News You Should Read Today – January 18 – 2016

Democratic U.S. presidential candidates (L-R) former Governor Martin O'Malley, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders pose together before the start at the Democratic presidential candidates debate in CharlestonDemocrats debate in South Carolina

Presidential candidates from Democrat Clinton, Sanders, and O’Malley debate in Charleston, S.C., on Sunday night.

Their exchange began with questions about the shifting position of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders on a bill limiting liability for gun manufacturers and sellers whose products are used in crimes. As Sanders has gained in the polls, frontrunner Hillary Clinton has attacked him on the issue.

Though the spotlight was on Clinton and Sanders, the long-shot third-place candidate Martin O’Malley got in the last word on gun control. O’Malley, the former governor of Maryland, argued that both Clinton and Sanders are “inconsistent” on guns.

Clinton and Sanders had been trading barbs over the few days before the campaign, and that continued on stage. Clinton hit Sanders on gun control, Sanders suggested Clinton is in the pocket of Wall Street, and they swatted at each other over whether to improve or replace ObamaCare. All three candidates said it would be a mistake to put U.S. ground troops in Syria. O’Malley, polling in the single digits, strived to prove he’s a viable candidate. The New York Times



US observes Martin Luther King Jr Day ( observes Martin Luther King Jr Day

Americans across the country are pausing Monday to observe the federal holiday marking the birthday of slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.

King first rose to prominence in 1955 when he led a successful boycott of the public buses in the southern city of Montgomery, Alabama, forcing the city to end its practice of segregating black passengers. He became the central figure of the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and ’60s, inspiring millions with his famous “I Have a Dream” speech during the 1963 March on Washington.

He received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964, the same year a landmark civil rights bill was signed by President Lyndon Johnson. King was assassinated on April 4, 1968 in Memphis, Tennessee, where he had traveled to assist striking black garbage workers who were seeking equal pay.

The holiday was created in 1983 when President Ronald Reagan signed a bill designating the third Monday in January to honor King, who was born on January 15, 1929. VOA News



Space X rocket landing on ocean platform failsSpaceX rocket landing on ocean platform fails

An unmanned U.S. rocket placed a $180 million climate-monitoring satellite into orbit Sunday, but then failed in an attempt to return to a platform floating in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of California.

Technology entrepreneur Elon Musk’s SpaceX rocket blasted off Sunday morning from a U.S. airbase in southern California, with a satellite designed to measure how global warming and sea level rise impacts coastal wind speeds and currents.

A short while later, officials from Musk’s California-based Space Exploration Technologies said on Twitter that the first stage of the 22-story rocket appears to have broken a landing leg while touching down on the platform 320 kilometers off the California coast. No further details were immediately released. This failure is for the third time in about a year. VOA News



Cancer treatment for MS patients gives 'remarkable' resultsCancer treatment for MS patients gives ‘remarkable’ results

UK doctors in Sheffield say patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) are showing “remarkable” improvements after receiving a treatment usually used for cancer. About 20 patients have received bone marrow transplants using their own stem cells. Some patients who were paralyzed have been able to walk again.

Prof Basil Sharrack, of Sheffield’s Royal Hallamshire Hospital, said: “To have a treatment which can potentially reverse disability is really a major achievement.”

Around 100,000 people in the UK have MS, an incurable neurological condition. Most patients are diagnosed in their 20s and 30s. The disease causes the immune system to attack the lining of nerves in the brain and spinal cord.

The treatment – known as an autologous haematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT) – aims to destroy the faulty immune system using chemotherapy. It is then rebuilt with stem cells harvested from the patient’s own blood. These cells are at such an early stage they’ve not developed the flaws that trigger MS.

Prof John Snowden, consultant haematologist at Royal Hallamshire Hospital, said: “The immune system is being reset or rebooted back to a time point before it caused MS.” About 20 MS patients have been treated in Sheffield in the past three years. Prof Snowden added: “It’s clear we have made a big impact on patients’ lives, which is gratifying.” BBC

Iran condemns new US sanctions over missile testIran condemns new US sanctions over missile test

Iran has denounced new sanctions imposed by the US over its ballistic missile program. The sanctions had “no legal or moral legitimacy”, a foreign ministry spokesman said.

In October, Iran tested a precision-guided ballistic missile capable of delivering a nuclear warhead, in defiance of a UN ban. The US move came after global economic sanctions on Iran were lifted in line with a deal on its nuclear program. The new US Treasury sanctions prevent 11 entities and individuals linked to the program from using the US banking system.

Announcing the measures, Adam J Szubin, US acting under-secretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, said: “Iran’s ballistic missile program poses a significant threat to regional and global security, and it will continue to be subject to international sanctions.”

However, Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Hossein Jaber Ansari said on Monday: “Iran’s missile program has never been designed to be capable of carrying nuclear weapons.” BBC

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