News You Should Read Today – February 25 – 2016

US, China report progress on N. Korea sanctionsUS, China agree on North Korea sanctions

The United States and China reached an agreement Wednesday on imposing new U.N. sanctions on North Korea for its recent nuclear test and long range missile launch. Details have yet to be released on the proposed measure. The U.N. Security Council is set to hold closed consultations on the issue Thursday. The U.S.-China agreement is expected to be discussed during those talks.

The announcement came as China’s foreign minister Wang Yi visits Washington, where he met Tuesday with Secretary of State John Kerry and Wednesday with National Security Adviser Susan Rice.

U.S. National Security Council spokesman Ned Price said Rice and Wang were in agreement on a “strong and united” response to the North Korean tests, including new U.N. sanctions. VOA



US Presidential election newsUS Presidential election

On Thursday night, the five remaining Republican presidential candidates face off in Houston for the final debate before Super Tuesday. The stakes are especially high for Sens. Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz, each of whom is trying to knock the other out of the race so he has a clear shot at frontrunner Donald Trump. “The strategy of ignoring the front-runner is not working,” says GOP strategist Liz Mair. “Cruz and Rubio need to tag-team to cause Trump problems.” But Rubio is expected to hit Cruz and leave Trump alone, Politico reports, while Cruz is expected to make a strong play for Southern voters. The Associated Press

The South Carolina Democratic primary is going to be over half African-American,” said Scott Huffmon, a political science professor at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, South Carolina. “This is the first test of black support. And of course, African-Americans vote over 90 percent for the Democratic Party, so knowing who is the favorite for this core constituency is really important for the Democrats. VOA

Marco Rubio has attacked Donald Trump by name, criticizing the candidate he called the GOP front-runner for not strongly opposing the federal health care law and for suggesting he could be a moderator in the Israeli Palestinian conflict. At a Houston rally, the Florida senator said “the front-runner in this race, Donald Trump, has said he’s not going to take sides on Israel versus the Palestinians because he wants to be an honest broker.” Rubio said there was no such thing “because the Palestinian Authority, which has strong links to terror, they teach little kids, 5-year-olds, that it’s a glorious thing to kill Jews.” He also named Trump in accusing him of thinking “parts of Obamacare are pretty good” drawing boos. Rubio’s comments came before Thursday’s Republican debate in Houston. Associated Press



What would their presidency be like, if they elected, SandersSanders’ single-payer health plan is not popular

More Americans support than oppose Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders’ proposal to replace America’s current private health care system with “a single government-run and taxpayer-funded plan like Medicare for all Americans that would cover medical, dental, vision, and long-term care services,” according to an Associated Press/GfK poll released Thursday.

The 38 plurality that backs Sanders’ plan — 33 oppose it — shrinks, however, when the pollsters said it would raise taxes (28 percent support) and replace people’s company-sponsored plans (also 28 percent). Backing shrank further when other possible downsides were raised. “People say they believe in a principle, but when you describe the policy, it often loses support because they don’t like that there are side effects,” said health care analyst Robert Blendon. The Associated Press



GOP and Dems clash over Scalia's replacementObama may nominate a Republican for Supreme Court

President Barack Obama said Wednesday it would be “difficult” for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to explain his decision not to consider a Supreme Court nominee without looking like he’s motivated by politics.

Meanwhile, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid suggested a Republican, Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval, as a potential nominee. A source confirmed to CNN that the White House is vetting Sandoval, although he has not been actively involved in the process.

“Neither Governor Sandoval nor his staff have been contacted by or talked to the Obama Administration regarding any potential vetting for the vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court,” according to a statement from Mari St. Martin, his communications director. CNN

At least 4 dead as severe storm system strikes VirginiaAt least 4 dead as severe storm system strikes Virginia

At least four people were killed in Virginia, including a two-year-old boy, as severe weather hit the state on Wednesday. There were reports of a possible tornado in the town of Waverly, 50 miles south of Richmond, where three people died.

One person was killed and seven injured in Evergreen, where 45 homes were destroyed by the severe storm. Winter storms caused problems in several other states, including Indiana and Illinois, where more than 900 flights were canceled at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport due to blizzard conditions. Snow was reported from Arkansas to Michigan, and more severe weather is expected to hit the eastern sections of Virginia and the Carolinas through Friday. USA Today

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