World’s top news stories for today from Washingtonian post (March 22, 2016)
Brussels explosions kill at least 13
Two explosions rocked the departure area of Belgium’s Zaventem airport in Brussels early Tuesday, with photos emerging of smoke and shattered glass. Belgian police say at least one person is dead, but Belgian media puts the death toll at 13.
An hour later, an explosion hit a metro station near EU buildings in central Brussels. Sky News’ Alex Rossi said the airport explosions appear to be “some kind of terrorist attack although that hasn’t been verified by any of the authorities.”
The explosions come days after Belgian police arrested Salah Abdeslam, the only known surviving suspected attacker from the Nov. 13 terrorist attacks in Paris. Belgian authorities evacuated the airport and suspended all public transportation in and around the capital. The Associated Press
Aung San Suu Kyi nominated to join Myanmar cabinet
Myanmar democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi has been nominated to become a member of President-elect Htin Kyaw’s cabinet.
The Nobel Peace laureate’s name was on a list of proposed ministers announced Tuesday by parliament speaker Win Khaing Than. The list has Aung San Suu Kyi’s name next to four posts — minister of the president’s office, foreign affairs, energy and education.
If she takes the post of foreign minister, she would have to give up her seat in parliament and leadership of the National League for Democracy party, which she led to a massive landslide victory in last November’s parliamentary elections, ending five decades of complete or partial military rule. VOA News
Obama meets with Raúl Castro
President Obama and Raúl Castro jointly addressed the public Monday after they sat down for a meeting Monday morning at the Palace of the Revolution. Castro pressed Obama to end the U.S. embargo, and Obama pushed Castro to respect freedom of speech and assembly.
“We believe that when we share our deepest beliefs and ideas with an attitude of mutual respect, that we can both learn and make the lives of our people better,” Obama said. Before the meeting, Obama attended a wreath-laying ceremony at the memorial for poet José Martí. Obama is the first sitting U.S. president to visit the island in 88 years. Reuters
US Presidential election
Trump on Israel: Donald Trump told attendees at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee conference on Monday that he is a friend and lifelong supporter of Israel who views the country as “America’s unbreakable cultural brother.” Instead of one of his usual off-the-cuff speeches, Trump used a teleprompter for his talk to the pro-Israel lobbying group, and said his “number one priority” as president would be “to dismantle the nuclear deal with Iran.” Trump also called Obama the “worst thing to ever happen to Israel,” and said on “day one” of his presidency, “the days of treating Israel like a second-class citizen will end.” The Week
GOPs on Obama’s Cuba trip: Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump tweeted Sunday after Air Force One touched down in Cuba, “Wow, President Obama just landed in Cuba, a big deal, and Raul Castro wasn’t even there to greet him. He greeted Pope and others. No respect.” Trump had previously said he was “fine” with the U.S. pursuing a new approach in its Cuba policy.
Cuban-American Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz, writing in an opinion piece for U.S. political publication Politico Monday, said freedom cannot come to Cuba “by enriching and empowering the dictatorship, while they export terrorism to Latin America.”
The other remaining Republican presidential candidate, Ohio Governor John Kasich, told MSNBC he wanted to see more balance in the U.S.-Cuba relationship. VOA News
FBI to unlock San Bernardino shooter’s iPhone on its own
In a motion filed Monday, the Department of Justice asked to delay a hearing scheduled for Tuesday over the FBI’s demand that Apple help unlock the encrypted iPhone used by Syed Farook, one of the San Bernardino shooters.
Federal prosecutors said an “outside party” has shown the FBI a potential method for unlocking the iPhone, and the government needs time to figure out if it will work without compromising the phone’s data. In a statement, a spokeswoman for the DOJ said the government is “cautiously optimistic” the method will work, eliminating the need for Apple’s assistance. The Associated Press
Apple unveils new iPhone SE and iPad Pro
Apple unveiled a new 4-inch iPhone SE on Monday at a town hall in Cupertino, California, calling it the “most powerful 4-inch phone ever.” It will retail for $399. CEO Tim Cook also announced new woven nylon Apple Watch bands, iOS 9.3, a 9.7-inch iPad Pro, and CareKit, an initiative to help people develop medical apps.
Cook also addressed Apple’s battle with the FBI over unlocking the smartphone of one of the San Bernardino gunmen. “We need to decide as a nation how much power the government should have over our data and over our privacy,” he said. Apple via The Week
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