Top News Stories for Today

World’s top news stories for today from Washingtonian post (March 20, 2016)

Brazilian former president blocked by court

Brazilian former president blocked by courtA Brazilian Supreme Court justice has blocked former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva from accepting a Cabinet appointment that would have helped the ex-leader avoid corruption charges. Supreme Court Justice Gilmar Mendes, who released his decision late Friday, said Lula’s Cabinet post “could amount to an act of fraud against the constitution.”

Cabinet ministers in Brazil have immunity from prosecution in criminal court and can only be tried before the Supreme Court.

The controversial appointment by current President Dilma Rousseff would have halted a criminal investigation of Lula in a wide-ranging probe into corruption and money laundering at the state-owned oil giant, Petrobras. Lula, who served as Brazil’s president from 2003 to 2010, had denied he was involved in any corruption. VOA News



Hundreds of Boko Haram hostages rescued

Hundreds of Boko Haram hostages rescuedThe militaries of Cameroon and Nigeria have freed hundreds of hostages held by Boko Haram, including dozens of girls and women either forcefully married or held as sex slaves. The captives were freed after raids on the town of Achigachia, which straddles Cameroon and Nigeria.

In 2013, Nigeria reported that Boko Haram had stepped up kidnappings of young women to sell them into sexual slavery or force them to marry its fighters. The tactics attracted international outrage, but efforts to prevent more kidnappings or rescue the young girls were not successful.

Cameroon said it was handing over the rescued girls and women to specialized U.N. agencies for psychological care. The United Nations says Boko Haram’s six-year insurgency has killed more than 20,000 people and displaced more than 2.5 million.

The hundreds of schoolchildren kidnapped from a Nigerian school in Chibok have not been found. VOA News



US Presidential election

US Presidential election newsTrump rally problem: Video footage from a rally in Tucson, Arizona, for Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump appears to show an attendee punching and kicking a protester until security intervened. Another video appears to show campaign manager Corey Lewandowski grabbing the collar of a different protester. A statement from the campaign says Lewandowski, who is currently under fire for allegedly assaulting a reporter at a campaign event, did not grab the man. The Washington Post

Trump vs Fox News: On Friday night, Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump continued his months-long attack on Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly, calling her “sick” and “overrated” in a tweet. In response, Fox News released a statement backing Kelly: “Donald Trump’s vitriolic attacks against Megyn Kelly and his extreme, sick obsession with her is beneath the dignity of a presidential candidate who wants to occupy the highest office in the land.” The New York Times

Anti-Trump protests: Protesters tried Saturday to stop a Trump rally in Arizona near the Mexican border by leaving their cars in the middle of a street and blocking traffic. Some held up a banner reading “Dump Trump.” Three people were arrested. Another anti-Trump protest took place Saturday in New York City outside the Trump Tower office building on Fifth Avenue. VOA News

Sanders on border wall: Presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders called the controversy over immigration “trumped up” today during a visit to the U.S.-Mexico border near Nogales, Arizona, just days before the primary in this southwest state. Sanders went on to quote numbers from the Pew research center that indicate more people have been going from the United State to Mexico, rather than the other way around.

“We don’t need a wall and we don’t need barbwire,” He said. “We need to fix our broken criminal justice system. First and foremost, it goes without saying that we need comprehensive immigration reform, we need to take 11 million undocumented people out of the shadows, out of fear, and we need to provide them with legal protection, and we need to provide them with a path toward citizenship.” Abc News



Pope Francis joins Instagram

Pope Francis condemns Vatican leak (Photo The Star)Pope Francis has joined Instagram! Perhaps the pontiff, 79, was charmed by Instagram founder Kevin Systrom when the two met at the Vatican last month. The pope, 79, shared his first ‘gram today and quickly began accumulating followers.

For a guy who has said he doesn’t know how to work a computer, Pope Francis hasn’t shied away from embracing technology. In January, he had separate meetings with Alphabet executive chairman Eric Schmidt and Apple CEO Tim Cook.

A Google+ hangout last year put the pope in front of a webcam and allowed him to answer questions from children around the world. The pope also tweets and has been happy to indulge quite a few visitors to the Vatican on selfie requests.

While it’s unclear if the pope is actually the one sending out his social media dispatches, we hope he’s heard the latest news about Instagram. Abc News

Zuckerberg meets China’s propaganda chief

Facebook CEO Zuckerberg will have a daughter (Photo founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg held a rare meeting with China’s propaganda chief, at a time when Chinese authorities are tightening control over their cyberspace.

Liu Yunshan told Zuckerberg in their meeting Saturday that he hopes Facebook can share its experience with Chinese companies to help “Internet development better benefit the people of all countries,” China’s official Xinhua News Agency reported. Zuckerberg was in Beijing to attend an economic forum.

China has called for the creation of a global Internet “governance system” and cooperation between countries to regulate Internet use, stepping up efforts to promote controls that activists complain stifle free expression.

Facebook and other Western social media, including Twitter, are banned in China. Zuckerberg has long been courting China’s leaders in a so far futile attempt to access the country with the world’s largest number of Internet users — 668 million as of last year. Abc News

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