TRNS News Notes is brought to you by Victoria Jones. Victoria Jones is the Chief White House correspondent and global analyst of the Washington DC based Talk Radio News Service, where her insight and analysis are made available to over 400 news talk radio stations around the country and internationally.

9 men arrested in London raids, suspected of “encouraging terrorism” – (BBC)


In the News

  • UN backs laws to thwart foreign fighters
  • Obama: dismantle “network of death”
  • More airstrikes / Khorasan plot “aspirational?”
  • Plot aspirational or imminent?
  • Obama speaks on Ebola at UN today
  • Suit settled: Navajos to get $554 million
  • Drones to fly on movie sets!
  • Mass shootings growing more common
  • Fox silent on “Simpsons” rape joke
  • Apple’s new teething problems
UN Backs Laws to Thwart Foreign Fighters
• The UN Security Council demanded on Wednesday that all states make it a serious criminal offense for their citizens to travel abroad to fight with terrorist organizations, or to recruit and fund others to do so, in a move sparked by the rise of ISIS (Reuters, NYT, CNN, Fox, me)
• At a meeting chaired by President Obama, the 15-member council unanimously adopted a U.S.-drafted resolution that compels countries to “prevent and suppress” the recruitment and travel of militant fighters to foreign conflicts. Russia and China showed up late and spoke towards the end
• The UN action was prompted by the rise of ISIS and al Qaeda’s Syrian wing, Nusra Front. Some 12,000 fighters from more than 70 nations have traveled to Syria and Iraq to fight with extremist groups, experts say. Obama’s building a global coalition to fight ISIS
• The resolution is under Chapter 7 of the UN Charter, which makes it legally binding for the 193 UN member states and gives the Security Council authority to enforce decisions with economic sanctions or force. It doesn’t mandate military force to tackle the foreign fighter issue
• Human Rights Watch warned that the resolution risked “repeating many of the mistakes of the post-September 11 era.” The Council doesn’t define terrorism, Human Rights Watch noted, and the body leaves it to each state to define it for itself – could lead to abusive counterterrorism policies and practices (and will)
• Herve Gourdel, 55, a French hostage who was snatched in Algeria by an Algerian militant group affiliated with ISIS, has been beheaded. The Soldiers of the Caliphate released a video Wednesday – really horrible. The WH said it “would be another horrific action that is an affront to all of humanity.” France said it will “never give in to pressure.” (TRNS, NYT, Hill, me)
Obama: Dismantle “Network of Death”
• In a powerful address, President Obama laid out a forceful new blueprint on Wednesday for deeper American engagement in the Middle East, telling the UN General Assembly that ISIS understood only “the language of force” and that the U.S. would “work with a broad coalition to dismantle this network of death.” (WSJ, NYT, Fox, CBS, CNN, WaPo, TRNS, me)
• “Those who have joined ISIL should leave the battlefield while they can,” Obama said in a blunt declaration of his intentions. Here are major points from the annual address:
1) Violent extremism. This was the key theme. Obama made a case that “the cancer of violent extremism” risks derailing progress toward peace and prosperity. But he also warned that radical ideas would continue to spread unless other nations – particularly in the Islamic world – take tangible steps to root out extremists from schools and other sectors

2) ISIS. Obama outlined the case against the group and asked other nations to join the fight. “There can be no reasoning – no negotiation – with this brand of evil.”


Open letter (in English) to the leader of ISIS from more than 120 Muslim leaders and scholars around the world, including many in the U.S. The letter strongly denounces violence in the name of Islam. Includes: “It is forbidden to kill the journalists and aid workers”


3) Russia. Obama used forceful language to condemn Russia’s aggression in Ukraine. He was particularly critical in describing the downing of MH17 by what the U.S. and allies have said was a Russian-made missile system, and he slammed subsequent efforts to block recovery teams to investigate
4) Ebola.“We need a broader effort to stop a disease that could kill hundreds of thousands, inflict horrific suffering, destabilize communities and move rapidly across borders. It’s easy to see this as a distant problem – until it isn’t,” Obama said
5) Global tensions. Obama called on Iran to pursue a diplomatic solution to its nuclear problem, touched on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, climate change and territorial squabbles between China and its neighbors
6) Ferguson. Obama acknowledged that the U.S. is wrestling with its own demons when it comes to racial and ethnic tensions. “I know the world also took notice of the small American city of Ferguson MO, where a young man was killed and a community was divided.” He said that the U.S. welcomes scrutiny
More Airstrikes / Khorasan Plot “Aspirational?”
• U.S. and Arab jets have bombed ISIS targets in Syria for a second day, including 12 oil refineries which produce between 300-500 barrels of oil a day and generate as much as $3 million a day in revenue, the U.S. said. It said an initial assessment showed the strikes had been successful (BBC, WaPo, CNN, Fox, ABC, Reuters, me)
• British PM David Cameron said at the UN in New York Wednesday that that the UK is ready to “play its part” in fighting ISIS, which he called an “evil against which the whole world must unite.” Parliament is due to vote on air strikes in Syria on Friday. Remarks sounded like a preview of his speech to parliament Friday
• Meanwhile, the U.S. has yet to confirm whether Khorasan leader Muhsin al-Fadhli was killed in an airstrike this week. American officials have given differing accounts about just how close the group was to mounting an attack and about what chance any plot had of success (this is odd)
Plot Aspirational or Imminent?
• One senior American official Wednesday described the Khorasan plotting as “aspirational” and said that there didn’t yet seem to be a concrete plan in the works (so – totally different from what we were told a day before)
• Several of President Obama’s aides said Tuesday that airstrikes against Khorasan operatives were launched to thwart an “imminent” terrorist attack, possibly using concealed explosives to blow up an airplane
• But other American officials said that the plot was far from mature, and that there was no indication that Khorasan has settled on a time or location for the attack – or even on the exact  method of carrying out the attack (do these senior admin officials talk to each other?)
• Besides Fadhli, another top member of of the Khorasan Group is believed to be Abdul Mohsen Abdullah Ibrahim al-Sharikh, a Saudi who arrived in Syria in 2013. Sharikh and Fadhli were once part of a cadre of al Qaeda operatives living in Iran, facilitating the flow of money, weapons and fighters from Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan to Iraq
Obama Speaks on Ebola at UN Today
This afternoon, President Obama will deliver remarks at a high-level UN meeting on the Ebola epidemic, chaired by SecGen Ban Ki-moon. The meeting comes as the CDC issued a warning Tuesday that the number of infected people could hit 1.4 million by Jan under a worst-case scenario. The West Africa death toll has hit 2,900 (AP, Hill, me)
• Meanwhile, the top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee is holding up the WH’s request for roughly $1 billion to fight Ebola in West Africa. Sen James Inhofe (R-OK) wants more details from the Pentagon on how it will protect U.S. personnel from contracting the disease
• The military would be interacting with health care workers administering to the stricken. Inhofe also wants more specifics on the financial and logistics demands such assistance would impose upon upon a defense budget already stretched thin
• The money would go to transport troops and health care providers and supplies such as isolation units, protective suits and medicines for treating Ebola patients. It would also pay for temporary shelters to quarantine patients and other steps to limit the spread of Ebola. The admin wants the money nowwww
• Meanwhile, a Red Cross team was attacked Tuesday while collecting bodies believed to be infected with Ebola in southeastern Guinea, the latest in a string of assaults. The most shocking attack was the abduction and killing last week in Guinea of eight people, educating people about Ebola and the journalists accompanying them
• The DoJ is to review the fatal police shooting of John Crawford III, who was carrying a BB gun in a Walmart store in Ohio, after a grand jury declined to indict the officers involved. New video shows Crawford wasn’t carrying the gun when he was shot (Guardian, Vox)
Suit Settled: Navajos to Get $554 Million
• And about time. In the largest settlement obtained by an American Indian tribe from the federal govt, the Navajo Nation will receive $554 million to end a lawsuit alleging that the govt mismanaged the community’s assets for more than 50 years (NYT, WaPo, me)
• The settlement says the govt didn’t act in their best interests when managing their natural resources. It’s the latest agreement between the Obama admin and Indian tribes. The sum the Navajos receive is the biggest. The settlement will be signed in Window Rock AZ on Friday
• The federal govt oversees 14 million acres of land held by the Navajo Nation, leasing out parcels for coal and oil extraction, timber harvesting, farming, housing and other purposes in a system that dates back to the 1800s
• In 2006, the tribe filed a lawsuit that claimed that the govt had failed to invest tribal resources in a way that would maximize profits. The mismanagement dated back to 1946, according to the suit, which sought $900 million in damages
• Dwight Witherspoon, a delegate in the tribe’s 24-member legislative body, the Navajo Nation Council, said the council will hold a public meeting in Oct to solicit ideas on how the money should be used. “We have so much need,” he said
• President Obama today will use his legal authority to create the world’s largest fully protected marine reserve in the central Pacific Ocean, broadening the existing Pacific Remote Islands National Marine Monument from almost 87,000 square miles to more than 490,000 square miles (WaPo)
Drones to Fly on Movie Sets!
• Whoa! The FAA is planning to announce today that it will permit Hollywood filmmakers to operate drones on movie sets, according to current and former U.S. officials. The FAA has long enforced a de facto ban on the use of drones for commercial purposes
• But under a 2012 law passed (foolishly) by Congress, the agency is developing rules that will eventually legalize the practice and allow drones of all sizes to operate. Prior to this week, the FAA had granted permits to only two companies to fly drones – in Alaska
• The cinematic firms have applied for permission to fly the drones anywhere in the country if they meet certain safety conditions. Drones would stay at least 100 feet away from people not part of the production crews. They would weigh no more than 55 lbs, fly no faster than 57 mph and fly no higher than 400 feet
• A WaPo investigation disclosed in June that rogue civilian drones had flown dangerously close to airports or passenger aircraft in 15 cases in the previous two years. In addition, more than 400 large military drones have crashed in major accidents around the world since 2001 (definition: a lot?)
• The FAA has said it will issue proposed standards and rules to legalize the widespread use of small commercial drones by the end of the year. However, those rules probably wouldn’t take effect until 2016 or later. Legalizing the use of drones that weigh more than 55 lbs is expected to take even longer…
Mass Shootings Growing More Common
• Mass shootings are growing more common in the U.S., with more than 16 incidents per year since 2007, according to a new study released Wednesday by the FBI. The shootings usually last a matter of minutes and end before police are able to arrive (WSJ, Hill, me)
• In 13% of the incidents, unarmed citizens successfully disrupted the shooting. Those people were often principals or schoolteachers confronting a student to end the shooting
• In six of 160 incidents, armed off-duty police officers, citizens or security guards confronted the suspect. Nine law-enforcement officers were killed in active-shooter incidents during the period studied (2000 and 2013). At least five shooters remain at large
• The most likely place was a business area, such as an office, a mall or a movie theater, with 45% of mass shootings happening there. The next most frequent targets were students: About one in four such shootings were in settings like schools or colleges
• About 40% of the time, the shooter took his or her own life. All but six of the shootings were carried out by men and all but two acted alone
* ESPN suspends Bill Simmons for three weeks for calling NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell a “liar” in what’s one of the most epic rants I’ve heard in a long time. Simmons dared them. (he just didn’t care)  (warning: uber-graphic). ESPN is an NFL broadcast partner. Ray Rice only got two weeks for knocking out his wife…
Fox Silent on “Simpsons” Rape Joke
• The Fox network isn’t responding to suggestions that it edit its upcoming crossover episode of “The SImpsons” and “Family Guy” to remove a joke where the punch line is “your sister’s being raped.” (AP, me)
• The line’s in Sunday’s hugely-awaited special where Bart Simpson and his family hang around with Stewie and the rest of the “Family Guy” crew, and has already circulated in a trailer for the episode that Fox released online over the summer
• It punctuates a scene in which the incorrigible Bart is instructing Stewie Griffin in the art of the prank phone call. Bart dials the owner of Moe’s Tavern and asks whether there’s any one there with the last name Keybum, first name Lee
• When Moe calls out to his patrons, asking for a “leaky bum,” everyone gets a laugh. Stewie thinks that’s cool, and asks to make his own prank call. “Hello, Moe?” he says. “Your sister’s being raped.”
• Tom Winter, president of the Parents Television Council, said he’s a longtime fan, but “it really troubled me.” He said he wrote to Matt Groening, creator “The Simpsons,” “Family Guy” creator Seth McFarlane and Fox in August to ask that the joke be removed when the show airs but has received no reply
• A grand jury in NY state decided Wednesday not to file criminal charges against Nascar champion Tony Stewart in the death of driver Kevin Ward Jr. after Stewart’s race car hit and killed Ward during a sprint car race. The DA said Ward had enough marijuana in his system at the time to impair judgment (NYT, me)
Apple’s New Teething Problems
• Apple withdrew its iOS 8.0.1 software update Wednesday, following widely reported issues that some people couldn’t connect to cellular networks and the fingerprint reader, a security feature, didn’t work. (so a bit of a problem, then) Apple said it was “actively investigating.” (I’ll bet it was)
• The way to fix it is to connect your phone to iTunes and back up your data. Then, click “Restore iPhone” button and follow the on-screen instructions. Warning: last time I did a Restore iPhone I lost data but it did fix the problem… (CNN, BBC, pcworld, me)
• Meanwhile, experts are divided over whether Apple should respond to claims that its new iPhone 6 handsets are prone to bend when carried in pants’ pockets. Other cell phones have bent in the past. And it’s not clear if the new aluminum shells make them particularly vulnerable
• Twitter users have posted thousands of comments about the claims, using the hashtag #Bentgate. The Cult of Mac news site notes that owners of Samsung, Blackberry and other handsets have also reported instances of bent devices

• Look, fellas, if you’re going to sit on it, you deserve everything you get. Would you treat any other product so pricey that way? Oh, you would? OK


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______________Victoria Jones

TRNS’ Justin Duckham contributed to this report

The Talk Radio News Service is the only information, news booking and host service dedicated to serving the talk radio community. TRNS maintains a Washington office that includes White House, Capitol Hill and Pentagon staffed bureaus, and a New York office with a United Nations staffed bureau. Talk Radio News Service has permanent access to every breaking newsevent in the Washington, D.C. area and beyond.