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Mali's government is upending its military after 134 were killed in attacks on three ethnic Fulani villages.

On Saturday, gunmen opened fire in central Mali, killing at least 134 people and injuring 55 others, the United Nations said after a peacekeeping mission to the area. Malian President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta quickly declared that "we are at war" — and removed his top military leaders in the process, the Africa Times reports.

The ethnic Dogan group is believed to be responsible for the massacre in the herding villages, France24 says. Mali Prime Minister Soumeylou Boubèye Maïga soon told a state broadcaster that the government had "ordered" a Dogan militia to "dissolve." He also said 11 top army leaders had been replaced. The same Dogan group has been suspected of killing 37 other Fulani people in a January attack, and the U.N. says conflicts between the two groups cost more than 500 lives last year. The two groups fight over grazing land and water, but jihadists have also spurred attacks in the region as they recruit Fulani followers.

Saturday's attack also came a week after 26 Malian soldiers were killed in an attack on a base near the middle of the country. The JNIM, which translates to Group for the Support of Islam and Muslims, and which the U.S. has designated a terrorist group, claimed responsibility for that attack. The whole country of Mali has long struggled against extremist influences, though its people also claim hostility from Mali's own security forces. Read more at the Africa Times. Kathryn Krawczyk

March 19, 2019

One day before Lion Air Flight 610 crashed last October shortly after taking off from Jakarta, a different crew struggled to gain control of the plane as it entered a dive, people familiar with the incident told Bloomberg for a Tuesday report.

An off-duty pilot was sitting in the cockpit of the Boeing 737 MAX 8 jet on Oct. 28 when he realized the anti-stalling flight-control system was malfunctioning. He directed the crew to cut the power to the motor that was forcing the nose downward, Bloomberg reports, and the plane stabilized. Investigators said the same malfunction happened the next day, Oct. 29, causing the plane to crash into the Java Sea, killing all 189 people on board.

This previously undisclosed detail was not mentioned in the report released by Indonesia's National Transportation Safety Committee. It's believed that a similar issue with the anti-stalling system led to an Ethiopian Airlines 737 MAX 8 plane crashing on March 10 after taking off from Addis Ababa. Following the Lion Air crash, two U.S. pilots' associations shared their concerns that the possible risks associated with the anti-stalling system were not clearly stated during training and in manuals. Catherine Garcia

March 18, 2019

Pittsburgh's Tree of Life Synagogue and the Al Noor and Linwood mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand are all "part of a club that nobody wants to be a part of."

That's how Tree of Life President Sam Schachner described his congregation's relationship to the two mosques that lost 50 worshippers to a mass shooting on Friday. And that's why the congregation has launched a GoFundMe fundraiser hoping to raise $100,000 for Christchurch's Muslim community, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette details.

In October, a gunman killed 11 members at the Pittsburgh synagogue, prompting "overwhelming support ... from our Muslim brothers and sisters in Pittsburgh," the GoFundMe details. Tree of Life is still continuing to recover, the GoFundMe says, but it still wants to recognize that the New Zealand worshippers are "going through the most difficult moments in your lives." So the synagogue is asking its supporters to show victims in Christchurch that "the entire world is with them," it wrote on the GoFundMe.

The GoFundMe started Saturday and had raised $2,736 a bit less than 24 hours later, the Post-Gazette notes. As of 5 p.m. EST on Monday, it had skyrocketed to $17,305 with donations coming in constantly. Read more about the campaign at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, or find the GoFundMe here. Kathryn Krawczyk

March 7, 2019

Late last year, the U.S. government couldn't stop talking about the thousands of Central American migrants headed through Mexico to the border. But more quietly, it was compiling a list of 59 immigration journalists, activists, and attorneys who worked with or covered the migrant caravan, documents obtained by San Diego NBC affiliate KNSD reveal.

These people would be subject to questioning if they tried to cross the border, and 12 of them actually were, the database shows. Another nine were arrested crossing the border, the Customs and Border Patrol list also details.

President Trump and his administration stoked fears about the caravan, ultimately closing the border at one point. When migrants rushed toward it anyway, American officials hurled tear gas out the crowd, sparking chaos. Those considered "instigators" and "organizers" of that incident were placed on the CBP database obtained by KNSD, along with media members who covered it.

The database also recorded peoples' citizenships and whether they had been arrested or interviewed, or whether their visas had been canceled. A Department of Homeland Security source told KNSD that "agents also created dossiers on each person listed," with one attorney's dossier containing "the car she drives, her mother's name, and her work and travel history."

A CBP spokesperson told KNSD "the names in the database are all people who were present during violence that broke out at the border in November," and said collecting this kind of "evidence" is "protocol." Read more from KNSD or take a look at the documents here. Kathryn Krawczyk

February 20, 2019

After denying it for years, the federal government admitted that it shares the Terrorist Screening Database — better known as the terrorist watch list — with private entities, The Associated Press reports.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations filed a lawsuit on behalf of several Muslims who say that because their names are wrongfully on the list, they have had to deal with harassment at airports and scrutiny from law enforcement. In September, a government lawyer said during a pre-trial hearing that the Terrorist Screening Center "does not work with private partners" and the list is "considered law enforcement sensitive information and is not shared with the public."

Earlier this month, Terrorist Screening Center Deputy Director of Operations Timothy Groh admitted in a written statement that 1,441 private groups have been granted access to the watchlist. Groh said that in order to receive permission, an organization must be somehow connected to the criminal justice system, AP reports. The government will not reveal how many people are on the list, but has said there are hundreds of thousands of names added every year, and names are regularly removed.

While the list is supposed to only include the names of known or suspected terrorists, critics say people are routinely added that have no ties to terrorism, and this hurts them. A lawyer for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, Gadeir Abbas, has asked that the government explain in court which groups have access to the list, and what they are doing with it. "We've always suspected that there was private-sector dissemination of the terror watchlist, but we had no idea the breadth of the dissemination would be so large," he told AP. Catherine Garcia

February 7, 2019

A House hearing on President Trump's zero tolerance immigration policy seems like the perfect place to ask how many children are still separated by the government. Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) proved that assumption wrong.

On Thursday, the House Committee on Energy and Commerce held a hearing on the Trump administration's zero tolerance policy, which separated migrant children from their families at the border. The policy didn't account for reunifying those families, meaning that even months after the policy was repealed by Trump's executive order, children were still staying in overloaded detention facilities and tent cities while waiting for a sponsor or family member in the U.S. to pass screenings. The most notorious tent city in Tornillo, Texas once held as many as 2,500 minors, and wasn't empty until mid January.

So at the hearing, with a gathering of government officials directly involved with the family separation policy, Schakowsky decided to ask some simple questions. "Does anyone know how many children were separated from their parents?," she asked first, with no answer. "Does anyone know how many separated kids are still in U.S. custody?" she asked again. "No one knows," Schakowsky concluded. Watch her questioning below. Kathryn Krawczyk

February 4, 2019

Despite President Trump's objections, General Motors' layoff spree is already underway.

The manufacturer began laying off about 4,000 salaried workers on Monday, a spokesperson tells the Detroit Free Press. Most of the cut jobs will be in North America, and this latest round of layoff announcements is expected to wrap up in the next two weeks.

The move comes after GM said it would close five factories and eliminate 14,000 jobs in Canada and the U.S. last November. Trump had some choice tweets for the manufacturer at the time and threatened to slash the company's subsidies. But that seemingly didn't stop GM from cutting its first round of 1,500 contract workers in December and handing buyouts to another 2,300 salaried workers, officials said Monday, per CNBC.

A second round of layoffs launched on Monday, with most of the layoffs coming from GM's tech centers in Texas, Georgia, Arizona, and Michigan, Reuters reports. It's all part of GM's aim of cutting 15 percent of its 54,000 employees and saving $2.5 billion this year, the Free Press notes. Read more about the cuts — including how taxis were waiting to shuttle away laid-off employees who had to give up a company car — at the Detroit Free Press. Kathryn Krawczyk

January 27, 2019

At least 20 people are dead and 111 wounded after two bombs exploded Sunday morning during Mass in a Roman Catholic cathedral in Jolo, an island in the southern Philippines.

The first blast occurred while churchgoers attended a service, sending them rushing out as soldiers and police hurried inside to assist the victims. The second bomb, possibly attached to a parked motorcycle, went off by the main entrance. Those killed during the explosions include 15 civilians and five solders, reports The Washington Post.

Troops in armored carriers sealed the main road to the church while vehicles transported the dead and wounded to the hospital in town. Some casualties were also evacuated to nearby Zamboanga city by air, reports the Associated Press. Philippine armed forces are now on high alert, doing their best to secure all places of worship and public areas.

Islamist extremist Abu Sayyaf militants have been active on the island of Jolo for some time now. "We will pursue to the ends of the earth the ruthless perpetrators behind this dastardly crime until every killer is brought to justice and put behind bars," the office of President Rodrigo Duterte said in Manila. "The law will give them no mercy." Amari Pollard

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