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Coalition Talks Strategy-Kerry in Paris-US Airstrikes

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Here’s the latest on reactions to the Paris terrorist killings.

PARIS (AP) — France is hoping to bring the United States and Russia together as part of a grand coalition dedicated to smashing the Islamic State group.

President Francois Hollande outlined that goal in a speech today to a joint session of his country’s parliament. He spoke after France and many allies observed a minute of silence in honor of the 129 people killed and 350 wounded in Friday’s attacks in Paris.

He also said a bill to extend the country’s state of emergency for three months will be presented to parliament on Wednesday. The state of emergency extends some police powers of search and arrest and limits public gatherings, among other changes.

OBAMA-ISLAMIC STATE

ANTALYA, Turkey (AP) — President Barack Obama says the Islamic State is “the face of evil” and that all nations need to step up their efforts to combat the threat it poses.

Obama spoke at a news conference Monday in Antalya, Turkey, at the close of a summit of 20 nations. The talks were overshadowed by Friday’s attacks in Paris that killed at least 129 people.

He said: “We need to be doing everything we can to protect against more attacks and protect our people.”

Obama will fly from Turkey to the Philippines for talks with Asian leaders.

OBAMA-MUSLIMS

ANTALYA, Turkey (AP) — President Barack Obama says it’s wrong to equate attacks like those that happened in Paris with Islam. But he says the Muslim community needs to do more to make sure young people are “not infected” with the beliefs of extremists.

Obama says there has not been enough pushback by Muslim leaders against extremism.

He says the United States has to do its part to accept refugees from Iraq and Syria, and that it was “shameful” for political leaders to call for imposing a religious test on refugees.

Obama says the people fleeing Syria are the ones that are more harmed by terrorism. He spoke Monday at a news conference in Antalya, Turkey.

Republican presidential candidates Jeb Bush and Ted Cruz have said that any U.S. assistance to Middle Eastern refugees should focus primarily on Christians fleeing persecution.

PARIS ATTACKS-KERRY

PARIS (AP) — U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has arrived in Paris to show American solidarity with France after last week’s deadly terror attacks.

Kerry landed in the French capital on Monday under unusual security precautions that precluded journalists accompanying with him from reporting his planned visit — believed to be the first such restriction for a secretary of state’s travel to a European capital.

State Department spokesman John Kirby said Kerry will meet and thank U.S. Embassy staffers and hold talks with French officials.

Kirby said Kerry will reiterate America’s commitment to the strong U.S.-France relationship, express condolences to the victims of the attacks and reiterate the shared resolve to counter violent extremism in France and elsewhere.

UNITED STATES-ISLAMIC STATE-OIL

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. military says it destroyed 116 fuel trucks in Syria used by the Islamic State as part of a smuggling operation that brings the group at least $1 million a day.

The strike was the first of its kind in more than a year of U.S.-led airstrikes in Syria. U.S. officials previously had said they avoided attacking fuel trucks out of concern for civilian casualties.

Navy Capt. Jeff Davis, a Pentagon spokesman, said Monday that the militants’ ability to generate revenue through oil smuggling had become such a big concern that U.S. commanders decided to hit fuel trucks, which are a key part of the Islamic State’s illicit oil distribution system.

Four Air Force A-10 attack planes and two AC-130 gunships were used in the attacks carried out Sunday.

 

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