World’s top news stories for today from Washingtonian post (May 12, 2016)
Brazil Senate votes to impeach President
Early Thursday, after more than 20 hours of debate, Brazil’s Senate voted 55-22 to impeach President Dilma Rousseff, paving the way for a trial into whether Brazil’s first female president illegally hid a budget deficit during her re-election campaign.
The trial will last up to six months, and Rousseff will have to step down during that time, while Vice President Michel Temer steps up as acting president. If Rousseff is convicted, Temer will serve the remainder of Rousseff’s term, until December 2018. A simple majority of 41 votes was needed to impeach Rousseff. The Associated Press via The Week
ISIS cash flow cut, but still considerable
Efforts to hack away at the Islamic State terror group’s wealth are making good progress but are not yet close to crippling its finances, according a senior U.S. treasury official. “ISIL is suffering financially and it’s due in large part to the efforts we in the coalition have been taking,” Assistant Treasury Secretary Daniel Glaser said Wednesday during a talk Tuesday at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. ISIL is an acronym for Islamic State.
The most notable headway has come against IS’s budding oil ventures which, at one point, were bringing in an estimated $500 million a year. The Treasury Department’s Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence believes such revenue has now been cut in half — to about $250 million a year — due to coalition airstrikes, counter-smuggling efforts and a drop in global oil prices. VOA
US-NATO to activate missile defense site in Romania
“Both the U.S. and NATO have made it clear the system is not designed for or capable of undermining Russia’s strategic deterrence capability,” U.S. assistant secretary of state Frank Rose told a news conference in Bucharest Wednesday.
“Russia has repeatedly raised concerns that the U.S. and NATO defense are directed against Russia and represent a threat to its strategic nuclear deterrent. Nothing could be further from the truth.” Rose instead cited Iran as the targeted threat. VOA
Debris found in Africa are from Flight 370
Two pieces of debris found in South Africa and near the Mauritian island of Rodrigues “almost certainly” came from Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, which disappeared two years ago, Malaysia’s transport ministry said Thursday.
Since the plane mysteriously vanished in March 2014, five pieces of debris have been found in the area off Africa’s eastern coast. Extensive underwater search efforts have so far turned up no clues as to the fate of the 239 passengers and crew onboard the plane when it disappeared.
According to Transportation Minister Liow Tiong Low, the recent discovery turned up an engine cowling piece with a distinctive Rolls-Royce logo and a piece of the aircraft’s interior cabin panel. He said a team of experts based in Australia inspected the debris and believe it is part of the missing plane.
Last year, a part of the plane’s wing was discovered washed up on a beach on Reunion Island, near Madagascar. More recently in March, investigators found two more pieces of debris from the plane on the coast of Mozambique. VOA
US Presidential election
Pressure mounts for Ryan to back Trump: The pressure is mounting on House Speaker Paul Ryan to support Donald Trump, who won two more states in Tuesday’s unopposed contests in Nebraska and West Virginia. Ryan and Trump plan to talk Thursday: “I don’t go into [the meeting] with huge expectations other than just to have the kind of conversations that we need to start having [to get] ourselves on the same page as a party,” Ryan said. But time is ticking. “The number of House members endorsing Trump [is] growing,” Rep. Tom Marino (R-Pa.) said. “While there are those still holding out, I think everyone will come together — and it’s Paul’s responsibility to unify them.” Politico, The Hill via The Week
Mitt Romney on Trump’s tax returns: Mitt Romney is sharing his suspicions about Donald Trump’s tax returns, saying that by not releasing them, the presumptive Republican nominee could be hiding “a bombshell of unusual size.” On his Facebook page, Romney, the 2012 Republican nominee, said he believes it’s “disqualifying for a modern-day presidential nominee to refuse to release tax returns to the voters, especially one who has not been subject to public scrutiny in either military or public service.” Trump has said he will release the returns after an IRS audit is completed, but Romney said that’s not a reason to wait, and there’s just one logical explanation for Trump’s refusal to go public. “There is a bombshell in them,” he said. “Given Mr. Trump’s equanimity with other flaws in his history, we can only assume it’s a bombshell of unusual size. ” Facebook via The Week
Trump struggles to win key GOP support: Donald Trump is the presumptive U.S. Republican presidential nominee, but he continues to struggle to win support for his maverick candidacy from key Republican figures. Two Republican presidential contenders Trump defeated in his months-long run to the top of the party’s presidential field, Texas Senator Ted Cruz and Florida Senator Marco Rubio, returned to the halls of Congress this week but showed little enthusiasm for Trump. Cruz, a conservative firebrand who called Trump “utterly amoral” before dropping out of the presidential contest a week ago, refused to say whether he would endorse his one-time opponent or encourage his supporters to back Trump in his likely contest with the Democratic front-runner in the November national election, former secretary of state Hillary Clinton. VOA
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- Only five of the Brazilian Senate 21-member committee declared support for Rousseff (en.mercopress.com)
- Dilma Rousseff: Brazilian Congress Votes to Impeach President (goldenageofgaia.com)
- Brazilian Senate forms presidential impeachment commission (yalibnan.com)
- The Empire of Chaos Strikes Back against Brazil, Russia and China (peoplestrusttoronto.wordpress.com)