News You Should Read Today – February 24 – 2016

US, China report progress on N. Korea sanctions

US, China report progress on N. Korea sanctions

Top diplomats of the U.S. and China said Tuesday that they had made “significant progress” and were hopeful of reaching an agreement “in the near future” on a new U.N. Security Council resolution for tougher measures against North Korea after its recent nuclear and missile tests.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi at the State Department, their third meeting in the last month.

“We have made significant progress. It has been very constructive in the last days, and there is no question that if the resolution is approved, it will go beyond anything that we have previously passed,” Kerry said in response to a question by a VOA reporter. VOA



GOP and Dems clash over Scalia's replacementSenate GOP to ignore Obama SCOTUS nominee

Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee decided in a closed-door meeting Tuesday that they will not hold hearings or vote on a President Obama nomination to the Supreme Court.

“We believe the American people need to decide who is going to make this appointment rather than a lame-duck president,” Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas) said. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) says the “consensus” among members is that the next president should pick the Supreme Court Justice who replaces Antonin Scalia, the court’s leading conservative justice who died earlier this month. Obama has vowed that he will pick a nominee. The Hill



China redeploys fighter jets on disputed islandChina redeploys fighter jets on disputed island

China has again sent fighter jets to a disputed island where earlier this month it redeployed surface-to-air missiles and appears to be building a sophisticated radar system, according to U.S. officials.

Fewer than 10 jets – a combination of Shenyan J-11 and Xian JH-7 aircraft – have been spotted on Woody Island in the Paracel chain in the South China Sea, officials in Washington late Tuesday told reporters on the condition they not be named.

“We are very concerned that these actions are increasing tensions in the region and are counterproductive,” the U.S. ambassador to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, Nina Hachigian, told reporters on Wednesday. The fighter jet sightings follow the placement of HQ-9 surface-to-air missiles on the 210-hectare island, known in Chinese as Yongxing and called Phu Lam by Vietnam, which also claims it. VOA



US Presidential election newsUS Presidential election

Donald Trump is the winner of the Nevada Republican caucuses, dominating the critical presidential contest with 46 percent of the vote, versus 24 percent for Marco Rubio and 21 percent for Ted Cruz. Ben Carson came in a distant fourth with 5 percent, and John Kasich came in fifth place with 4 percent. Cruz and Rubio each won five delegates, versus 12 for Trump. This is Trump’s third straight double-digit victory, following on the heels of victories in New Hampshire and South Carolina. The Associated Press

After South Carolina Trump’s delegate count is now up to 67. Ted Cruz has 11 and Marco Rubio has 10. In the Democratic side Clinton’s delegate count is up to 502, while Sanders’ is at 70. There is still a long way to go. The eventual Democratic nominee must win 2382 delegates, while the Republican nominee must win 1237. Wandtv

Plane crashes in Nepal ( crashes in Nepal

A Tara Air plane carrying 23 people crashed Wednesday in a mountainous region of northern Nepal, officials said. Everyone on board is feared dead, Nepali Tourism and Aviation Minister Ananda Pokharel said. He said a few bodies have been found but are unrecognizable.

Earlier, Tara Air spokesman Bhim Rai said 21 people were on board. He updated the number to 23 after learning that two infants were also on the plane, but their names were not on the initial report.

The Twin Otter plane took off Wednesday morning from the city of Pokhara. It was scheduled to land in the town of Jomsom, Rai said. The total flight time was supposed to be 19 minutes, but contact was lost eight minutes after takeoff. CNN


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