Top News Stories for Today

World’s top news stories for today from Washingtonian post (February 29, 2016)

88th Academy awards88th Oscar awards

Leonardo DiCaprio (The Revenant) won the Academy Award for Best Actor, while Brie Larson (The Room) won Best Actress, Spotlight won Best Picture, Alejandro Iñárritu (The Revenant) won Best Director, Alicia Vikander (The Danish Girl) won Best Supporting Actress, and Mark Rylance (Bridge of Spies) won Best Supporting Actor Sunday night at the Oscars. Mad Max: Fury Road dominated in the technical categories, scoring trophies for Costume Design, Production Design, Makeup and Hairstyling, Sound Editing, Sound Mixing, and Film Editing. The Academy via The Week



Iranians vote for first time since nuclear agreementModerates win majority in Iranian election

When final results are reported later Monday, Iran’s moderates are expected to have their best showing in parliamentary elections in at least a decade, dealing a defeat to the hard-liners who control the 290-seat body currently.

But the moderates scored a potentially more important victory, taking 59 percent of the seats on the 88-member Assembly of Experts, Iran’s Interior Ministry said Monday. The Assembly, a clerical advisory committee elected every eight years, is charged with picking Iran’s supreme leader; the current supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, is 76 and underwent treatment for prostate cancer in 2014. Neither the hard-liners, conservatives, or moderates are expected to win an outright majority in parliament. The Associated Press via The Week



US Presidential election newsUS Presidential election

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) has taken to insulting Republican presidential rival Donald Trump more in sorrow than in anger, he told a rally of about 3,000 supporters in northern Virginia on Sunday. “I had hoped that this would be a campaign only about ideas,” Rubio said, before trying out a few new taunts about Trump’s skin color, honesty, and hand size. Rubio advisers see the risks of crudely mocking Trump, but “we came to the conclusion that if being a part of the circus is the price you have to pay in order for us to ultimately be able to talk about substantive policy, then that’s what we’re going to do,” said adviser Todd Harris. RealClearPolitics

In front of thousands of Donald Trump supporters, Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions announced his endorsement of the Republican frontrunner Sunday during a rally in Madison, Alabama. “At this time in American history, we need to make America great again,” he said. “I am pleased to endorse Donald Trump for president of the United States.” Sessions is the first sitting senator to support Trump, and has advised him on immigration reform. Sessions also told the crowd that a “movement is afoot that must not fade away,” and voters need to remember they are “the bosses,” and the people in Washington are “public servants. They serve you and we haven’t had enough of that.” CNN

Tuesday is the biggest day so far in the 2016 U.S. presidential nominating campaign, with challengers looking to curb the momentum for the front-running candidates, billionaire real estate mogul Donald Trump in the Republican race and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in the Democratic contest. Eleven states vote on what is called “Super Tuesday,” awarding nearly a quarter of the delegates the presidential contenders need at the Republican and Democratic national party conventions in July to win their party nominations before the victors square off in November’s national election. VOA



Sanctions on North Korea hurting South KoreaSanctions on North Korea hurting South Korea

South Korean factories that were forced to halt operations in North Korea’s Kaesong Industrial Complex are asking the Seoul government to compensate them for their losses.

The South Korean government suspended all activities at the industrial zone it operated jointly with North Korea, to punish the Kim Jong Un government for its recent nuclear test and latest long-range rocket launch. The Corporate Association of Kaesong Industrial Complex represents the 123 small and medium South Korean manufacturing companies that operate there and were forced to close.

The organization estimates its initial losses of assets and raw material to near $644 million (820 billion won). When announcing the closure of the Kaesong complex, South Korean President Park Geun-hye said the government would offer aid and support to the affected companies. VOA

China arms Exports double as regional tensions mountChina arms exports double in 5 years

A research group says China’s arms exports have almost doubled in five years as the country has moved to become a major player in the global industry. Chinese exports of major arms grew by 88 percent between 2011 and 2015, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).

“China is actively pushing for exports. A lot of the exports are going to countries where China has had good relations for a long time, so there’s also a strategic incentive for China to supply weapons. Pakistan for example, Bangladesh, Myanmar,” said Siemon Wezeman, a senior researcher with the institute.

China is now the world’s third largest arms exporter behind the U.S. and Russia, and the country accounted for nearly six percent of arms exports between 2011 and 2015. VOA

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