World’s top news stories for today from Washingtonian post (March 3, 2016)
U.S. Special Operations forces have captured a suspected Islamic State operative in Iraq, U.S. defense officials said Wednesday.
The captive is the first known detainee since a U.S. expeditionary targeting force began conducting operations in Iraq and Syria. The force was sent to carry out raids for gathering intelligence and targeting high-ranking IS leaders.
Officials say Americans are interrogating the detainee, who is expected to be turned over to Iraqi officials in the coming days. So far, the raids of the U.S. expeditionary targeting force have been shrouded in secrecy in order to protect future missions. VOA
Koch brothers on Trump: The Republican establishment should not count on billionaire conservative donors Bill and David Koch to stop the Donald Trump juggernaut. On Wednesday, a Koch spokesman told Reuters that the brothers and their political advocacy group Freedom Partners “have no plans to get involved in the primary.” The Kochs, who oppose many of Trump’s policies, reportedly don’t want to waste millions of dollars attacking Trump, when they have seen no sign that such attacks work. In other good news for Trump, sources told New York’s Gabriel Sherman that Roger Ailes has instructed Fox News hosts and guests to stop giving favorable coverage to rival Marco Rubio, reportedly telling one Fox host: “We’re finished with Rubio…. We can’t do the Rubio thing anymore.” Reuters, New York via The Week
Trump releases plan for healthcare: On Wednesday, Donald Trump published on his website a seven-point plan for reforming the U.S. health care system. On Day 1, the plan says, the Trump administration “will work with Congress to make sure we have a series of reforms ready for implementation that follow free market principles and that will restore economic freedom and certainty to everyone in this country.” Trump’s plan calls for completely repealing ObamaCare and modifying existing laws that prevent the sale of health insurance across state lines.The plan also calls for price transparency from all health care providers, block-grant Medicaid to states, and, in a nod to Democrats, consumer access to “imported, safe, and dependable drugs from overseas.” Trump Campaign via The Week
GOP debate: The four remaining Republicans in the presidential race hold a debate Thursday in Michigan with frontrunner Donald Trump carrying momentum from another batch of state wins but facing new efforts to halt his campaign.
GOPs oppose Trump: A group of 60 Republican foreign policy veterans signed a joint letter released late Wednesday opposing Trump, saying he would “act in ways that make America less safe, and which would diminish our standing in the world.” It lists a number of objections, including anti-Muslim rhetoric, a support for the use of torture, advocating trade wars and insisting Mexico build a border wall. VOA
GOPs against Trump: Senior Republicans are speaking out against front-runner Donald Trump after his seven-state victory in the race for the party’s presidential pick. Mr Trump has declared himself a “unifier”, but he is strongly opposed by veteran Republican politicians. Senator Lindsey Graham warned on Wednesday that Mr Trump would lose in November’s election. BBC
Romney on Trump: Former GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney thinks “Donald Trump is a phony, a fraud” and that he’s “playing the American public for suckers,” according to prepared remarks provided by Romney to CNN. Romney, the party’s nominee in 2012, will urge Americans “to make the right choices” and not support the GOP front runner during a speech he’ll give today at 11:30 a.m. ET at the University of Utah’s Hinckley Institute of Politics Forum. With Dr. Ben Carson bowing out of tonight’s Republican presidential debate, Romney will promote the remaining candidates. CNN
Ben Carson to drop: Ben Carson doesn’t “see a political path forward” in the Republican presidential nomination process, and will not attend Thursday’s GOP presidential debate in his hometown of Detroit, he said in a statement. But Carson stopped short of saying he was officially leaving the race. The retired neurosurgeon and his aides reached the decision after a staff meeting Wednesday morning in Baltimore following a disappointing finish on Super Tuesday. CNN
The Justice Department has granted immunity to a former State Department staffer, who worked on Hillary Clinton’s private email server, as part of a criminal investigation into the possible mishandling of classified information, according to a senior law enforcement official.
The official said the FBI had secured the cooperation of Bryan Pagliano, who worked on Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign before setting up the server in her New York home in 2009.
As the FBI looks to wrap up its investigation in the coming months, agents are likely to want to interview Clinton and her senior aides about the decision to use a private server, how it was set up, and whether any of the participants knew they were sending classified information in emails, current and former officials said. Washington Post
N Korea launches projectiles after UN imposes sanctions
North Korea fired several short-range projectiles into the sea off its east coast, Seoul said Thursday, and hours after the U.N. Security Council adopted tough new sanctions against Pyongyang’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs.
South Korea’s defense ministry said it was still trying to determine the number and nature of the projectiles, which it said were fired into the Sea of Japan at 10 a.m. local time (1:00 UTC).
The move could be a response to the Security Council’s unanimous approval Wednesday of sanctions against Pyongyang for its recent nuclear and long-range rocket launch. North Korea has a history of voicing its disagreement with international reprimands through a show of force rather than through traditional diplomatic channels. VOA
A powerful and relatively shallow earthquake rocked parts of Indonesia’s Sumatra island Wednesday, prompting immediate tsunami warnings, but the danger period passed without any reports of significant damage or casualties.
Reuters news agency quoted an official at the national Search and Rescue Agency in Jakarta who said “there are some who have died,” but no specific details were available as night fell along the western coast of Sumatra.
Reports from Padang city and other areas shaken by the quake said panicked residents fled from their homes, but calm was restored later during the night. Padang suffered hundreds of casualties in an earthquake six years ago. VOA
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