Top News Stories for Today – May 22, 2016
Crash of EgyptAir Flight 804
New information about the last moments of EgyptAir Flight 804 suggests the plane experienced a “fast-moving catastrophe on board,” The New York Times reports, such as a fire or explosion. Seven messages transmitted to the ground from a communication system aboard the plane reportedly were “terse,” and apparently indicated smoke coming from a lavatory in the aircraft as well as problems with several windows.
While the Times notes these messages do not unequivocally state there was a fire on board, U.S. officials have been theorizing a bomb took down the plane, while former CIA director James Woolsey said Friday that there is a “pretty high probability” that whatever downed the plane was an inside job. Terrorism is the suspected cause of the plane’s demise. The New York Times, CNN via The Week
Kerry visits Myanmar
Secretary of State John Kerry is in Myanmar just days after Washington lifted various financial and trade sanctions imposed on the country when it was under military rule. However, bans on scores of other individuals and groups remain in place.
He is set to met with Nobel Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, Myanmar’s foreign minister and de facto leader since her political party won historic elections in March. Kerry will also meet with other officials. The U.S. State Department said the aim of Kerry’s trip is to show “support for the new democratically elected, civilian-led government” and to “further democratic and economic reforms.” VOA
Mexico approves US extradition of ‘El Chapo’
Convicted drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman can be extradited to the United States, Mexico’s Foreign Relations Department said Friday. The process can still be appealed, which means it could take weeks or months before the Sinaloa cartel leader may be sent north. Guzman’s lawyers have 30 days to appeal the decision.
Juan Pablo Badillo, one of Guzman’s lawyers, told Reuters he would file “many” legal challenges in the coming days.
If the extradition goes through, Guzman, who has escaped Mexican prisons twice and led authorities on a months-long search in 2015, will be transferred to U.S. Federal District Court for the Western District of Texas, according to a Mexican government website. The charges are conspiracy, organized crime, weapons possession, murder and money laundering. He will also be prosecuted in the Southern District of California on charges related to cocaine trafficking, according to the Mexican authorities. USA Today
The words Oriental and Negro removed from fed code
The legislation, sponsored by Rep. Grace Meng, D-New York, is an effort to “modernize terms relating to minorities,” replaces a slew of terms in a public health law written in the late 1970’s with terms are considered more politically correct today.
“The term ‘Oriental’ has no place in federal law and at long last this insulting and outdated term will be gone for good,” Meng said in a statement. “No longer will any law of the United States refer to Asian Americans in such an offensive way, and I applaud and thank President Obama for signing my bill to get rid of this antiquated term.” The measure was one of seven that Obama signed into law today. abc
157 pregnant in US have Zika
There are 157 U.S. cases of pregnant women who have the Zika virus, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday.
That’s more than triple the previous number, due to both new cases and a change in how cases are reported. So far, fewer than a dozen fetuses and babies have been affected, but most of the pregnancies reported are ongoing. All U.S. patients with the mosquito-borne virus linked to birth defects have contracted it either abroad or sexually. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CNN via The Week
US Presidential election
Clinton vs Sanders: New fundraising reports show U.S. Democratic presidential hopefuls Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders each raised more than $26 million in April, as Sanders tries to cut Clinton’s lead in delegates needed to win the party’s nomination.Sanders’ small hopes of catching Clinton depends on his winning a big victory in the California primary early next month. The data show the pace of Sanders’ fundraising slowing considerably from the more than $40 million he raised in February and again in March. VOA
Clinton on NRA: Hillary Clinton slammed Donald Trump and the National Rifle Association Saturday, telling a room full of mothers who have lost their children to gun violence that she won’t cater to the gun lobby. She spoke at a Trayvon Martin Foundation’s Circle of Mothers event in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., said a vote for Trump is a vote for an America rife with fear, anger and violence. She mentioned Trayvon Martin and Jordan Davis, two unarmed black teens shot dead by white civilians. “Unlike Donald Trump, I will not pander to the gun lobby,” she said. “We will not be silenced and we will not be intimidated.” USA Today
Friess endorses Trump: Foster Friess, a multimillionaire, said Saturday he has donated to Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and will be “enthusiastically supporting him.” Friess is the latest Republican Party donor to support Trump. His endorsement is a sign that more of the party’s moneyed elite are rallying behind Trump’s unconventional White House campaign. Friess, a former investment manager, long has been a patron of conservative and religious causes and candidates. He donated more than $2 million to a super PAC working to elect Santorum four years ago. In an email Saturday to USA TODAY, Friess said he judges people “not according to their pasts or where they are today, but rather based on what they can become.” USA Today
Benghazi report to release before conventions: The special House committee investigating the 2012 terror attacks in Benghazi will issue its report before the Republican and Democratic presidential nominating conventions in July, the panel’s chairman told MSNBC on Friday. Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., said he originally wanted to finish in 2015 but that the committee did not receive all of the documents and witnesses in time. “I can’t stop an investigation because an executive branch agency won’t give me documents,” Gowdy said in an interview with Meet the Press Daily from the National Rifle Association convention in Louisville. USA Today
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