News You Should Read Today – February 20 – 2016

UK to vote on staying in EUUK to vote on staying in EU

Britain will hold a referendum June 23 on whether or not to stay in the European Union, Prime Minister David Cameron announced Saturday.

Cameron renegotiated the terms of the country’s membership with EU leaders in Brussels, including restrictions on benefits for migrants and a guarantee Britain won’t have to join the euro. Now, as part of a years-long plan to renegotiate his nation’s involvement in the EU, Cameron will let voters decide if they’d like to stay in the union on the new terms. The Associated Press via The Week


US Presidential election newsUS Presidential election

Donald Trump is leading the Republican pack heading in to the South Carolina primary on Saturday, with more uncertainty surrounding the up-for-grabs second place position. However, nothing is guaranteed: A Fox 5 poll released Friday shows Marco Rubio surpassing Ted Cruz and even threatening Trump’s first place position. Trump holds 27 percent of support from the South Carolina Republican voters surveyed, with Rubio at 24 percent and Cruz at 19 percent. However, if Trump wins all the state’s delegates, “something would need to change dramatically and quickly for Trump not to be the prohibitive leader… one month from today,” The Washington Post writes. FOX 5

Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton remain in fierce competition as they head in to the Nevada Democratic caucuses on Saturday, with a recent CNN/ORC poll putting Clinton at 48 percent support and Sanders at 47 percent. In the days leading up to the caucus, both candidates have been pushing to make their campaign messages appeal to diverse voters and meeting with prominent African-American leaders. While Clinton’s campaign has tried to curb expectations about the outcome of the night, many see Nevada as hers for the taking. But winning the caucus would give Sanders the evidence he needs to show his opponents and supporters he has widespread appeal. CNN

On Saturday morning, Democrats in Nevada will gather to caucus for their presidential nominee while Republicans in South Carolina begin voting in the first-in-the-South primary. Results from both will tell us much about the future of the race and the strength of the contenders. CNN

Trump is going into South Carolina with strong numbers, but he took some risks by blaming former President George W. Bush for the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. He said “The World Trade Center came down during the reign of George Bush,” Trump said Saturday during the CBS debate in Greenville. “That’s not keeping us safe. … George Bush made a mistake. We can make mistakes. But that one was a beauty. We should have never been in Iraq. We have destabilized the Middle East.” Previously he also said, Sadaam Hussein is a bad guy but he fought terrorist, now Iraq became Harvard of terrorism, if you want to become a terrorist, go to Iraq. CNN



In Texas, Zika has spread via sexCan scientists prove Zika virus causing birth defects?

Scientists suspect an outbreak of the Zika virus is behind a surge in a rare birth defect in Brazil. But how are they going to prove it? Authorities in the South American country were quick to make the link last fall. The health minister last week said he was “absolutely sure” that the mosquito-borne virus is a cause.

But others aren’t so certain. While the evidence has been mounting, so far it is circumstantial.

“The simple presence of the virus doesn’t mean it caused the birth defect. It means there’s a probability,” said Dr. Arnold Monto, a University of Michigan epidemiologist.

The investigation is still in its early stages. It began after Brazilian doctors noticed an increase last fall in babies with a birth defect called microcephaly, which has a number of causes. The cases closely followed the country’s first outbreak of the tropical virus Zika, which was thought to cause no more than a mild illness that clears up in a week. VOA



US, Russia launch cease-fire talksUS, Russia launch cease-fire talks

The U.S. and Russia have launched talks on brokering a cease-fire in Syria after failing to make Friday’s scheduled deadline for a pause in fighting. Officials from the two countries sat down for talks in Geneva late Friday to try to find a way for a long-term cessation of hostilities that would help efforts to deliver humanitarian aid to besieged areas.

The 17-nation International Syria Support Group agreed to form a Syria cease-fire task force, under the auspices of the U.N., during a meeting last Friday in Munich. The group agreed that Russia and the U.S. would co-chair the task force.

Under the group’s plan, an initial cessation of hostilities would begin in one week, while the task force worked out the mechanics of a broader cease-fire plan. VOA

Israeli soldier killed by palestinians in supermarket was US citizenIsraeli soldier killed by Palestinians in supermarket was US citizen

The off-duty Israeli soldier stabbed to death by two Palestinian teens in a West Bank supermarket has been identified as Tuvya Weisman, an American citizen. He was the second American to die in a six-month wave of stabbing attacks by Palestinians against Israeli citizens.

State Department spokesman Mark Toner said the United States condemned the killing “in the strongest possible terms.”

The two 14-year-olds stabbed Weisman to death and wounded another shopper Thursday inside the crowded supermarket before being shot and wounded by an armed civilian. VOA

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