World’s top news stories for today from Washingtonian post (March 8, 2016)
US kills 150 Somali fighters in airstrike
American aircraft on Saturday struck a training camp in Somalia belonging to the Islamist militant group the Shabab, the Pentagon said, killing about 150 fighters who were assembled for what American officials believe was a graduation ceremony and prelude to an imminent attack against American troops and their allies in East Africa.
Defense officials said the strike was carried out by drones and American aircraft, which dropped a number of precision-guided bombs and missiles on the field where the fighters were gathered. Pentagon officials said they did not believe there were any civilian casualties, but there was no independent way to verify the claim. They said they delayed announcing the strike until they could assess the outcome.
It was the deadliest attack on the Shabab in the more than decade-long American campaign against the group, an affiliate of Al Qaeda, and a sharp deviation from previous American strikes, which have concentrated on the group’s leaders, not on its foot soldiers. The New York Times
Iran tests ballistic missile
Iran said Tuesday it conducted ballistic missile tests at several sites across the country in order to show its “deterrent power” and readiness to confront threats. The tests come two months after the United States imposed new sanctions against five Iranian nationals and a network of companies with links to banned missile activity.
Iran defended two previous missile tests last October as being a matter of national security after the U.S. and other Western powers said the launches violated a U.N. Security Council resolution. Since then, a new resolution came into force with the implementation of the agreement Iran reached with a group of world powers to roll back its nuclear activity in exchange for sanctions relief. That deal was meant to address concerns that Iran was working on nuclear weapons, which it always denied.
The new text calls on Iran to not “undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons, including launches using such ballistic missile technology.” VOA News
US Presidential election
4 states vote today: Michigan is the big prize on Tuesday as Republicans and Democrats vote in Michigan and Mississippi primaries and Republicans also vote in a primary in Idaho and caucus in Hawaii. Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump lead in the Michigan polls, but Sen. Bernie Sanders (I) is hoping his attacks on Clinton’s past support for free-trade pacts will help lead him to an upset. Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) has also spent a lot of time in Michigan trying to win over his neighboring state. Kasich has yet to win a primary. USA Today
Bloomberg will not run for President : Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg will not run for president in 2016, he wrote in a Bloomberg View post Monday. “As the race stands now, with Republicans in charge of both Houses, there is a good chance that my candidacy could lead to the election of Donald Trump or Senator Ted Cruz,” he wrote. “That is not a risk I can take in good conscience.” Bloomberg said in February he would consider running as an independent. Bloomberg View
White House to disclose number of drone deaths
The number of people killed by U.S. drones, intentionally and accidentally, has been a secret, but the Obama administration said Monday that in the next few weeks, it will release data on combatant and noncombatant drone deaths dating back to the beginning of Obama’s first term in 2009. The drone fatality number is expected to include CIA strikes in Yemen and Pakistan, programs once highly classified, but not drone strikes in “areas of active hostilities” like Iraq and Syria. The Wall Street Journal via The Week
Boston bombing survivor killed in Dubai
McGrath’s roommate, 23-year-old Priscilla Perez Torres, and two others also died when the car hit a pole. Both women were set to graduate from Northeastern in May, and were headed to Bali for spring break. McGrath was waiting for a friend at the finish line when the first bomb went off at the Boston Marathon. A bystander wrapped her leg in a tourniquet, and a photo that eventually was circulated around the world was snapped as a firefighter carried her to safety. The Boston Globe
Sharapova drug test is a game changer
Maria Sharapova’s failed drugs test is a “game-changer for life, not just for tennis”, says her former coach. Nick Bollettieri also told the BBC he was shocked the former world number one had tested positive because “she has always been above board in everything”. But the 84-year-old American added: “Everybody must accept responsibilities for everything they do in life.”
Sharapova, 28, has taken meldonium for health reasons since 2006, but it became a banned substance in 2016. The Russian revealed she tested positive after losing to Serena Williams at the Australian Open in January. The International Tennis Federation said Sharapova would be provisionally suspended from 12 March.
She could face up to a four-year ban. BBC
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