Top News Stories for Today – May 20, 2016
Wreckage of EgyptAir found
On Friday morning, Egyptian army spokesman Brig. Gen. Mohammed Samir announced on his Facebook page that Egyptian search aircraft and naval vessels had found “personal belongings of the passengers and parts of the plane debris” from EgyptAir Flight 804, which disappeared from radar early Thursday morning.
The debris was found about 180 miles north of Alexandria, Egypt, Samir said. EgyptAir confirmed the discovery to BBC News. There were 56 passengers and 10 crew members on board the Airbus 320. The cause of the crash has not yet been determined, but terrorism is suspected.
The search is now focused on finding the plane’s flight recorders, the Associated Press news agency reports. In a statement, President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi spoke of his “utmost sadness and regret” at the crash. The Associated Press, BBC News
Iraqi retakes Rutba from ISIS
Rutba, in western Anbar Province, is a key stop on the main road from Baghdad to Amman, Jordan, and kicking ISIS out will make the road usable for Iraqis again, US Army Lt. Gen. Sean McFarland, top US commander in Baghdad, told The Associated Press. “Although it’s a small town, it’s an important success for the Iraqi security forces.”
US officials said that airstrikes had convinced most of the hundreds of ISIS fighters to flee to Syria or the city of al-Qaim, leaving roughly 30 ISIS militants in Rutba for the Iraqi forces and Sunni tribal militia to rout. The Associated Press
Taiwan’s first female president sworn in
China views Taiwan as a breakaway province, and the DPP leans towards independence. In her inaugural speech, Tsai, 59, said the Taiwanese people are “committed to the defense of our freedom and democracy as a way of life,” and called on both Taiwan and China to “set aside the baggage of history, and engage in positive dialogue, for the benefit of the people on both sides.”
It is only the second time in seven decades that the DPP has won an election, with the Kuomintang (KMT) holding power for a majority of those years. BBC
Global life expectancy is rising
New data show life expectancy rose by five years between 2000 and 2015, the fastest increase since the 1960s. But the World Health Organization, which has just issued its latest World Health Statistics report, finds major inequalities persist both within and among countries, despite people living an average of five years longer now than before the turn of the century.
The contrast is borne out by statistics which show people in 12 developed countries can expect to live 82 years or more, compared to people in 22 developing countries who die before they reach age 60. Switzerland, Iceland, Australia, Sweden, and Israel are the five countries with the highest life expectancy at birth, while Chad, Ivory Coast, Central African Republic, Angola, and Sierra Leone are the lowest ranked.
Although five African countries are at the bottom of the rankings, the WHO reports the greatest increase in life expectancy since 2000 has been made in the African region. On average, the report says women live longer than men in every country of the world. Overall, women can expect to live to nearly 74 years of age, more than four-and-a-half years longer than men. VOA
Chinese are the most welcoming of refugees
In its first ever report to record global acceptance of refugees, Amnesty International surveyed more than 27,000 people across 27 countries and found that 80 percent of respondents would welcome refugees into their city, neighborhoods or homes. Nearly three quarters said people escaping war or persecution should be allowed to seek asylum in other countries. One in ten respondents said they would let refugees stay in their home, with nearly half of all Chinese surveyed offering hospitality in their homes for refugees.
As the least welcoming country, 61 percent of Russians surveyed said they would not let refugees in. Poland, Hungary and other former communist east European states say immigration, especially from the Muslim cultures of the Middle East, would disrupt their homogeneous societies.
Although 86 percent of Chinese participants agreed that governments should do more to help, the Chinese government remains reluctant to resettle refugees fleeing wars or persecution. The results showed that most government responses to the refugee crisis were out of step with public opinion. VOA
US Presidential election
DNC finalizing concession to Sanders: With tensions rising between the Bernie Sanders campaign and the Democratic National Committee, Democratic leaders are nearing agreement on a number of concessions to Sanders at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia in July. A Sanders aide has said the senator from Vermont either wants to change how the Democrats pick their nominee or get more of his policy ideas into the Democratic Party platform, and the latter option is the opening gambit from the DNC, The Washington Post reports, adding that the DNC and Sanders and Hillary Clinton campaigns could complete negotiations by the end of the week. The Washington Post via The Week
Clinton thinks Trump is not qualified for President: “He is not qualified to be president of the United States,” Clinton said in an interview with CNN’s Chris Cuomo Thursday. “The kinds of positions he is stating and the consequences of those positions and even the consequences of his statements are not just offensive to people — they are potentially dangerous.” While Clinton often questions the presumptive Republican nominee’s statements and policies, this is the first time she’s flat-out said he is unqualified. USA Today
Trump invests in the same companies he bashes: Maybe Donald Trump never learned the phrase “put your money where your mouth is.” Upon review of his Personal Financial Disclosure it turns Trump has invested and profited from multiple companies he’s slammed on the trail. Trump invested in the parent company of Nabisco, which he has brought up a lot for outsourcing jobs to Mexico. “I’m never eating Oreos again … I love Oreos. I will never eat them again. Nabisco closes the plant in Chicago and they are moving the plant to Mexico.” (Fortune, August 2015) USA Today
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