World’s top news stories for today from Washingtonian post (April 14, 2016)
Now ISIS is on the defensive
In a rare visit to CIA headquarters, President Obama said Wednesday that the “depraved” Islamic State has had a “bad few months,” and its leaders wake up every day “and understand it could be their last.” In Syria and Iraq, ISIS is “on the defensive,” Obama said, and “our 66-member coalition, including Arab partners, is on the offensive.”
The coalition will continue missions to eliminate ISIS leaders, and “their barbarism only stiffens our unity and our determination to wipe this vile terrorist organization off the face of the earth.” Obama spent part of the day in a meeting with top security officials to discuss ISIS, and said the core of the group is shrinking. “We’re sending a message,” he added. “If you target Americans, you have no safe haven. We will find you.” CNN
Russian jets fly near US warship
The first of the two incidents, which the U.S. official called “more aggressive than anything we’ve seen in a long time,” took place April 11. Two Russian attack aircraft flew around 20 passes near the USS Donald Cook, coming within 1,000 meters at 30 meters in altitude – close enough to create a wake in the water.
The following day, the warplanes did 11 more simulated attack passes just nine meters above the Donald Cook. This time, the jets were joined by a military helicopter that took pictures of the U.S. destroyer.
The Russian Defense Ministry said Thursday that its SU-24 planes were conducting test flights. In answer to U.S. criticism of the maneuvers, the ministry said the Russian planes merely observed the USS Donald Cook and then turned away, “in observance of all safety measures.” VOA
Zika causes microcephaly
“It is now clear that Zika does cause microcephaly,” Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said in opening a news conference Wednesday at CDC headquarters in Atlanta. Frieden went on to say that the CDC is launching further studies to determine whether children who have microcephaly caused by the Zika virus might have other brain and developmental problems.
Microcephaly might just be “the tip of the iceberg” when it comes to Zika, even in infants who appear to be normal at birth, according to Dr. Sonja A. Rasmussen, the principal author of the new study.
Microcephaly, a condition in which a baby is born with an unusually small head and small brain, has been linked to Zika since February when World Health Organization director Margaret Chan declared the virus “guilty until proven innocent” in relation to the rare birth defect. VOA
Turkey will take leadership of Muslim Nations
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is hosting a summit of over 30 heads of state aimed at overcoming differences among Muslim peoples.
Saudi King Salman and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, whose countries are at odds over the conflicts in Yemen and Syria, are two of the high-profile guests at the summit of the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation.
Areas expected to be discussed include the Palestinian territories, Libya, Yemen, Syria and the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan, which has been the scene of renewed violence between Azeri and ethnic Armenian forces.
During the summit, Turkey is due to assume the presidency of the OIC from Egypt. Representatives from some 56 nations, including 33 presidents and prime ministers, are at the meeting in Istanbul. VOA
US Presidential election
Sanders in New York: On Wednesday night at New York City’s Washington Square Park, Bernie Sanders rallied a crowd his campaign estimated at 27,000. “When I look at an unbelievable crowd like this I believe we’re going to win here in New York,” Sanders said. He took aim at rival Hillary Clinton, who is leading him in the polls before next Tuesday’s pivotal New York primary, and he acknowledged “this is a tough race for us.” But, he added, “I think we’ve got a surprise for the establishment.” Also Wednesday night, Clinton spoke at a community center in the Bronx, to a smaller but overcapacity crowd of about 1,300, and did not mention Sanders, focusing instead on Donald Trump and Ted Cruz. The Washington Post, The Associated Press via The Week
Trump’s campaign manager won’t be prosecuted: Sources tell Politico that Donald Trump’s campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, won’t be prosecuted for battery following an incident in March with former Breitbart reporter Michelle Fields. Fields filed a police report stating that Lewandowski grabbed her arm and moved her out of Trump’s way during a press conference in Jupiter, Florida, leaving bruises. Lewandowski was later charged with simple battery, and surveillance footage was released showing Lewandowski reaching for and grabbing Fields. Palm Beach County State Attorney David Aronberg is scheduled to announce the decision on Thursday, and a source told Politico that Fields may pursue a defamation case against Lewandowski. Politico via The Week
Protests at Trump’s rally: Protests erupted Wednesday night between Donald Trump supporters and anti-Trump protesters at a Pittsburgh convention center where the Republican front-runner held a campaign rally. Hundreds of demonstrators awaited Trump backers outside the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, dancing and shouting epithets about the presidential hopeful. At the height of the chaos, police shoved and Trump backers lingered for confrontations. USA Today
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