World’s top news stories for today from Washingtonian post (March 18, 2016)
N Korea launches missiles
US officials confirmed the launch, and South Korea is monitoring the situation. South Korea’s Yonhap news agency said it’s likely North Korea launched a medium-range Rodong-missile. Last week, North Korea fired two missiles south of Pyongyang toward the sea, and on Wednesday, an American student visiting North Korea was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor for crimes against the state. CNN
IS Atrocities are genocide
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has determined that atrocities committed by the Islamic State (IS) group in Iraq and Syria constitute genocide.
“My purpose in appearing before you today is to assert that in my judgment Daesh is responsible for genocide against groups in areas under its control, including Yazidis, Christians and Shi’ite Muslims,” Kerry said Thursday, referring to IS by the Arabic term Daesh.
The genocide declaration means the United States would prosecute any Islamic State member in the U.S., but it does not obligate any specific American action against the terror group in Syria or Iraq, where U.S. warplanes have been striking IS targets for months.
Experts on international law and genocide told VOA the U.S. could bring the issue before the United Nations Security Council and human-rights bodies, which could, in turn, ask the International Criminal Court to charge members of the extremist group. VOA News
US Presidential election
Trump losing among women: Donald Trump has a problem with women, and Hillary Clinton has a problem among white men, according to polls, exit polling, and political strategists. In a Reuters-Ipsos poll taken from March 1-15, half of likely female voters said they have a “very unfavorable” opinion of Trump, up from 40 percent in October. His numbers are better among men, where his “very unfavorable” numbers are 36 percent, and Republican women, 60 percent of whom have viewed him favorably for months. But more women have voted in presidential elections than men since 1996. Clinton, meanwhile, beat Barack Obama among white men in the 2008 primary season, but this year she’s losing them to Bernie Sanders — or Donald Trump — in major battleground states. Reuters, The New York Times via The Week
Sanders concedes defeat in Missouri: Saying he would “prefer to save the taxpayers of Missouri some money,” Bernie Sanders announced Thursday he will not seek a recount of the results in Tuesday’s Democratic primary in the state. Just 1,531 votes separate Sanders and Hillary Clinton, and because the margin is less than one-half of one percent, under Missouri state law, Sanders could have asked for a recount. He told The Associated Press it’s unlikely the results will affect the awarding of delegates in the state. Clinton won all five of the primaries on Tuesday, including Florida, Illinois, North Carolina, and Ohio. On the Republican side, the race in Missouri is still too close to call between Donald Trump and Ted Cruz. The Associated Press via The Week
Russia sends arms to Iraqi Kurds
Russia sent arms this week to Iraq’s Kurdish region to be used by Peshmerga forces fighting the Islamic State group, Russian and Kurdish sources said. The arms were delivered Monday and included five anti-aircraft autocannons and 20,000 shells, Artem Grigoryan, the attache to the Russian consul general in Irbil, told RIA Novotsi.
A pro-Western region and an effective U.S. ally in fighting IS, Iraqi Kurdistan has received military assistance from several countries, including the United States and Germany. The Kurdish attempts to receive heavy weapons have been fiercely opposed by Baghdad, which fears the Kurds may seek independence from Iraq. VOA News
Ebola returns in Africa
Officials confirmed two new cases of Ebola in Guinea on Friday, almost three months after the World Health Organization declared the country Ebola-free. WHO said it dispatched a team of specialists to the southern Nzérékoré area of the West African country after the cases were found in a village.
The organization said it was alerted by health officials on Wednesday to three unexplained deaths, with family members of the deceased showing Ebola symptoms. A woman and her 5-year-old son tested positive for the virus and were taken to a treatment center, it said.
The new cases were confirmed as the WHO declared a new Ebola flare-up in neighboring Sierra Leone over. The organization stressed that new cases could emerge in the two countries, as well as in Liberia, due to the virus persisting in some people.
More than 11,300 people have died since the Ebola outbreak began in Guinea in Dec. 2013, most of them in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. USA Today
Women, minorities for space careers
Women and minorities are underrepresented in aerospace engineering, so the two women urged students in Los Angeles to set their sights high when thinking about a career. The thrill of weightlessness aboard the International Space Station and other exciting challenges await students with the right education, said Yvonne Cagle, a medical doctor and astronaut who recently talked about her training at Town Hall Los Angeles, a nonprofit speakers forum in Los Angeles. She urged students to reach for the stars.
Less than 20 percent of American engineers are women, and even fewer are in aerospace engineering. African-Americans and Latinos make up less than 10 percent of engineers. VOA News
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