FUEL SHORTAGES HIT AID AGENCIES IN YEMEN
Aid agencies working amid airstrikes in Yemen have warned that they might have to halt their efforts due to fuel shortages, thus preventing them from helping hospitals and carrying humanitarian aid to millions of people, Reuters reports. Airstrikes from the Saudi-led coalition meanwhile continue to hit Houthi rebels’ positions, killing 43 civilians overnight, according to Houthi sources. This came after the Houthis attacked a Saudi town along the border, killing at least two civilians and capturing five soldiers.
GERMANWINGS CO-PILOT REHEARSED CRASH
Andreas Lubitz, the Germanwings co-pilot suspected of deliberately crashing a plane on March 24, killing all 150 on board, tried a controlled descent on the previous flight that morning from Düsseldorf to Barcelona. Lubitz set the plane into a descent, then brought it back up again five times, French air accident investigators said in a new report.
TEXAS ATTACK INVESTIGATION CONTINUES
U.S. counterterrorism investigators are looking into ISIS’ claims that it was behind Sunday’s Texas attack but have “so far seen no indication that the assailants were directed by the group,” The Washington Post reports. One official said it appeared likely that the role played by ISIS in the plot was “inspirational” rather than “operational.” According to The New York Times, one of the gunmen had left a trail of extremist messages on Twitter.
Around 110 babies took part Tuesday in a “baby-cry sumo” competition at a shrine in Japan’s Kanagawa prefecture, near Tokyo. The peculiar 400-year-old tradition is believed to bring good health to the tiny wrestlers.
California’s water board approved emergency drought regulations yesterday aiming for a 25% reduction in urban water use, The Los Angeles Times reports. “It's a collective issue we all need to rise to,” water board chairwoman Felicia Marcus said.
HUMAN TRAFFICKING RISKS IN NEPAL
As help slowly reaches remote villages in Nepal 10 days after the devastating earthquake that killed at least 7,500 people, the United Nations and local NGOs have warned that human trafficking networks were targeting young women there to supply a prostitution network across southern Asia. Read the full story from The Guardian.
MY GRAND-PÈRE’S WORLD
U.S. ALLOWS FLORIDA-CUBA FERRIES
For the first time in over 50 years, the U.S. has authorized four Florida companies to launch commercial services to Cuba, a new step forward in the two countries’ rapprochement strategy, the Sun Sentinel reports. Expected to start “within weeks,” the ferry services will offer round trip tickets for $300 to $350, less than the price of charter flights.
“At a moment when American lawmakers are reconsidering the broad surveillance powers assumed by the government after Sept. 11, the lower house of the French Parliament took a long stride in the opposite direction Tuesday, overwhelmingly approving a bill that could give the authorities their most intrusive domestic spying abilities ever, with almost no judicial oversight,” The New York Times’ Paris correspondent Alissa Rubin writes about France’s new Patriot Act-inspired bill.
According to L’Obs’ Philippe Boulet-Gercourt, it is time to start asking harder questions about the world's largest company — both how it runs its business and how it conditions our lives: “Everyone everywhere wants to know whether Apple's magic touch can survive the death of company's founder. But there are other questions, in the meantime, that people aren't asking, questions that could or should have been raised a long time ago. Only that we were all too mesmerized by the wizard of Cupertino’s shiny gadgets to care. What is this giant company that governs our everyday life? How does it manage to influence our every moment — and to such an unbelievable extent? Who are the people hiding behind the impenetrable walls of one of the most secretive companies in the world? And what kind of philosophy do they follow? These are not trivial questions.”
Read the full article, Is Apple Evil? This Silicon Valley Honeymoon Must End.
DEADLINE FOR NETANYAHU
Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu has until midnight to assemble a coalition government if he is to remain as prime minister. As negotiations enter the final stage, Haaretz reports that former Economy Minister and leader of the far-right Jewish Home party Naftali Bennett is likely to be in government. “Bennett extorted us, and in this case, it seems his extortion will work for him. But extortion comes at a price, and Bennett will have to pay dearly in the future,” a senior Likud official told the newspaper.
ON THIS DAY
Happy birthday, George Clooney! What else, you ask? Check it here on your 57-second shot of history.
The UK is going to the polls tomorrow but the data that caught our eye this morning came from the Election Infidelity Index: Illicit Encounters, the dating site for married people, analyzed postcode data to reveal the constituencies in which they have the most users and it seems the Conservatives have just edged out Labour here — but will they tomorrow?