World’s top news stories for today from Washingtonian post (April 27, 2016)
Belgium transfers attacker to France
On Wednesday, Belgian federal prosecutors said they have handed suspected Paris attacker Salah Abdeslam over to France. Abseslam, 26, was captured in Belgium on March 18, four months after he allegedly helped plan and carry out the terrorist attack in Paris that killed 130 people in November 2015.
“I can confirm he’s been extradited,” a spokeswoman for the Belgium prosecutors’ office said. Investigators say Abdeslam was supposed to blow himself up but backed out at the last minute and fled to his home country, Belgium. Reuters via The Week
First US gas shipment arrives Portugal
The first shipment of liquefied natural gas from the United States has reached its destination in Portugal, a development that could disrupt Russia’s domination of the European gas market. The U.S. cargo ship Creole Spirit arrived early Wednesday in the port of Sines, Portugal, carrying a shipment from Houston, Texas-based Cheniere Energy.
The United States is the world’s biggest natural gas producer and began expanding its forays into overseas markets earlier this year. While this was the first shipment to Europe, U.S. producers have already shipped gas to Argentina, Brazil, and India.
Conflict in Ukraine and sanctions on Russia have dried up the usual channels by which Europe gets one-third of its natural gas, leaving the market open for U.S. exporters. Cheniere also has agreements to make shipments to France and Britain in the coming years. VOA
Apple revenue decline since 2003
Apple has posted its first quarterly revenue drop since 2003, following a diminishing demand for iPhones. In the quarter from January to March 2016, Apple’s revenue was $50.6 billion, down from $58 billion in the same quarter in 2015.
iPhone sales fell from 61.2 million in the first three months of 2015 to 51.2 million this year. “The number that is declining is the number of people that are upgrading [their phones],” Chief Financial Officer Luca Maestri told Bloomberg. “Last year we had a very strong iPhone upgrade cycle.” Global smartphone sales growth is expected to slow to 7 percent in 2016, the weakest in its history. Bloomberg
US adopts Israeli tactic to ISIS
The US has adopted a unique Israeli battlefield tactic in its fight against ISIS: exploding a missile above a building to warn civilians inside that it’s about to be bombed. Israeli forces have widely used the so-called knock-on-the-roof operations in Gaza attacks in recent years to try to get civilians out before they are hit.
The first public revelation of the US using a “knock operation” came Tuesday at a press briefing by Air Force Maj. Gen. Peter E. Gersten, deputy commander for operations and intelligence for the anti-ISIS Operation Inherent Resolve.
Gersten described a strike against an ISIS financial storage center on April 5 in southern Mosul. The US had been closely watching the house of an ISIS finance operative, or finance emir, who was the major funds distributor to ISIS. The US has seen no evidence the finance official has re-emerged and believes he is likely dead. Gersten did not further identify the man or the other ISIS members or civilians killed in the incident. CNN
US Presidential election
Trump takes all: Donald Trump confirmed his dominance by thwarting John Kasich and Ted Cruz’s “stop Trump” attempts, sweeping to victory in the “Acela primary,” named for the Amtrak train that connects the region around Tuesday’s primary states of Pennsylvania, Maryland, Connecticut, Delaware, and Rhode Island. Having been declared the winner in all five states, Trump has taken a significant step toward the 1,237 delegates needed to lock up the GOP nomination, though a quirk in how Pennsylvania apportions its 71 GOP delegates means 54 of them will be free to support any candidate at the convention. CNN, The Week
Clinton takes 4 Sanders 1: Hillary Clinton won the Maryland, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, and Delaware Democratic primaries on Tuesday, expanding an already dominant lead in her march to the nomination. Bernie Sanders pulled out a victory in Rhode Island. In her victory speech, Clinton applauded Sanders and his “millions of supporters for challenging us to get unaccountable money out of our politics and giving greater emphasis to closing the gap of inequality. Together, we will get that done.” NBC News, The New York Times via The Week
Trump gets 50% support: Donald Trump reached 50 percent support nationally from Republican or Republican-leaning voters, said NBC News/Survey Monkey. It is the first time Trump has reached that mark since NBC News/Survey Monkey began its weekly election tracking poll in December. Trump’s challengers — Texas Senator Ted Cruz and Ohio Governor John Kasich — lost ground in the survey, finishing double digits behind him. VOA
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