These are some of the headlines we are tracking for you in this episode of On the News Line:
US counter-terrorism refocuses on Islam
In December 2015, several months after the start of his raucous run for US president, Donald Trump called for a complete shutdown of the entry of Muslims to the country. He also pledged to implement a database system, tracking Muslims in the US. Only a week after taking the oath of office last month, the realities of what many viewed as an Islamophobic presidency began to sink in. Trump, in an executive order, blocked the entry of travelers from seven predominantly Muslim countries. Now media reports say the Trump administration wants to focus a counter-extremism government program solely on Islam.
War in Ukraine
Ukrainian soldiers firing from their bunker as fighting intensifies in the country’s east. Shelling in the region has raged on with each side blaming the other for the violation of the Minsk truce. Many combatants on both sides have been killed during the fighting while several civilians have lost their lives after being caught in the crossfire. In the midst of the blame game, Kiev is accusing Moscow of launching an offensive in eastern Ukraine. Meanwhile, powerful Republican lawmakers are pushing for a deeper US involvement in Ukraine and are demanding such actions as providing lethal aid for the Ukrainian government. In a visit to Ukrainian forces, the hawkish GOP senators Lindsey Graham and John McCain urged an offensive against Russia.
EU threatened by Trump
European leaders came together for round table talks in Malta on Friday. There were several issues on the agenda, from refugee crisis to challenges posed by Russia. But the talks were mainly overshadowed by UK prime minister’s recent meeting with US President Donald Trump. May had already announced that she was ready to bridge the European Union to Trump’s administration. However, the British prime minister was seemingly rebuffed by her European counterparts who have already been rattled by London’s decision to leave the European Union.