02-19-2017  8:19 am      •     

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Felix Benneckenstein, left, and Falk Isernhagen, right (AP Photo/Michael Sohn) 

Former neo-Nazis in Europe have created a support network for those seeking to exist the movement 

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In this Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2016 photo, Syrian refugee Haela Kalawi, 31, poses for a photograph at her workplace, Recycle Beirut, in Ouzai, a poor neighborhood in the Lebanese capital of Beirut. About one-third of 240,000 Syrian refugee households in Lebanon are headed by women, in stark contrast to Syria's traditions which see men as providers and protectors. The husbands of the women surviving on their own are either dead, missing, chose to remain in Syria or tried to make their way to Europe. (AP Photo/Bilal Hussein) 

After her husband went missing in the Syrian civil war, Haela Kalawi makes a life for herself and her children in Beirut 

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An Israeli man holds a sign with a portrait of the Russian President Vladimir Putin during a demonstration outside the Russian Embassy in Tel Aviv calling for end to its military involvement in Syria, Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2016. (AP Photo/Dan Balilty) 


Unprecedented slam comes after bombing of civilian targets in Syria    

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Internally displaced persons clear a checkpoint in Qayara, some 50 kilometers south of Mosul, Iraq, Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2016. Islamic State militants have been going door to door in farming communities south of Mosul, ordering people at gunpoint to follow them north into the city and apparently using them as human shields as they retreat from Iraqi forces. Witnesses to the forced evacuation describe scenes of chaos as hundreds of people were driven north across the Ninevah plains and into the heavily-fortified city, where the extremists are believed to be preparing for a climactic showdown. (AP Photo/Marko Drobnjakovic) 

Anyone who resists can be shot dead on the spot        

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Family members of the Nigerian Chibok kidnapped girls walk toward buses as they depart to meet the Nigerian minister of women affairs in Abuja, Nigeria, Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2016. Nigeria's government is negotiating the release of another 83 of the Chibok schoolgirls taken in a mass abduction two-and-a-half years ago, but more than 100 others appear unwilling to leave their Boko Haram Islamic extremist captors, a community leader said Tuesday.(AP Photo/Olamikan Gbemiga) 

More than 100 girls appear unwilling to leave their Boko Haram Islamic extremist captors, a community leader said Tuesday 

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A woman looks up as a worker uses salvaged sheets of mangled metal, full of holes, to create a makeshift roof atop her home damaged by Hurricane Matthew, in Port-a-Piment, Haiti, Oct. 10. Nearly a week after the storm smashed into southwestern Haiti, some communities along the southern coast have yet to receive any assistance, leaving residents who have lost their homes and virtually all of their belongings struggling to find shelter and potable water.(AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell) 

The United Nations has made an emergency appeal for nearly $120 million in aid 

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Residents wade through flood waters in Leogane, Haiti, Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2016. Matthew slammed into Haiti's southwestern tip with howling, 145 mph winds Tuesday, tearing off roofs in the poor and largely rural area, uprooting trees and leaving rivers bloated and choked with debris. ( AP Photo/Dieu Nalio Chery) 

Hurricane Matthew slammed into Haiti's southwestern tip with howling, 145 mph winds Tuesday 

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Graça Machel said that the primary mission of WIMN is to amplify the voices of women’s movements, influence governance and promote women’s leadership and contributions in the economic, social, and political development of Africa. (Graça Michel) 

Network of women journalists will work with Graça Machel Trust 

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Supporters of the peace accord between the Colombian government and rebels of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, FARC, follow on a giant screen the results of a referendum to decide whether or not to support the peace accord, in Bogota, Colombia, Sunday, Oct. 2, 2016. Colombia's peace deal with leftist rebels was on the verge of collapsing, with those opposing the deal leading by a razor-thin margin with almost all polling stations reporting results. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos) 

A stunning referendum defeat for a peace deal with leftist rebels leaves Colombians with no backup plan 

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Israeli soldiers of the Golani brigade take position during training in the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights, on the border with Syria, Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2016. Israel is denying Syrian government claims that its forces shot down a warplane and a drone near the Israeli-controlled part of the Golan Heights. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit) 

The Syrian cease-fire appeared to be holding on Tuesday despite sporadic and minor violations 

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  • WASHINGTON (AP) — One month after the inauguration, the stretch of Pennsylvania Avenue in front of Donald Trump's White House still is a hard-hat zone. Skeletal remains of the inaugural reviewing stands poke skyward. Random piles of plywood and cables are heaped on the ground inside crooked lines of metal fencing. The disarray outside the president's front door, though not his fault, serves as a metaphor for the tumult still unfolding inside. Four weeks in, the man who says he inherited "a mess" at home and abroad is presiding over a White House that is widely described as itself being a mess. At a stunning pace, Trump has riled world leaders and frustrated allies. He was dealt a bruising legal blow on one of his signature policies. He lost his national security adviser and his pick for labor secretary to scandal. He's seen forces within his government push back against his policies and leak confidential information. All of this has played out amid a steady drip of revelations about an FBI investigation into his campaign's contacts with Russian intelligence officials. Trump says his administration is running like a "fine-tuned machine." He points to the rising stock market and the devotion of his still-loyal supporters as evidence that all is well, although his job approval rating is much lower than that for prior presidents in their first weeks in office. Stung by the unrelenting criticism coming his way, Trump dismisses much of it as "fake news" delivered by "the enemy of the people" — aka the press. Daily denunciations of the media are just one of the new White House fixtures Americans are adjusting to. Most days start (and end) with presidential tweets riffing off of whatever's on TV talk shows or teasing coming events or hurling insults at the media. At some point in the day, count on Trump to cast back to the marvels of his upset of Democrat Hillary Clinton in the November election and quite possibly overstate his margins of support. Expect more denunciations of the "dishonest" press and its "fake news." From there, things can veer in unexpected directions as Trump offers up policy pronouncements or offhand remarks that leave even White House aides struggling to interpret them. The long-standing U.S. policy of seeking a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict? Trump this past week offered this cryptic pronouncement: "I'm looking at two-state and one-state, and I like the one that both parties like. I can live with either one." His U.N. ambassador, Nikki Haley, the next day insisted, "We absolutely support a two-state solution." Trump's days are busy. Outside groups troop in for "listening sessions." Foreign leaders call or come to visit. (Or, in the case of Mexico's president, cancel out in pique over Trump's talk about the planned border wall.) After the president signed two dozen executive actions, the White House was awaiting a rush order of more of the gold-plated Cross pens that Trump prefers to the chrome-plated ones used by his predecessor. Trump hands them out as souvenirs at the signing ceremonies that he points to as evidence of his ambitious pace. "This last month has represented an unprecedented degree of action on behalf of the great citizens of our country," Trump said at a Thursday news conference. "Again, I say it. There has never been a presidency that's done so much in such a short period of time." That's all music to the ears of his followers, who sent him to Washington to upend the established order and play the role of disrupter. "I can't believe there's actually a politician doing what he says he would do," says an approving Scott Hiltgen, a 66-year-old office furniture sales broker from River Falls, Wisconsin. "That never happens." Disrupt Trump has. But there may be more sound and fury than substance to many of his early actions. Trump did select Judge Neil Gorsuch to replace the late Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court, a nomination that has drawn strong reviews from conservatives. But the president is regrouping on immigration after federal judges blocked his order to suspend the United States' refugee program and ban visitors from seven Muslim-majority countries, which had caused chaos for travelers around the globe. Some other orders on issues such as the U.S.-Mexico border wall and former President Barack Obama's health care law are of limited effect. Trump says his early actions show he means to deliver on the promises he made during the campaign. "A lot of people say, 'Oh, oh, Trump was only kidding with the wall,'" the president told a group of police chiefs recently. "I wasn't kidding. I don't kid." But the Republican-led Congress is still waiting to see specifics on how Trump wants to proceed legislatively on top initiatives such as replacing the health care law, enacting tax cuts and revising trade deals. The messy rollout of the travel ban and tumult over the ouster of national security adviser Michael Flynn for misrepresenting his contacts with Russia are part of a broader state of disarray as different figures in Trump's White House jockey for power and leaks reveal internal discord in the machinations of the presidency. "I thought by now you'd at least hear the outlines of domestic legislation like tax cuts," says Princeton historian Julian Zelizer. "But a lot of that has slowed. Trump shouldn't mistake the fact that some of his supporters like his style with the fact that a lot of Republicans just want the policies he promised them. He has to deliver that." Put Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., in the camp of those more interested in substance than style. "I'm not a great fan of daily tweets," McConnell said Friday, referring to the "extra discussion" that Trump likes to engage in. But McConnell was quick to add: "What I am a fan of is what he's been actually doing." He credits Trump with assembling a conservative Cabinet and taking steps to reduce government regulation, and promised: "We like his positions and we're going to pursue them as vigorously as we can." The challenge may be to tease out exactly what Trump wants in the way of a health care plan, tax changes and trade policy. At his long and defiant news conference on Thursday, Trump tried to dispel the impression of a White House in crisis, squarely blaming the press for keeping him from moving forward more decisively on his agenda. Pointing to his chief of staff, Reince Priebus, Trump said, "You take a look at Reince, he's working so hard just putting out fires that are fake fires. I mean, they're fake. They're not true. And isn't that a shame because he'd rather be working on health care, he'd rather be working on tax reform." For all the frustrations of his early days as president, Trump still seems tickled by the trappings of his office. When New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie visited the White House last week to discuss the national opioid epidemic over lunch, the governor said Trump informed him: "Chris, you and I are going to have the meatloaf.'" Trump added: "I'm telling you, the meatloaf is fabulous." ___Follow Nancy Benac on Twitter at http://twitter.com/nbenac
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  • FDR executive order sent 120,000 Japanese immigrants and citizens into camps
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  • Pruitt's nomination was strongly opposed by environmental groups and hundreds of former EPA employees
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