World’s top news stories for today from Washingtonian post (April 4, 2016)
The Panama leak
The “Panama Papers” include shareholder registers, bank statements, passports, emails, and contracts, and the International Consortium of Investigative Journalism says the documents detail how the wealthy — including world leaders, celebrities, criminals, and business titans — use offshore banks and shell companies to hide their assets. At least 143 politicians have ties to the law firm and have been using offshore tax havens, The Guardian reports, including Nawaz Sharif, Pakistan’s prime minister; Petro Poroshenko, the Ukrainian president; and Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson, the prime minister of Iceland. The Panama-based Mossack Fonseca denies any wrongdoing. More data will be released soon, The Guardian says. The Guardian via The Week
Migrants sent back under EU deal
Migrants sent back from the Greek island of Lesbos began arriving in Turkey on Monday under a disputed European Union scheme aimed at closing the main route by which a million people poured across the Aegean Sea to Greece in the last year.
Under a deal denounced by refugee agencies and human rights campaigners, Ankara will take back all migrants and refugees who enter Greece illegally, including Syrians, in return for the EU taking in thousands of Syrian refugees directly from Turkey and rewarding it with more money, early visa-free travel and progress in its EU membership negotiations.
Two Turkish-flagged passenger boats carrying 131 migrants arrived in the Turkish town of Dikili early on Monday, accompanied by two Turkish coast guard vessels with a police helicopter buzzing overhead, a Reuters witness said. Reuters
US Presidential election
Cruz leads Trump in Wisconsin: Ted Cruz has notched 43 percent support of likely Republican voters in Wisconsin to Donald Trump’s 37 percent ahead of the state’s Tuesday presidential primary, a CBS News poll out Sunday shows. But Cruz trails Trump in New York and Pennsylvania. On the Democratic side, Bernie Sanders has a two-point lead over Hillary Clinton in Wisconsin, but lags 10 points behind her in New York. CBS News
Trump facing doubt: Trump is drawing new attention for his views on abortion, NATO, nuclear arms and his treatment of women as his political challengers try to cut into his lead as the front-running U.S. Republican Party presidential candidate. Political analysts are suggesting his unexpected surge to the nomination has been slowed as Republicans and others begin to question his views and say that his chances are bleak of winning November’s election against the expected Democratic Party nominee, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. VOA
Alaska Airlines to buy Virgin America
On Monday, Alaska Airlines said it had struck an agreement to buy smaller rival Virgin America for $57 a share, or about $2.6 billion, a premium of 47 percent over Virgin America’s closing price on Friday.
Alaska had been in a competitive bidding war with JetBlue, which reportedly dropped out once the price got too steep. The combined Alaska-Virgin America would be the No. 5 U.S. carrier, supplanting JetBlue. Alaska, an 84-year-old airline based in Seattle, is in good financial health and, like Virgin America, consistently wins awards for customer satisfaction. Virgin America began flying in 2007, went public in November 2014, and is jointly owned by Richard Branson’s Virgin Group Ltd. and Cyrus Capital Partners LP. The Wall Street Journal via The Week
Pakistan rains kill 45
Officials in northwestern Pakistan say heavy rains have killed at least 45 people. Disaster management officials say the rains, which started Saturday night caused flash flooding and damaged the roofs of homes across several districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.
While flash flooding is common during South Asia’s summer monsoon season, pre-monsoon rains like the current deluge very often cause damage in Pakistan’s rural areas where there is very little infrastructure. VOA
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