to come along.”

Most avalanches occur soon after a fresh snowfall, says Spencer Logan of the Colorado Avalanche Information Center, who estimates his state experiences approximately 3,000 avalanches each winter involving about 60 people. Last January was particularly grim with an unprecedented 14 deaths across the U.S. The fatalities occurred during a period of frequent storms.

“We need a layer of snow that is a little bit more cohesive, it wants to stick together,” Logan says. “And it needs to sit on top of a layer that is less cohesive, so one that doesn’t want to hold together as much and we need something to upset that balance and get the incohesive snow to start breaking and then the more cohesive will slide down the hill.”

That thing upsetting that balance is you, on your skis or a snowboard or a snowmobile.

Rising Above The Chaos

Modern technology has helped out a lot when it comes to surviving an avalanche. The go-to rescue device is the transceiver most serious back country skiers carry. Set this radio beacon to transmit as you’re skiing. If there’s a slide, set it to receive to pick up your friend’s signal from under the snow. You’ll also want a probe to help pinpoint their location and a shovel to dig them out.

Then there’s the Avalung. This is basically a tube you breathe into if you’re buried that diverts your toxic carbon dioxide away from you and pulls in oxygen from the surrounding snowpack adding precious minutes of survival time.

The latest safety device which has been popular in Europe for a while and is now catching on in this country is the avalanche airbag. It sits in a small backpack behind you and when you pull the ripcord the bag inflates, increasing your volume and helping you stay high up in the avalanche above the crushing debris, rocks and trees, that is swept with the slide down the mountain. Elyse Saugstad had hers strapped on during the Tunnel Creek avalanche in Washington State. And it saved her life.

Saugstad is a professional skier and she and a large group of athletes were enjoying the fresh powder out of bounds near the Steven’s Pass ski area on Feb. 19, 2012. Again, all were experienced, knew how to read conditions and were aware that there was some avalanche danger that day. She and four others were working their way down the mountain when a skier above them triggered the avalanche. One member of the group was able to save himself by wedging between two trees as the slide rushed by. Saugstad and three others were swept down the mountain. Only she was equipped with an airbag.

All was well she says until she heard someone scream, “Elyse, avalanche!” Immediately she tried to ski out of it but couldn’t.

Elyse Saugstad is a professional skier and has survived a couple of avalanches.

Elyse Saugstad is a professional skier and has survived a couple of avalanches. Greg Martin/Courtesy of Elyse Saugstad hide caption

toggle caption Greg Martin/Courtesy of Elyse Saugstad

“As I started to get caught I pulled the trigger on my …avalanche airbag backpack, and immediately started to tumble, head over heels,” Saugstad says. “You can’t tell which way is up, you can’t tell which way is down. If I hadn’t pulled the trigger when I had I don’t know if I would have been able to get my arm back up to the trigger point, because the forces were so strong you just lose complete control.”

She came to a stop 2,500 feet further down the mountain. That’s about two Empire State Buildings stacked on top of each other, she notes. Snow at the bottom of an avalanche sets up like concrete leaving a body completely immobile. You can’t wiggle your fingers. You can’t expand your chest enough to take a full breath. Saugstad was frozen in place. But Saugstad’s airbag had kept her up high. She was on her back looking up at the sky. Her face was clear and she could breath. Her three companions were not so lucky. They all died. One was buried just four feet away from her.

“I just think if they were wearing avalanche airbag backpacks that they would still be alive,” Saugstad says. “They actually didn’t die of asphyxiation. They died of trauma. They had compressed lungs and broken ribs and just broken limbs in general. Because they weren’t on top of the avalanche and they were being pulled below they were hitting all the debris.”

‘A Golden 15 Minutes’

What could be worse? The avalanche comes to rest. You’ve survived the trauma but you are cemented in place under the snow. Everything is pitch black. Your body is face down with your legs contorted behind and above you in a scorpion-like position. This is where pro skier JT Holmes found himself this past January near Donner Peak in California’s Sierra Nevada Mountains. His CO2 was building up and the clock was ticking.

“You’ve got kind of a golden 15 minutes, and after that time the numbers drop off really quickly,” says avalanche forecaster Bruce Tremper. “So 93 percent of the completely buried people are still alive after the first 15 minutes. After about 45 minutes there’s only about 10 or 20 percent still alive.”

At first as he came to rest Holmes was able to thrash his head back and forth under the snow to try to create an air pocket. He could even see bits of light shining through. But soon the snow filled in every crack and sealed him in. There was zero mobility and zero light.

“If you were claustrophobic this would be your absolute nightmare,” Holmes says. “What I was trying to do at that point was slow down my breathing. I was reminding myself that I was with professional mountain guides, and they were going to come get me. And I knew my beacon was on. So I was giving myself a pep talk.”

He thought about how big wave surfers are trained to hold their breath for three or four minutes, how the mind thinks it needs oxygen way before it actually does.

“I never one time thought I’m going to die,” Holmes says. “I was focusing on what I could control, keeping a cool head and not breathing.”

He did wonder at one moment how deep he was, six inches, four feet, 10 feet? Eventually Holmes lost the battle between his brain and his lungs and after about four or five minutes, he estimates, he passed out. A couple of minutes later he was unearthed.

JT Holmes competes during the 2009 Xtreme freeride contest in Verbier, Switzerland.

JT Holmes competes during the 2009 Xtreme freeride contest in Verbier, Switzerland. Jean-Christophe Bott, Keystone/AP hide caption

toggle caption Jean-Christophe Bott, Keystone/AP

The next thing Holmes remembers is coming to and seeing the faces of his rescuers. He says everything was very bright, and for the first time during the experience he was really scared. But just like Jimmy Chin and Elyse Saugstad, he was not seriously injured.

And all three survivors say despite their close calls they are not about to lead tamer lives.

“It probably reinforced that what I was doing is what I am meant to do,” Chin says. “I can’t help but think, well apparently it wasn’t my time because if there was a time, that would have been the time.”

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At Least 109 Killed In Islamic State-Claimed Bombing In Baghdad

Iraqi firefighters and civilians evacuate bodies of victims killed from a bomb at a commercial area on Sunday in Karada neighborhood, Baghdad, Iraq.

Iraqi firefighters and civilians evacuate bodies of victims killed from a bomb at a commercial area on Sunday in Karada neighborhood, Baghdad, Iraq. Khalid Mohammed/AP hide caption

toggle caption Khalid Mohammed/AP

A bomb struck a busy street in Iraq’s capital Baghdad, killing at least 109 people.

It exploded in the Karada neighborhood very early on Sunday, “where people were gathering to shop, socialize and watch soccer during a hot, lively Ramadan night,” as NPR’s Alice Fordham tells our Newscast unit. She adds that many people were sitting in sidewalk cafes where they had been watching a European soccer match.

Images from the scene show multiple charred buildings, burned-out cars and twisted metal. Civilians and rescue workers search for survivors and carry out bodies as family members of the missing wait for news.

At dawn on Sunday, hours after the attack, firefighters were “still working to extinguish the blazes and bodies were still being recovered from charred buildings,” The Associated Press reports. It adds that many of those killed are children.

Iraqi family members whose relatives went missing after the bomb hit Karada.

Iraqi family members whose relatives went missing after the bomb hit Karada. Hadi Mizban/AP hide caption

toggle caption Hadi Mizban/AP

The so-called Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack in an online statement, though NPR was not able to independently verify the claim.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi later visited the site of the bombing, where angry residents pelted him “with shoes, water bottles and lumps of rock,” as Alice reports. Video circulating on social media appears to show angry crowds and the prime minister’s hastily-departing convoy.

A video posted by al-Abadi on Facebook shows the tense-looking prime minister moving through the crowd surrounded by security personnel, amid screaming and racing ambulances.

YouTube

This bombing comes a week after Iraqi forces said they wrested control of the city of Fallujah from ISIS fighters. Fallujah is just 35 miles from Baghdad, and the extremist organization used it as a staging ground to mount attacks on the capital.

The angry reception that residents gave al-Abadi, Alice tells Weekend Edition Sunday, “shows us that although he has had a spike in popularity after victories such as the one in Fallujah, by being unable to control the security in Baghdad, the prime minister still finds himself in a vulnerable position.

Alice explains that “in a way, these attacks are more likely” after ISIS has lost territory. When ISIS was at its peak strength in Iraq, it controlled about a third of the country. She adds:

“In a surreal kind of way, because the extremists were busy administering territory, their insurgent tactics actually kind of dropped off. Strangely, Baghdad, which was controlled by the government, actually became a lot safer. Now as there have been these victories against ISIS by the Iraqi security forces and their allies, ISIS is no longer administering territory in the same way. But that does mean we have seen these insurgent tactics rear their head again.”

An Iraqi man looks for victims at the bomb site in Baghdad.

An Iraqi man looks for victims at the bomb site in Baghdad. Hadi Mizban/AP hide caption

toggle caption Hadi Mizban/AP

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At Least 84 Killed In Islamic State-Claimed Bombing In Baghdad

Iraqi firefighters and civilians evacuate bodies of victims killed from a bomb at a commercial area on Sunday in Karada neighborhood, Baghdad, Iraq.

Iraqi firefighters and civilians evacuate bodies of victims killed from a bomb at a commercial area on Sunday in Karada neighborhood, Baghdad, Iraq. Khalid Mohammed/AP hide caption

toggle caption Khalid Mohammed/AP

A bomb struck a busy street in Iraq’s capital Baghdad, killing at least 84 people.

It exploded in the Karada neighborhood, “where people were gathering to shop, socialize and watch soccer during a hot, lively Ramadan night,” as NPR’s Alice Fordham tells our Newscast unit. She adds that many people were sitting in sidewalk cafes where they had been watching a European soccer match.

Iraqi officials tell Alice that they expect the death toll to rise, but have not yet released further figures.

Images from the scene show multiple charred buildings, burned-out cars and twisted metal. Civilians and rescue workers search for survivors and carry out bodies as family members of the missing wait for news.

Iraqi family members whose relatives went missing after the bomb hit Karada.

Iraqi family members whose relatives went missing after the bomb hit Karada. Hadi Mizban/AP hide caption

toggle caption Hadi Mizban/AP

At dawn on Sunday, hours after the attack, firefighters were “still working to extinguish the blazes and bodies were still being recovered from charred buildings,” The Associated Press reports. It adds that many of those killed are children.

The so-called Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack in an online statement, though NPR was not able to independently verify the claim.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi later visited the site of the bombing, where angry residents pelted him “with shoes, water bottles and lumps of rock,” as Alice reports. Video circulating on social media appears to show angry crowds and the prime minister’s hastily-departing convoy.

YouTube

A video posted by al-Abadi on Facebook shows the tense-looking prime minister moving through the crowd surrounded by security personnel, amid screaming and racing ambulances.

This bombing comes a week after Iraqi forces said they wrested control of the city of Fallujah from ISIS fighters. Fallujah is just 35 miles from Baghdad, and the extremist organization used it as a staging ground to mount attacks on the capital.

“As ISIS has lost more territory to Iraqi security forces and their allies, they have carried out more insurgent attacks,” as Alice reports. “The prime minister has won some support for recent military victories but there have also been many protests against him in Baghdad.”

An Iraqi man looks for victims at the bomb site in Baghdad.

An Iraqi man looks for victims at the bomb site in Baghdad. Hadi Mizban/AP hide caption

toggle caption Hadi Mizban/AP

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