Top news stories for today – May 24, 2016
Evidence shows flight 804 exploded
On Tuesday, a senior Egyptian forensics official said that human remains salvaged from the wreckage of EgyptAir Flight 804 suggest there was an explosion on board before the plane went down in the Mediterranean last week.
So far, 80 remnants of the 66 people aboard the flight have been brought to the Cairo morgue, and “there isn’t even a whole body part, like an arm or a head,” the unidentified official told The Associated Press. “The logical explanation is that it was an explosion.” The plane’s fuselage and black boxes have not yet been recovered, but the head of Egypt’s National Air Navigation Services Co. said that, contrary to Greek assertions, the plane did not swerve before disappearing from radar about a minute after entering Egyptian air space. The Associated Press, CNN via The Week
House GOP to impeach IRS chief
On Tuesday, the House Judiciary Committee will hold its first hearing on a motion to impeach IRS Commissioner John Koskinen, but Koskinen said Monday he won’t be there, citing a lack of time to prepare.
Instead, Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), who filed the motion, will testify under oath, along with Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.). Chaffetz accuses Koskinen of lying under oath and defying a House subpoena to turn over emails from Lois Lerner, a former IRS official at the center of a scandal involving extra scrutiny of Tea Party groups seeking tax-exempt status. Koskinen, who was appointed months after the scandal, denies misleading Congress.
TSA replaces head of security
Kelly Hoggan, the agency’s assistant administrator for security operations since 2013, will be replaced by Darby LaJoye. LaJoye, currently a deputy assistant TSA administrator, was previously a top security official at two of the world’s busiest airports — Los Angeles International Airport and JFK in New York.
Hoggan, who has been the focus of congressional inquiries into staffing and pay decisions, was reassigned to new duties. The appointment is part of a series of moves, some of them not revealed until Monday, since hundreds of passengers were stranded in security lines as their planes took off at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport this month. NBC
A US general visit Kurds in Syria
A visit by a top US military commander to northeast Syria to confer with Kurdish commanders and plot the next stage in the battle against the Islamic State group has provoked the anger of Syrian rebel commanders, who accuse the Obama administration of giving up on the Syrian revolution.
In interviews with VOA Monday, the Syrian rebels warned that the US-led international coalition’s strategy is creating the circumstances for future sectarian violence between Arabs and Kurds by turning to the Syrian Democratic Force (SDF), dominated by the Kurdish People’s Protection Units, or YPG, to liberate Arab majority towns from Islamic State.
The warning came in the wake of an unannounced 11-hour trip to Kurdish-controlled northern Syria Saturday by General Joseph Votel, the commander of U.S. Central Command. Votel told Pentagon correspondents who accompanied him that the US had to work with the allies it has on the ground against IS and that the defeat of the jihadist group remains for Washington the clear military priority — not the ouster of President Bashar al-Assad. VOA
US Presidential election
Sanders warns Democratic convention might get messy: On Monday, Bernie Sanders chatted with The Associated Press about the ongoing tensions in the Democratic primary fight. “It goes without saying that I condemn all forms of violence,” he said, but the leadership of the Democratic Party has a choice to make. “I think if they make the right choice and open the doors to working-class people and young people and create the kind of dynamism that the Democratic Party needs — it’s going to be messy,” he said. “Democracy is not always nice and quiet and gentle.” AP asked, “You think the convention could be messy?” And Sanders replied: “So what? Democracy is messy. Every day of my life is messy. But if you want everything to be quiet and orderly… that is not what democracy is about.” The Associated Press via The Week
Clinton declines debate with Sanders: Hillary Clinton has declined an invitation to a Fox News debate with Bernie Sanders before the California primary June 7. In a statement released Monday evening, Clinton communications director Jennifer Palmieri said, “We believe that Hillary Clinton’s time is best spent campaigning and meeting directly with voters across California and preparing for a general election campaign that will ensure the White House remains in Democratic hands.” CBS News
Clintont: Trump is ‘disaster waiting to happen’: Hillary Clinton appealed to a key group of union members Monday afternoon at Detroit’s Cobo Center and blasted Donald Trump, saying she will stand for workers’ rights and unify the party ahead of November’s election. Clinton addressed more than 3,000 Service Employees International Union (SEIU) members at the union’s 2016 International Convention.The SEIU endorsed Clinton last November, calling her a leader “who will stand up for the working people building a movement to secure a better future for their families.” Clinton focused a chunk of her speech on Trump, who she said is a “disaster waiting to happen to America.” The crowd booed loudly at the mention of Trump. USA Today
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