World’s top news stories for today from Washingtonian post (March 24, 2016)
New Zealand rejects new flag
After two years, $17 million, and the winnowing down of 10,292 flag entries to one finalist, New Zealand voters have decided to stick with their old flag, a blue banner with Britain’s Union Jack in the upper left and the Southern Cross constellation on the right.
The proposed new national flag kept the Southern Cross but replaced the Union Jack with a silver fern. The national referendum, which ended Thursday, favored the old flag by a preliminary margin of 57 percent to 43 percent. The referendum was a rare defeat for Prime Minister John Key, who had pushed for a new flag, arguing that the old one was a relic of New Zealand’s colonial days and was too similar to Australia’s. The New York Times
Brussels attack update
We know three died in the airport blast. We’ve seen the image of one suspect who may be on the run. And now, there’s this guy, seen in surveillance holding a large bag. It all points to a much bigger terror network than suspected. And cops are playing catch-up, hoping there isn’t another attack before they figure things out. CNN
Why Supreme Court need 9 members
This is why the Supreme Court needs nine justices. The court heard arguments yesterday on the latest challenge to Obamacare: whether the government can require employers to provide free contraception coverage to female workers. Religious groups say this violates their belief — even though they can opt out just by filling out some forms.
The Supremes appear evenly divided on this one; a 4-4 tie. CNN
US Presidential election
Clinton vs Trump: Voters nationwide think Clinton would most likely win in the November election, according to a new CNN/ORC Poll. The poll also finds Clinton would start the general election contest with an edge over Trump on several potential presidential qualifications, with the former secretary of state widely seen as better able to handle the responsibilities of being commander in chief, more in touch with the middle class and more often aligned with Americans’ views on important issues. CNN
Trump vs GOP: For a dozen Republican voters gathered around a conference table in St. Louis, Donald Trump’s take-no-prisoners style is precisely what appeals to them. And what alarms them. A focus group convened by pollster Peter Hart and sponsored by the Annenberg Center for Public Policy at the University of Pennsylvania explored the reasons behind the billionaire businessman’s unexpected rise in the 2016 presidential race — and the challenges ahead for him if he wins the Republican nomination.
Later in the discussion, which stretched for more than two hours Tuesday night, she scoffed at the stop-Trump movement belatedly launched by some of the GOP’s establishment leaders. “These Republican politicians in Washington are now freaking out over the fact that Donald Trump could be the nominee,” she said. “They have nobody but themselves to blame for putting Donald Trump in the fast lane.” USA Today
Debris found in Mozambique likely from MH370
Two pieces of debris found in Mozambique are “highly likely” to be wreckage from missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. Australian officials made the announcement Thursday following the completion of the examination of the two pieces.
The pieces of debris were found separately by a U.S. lawyer and a South African teen in March and sent to Malaysia for examination. A Malaysian investigation team found that both pieces of debris were consistent with panels from a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 aircraft, Chester said. CNN
N Korea progress in ballistic missile program
North Korea says it has successfully tested a solid-fuel rocket engine, which would be a major step in its effort to develop a long-range missile able to reach South Korea and the United States.
Using solid-fuel reduces the amount of launch preparation time, increases the mobility of the missiles, and makes them far more reliable than liquid-fueled rockets.
Pyongyang has made similar claims before of progress in its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs, including a successful simulation of an atmospheric re-entry of a ballistic missile. VOA
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