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Title Title
U.S. government heads towards shutdown; Turkey begins assault U.S. government heads towards shutdown; Turkey begins assault
Summary Summary
  The top stories WikiTribune's working on and what we recommend: President Putin braves icy waters in religious ceremony
Highlights Highlights
  Rohingya leaders make demands before repatriation , United Nations accused of sexual assault and harassment culture
Content Content
<b>WikiTribune’s tracking these stories and more. To collaborate on the Briefing, please SIGN UP or SIGN IN.</b> <b>WikiTribune’s tracking these stories and more. To collaborate on the Briefing, please SIGN UP or SIGN IN.</b>
<h2 class="p3">Curated top stories</h2> <h2 class="p3">Curated top stories</h2>
<ul> <ul>
<li><strong>The U.S. government shut down looms – </strong>The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill on Thursday night to fund government operations until February 16, and avoid a Saturday shutdown. However, that <a href="http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-42749423">bill was voted down in the Senate.</a> Despite last minute bipartisan meetings, the bill to fund the government until February 16 did not receive the required 60 votes.  <li><strong>The U.S. government shut down looms – </strong>The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill on Thursday night to fund government operations until February 16, and avoid a Saturday shutdown. However, that <a href="http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-42749423">bill was voted down in the Senate.</a> Despite last minute bipartisan meetings, the bill to fund the government until February 16 did not receive the required 60 votes.
<ul> <ul>
<li>Many government offices will close unless a compromise is found before a midnight deadline. If the shutdown goes ahead essential services will still run, <a href="http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-42749423">the BBC reports</a>. "That includes national security, post, air traffic control, inpatient medical services, emergency outpatient medicine, disaster assistance, prisons, taxation and electricity production."</li>  <li>Many government offices will close unless a compromise is found before a midnight deadline. If the shutdown goes ahead essential services will still run, <a href="http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-42749423">the BBC reports</a>. "That includes national security, post, air traffic control, inpatient medical services, emergency outpatient medicine, disaster assistance, prisons, taxation and electricity production."</li>
<li>Democrats refused to back the bill until President Donald J. Trump reversed his decision that "Dreamers" – more than 700,000 immigrants who were born or entered the U.S. illegally as children – will lose their protected status and be deported unless they can prove their legal status. To try to get Democrats to back this budget bill, Republicans have offered a six-year extension of the Children's Health Insurance Program which benefits lower-income families.</li>  <li>Democrats refused to back the bill until President Donald J. Trump reversed his decision that "Dreamers" – more than 700,000 immigrants who were born or entered the U.S. illegally as children – will lose their protected status and be deported unless they can prove their legal status. To try to get Democrats to back this budget bill, Republicans have offered a six-year extension of the Children's Health Insurance Program which benefits lower-income families.</li>
</ul> </ul>
</li> </li>
<li><b>Turkey starts assault on U.S. backed Kurds in Syria –</b> Turkey’s defense minister said an offensive against Kurdish-held areas in northern Syria <a href="https://www.apnews.com/16d505e6c1c643ddb670a17d3c8434e1/Turkey-says-Syria-offensive-'de-facto'-underway">had “de facto” begun</a>, as the Turkish military shelled the area. The bombardment began on Thursday night and continued through to Friday morning, according to <a href="https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-mideast-crisis-syria-turkey/turkish-shelling-marks-start-of-afrin-operation-minister-says-idUKKBN1F80XH"><em>The Guardian</em></a>. Following months of threats from Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, to launch an assault on the region, defense minister Nurettin Canikli <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jan/19/turkey-begins-assault-kurdish-enclave-in-syria">told the</a> Turkish broadcaster A Haber: "All terror networks and elements in northern Syria will be eliminated. There is no other way." (Read the <em>WikiTribune</em> explainer: <a href="https://www.wikitribune.com/story/2018/01/17/syria/turkish-forces-poised-to-attack-syrias-kurds-in-afrin/39729/">Turkey starts shelling after U.S. backs down on Syria border force</a>)  <li><b>Turkey starts assault on U.S. backed Kurds in Syria –</b> Turkey’s defense minister said an offensive against Kurdish-held areas in northern Syria <a href="https://www.apnews.com/16d505e6c1c643ddb670a17d3c8434e1/Turkey-says-Syria-offensive-'de-facto'-underway">had “de facto” begun</a>, as the Turkish military shelled the area. The bombardment began on Thursday night and continued through to Friday morning, according to <a href="https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-mideast-crisis-syria-turkey/turkish-shelling-marks-start-of-afrin-operation-minister-says-idUKKBN1F80XH"><em>The Guardian</em></a>. Following months of threats from Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, to launch an assault on the region, defense minister Nurettin Canikli <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jan/19/turkey-begins-assault-kurdish-enclave-in-syria">told the</a> Turkish broadcaster A Haber: "All terror networks and elements in northern Syria will be eliminated. There is no other way." (Read the <em>WikiTribune</em> explainer: <a href="https://www.wikitribune.com/story/2018/01/17/syria/turkish-forces-poised-to-attack-syrias-kurds-in-afrin/39729/">Turkey starts shelling after U.S. backs down on Syria border force</a>)
<ul> <ul>
<li>Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov <a href="https://www.reuters.com/article/us-mideast-crisis-syria-lavrov/u-s-trying-to-form-alternative-bodies-of-authority-in-syria-russias-lavrov-idUSKBN1F82EU?il=0">claimed that the U.S. is trying to establish</a> "alternative bodies of authority" in Syria, while speaking at a UN conference. The allegation dovetails with concerns from Turkey, Syria and Iran over the U.S.-backed Kurdish coalition.</li>  <li>Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov <a href="https://www.reuters.com/article/us-mideast-crisis-syria-lavrov/u-s-trying-to-form-alternative-bodies-of-authority-in-syria-russias-lavrov-idUSKBN1F82EU?il=0">claimed that the U.S. is trying to establish</a> "alternative bodies of authority" in Syria, while speaking at a UN conference. The allegation dovetails with concerns from Turkey, Syria and Iran over the U.S.-backed Kurdish coalition.</li>
<li><a href="https://www.reuters.com/article/us-mideast-crisis-syria-turkey/turkey-shells-syrias-afrin-region-minister-says-operation-has-begun-idUSKBN1F80XX?il=0">Reuters reports</a> that the Turkish defense minister is traveling to Moscow to request the Kremlin if the Turkish air force can use their airspace in Northern Syria. Though the Syrian government does not support a Turkish presence.</li>  <li><a href="https://www.reuters.com/article/us-mideast-crisis-syria-turkey/turkey-shells-syrias-afrin-region-minister-says-operation-has-begun-idUSKBN1F80XX?il=0">Reuters reports</a> that the Turkish defense minister is traveling to Moscow to request the Kremlin if the Turkish air force can use their airspace in Northern Syria. Though the Syrian government does not support a Turkish presence.</li>
</ul> </ul>
</li> </li>
<li><strong>Rohingya refugees want assurances before returning</strong> – Rohingya leaders in Bangladesh compiled a <a href="https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-myanmar-rohingya-petition-exclusive/exclusive-rohingya-refugee-leaders-draw-up-demands-ahead-of-repatriation-idUKKBN1F80SP">set of demands</a> they want Myanmar to meet before the repatriation of thousands of refugees that is expected to begin next week. The two-year process would gradually return some 655,500 Rohingya Muslims living in camps in Bangladesh to Myanmar. The Rohingya fled Myanmar to escape what the United Nations has described as a case of <a href="http://www.ohchr.org/_layouts/15/WopiFrame.aspx?sourcedoc=/Documents/Countries/MM/CXBMissionSummaryFindingsOctober2017.pdf&amp;action=default&amp;DefaultItemOpen=1" rel="external">“textbook case of ethnic cleansing.”</a> The appeal, handwritten by six Rohingya elders who claim to represent around 40 villages, includes the granting of long-denied Myanmar citizenship and the formal inclusion of Rohingya into the country's recognized ethnic groups. (<a href="https://www.wikitribune.com/?s=Rohingya">Read more <em>WikiTribune</em> coverage of the Rohingya crisis here.</a>)</li>  <li><strong>Rohingya refugees want assurances before returning</strong> – Rohingya leaders in Bangladesh compiled a <a href="https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-myanmar-rohingya-petition-exclusive/exclusive-rohingya-refugee-leaders-draw-up-demands-ahead-of-repatriation-idUKKBN1F80SP">set of demands</a> they want Myanmar to meet before the repatriation of thousands of refugees that is expected to begin next week. The two-year process would gradually return some 655,500 Rohingya Muslims living in camps in Bangladesh to Myanmar. The Rohingya fled Myanmar to escape what the United Nations has described as a case of <a href="http://www.ohchr.org/_layouts/15/WopiFrame.aspx?sourcedoc=/Documents/Countries/MM/CXBMissionSummaryFindingsOctober2017.pdf&amp;action=default&amp;DefaultItemOpen=1" rel="external">“textbook case of ethnic cleansing.”</a> The appeal, handwritten by six Rohingya elders who claim to represent around 40 villages, includes the granting of long-denied Myanmar citizenship and the formal inclusion of Rohingya into the country's recognized ethnic groups. (<a href="https://www.wikitribune.com/?s=Rohingya">Read more <em>WikiTribune</em> coverage of the Rohingya crisis here.</a>)</li>
<li><strong>UN accused of culture of sexual abuse</strong> – Sexual harassment and assault is rife at United Nations offices around the world, current and former employees told <em><a href="https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2018/jan/18/sexual-assault-and-harassment-rife-at-united-nations-staff-claim">The Guardian</a></em>. They describe a culture that ignores victims and gives perpetrators license to act with impunity. The accusations range from harassment to rape.</li>  <li><strong>UN accused of culture of sexual abuse</strong> – Sexual harassment and assault is rife at United Nations offices around the world, current and former employees told <em><a href="https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2018/jan/18/sexual-assault-and-harassment-rife-at-united-nations-staff-claim">The Guardian</a></em>. They describe a culture that ignores victims and gives perpetrators license to act with impunity. The accusations range from harassment to rape.</li>
</ul> </ul>
<h2 class="p3">What we’re reading</h2> <h2 class="p3">What we’re reading</h2>
<ul> <ul>
<li>Europe feasts on avocado on toast while some in Mexico – the largest global avocado producer – can’t even afford to buy the fruit due to international demand and drug violence. In towns like Tancítaro, which exports about $1million of avocados a day, the townspeople took matters into their own hands. <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/07/world/americas/mexico-state-corruption.html?mtrref=undefined&amp;gwh=D368ECED9E35B5646BE0FC5BAE22159E&amp;gwt=pay">This <em>New York Times</em> piece tells the story from the “avocado capital of the world.”</a> – <em>Ella Navarro</em></li>  <li>Europe feasts on avocado on toast while some in Mexico – the largest global avocado producer – can’t even afford to buy the fruit due to international demand and drug violence. In towns like Tancítaro, which exports about $1million of avocados a day, the townspeople took matters into their own hands. <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/07/world/americas/mexico-state-corruption.html?mtrref=undefined&amp;gwh=D368ECED9E35B5646BE0FC5BAE22159E&amp;gwt=pay">This <em>New York Times</em> piece tells the story from the “avocado capital of the world.”</a> – <em>Ella Navarro</em></li>
</ul> </ul>
<h2 class="p3"><b>What the WikiTribune community is up to</b></h2> <h2 class="p3"><b>What the WikiTribune community is up to</b></h2>
<ul> <ul>
<li>What happens to people's quality of life and work motivation when they receive free money? Finland is finding out with a radical new basic income experiment. <em>WikiTribune</em> staff writer Lydia Morrish <a href="https://www.wikitribune.com/story/2018/01/19/economics/finland-where-your-welfare-is-unconditional/26301/">reports</a>.</li>  <li>What happens to people's quality of life and work motivation when they receive free money? Finland is finding out with a radical new basic income experiment. <em>WikiTribune</em> staff writer Lydia Morrish <a href="https://www.wikitribune.com/story/2018/01/19/economics/finland-where-your-welfare-is-unconditional/26301/">reports</a>.</li>
<li><a href="https://www.wikitribune.com/story/2018/01/17/europe/global-power-and-influence-in-2018-and-beyond-part-3-towards-an-opt-in-e-u/39072/">In his third volume on global power and influence</a>, Jean-Jacques Subrenat delves into how the European Union evolved since its creation and how it is responding to current challenges.</li>  <li><a href="https://www.wikitribune.com/story/2018/01/17/europe/global-power-and-influence-in-2018-and-beyond-part-3-towards-an-opt-in-e-u/39072/">In his third volume on global power and influence</a>, Jean-Jacques Subrenat delves into how the European Union evolved since its creation and how it is responding to current challenges.</li>
</ul> </ul>
<h2>Picture of the day</h2> <h2>Picture of the day</h2>
[caption id="attachment_40447" align="aligncenter" width="620"]<img class="size-medium wp-image-40447" src="https://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/wikitribune-uploads-master/2018/01/2018-01-19T041308Z_893719131_RC1717909C50_RTRMADP_3_RELIGION-EPIPHANY-PUTIN-620x420.jpg" alt="" width="620" height="420" /> Russian President Vladimir Putin takes a dip in icy water during Orthodox Epiphany celebrations at Lake Seliger, north of Moscow on January 19, 2018. Credit: Sputnik/Alexei Druzhinin/Kremlin via Reuters[/caption] [caption id="attachment_40447" align="aligncenter" width="620"]<img class="size-medium wp-image-40447" src="https://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/wikitribune-uploads-master/2018/01/2018-01-19T041308Z_893719131_RC1717909C50_RTRMADP_3_RELIGION-EPIPHANY-PUTIN-620x420.jpg" alt="" width="620" height="420" /> Russian President Vladimir Putin takes a dip in icy water during Orthodox Epiphany celebrations at Lake Seliger, north of Moscow on January 19, 2018. Credit: Sputnik/Alexei Druzhinin/Kremlin via Reuters[/caption]
Categories Categories
  Current Affairs, Diplomacy, Human Rights, Politics, Syria, Turkey, United States, Current Affairs
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  DACA, erdogan, rohingya, Sexual Harassment, United Nations, Vladimir Putin
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