World’s top news stories for today from Washingtonian post (April 20, 2016)
Obama to meet Saudi king
US President Barack Obama and Saudi Arabia’s King Salman are set to meet just as relations between the White House and the monarchy have become increasingly frayed, and the two longtime allies face significant disagreements over how to combat terrorism and regional conflicts. Obama will meet Wednesday with the monarch in Riyadh on his fourth trip to Saudi Arabia as president.
The visit will be followed on Thursday with a summit of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), an alliance of six Gulf states, including Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain and Oman.
It appears, however, that fundamentally different priorities and strategies on combating terrorism and bringing stability to the region likely will keep Washington and Riyadh at odds on myriad key challenges. VOA
Religious leaders urge to act on climate
Religious leaders came together in prayer Monday at the chapel of the Church Center for the United Nations to affirm the sanctity of the Earth. In a joint statement, they urged heads of state to ratify and implement the Paris climate change agreement negotiated in December.
The interfaith statement was signed by 250 faith leaders from around the world, including the Dalai Lama; South African social rights activist and retired Anglican Bishop Desmond Tutu; the former Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of Haifa; and Argentine Bishop Marcelo Sanchez Sorondo, chancellor of the Vatican’s Pontifical Academies of Sciences and Social Sciences. Nearly 5,000 individuals and 90 groups worldwide also signed the statement.
The event occurred days before Earth Day, on Friday, when there will be a signing ceremony for the Paris agreement at U.N. headquarters. VOA
Utah declares porn a public health hazard
On Tuesday, Utah Gov. Gary Herbert (R) signed legislation declaring a “public health crisis” over pornography, a first in the U.S., after the resolution passed unanimously through the state legislature in March.
The nonbinding resolution does not seek to ban porn in the conservative state, calling instead for more “education, prevention, research, and policy change at the community and societal level” to “prevent pornography exposure and addiction.” It describes pornography as “a public health hazard leading to a broad spectrum of individual and public health impacts and societal harms.” Critics, including porn industry groups, called it “an old-fashioned morals bill.” BBC News
Houston copes with historic flooding
The Houston area continued to recover Tuesday after historic flooding swept across Southeast Texas, leaving at least seven people dead and at least 1,000 homes swamped. All of the deaths were drownings caused when people drove cars into flooded roads.
Rivers and creeks continued to rise across the region Tuesday, forcing a fresh round of evacuations, Weather.com reported. At least four of the area’s school districts canceled classes because of concerns about flooded roads and power outages.
Tuesday’s rain was not as widespread as previously forecast, according to KHOU-TV meteorologist Chita Johnson. Flooding is still a concern because of water moving downstream to already swollen bayous. The National Weather Service issued a flash flood watch for the area through Wednesday evening, though occasional heavy rain could still pelt the region through Thursday.
Officials say about 200 people were rescued from the Chasewood Common Apartments along Cypresswood Drive. Some residents said the water went up to their necks. Only a few people could be rescued at a time. USA Today
US Presidential election
Trump and Clinton win in New York: Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton cruised to victory in New York’s critical presidential primaries on Tuesday. With nearly all the votes counted, Trump has 60.5 percent of the vote, versus 25.1 percent for Ohio Gov. John Kasich and 14.5 percent for Texas Sen. Ted Cruz. Politico projects that Trump secured at least 89 of New York’s 95 delegates. In New York’s Democratic primary, Clinton beat Bernie Sanders 57.9 percent to 42.1 percent, and has secured at least 169 of the 291 delegates. The Associated Press, Politico via The Week
Clinton and Trump: Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton won big victories in New York on Tuesday. Trump thanked New Yorkers, “the people that know me the best.” He will win more delegates than pundits imagined “even in their wildest imagination,” Trump said, and essentially declared victory in the Republican race, suggesting that if he doesn’t get the nomination, it’s due to corruption. “We don’t have much of a race anymore, from what I’ve seen on television,” Trump said. “Sen. Cruz is just about mathematically eliminated,” he argued, and “it’s impossible to catch us” in the delegate race. Hillary Clinton, in her victory speech, said that the Democratic nominating race is in the home stretch with “victory in sight.” The Week
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