The US House of Representatives has voted to restrict the resettlement of Syrian and Iraqi refugees in the wake of the Paris attacks.
House Resolution 4038, or the American Security Against Foreign Enemies Act, was passed by 289 votes to 137, including 47 Democrats.
The bill, which would require FBI background checks on every refugee to enter the United States, followed by signatures from the head of the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and the Director of National Intelligence, that the refugees are “not a threat to the security of the United States”, has yet to pass the Senate.
“It is against the values of our nation and the values of a free society to give terrorists the opening they are looking for,” said House majority leader Kevin McCarthy.
However, New York Democrat Jerrold Nadler condemned the bill, saying that defeating terrorism “should not mean slamming the door in the faces of those fleeing the terrorists”.
“We might as well take down the Statue of Liberty,” he said.
President Barack Obama has promised to veto the bill.
Trump open to “Muslim database”
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has not ruled out a “Muslim database” in the United States. In an interview with Yahoo! Politics, Mr Trump said he would consider “things that were frankly unthinkable a year ago” in the interest of national security, and did not reject suggestions that this could include a database of Muslims, warrantless searches, or identification cards that listed Muslims’ religion.
“We’re going to have to look at the mosques,” Trump said. “We’re going to have to look very, very carefully.”
Indonesia announces moratorium on executions
The Indonesian government has announced a moratorium on executions, saying the country needs to focus on its economy. “We haven’t thought about executing a death penalty with the economic conditions like this,” said coordinating security minister and presidential chief of staff, Luhut Pandjaitan. The moratorium comes seven months after the controversial executions of Bali Nine drug smugglers; Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran.
Scientists warn of “post-antibiotic era”
Scientists have warned that the world is at risk of a “post-antibiotic era” after finding bacteria resistant to drugs commonly used as a last line of defence. Colistin-resistant bacteria have been found in patients and livestock in China, likely due to overuse of the drug in farm animals. The potential antibiotic apocalypse could severely jeopardise modern medical treatments including surgery and cancer therapies, and increase the lethality of common infections.
Kuwait busts ISIS cell
The Kuwaiti government has announced it has broken up an international ISIS support cell, arresting its Lebanese chief, three Syrians, an Egyptian, and a Kuwaiti. Kuwait authorities have said four other members – two Australians of Lebanese origin and two Syrians – remain outside the country. The cell funded ISIS activities and provided them with weaponry including anti-air systems. – Compiled from web sources by Jake Nelson
Top image of the United States Capitol Building from the Architect of the Capitol via Wikimedia .