The networks of the BBG worked together to provide timely and comprehensive coverage of President Barack Obama’s eighth and final State of the Union address to Congress on Tuesday evening.  The television, radio and digital coverage, which also included the Republican response by South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, was distributed in countries such as Russia, Iran, China, Cuba and those in the Middle East.

Senators Kaine and Menendez talk to Alhurra about Syrian refugees

Senators Tom Kaine (D-VA) and Robert Menendez (D-NJ) spoke to Alhurra’s Congressional Correspondent Rana Abtar about the debate regarding Syrian refugees in the United States. In separate interviews both Senators, who are members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, spoke about the strenuous vetting process for all refugees including Syrians. Sen. Kaine said, “we’ve actually added more steps to the process if they are a refugee from Syria.” While Sen. Menendez pointed out that most of the Syrian refugees are women, children and families, stating, “these are families, fleeing persecution, going through the most stringent background check.”

Alhurra talks to lawmakers on persecution of Mideast religious minorities

During a three-day summit on the persecution of Middle Eastern Christians and minorities organized by the group In Defense Of Christians (IDC), Alhurra’s Congressional Correspondent Rana Abtar conducted interviews with several members of Congress, addressing the plight of Christians, Yazidis and others in Iraq and Syria. In the interviews, the lawmakers addressed the urgency to act to ensure the safety of Christians in the Middle East and to respond to the region’s daunting refugee crisis. The following are excerpts from the interviews: