World’s top news stories for today from Washingtonian post (April 5, 2016)
IS more reversals in Syria
Islamic State militants have suffered a series of reversals in northern Syria, both at the hands of rebel fighters and forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad, that saw the terror group lose control of strategic territory bordering Turkey and withdraw from a town southeast of Homs, according to rebel fighters and political activists.
The clashes coincided with renewed targeting by US-led coalition warplanes of IS positions in the northern Aleppo countryside and airstrikes from Russian warplanes in eastern Syria that reportedly left at least 40 militants dead.
Coming just days after Russian-backed regime forces recaptured the town of Palmyra from the militants, the accumulating battlefield losses for the terror army represent a serious setback for an organization that once boasted it would “remain and expand.” VOA
US Treasury to curb corporate tax inversions
Late Monday, the U.S. Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service announced new rules to quash corporate inversions, where an American company buys a foreign rival then moves the company’s address abroad to sharply lower their US taxes.
This is the third set of Treasury rules aimed at corporate inversions, but these two changes — affecting a tax maneuver called earnings stripping and also serial inverters — are seen as the hardest-hitting yet. The rules apply to all deals that close after Monday, and the first victim could be the largest proposed corporate inversion yet, Pfizer’s $160 billion takeover of Dublin-domiciled rival Allergen. Allergen’s shares fell 21 percent in after-hours trading. The Wall Street Journal, Reuters via The Week
South Africa’s president faces impeachment
South Africa’s parliament is due to vote on an opposition-sponsored motion to impeach President Jacob Zuma. The Democratic Alliance (DA) said he was no longer fit to govern after the country’s highest court ruled last week that he had breached the constitution by failing to repay public money used to upgrade his private residence.
The governing African National Congress (ANC) is expected to defeat the motion. It denounced the impeachment proceedings as a publicity stunt. The DA said it would demand a secret ballot in the hope that ANC backbenchers would defy the party by helping it obtain the two-thirds majority – 267 MPs out of 400 – required in the lower house, the National Assembly, to impeach Zuma.
However, speaker Baleka Mbete has rejected the proposal, saying it is not allowed in terms of parliamentary rules, local media reports say. The DA has 89 seats in parliament and all opposition parties combined 151. BBC
US Presidential election
Sanders and Cruz leads in Wisconsin: An Emerson College Polling Society survey out Monday shows Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) leading in Tuesday’s Badger State’s primaries. Cruz leads Donald Trump by 5 points, 40 percent to 35 percent, marking a tighter race than previous polls were predicting. Sanders, on the other hand, has increased his lead by 2 points from when the poll was last taken two weeks ago. He now leads Hillary Clinton by 8 points, with 51 percent to her 43 percent. The Hill
Democrat debate: After weeks of going back and forth, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders have agreed on a date and place for their next debate: Thursday, April 14 in Brooklyn. The CNN-sponsored debate will start at 9 p.m. ET, and will also air on NY1. Anchor Wolf Blitzer will moderate the debate, five days before the crucial New York primary. CNN
Turning point for Trump: Some Republicans see Wisconsin as more than just a single presidential primary, but turning point for Trump. Rather, they view it as a pivotal moment in a brutal battle for the future of the Republican Party. Opponents of maverick front-runner Donald Trump, notably rival candidates Ted Cruz and John Kasich, see Tuesday’s contest as essential to their efforts to deny him the delegates he needs to claim the GOP presidential nomination. USA Today
Kasich vs Cruz and Trump: Ted Cruz and Donald Trump have piled on John Kasich in an increasingly bitter effort to push him out of the Republican presidential race. Kasich’s PAC responded by running a viral commercial using Trump’s “Lyin’ Ted” moniker for Cruz, showing the Texas senator’s nose growing and wrapping around his neck. While Kasich and an adviser spoke out against the ad, the Ohio governor Monday called Cruz a “smear artist“ — arguably the harshest language Kasich has used against an opponent this election. And when Trump called for him to drop out, Kasich mocked the front-runner as a whiner, saying: “I thought we got out of the sandbox years ago.” USA Today
More spring snow in US
Over the past couple days, heavy snow pasted parts of the Great Lakes and Northeast, and whiteout conditions in New York state caused dozens of accidents. Looking past Tuesday’s snow, no real signs of consistent spring warmth are forecast for the north-central and northeastern U.S. in the first half of April, according to AccuWeather. USA Today
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