Top News Stories For Today – Feb 5, 2018
Political games in Winter Olympics
Vice President Mike Pence takes the father of Otto Warmbier, the American student who died after being jailed in North Korea, to this week’s Opening Ceremony in PyeongChang, South Korea, a move sure to tick off the North.
Meanwhile, North Korea plans a big military parade on the eve of the Games. No wonder some South Koreans are grumbling that the country’s big moment in the international spotlight is being overshadowed by the North. CNN
Gun bump stock banned in some US States
Massachusetts and New Jersey — two states led by Republican governors — as well as the cities of Denver and Columbia, South Carolina, have enacted laws prohibiting the sale and possession of the gun bump stock, which were attached to a half-dozen of the long guns found in the hotel room of the Las Vegas shooter who in October killed 58 people. A little over a dozen other states are also considering bans on bump stocks.
Gun-control advocates say the push fits a pattern in gun politics: inaction in Washington that forces states to take the lead. Gun-rights advocates call it a knee-jerk reaction that will do little to stop bad guys from killing, and vow a legal challenge. VOA
Greece protests Macedonia
More than 100,000 people took the streets in Athens to protest neighboring Macedonia’s use of the name Macedonia. The small Balkan country, once part of the former Yugoslavia, gained independence in 1991 and wanted to call itself Macedonia. But Greeks don’t like that because they feel it infringes on the northern part of Greece that’s also called Macedonia.
Protesters believe their neighbors are Slavs, with no linguistic or cultural connection to the Greek region of Macedonia, which was the home of Alexander the Great. Macedonians argue they are living in part of the ancient kingdom of Macedonia and have cultural ties to it. CNN
Bipartisan immigration bill by McCain and Coon
On Monday, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) plan on introducing bipartisan immigration legislation that gives Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients a pathway to citizenship and calls for a study to determine what border security measures are needed, The Wall Street Journal reports.
It does not contain immediate funding for a border wall along the US-Mexico border, as promised by President Trump during his campaign. Last month, the government shut down for three days after lawmakers were unable to reach a deal on a spending bill, with Democrats saying they couldn’t agree to a budget unless DACA was addressed. Funding is once again set to run out on Friday. The Wall Street Journal
Eagles win first ever Super Bowl
The Philadelphia Eagles won Super Bowl LII Sunday in Minneapolis, defeating the New England Patriots 41-33, and quarterback Nick Foles was named Super Bowl MVP. This is the team’s first Super Bowl win in franchise history. The Eagles led the Patriots for most of the game, with the Patriots pulling ahead 32-31 with 9:22 left in the fourth quarter, but the Eagles made a quick comeback.
The Patriots have won five NFL championships, and under quarterback Tom Brady, they were the favorites to win. The Week
World’s longest zip line opens in UAE
The world’s longest zipline was opened in the United Arab Emirates on Friday, propelling thrill-seekers at speeds of up to 150 kilometres an hour down the Middle East country’s highest mountain peak. The 2.8 kilometre (1.74 miles) zipline, spanning the equivalent of 28 soccer fields, was certified this week by the Guinness World Records, the local tourism authority said.
The zipline can handle as many as 100,000 people a year, and though there are no age restrictions, riders must be at least 1.22 metres tall and no heavier than 150 kilograms. The UAE’s latest record will be added to a mantle of achievements that includes the world’s tallest building, and artificial palm-shaped islands. NDTV
Samsung heir released from prison
A South Korean appeals court suspended a jail sentence handed down to billionaire Samsung Electronics heir Lee Jae-young and ordered his immediate release from prison Monday. The 49-year-old Lee was sentenced in August to five years in prison for bribery about a scandal that brought down the country’s president Park Geun-hye.
The appeals court on Monday struck down several of the convictions and reduced the penalty on the remainder to a suspended prison sentence of two and a half years. 4 other Samsung executives convicted alongside Lee also had their sentences reduced. VOA
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