Top News Stories for Today

World’s top news stories for today from Washingtonian post (April 15, 2016)

At least 9 dead in Japan’s earthquake

At least 9 dead Japan’s earthquakeAt least nine people are dead following a magnitude 6 earthquake that hit southwestern Japan on Thursday. Local media reports that at least one person was crushed by a collapsing building and another died after a fire broke out, and more than 400 people are being treated at local hospitals.

The U.S. Geological Survey says the quake struck seven miles east of the city of Kumamoto, and the Nuclear Regulation Authority reports that there are no problems at three area power plants. In Mashiki, a city near the epicenter, 16,500 households are without power, and residents are worried about more buildings collapsing. “The apartment building I live in is now tilting,” one told NHK. “Everything fell down inside. It’s a mess.” As a precaution, some high-speed trains were taken out of service, and Honda, Bridgestone, and Mitsubishi Electric suspended operations at area factories. Reuters



N Korea fails ballistic missile launch

N Korea fails ballistic missile launchEarly Friday, North Korea tried to launch a medium-range ballistic missile. It was a failure. Friday is the “Day of the Sun” holiday, celebrating the birthday of DPRK founder Kim Il Sung, and analysts attributed the failed launch of the rocket to both an attempted show of national force on the holiday and a show of defiance against United Nations Security Council sanctions.

“The firing of a mid-range ballistic missile on Friday by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), though failed, marks the latest in a string of saber-rattling that, if unchecked, will lead the country to nowhere,” said China’s official Xinhua news agency. “Nuclear weapons will not make Pyongyang safe.” Reuters



Microsoft sues U.S. government

Microsoft sues U.S. government Microsoft filed suit against the U.S. Justice Department Thursday, alleging that laws that prevent the company from telling its customers when their data — specifically their email — is being accessed by the federal government are unconstitutional.

The suit, which was filed in the company’s home city of Seattle, is the latest legal battle between the U.S. government and a tech company; the FBI recently withdrew its well-publicized case against Apple to unlock the San Bernardino shooter’s iPhone, though both parties are still set to testify to the House on encryption. Microsoft’s case has to do with the government’s surveillance of customers’ data in the cloud. The company claims the government “has exploited the transition to cloud computing as a means of expanding its power to conduct secret investigations.” Reuters



Panama Papers hurt economies

Panama papers headquarters raidedThe Panama Papers revelations are hurting public trust and may make ordinary citizens more reluctant to pay the taxes needed to fund roads, schools and other government functions, the second-ranking official at the World Bank told VOA.

World Bank Managing Director Sri Mulyani Indrawati calls on policymakers to cooperate by crafting some stronger laws. Information leaked from a law firm based in Panama showed the efforts of wealthy people around the world to hide money and avoid taxes.

Sri Mulyani says the perception of unfairness damages public trust, crimps government revenue, and slows the economies of some nations that badly need growth. The money sheltered in Panama also represents a big chunk of some countries’ economies.  VOA



US religious leaders against Anti-Muslim bigotry

US religious leaders urged to against Anti-Muslim bigotryReligious leaders representing a mosaic of faiths gathered on Thursday at a news conference to urge the U.S. Republican and Democratic parties to add into their party platforms a rejection of anti-Muslim bigotry.

During the conference, hosted by the Islamic Society of North America at the National Press Club in Washington, leaders said a formal letter was sent to both parties asking them to stand against all discrimination and anti-Muslim bigotry by adding “explicit” language to their platforms in the upcoming nominating conventions.

The initiative is part of Shoulder-to-Shoulder, an interfaith coalition of more than 32 faith groups that speaks out against hate. VOA

US Presidential election

US Presidential election newsDemocratic debate: Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders engaged in a fiery debate in Brooklyn ahead of next Tuesday’s New York primary. Following a particularly contentious month, the candidates battled over issues both personal and policy-related. Sanders questioned Clinton’s judgment, citing her vote for the war in Iraq, support of “disastrous” trade deals, and “running super PACs” that take millions from Wall Street banks and special interests. Clinton slammed Sanders on gun laws, foreign policy, and what she insinuated was his political naïveté. “I think you need to have the judgment on day one to be president and commander-in-chief,” she said. The New York Times, NPR via The Week

Trump and Kasich get endorses: Donald Trump and John Kasich both picked up endorsements in New York on Thursday, just days before the state’s Republican primary on Tuesday. Trump now has the backing of the New York Post, while Kasich is supported by former governor and Republican candidate George Pataki, who said the Ohio governor is the “only” candidate on the Republican side who can “trounce” Hillary Clinton. The Post declared native New Yorker Trump a “potential superstar of vast promise,” and said he “reflects the best of ‘New York values.'” The paper also said if he wins the nomination, Trump needs to start acting “more presidential: better informed on policy, more self-disciplined, and less thin-skinned.” New York Post, NBC News

Clinton and Trump expect big win in NY: The two front-runners in the race for the White House, Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump, expect to win big in next Tuesday’s New York primary. Both contenders have deep roots in New York and victories would give their campaigns a boost after recent setbacks. VOA

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