World’s top news stories for today from Washingtonian post (February 27, 2016)
A temporary “cessation of hostilities” in Syria brokered by the U.S. and Russia took effect Friday night in the war-torn nation.
The cease-fire, which excludes areas of the country controlled by ISIS and the Syrian al Qaeda offshoot al Nusra Front, is seen as a stepping stone to UN brokered peace talks, which Western nations hope will take place in March. Despite the fact that the Syrian government, the opposition, and nearly 100 rebel groups agreed to the cease-fire, officials are skeptical of its chances of success. The Washington Post
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie formally backed Donald Trump’s bid for the GOP presidential nomination, giving his former rival a potentially significant boost in his bid to win over establishment Republicans ahead of next week’s crucial Super Tuesday primaries. Joining the real estate mogul at a news conference here, Christie praised Trump as a loyal friend and experienced businessman who is the GOP’s best chance of beating Democrat Hillary Clinton in November. Yahoo Politic
Donald Trump has been training most of his fire over the past few weeks of the presidential race on his Republican rival Ted Cruz, but after Thursday night’s GOP debate he has a new target: Marco Rubio. Trump, the Republican presidential frontrunner, went after Rubio on Twitter on Friday morning, calling the Florida senator “Mr. Meltdown.” Business Insider
With audiences split on declaring Donald Trump or Marco Rubio the winner of Thursday night’s debate, the two presidential hopefuls took to mudslinging on Friday. Rubio read Trump’s misspelled tweets aloud at his Dallas rally, even going as far as to imply that Trump had wet his pants at the debate. Trump responded by telling his Fort Worth rally that he’d told Rubio to go easy on the makeup at the debate. Trump went on to call Rubio a “nervous Nellie” and mocked his sweating — one of Trump’s favorite insults for the Florida senator. This is just the latest uproar as candidates head into the crucial March 1 Super Tuesday primaries. The Week
Surgeons at Cleveland Clinic successfully completed a uterus transplant Wednesday, marking the first time the procedure has ever been performed in the U.S.
The operation, which took nine hours, was performed on a 26-year-old woman using a uterus from a deceased organ donor. The patient hopes to become pregnant and give birth, though she will have to wait a year before she can try and will need to use in vitro fertilization. Previous to the experimental surgery in Cleveland, uterus transplants had only been performed successfully in Sweden. At least four of Sweden’s nine transplant recipients have had healthy babies. The New York Times
Since the universe is so huge, most astronomers think that there must be a planet, somewhere out there, similar to Earth. But a computer model created at Sweden’s Uppsala University says that our planet may in fact be the only one supporting life.
Astrophysicist Erik Zackrisson combined all human knowledge about how the universe was created, from the Big Bang to the present, and fed it to a powerful computer. The machine came up with a concrete number of what we already knew. There are about 700 quintillion planets, or 7 followed by 20 zeros.
The unexpected by-product of the calculation was that Earth may be unique, actually an aberration among myriads of dead, uninhabitable worlds. Taking into account all known laws of physics and our knowledge about how planets are formed, it looks like that process is capable of producing only planets that cannot sustain life in any form.
Probability suggests that just in our own galaxy, the Milky Way, there must be about 50 billion planets similar to ours. But according to Zackrisson’s model, Earth is a statistical anomaly. Scientists say that even if further research proves this theory wrong, it is true that the planets like ours are rare and very far between.
The new study was published online and submitted to The Astrophysical Journal. VOA
Two former Islamic State (IS) commanders who defected recently to authorities in Afghanistan told VOA’s Ashna TV that they joined the extremist group not because of ideology but largely for money.
The revelations underline a discrepancy between those who join IS in Syria and Iraq and the fighters in Afghanistan, analysts say. It underscores too, they add, that IS is a complex phenomenon and operates differently from region to region.
The two men, former Taliban, said they had no contacts with IS in Syria and do not back the IS idea of spreading a caliphate throughout the world. VOA
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