Ted Cruz outsmarts Donald Trump, and wins Iowa caucuses, his rival Marco Rubio is finishing closer to second place. Cruz got 28% of the votes while Trump received 24%, Rubio 23%, and Carson 9%. Cruz said the results show Iowa “sent notice that the Republican nominee and the next president of the United States will not be chosen by the media, will not be chosen by the Washington establishment, and will not be chosen by the lobbyists.” In the democratic site, Clinton leads Sanders by narrow margin of 49.9% to 49.5%.
After a poor showing in the Iowa caucuses, Democratic presidential candidate Martin O’Malley suspended his campaign Monday night, making his announcement during a speech in Iowa. On the GOP side, 2008 Iowa winner Mike Huckabee announced on Twitter that he was suspending his campaign after failing to eclipse 2 percent in the 2016 caucuses. VOA
WHO declares Zika virus public health emergency
The World Health Organization declared the mosquito-borne Zika virus a “public health emergency of international concern” Monday. The virus, which experts have traced back to Brazil, has been linked to a birth defect in babies.
Zika has spread to several Central and South American countries, and dozens of cases have been reported in the U.S. from people who had traveled to the region recently. The designation, which WHO used for the first time since 2014’s Ebola outbreak, allows the agency to allocate more money, resources, and research for the virus. ABC News
The top U.S. commander for the fight against ISIS on Monday slammed the idea of “carpet bombing” the terror group. Army Lt. Gen. Sean MacFarland, who directs the coalition fighting ISIS in Iraq and Syria, provided the most detailed military criticism to date about the concept and detailed why it’s militarily unacceptable.
“Indiscriminate bombing where we don’t care if we are killing innocents or combatants is just inconsistent with our values,” he said in response to a question from CNN on the possibility of using carpet bombing.
More bad news for oil investors and workers: BP is cutting thousands of jobs after it sank to a huge loss in 2015. The company posted an annual loss of $5.2 billion, compared with a profit of $8.1 billion in 2014.
Much of the reversal was due to charges relating to the fallout from the 2010 Gulf of Mexico disaster, but the steep fall in oil and gas prices played a big part too. Stripping out one-off charges, profits slumped by 50% to $5.9 billion.
BP is the first big European oil company to report 2015 results after prices of crude dropped 35% last year. The earnings were worse than expected and shares in BP slumped more than 8% in London. The company also announced plans to cut 7,000 jobs by the end of 2017, 3,000 more than it was expecting to shed just three weeks ago. CNN
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Tuesday the international effort to defeat the Islamic State group is “moving in the right direction,” but he cautioned more must be done to support stabilization in Libya and Iraq.
Kerry spoke at the opening of a ministerial meeting in Rome where representatives from about 20 countries came to talk about ways to boost the anti-Islamic State campaign. He highlighted the risk of the militants taking control in Libya with its vast oil resources, but said that a near agreement on a new national unity government would go a long way to preventing that scenario.
Kerry also called attention to the humanitarian situation in Syria, saying it is a “catastrophe” not seen since World War Two. VOA
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