Top News Stories for Today

World’s top news stories for today from Washingtonian post (May 11, 2016)

Obama to visit Hiroshima

Obama to visit HiroshimaWhen U.S. President Barack Obama visits Hiroshima later this month, some survivors of the world’s first atomic attack hope he will officially acknowledge the devastating loss and suffering caused by America’s use of nuclear weapons on Japan at the end of World War II.

The visit, the first by a sitting U.S. president, will help Obama advance some important policy initiatives, such as preventing the spread of weapons of mass destruction, and maintaining strong international pressure on North Korea to end its nuclear weapons program.

But for the survivors, some hope for an official apology. White House has indicated that is not in the plans. Others would like him to express grief and seek reconciliation. VOA



Brazil impeachment

Brazil advances to impeach president (’s President Dilma Rousseff has asked the Supreme Court to block impeachment proceedings against her – in a final attempt to stop the process hours before a crucial Senate vote. Ms Rousseff’s lawyers alleged bias and irregularities. Similar attempts have been rejected by the court. Ms Rousseff could be suspended for up to 180 days if the senators vote for a full trial on Wednesday.

Waldir Maranhao, acting speaker of the lower house of Congress, caused fresh surprise on Tuesday when, less than 24 hours after suspending a vote in the chamber that had allowed the impeachment process to go ahead, he reversed his decision. Previously he had argued that the 17 April vote had breached Congress rules. Members had voted overwhelmingly in favour of the impeachment process going ahead.

The president is accused of illegally manipulating finances to hide a growing public deficit ahead of her re-election in 2014, which she denies. BBC



Staples – Office Depot drop out merger plan

Staples - Office Depot to call off mergerOn Tuesday night, office supply giants Staples and Office Depot said they will call off their proposed merger, valued at $6.3 billion when announced last year, after a federal judge in Washington blocked the deal.

The Federal Trade Commission had sued the two companies last year, arguing that a combined office-supply behemoth would reduce competition and harm consumers, especially the large businesses that order office supplies in bulk. Staples and Office Depot argued that online retailers like Amazon had changed the retail landscape enormously since the FTC last blocked their plans to merge in 1997. The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times via The Week



London Mayor rejects Trump’s Muslim exception

London elects its first Muslim mayorLondon’s new mayor, Sadiq Khan, has rejected U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump’s suggestion that Khan could be an exception to Trump’s proposed ban on Muslims. “…Trump’s ignorant view of Islam could make both our countries less safe. It risks alienating mainstream Muslims…” Khan wrote on his Twitter account.

“This isn’t just about me. It’s about my friends, my family and everyone who comes from a background similar to mine, anywhere in the world,” Khan said, who become London’s first Muslim mayor Sunday. The presumptive Republican nominee for U.S. president said that Khan could be an exception to his proposed temporary ban on Muslims entering the U.S.

On Monday, Trump told the New York Times that “there will always be exceptions,” after being asked how his proposal to ban Muslims would affect people like Khan. Khan said Trump’s policy directly affects those closest to him and added giving him special treatment is not the answer. VOA



Researchers say some extra weight is OK

Researchers say some extra weight is OKResearchers in Denmark say it may be time to add a few kilograms to the scale that charts our optimal weight. They’ve done new research suggesting that carrying a bit of extra weight is less dangerous now than it was 40 years ago. The surprising results came from a study that looked at mortality rates, and compared them to people’s body mass index.

Also called BMI (body mass index), the index is a ratio of a person’s height to their weight, and doctors use it to gauge a healthy weight range. A BMI of between 18.5 and 24.9 is considered healthy. Between 25 and 29.9 is overweight, anything over that is in the obese range.

But in this new study, the doctors found that the optimal BMI has been steadily moving up. In 1994, the optimal BMI was up to 24.6, and by 2013, it had shot up to 27. That means today, the most healthy 1.83 meter man is carrying 14 kilograms more than he did in the 70’s, and a 1.65 meter woman, an extra 9 kilograms. VOA

US Presidential election

US Presidential election newsSanders wins West Virginia Clinton wins Nebraska: Bernie Sanders has won the West Virginia Democratic primary. With 97 percent of precincts reporting, Sanders has 51 percent of the vote, compared to Hillary Clinton’s 36 percent. The win give Sanders at least 16 delegates, to Clinton’s 11. Nebraska Democrats also voted in that state’s primary on Tuesday, though all the delegates were awarded in Democratic caucuses in March. Clinton lost the caucus by 14 points, but won Tuesday’s primary by about an equal margin, earning zero delegates but the consolation prize of “Nebraska bragging rights,” as the Omaha World-Herald put it. NBC News, Omaha World-Herald via The Week

GOP primaries: With no opposition, Donald Trump is the projected winner of the Nebraska and West Virginia Republican primaries. His final two rivals, Ted Cruz and John Kasich, exited the race last week. In West Virginia, with 96 percent of precincts reporting, Trump has 77 percent of the vote, compared to Cruz with 9 percent and Kasich with 7 percent. In Nebraska, with 95 percent of precincts reporting, Trump has 61 percent of the vote, followed by Cruz with 19 percent and Kasich with 11 percent. NBC News via The Week

Trump Clinton close in 3 key States: New US political surveys show Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, are locked in tight contests in three battleground states that could control the outcome of the November election. Clinton continues to hold about a 6-percentage-point national lead over Trump. But Tuesday’s Quinnipiac University polls in the eastern state of Pennsylvania, neighboring Ohio and the southeastern state of Florida show voters closely divided in all three, where US presidential elections are often decided. VOA

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