Monday Sunrise Briefs: ISIS leader's death a triumph of allies

Al-Furqan media via AP, File
Late Saturday, Oct. 26, 2019, the leader of the Islamic State group, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi blew himself up during a U.S. raid in northern Syria. A video posted on April 29, 2019, above, purports to show the ISIS leader.

The leader of Islamic State (ISIS) “died like a coward,” said President Trump Sunday morning. Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s death Saturday can be seen as a triumph for U.S. special forces - and U.S. intelligence cooperation with Kurdish forces in Syria and Iraq. It’s also likely to offer a political boost to President Trump at a time when he’s been criticized for his foreign policy, even among fellow Republicans. “The world is now a much safer place,” Mr. Trump declared. But history shows that removing the head of a terrorist group doesn’t necessarily end the threat. “If conducted in isolation, leadership raids are about as effective as mowing the lawn; the targeted organization can usually regenerate itself,” writes conservative columnist Max Boot in the Washington Post. While in disarray in Syria and Iraq, the ISIS network is global. And some analysts say a weakened ISIS may reunite with Al Qaeda

2. Facing the elements. Hurricane force winds drove wildfires in northern California, prompting evacuations of nearly 200,000 people. mostly in Santa Rosa. Pacific Gas & Electric cut power to 2.7 million people to prevent further outbreaks. On Sunday, PG&E announced that forecast high winds could trigger yet another power outage Tuesday and Wednesday, the third such blackout in a week and fourth in October. Meanwhile, progress has been made against the Tick Fire in the Santa Clarita area near Los Angeles, which destroyed 18 structures. As of Sunday, the fire was 70% contained. 

3. Shifting standards. Who may become a priest? The Roman Catholic church opened the door to increasing the roles of married men and women. After a three-week gathering at the Vatican, 180 Amazon bishops voted to recommend that married men in the remote area be allowed to be ordained priests, which could lead to a landmark change in the church's centuries-old discipline of celibacy. Pope Francis also agreed to reopen a commission to study the role of women as deacons. Deacons, like priests, are ordained ministers. They may not celebrate Mass, but they may preach, teach, baptize and conduct weddings, wakes and funeral services and even run a parish with the permission of a bishop.

Jack-o'-lantern Sun. In a photo captured by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory on October 8, 2014, active regions on the sun gave it a familiar face.

Why We Wrote This

Good morning! Welcome to your Monday, Oct. 28, 2019, sunrise briefing.

Here are three news events from this past weekend (while you were carving a pumpkin, running a 5K, and enjoying an offline life). Also, what to look for in the news this week.

Look ahead

Monday, Oct. 28

Impeachment impasse? The first eyewitness to the July 25 phone call with Ukraine, Charles Kupperman, is scheduled to testify before House committees Monday. But Mr. Kupperman is caught between a legislative rock and an executive hard place. The White House says the former deputy national security adviser (to John Bolton) has “constitutional immunity.” Congress says he must comply with a subpoena. Mr. Kupperman has asked a judge to decide whether he can testify. The showdown could intensify as nearly every day this week more White House officials are expected to be deposed. 

Wednesday, Oct. 30

Economic refill: To keep the U.S. economy from slowing into recession, the Federal Reserve Chair is expected to announce another interest rate cut.

Friday, Nov.1

Another creative outlet: AppleTV+ debuts its streaming service with nine original shows, including a new series starring Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon, an apocalyptic sci-fi series, and an Oprah Winfrey book club. 

Saturday, Nov. 2

Rugby Rules: The 2019 Rugby World Cup championship concludes in Japan. England faces South Africa in the finals.

Creative Solutions Watch
The Las Vegas City Council voted unanimously to allow parking tickets to be paid with donations of food.

If you have to pay a parking fine, at least in Las Vegas, you can feel good about it. Anytime between now and Nov. 16, you can pay your parking ticket with cash or a food donation

The Las Vegas City Council unanimously voted in favor of this one-month policy to help the poor during the holidays. All the food donations will be given to the Helping Hands of Vegas Valley, a nonprofit group that offers assistance to low-income and disabled senior citizens. The donations must be equal to or of greater value than the parking fine. Violators have up to 30 days to pay or donate. Since 2016, the city council has been conducting similar fundraising efforts, including donations for school supplies this past July. 

Hidden gem

Start your week with a recent story that inspired Monitor readers:

‘I have to have humility’: How Second Commandment helped man find freedom

Sneak preview

In tonight’s Daily Edition, watch for our video about Creole cowboy culture.

Finally, the Monitor’s five best stories in Friday’s subscription-only Daily Edition:

  1. ‘America’s mayor’ to Trump proxy: the evolution of Rudy Giuliani
  2. In Lebanon’s protests, a radical surge toward unity
  3. Why young Argentines are signing up for populism
  4. American values or Chinese profits? US companies face crosswinds.
  5. Shedding light on black holes

This is a beta test - an experiment with an early Monday morning news update. Please give us your feedback via the link below and let us know what you think. Thank you!

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