The Historic Place Where Literary, Political Worlds Intersect

A relatively modest, independently owned bookstore in Washington has become a standout on the cultural scene in the U.S. capital. It’s called Politics and Prose. Since opening in 1984, it’s managed to survive the age of online book buying and thrive as a magnet for some of the world’s highest profile authors, from former Presidents Clinton and Obama, to J.K. Rowling, Salman Rushdie and photographer Annie Leibovitz. Ani Chkhikvadze stopped by Politics and Prose to learn more about its success.

The Historic Place Where Literary, Political Worlds Intersect

A relatively modest, independently owned bookstore in Washington has become a standout on the cultural scene in the U.S. capital. It’s called Politics and Prose. Since opening in 1984, it’s managed to survive the age of online book buying and thrive as a magnet for some of the world’s highest profile authors, from former Presidents Clinton and Obama, to J.K. Rowling, Salman Rushdie and photographer Annie Leibovitz. Ani Chkhikvadze stopped by Politics and Prose to learn more about its success.

US Says Airstrike in Somalia Killed 8 Militants

The U.S. military said it conducted an airstrike Saturday in Somalia, killing at least eight al-Shabab militants.

No civilians were involved in the airstrike near Gandarhse, a coastal area south of Mogadishu, according to the U.S. Africa Command.

The military said the strike was conducted in close coordination with the Somalia government to degrade al-Shabab’s freedom of movement. So far this year, the U.S. military has conducted at least 40 airstrikes against al-Shabab in various parts of Somalia. 

Chaos in Baidoa

Also on Saturday, in the Somali city of Baidoa, chaos and protests continued for a third day over the arrest of Mukhtar Robow, the former deputy leader of al-Shabab, who was a top candidate for the presidency of South West State in upcoming elections. 

​12 fatalities in clashes

Robow was arrested Thursday and transferred to Mogadishu. The move angered his supporters, who clashed with police. At least 12 people have been killed, including a lawmaker. 

Authorities said at least 200 civilians were arrested following the clashes. 

 

The rights group Amnesty International condemned the killing of civilians in Baidoa. 

 

“Somali and Ethiopian security forces in Baidoa must refrain from using lethal force against protesters. … No one should have to die for simply expressing their views,” said Sarah Jackson, Amnesty International deputy director for East Africa. 

 

African Union forces operating in Somalia (AMISOM) said in a statement that its troops did not help in the arrest of “Mr. Robow and his subsequent transfer to Mogadishu.”

The statement was made after it was reported that Ethiopian troops, who are part of AMISOM, were involved in Robow’s arrest.  

Speaker urges release

Somalia’s Parliament Speaker Mohamed Mursal Abdirahman called on the government on Saturday to release Robow and postpone the regional election, where Robow is competing with other candidates for the presidential post. 

The Somalia government accuses Robow of bringing Islamic militants and weapons back to Baidoa, the capital of South West State. 

US Says Airstrike in Somalia Killed 8 Militants

The U.S. military said it conducted an airstrike Saturday in Somalia, killing at least eight al-Shabab militants.

No civilians were involved in the airstrike near Gandarhse, a coastal area south of Mogadishu, according to the U.S. Africa Command.

The military said the strike was conducted in close coordination with the Somalia government to degrade al-Shabab’s freedom of movement. So far this year, the U.S. military has conducted at least 40 airstrikes against al-Shabab in various parts of Somalia. 

Chaos in Baidoa

Also on Saturday, in the Somali city of Baidoa, chaos and protests continued for a third day over the arrest of Mukhtar Robow, the former deputy leader of al-Shabab, who was a top candidate for the presidency of South West State in upcoming elections. 

​12 fatalities in clashes

Robow was arrested Thursday and transferred to Mogadishu. The move angered his supporters, who clashed with police. At least 12 people have been killed, including a lawmaker. 

Authorities said at least 200 civilians were arrested following the clashes. 

 

The rights group Amnesty International condemned the killing of civilians in Baidoa. 

 

“Somali and Ethiopian security forces in Baidoa must refrain from using lethal force against protesters. … No one should have to die for simply expressing their views,” said Sarah Jackson, Amnesty International deputy director for East Africa. 

 

African Union forces operating in Somalia (AMISOM) said in a statement that its troops did not help in the arrest of “Mr. Robow and his subsequent transfer to Mogadishu.”

The statement was made after it was reported that Ethiopian troops, who are part of AMISOM, were involved in Robow’s arrest.  

Speaker urges release

Somalia’s Parliament Speaker Mohamed Mursal Abdirahman called on the government on Saturday to release Robow and postpone the regional election, where Robow is competing with other candidates for the presidential post. 

The Somalia government accuses Robow of bringing Islamic militants and weapons back to Baidoa, the capital of South West State. 

Thousands Volunteer to Lay Wreaths at Arlington Cemetery

Thousands of volunteers braved the rain Saturday for the annual holiday tradition of placing wreaths at the more than quarter-million headstones at Arlington National Cemetery outside Washington. 

 

The event, to honor soldiers who served and died for the country, is planned and coordinated by a group called Wreaths Across America. The organization provides wreaths for individuals and groups to place on graves in more than 1,400 locations in the U.S., including the Arlington cemetery, and abroad. 

WATCH: Thousands Volunteer to Lay Wreaths at Arlington Cemetery

“In many homes, there is an empty seat for one who is serving or one who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country. There is no better time to express our appreciation than during the hustle and bustle of the holiday season,” the organization’s website said. 

 

The wreaths come from the Worcester Wreath Co. of Harrington, Maine. 

 

About 2:15 p.m., President Donald Trump arrived at the scene, and he walked with soldiers and a guide, viewing the work that had already been completed. He said the volunteers “do a great job.” 

The president’s visit took place on a gray and rainy day, with conditions not unlike those at the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery east of Paris, which Trump was set to visit in early November before canceling.

For the event at Arlington, which began at 8 a.m. Saturday, people travel from states near and far to help place the wreaths at each gravesite. The wreaths remain through the year-end holidays, and another coordinated event occurs in January, when volunteers and U.S. troops remove the wreaths. 

 

“Last year, we had over 90,000 folks volunteer, visiting our hallowed grounds to participate in laying wreaths on the final resting place of more than 260,000 service members, veterans and their families,”MichealMigliara, Arlington National Cemetery director of operations, told WTOP news. 

 

Health care

While at Arlington, reporters asked Trump about a Texas court ruling released Friday night that found the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare, unconstitutional. 

 

“It was a big ruling, a great ruling for our country. We’ll be able to get great health care. We’ll sit down with the Democrats if the Supreme Court upholds,” he said. “Let’s say repeal and replace handled a little bit differently.” 

Thousands Volunteer to Lay Wreaths at Arlington Cemetery

Thousands of volunteers braved the rain Saturday for the annual holiday tradition of placing wreaths at the more than quarter-million headstones at Arlington National Cemetery outside Washington. 

 

The event, to honor soldiers who served and died for the country, is planned and coordinated by a group called Wreaths Across America. The organization provides wreaths for individuals and groups to place on graves in more than 1,400 locations in the U.S., including the Arlington cemetery, and abroad. 

WATCH: Thousands Volunteer to Lay Wreaths at Arlington Cemetery

“In many homes, there is an empty seat for one who is serving or one who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country. There is no better time to express our appreciation than during the hustle and bustle of the holiday season,” the organization’s website said. 

 

The wreaths come from the Worcester Wreath Co. of Harrington, Maine. 

 

About 2:15 p.m., President Donald Trump arrived at the scene, and he walked with soldiers and a guide, viewing the work that had already been completed. He said the volunteers “do a great job.” 

The president’s visit took place on a gray and rainy day, with conditions not unlike those at the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery east of Paris, which Trump was set to visit in early November before canceling.

For the event at Arlington, which began at 8 a.m. Saturday, people travel from states near and far to help place the wreaths at each gravesite. The wreaths remain through the year-end holidays, and another coordinated event occurs in January, when volunteers and U.S. troops remove the wreaths. 

 

“Last year, we had over 90,000 folks volunteer, visiting our hallowed grounds to participate in laying wreaths on the final resting place of more than 260,000 service members, veterans and their families,”MichealMigliara, Arlington National Cemetery director of operations, told WTOP news. 

 

Health care

While at Arlington, reporters asked Trump about a Texas court ruling released Friday night that found the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare, unconstitutional. 

 

“It was a big ruling, a great ruling for our country. We’ll be able to get great health care. We’ll sit down with the Democrats if the Supreme Court upholds,” he said. “Let’s say repeal and replace handled a little bit differently.”