Top News Stories for Today – September 28, 2016
Former Israeli president Shimon Peres dies at 93
Shimon Peres, one of Israel’s last leaders from its founding generation, has died. He was 93. His son Chemi praised him as “one of the founding fathers of the state of Israel,” saying Peres “worked tirelessly” for his country.
Peres helped make Israel a leading regional military power, then shared the Nobel Peace Prize in 1994 for his work on trying to establish peace with the Palestinians. A former president, Peres also served as prime minister twice, as well as foreign minister, information minister, finance minister, and defense minister. Peres’ death came two weeks after he suffered a stroke. The New York Times, BBC News, The Week
Proof shows Russia shot down Malay airplane over Ukraine
A two-year Dutch-led investigation has reportedly confirmed that the Malaysia Airlines flight shot down over Ukraine in 2014 was hit by a Russian missile. “Investigators said they had proof, including communications intercepts and radar data, that a mobile Buk missile launcher had been moved into eastern Ukraine from Russia, then was returned after the Boeing 777 was destroyed,” The Associated Press wrote based on information provided by Hans de Borst, whose 17-year-old daughter was a victim.
Russia has denied the allegations, including that pro-Russian rebels were responsible for the missile, which resulted in the deaths of 298 people, and says it plans to release radio-location data that proves the missile was not launched from rebel-controlled territory. The Associated Press, The Week
Airstrikes hit hospitals in Eastern Aleppo
Airstrikes targeted the two largest hospitals in the eastern part of Aleppo, Syria early Wednesday. Damage from the strikes temporarily knocked the hospitals out of service, further limiting medical care in a city that has been hit hard by more than five years of fighting.
The M2 and M10 hospitals are in the part of Aleppo held by rebels who opposed President Bashar al-Assad. Adham Sahloul of the Syrian American American Medical Society said Wednesdays airstrikes were deliberate, and that there are only 29 doctors left in eastern Aleppo to treat 350,000 people. VOA
World’s first baby born with DNA from 3 parents
US fertility doctor John Zhang turned to Mexico for the birth because the technique is still banned in the United States. The baby’s mother carries genes for a fatal nervous system disease called Leigh syndrome. She had passed on the illness to two previous children who died shortly after birth, and had suffered four miscarriages.
Zhang isolated the disease-causing DNA from the mother’s nuclear DNA, injected her healthy DNA into a donor’s egg, and fertilized the egg with the father’s sperm. Zhang plans to make a full presentation of the case at a medical meeting next month in Salt Lake City, Utah. Federal health officials have banned the technique in the US because earlier experiments resulted in babies with genetic disorders. VOA
BlackBerry to stop making smartphones
BlackBerry Company confirmed Wednesday it will no longer manufacture its own devices, instead outsourcing it to partners. BlackBerry CEO John Chen says the company will prioritize software development, including apps and security.
At one point, BlackBerry owned the smartphone market with its signature devices featuring a QWERTY keyboard and sophisticated software. With the rise of the iPhone as well as Google’s Android platform, BlackBerry soon fell out of favor with enterprise and consumers.
BlackBerry attempted a comeback in 2013 with the launch of a touchscreen-only smartphone as well as its BlackBerry 10 operating software. However, poor sales pushed the company to consider a potential sale later that year. BlackBerry eventually dropped the sales bid and replaced CEO Thorsten Heins with Chen.
BlackBerry has since made multiple efforts to revive its smartphone business, including the August launch of the Android-powered DTEK50, which the company claimed was the most secure smartphone in the world. USA Today
US Presidential election
Arizona Republic endorses Hillary Clinton: For the first time in its history, the Arizona Republic newspaper is supporting a Democrat for president, endorsing Hillary Clinton. In an editorial published Tuesday night, the board wrote that Clinton, not Donald Trump, understands the “challenges the United States faces domestically and internationally demand a steady hand, a cool head, and the ability to think carefully before acting.” Clinton not only has the “temperament and experience to be president,” but she knows how to “compromise and to lead with intelligence, decorum, and perspective.” For decades, Clinton has withstood “scrutiny so intense it would wither most politicians,” including some attacks that “strain credulity,” while Trump “hasn’t even let the American people scrutinize his tax returns, which could help the nation judge his claims of business acumen.” The board does believe Clinton has made some “serious missteps,” like the use of a private email server while secretary of state, but she “does not casually say things that embolden our adversaries and frighten our allies” and is the “superior choice” to Trump, who “responds to criticism with the petulance of verbal spit wads.” Arizona Republic
Arizona Republic’ not the only paper breaking GOP streak to endorse Clinton: On Tuesday The Arizona Republic broke a longstanding tradition of endorsing Republicans for president and backed Hillary Clinton. The Ohio newspaper, The Cincinnati Enquirer, has “supported Republicans for president for almost a century” but last week the paper’s editorial board endorsed Clinton as the “only” choice in November. In the endorsement the board wrote they did not take the tradition of supporting Republicans “lightly.” Earlier this month the Texas newspaper, The Dallas Morning News, endorsed Clinton. That was the first time The Dallas Morning News had recommended a Democrat for the nation’s highest office since before World War II. USA Today
Trump gets $18 million in online donations after debate: Donald Trump’s campaign boasts Trump earned $18 million in online donations within 24 hours of the first presidential debate on Monday, a marked shift from his strategy in the primaries, when he emphasized his independence from donors. Still, Trump has broken Republican records for small-donor fundraising throughout the general election. Many mega-donors, though, remain hesitant to have their name associated with Trump, leading to greater appeal for nonprofit groups that allow unlimited donations and are not required to release donors’ names. One such group is 45Committee, controlled by former Never Trump founder Todd Ricketts. “There is a substantial appetite for a non-disclosing vehicle, because it’s embarrassing to support Trump. There are more donors who are willing to support Donald anonymously than with their names on it,” a fundraiser familiar with Ricketts’ efforts said. Fox News, Politico, The Week
Trump Blames China for Stealing Jobs, Stalling on North Korea: China found itself the focus of unwanted attention during the first presidential debate Monday, with Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump accusing Beijing of stealing American jobs and failing to do enough to tackle the rising nuclear threat in North Korea. During the debate, China was mentioned a dozen times, and most of those mentions came from Trump. In his opening remarks, Trump blamed China for having manipulated its currency to gain trade competitiveness. VOA