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Iowa Results, Jordan's Migrant Angst, Apple Dethroned

Iowa Results, Jordan's Migrant Angst, Apple Dethroned


In a humiliating upset for Donald Trump, evangelical Tea Party hero Sen. Ted Cruz won Iowa's all-important GOP caucus with 28% of the vote last night, to Trump's 24%. On the Democratic side, major media outlets are still characterizing the Hillary Clinton/Bernie Sanders matchup a "virtual tie." Clinton looks to be ahead by the narrowest of margins — 49.9% to 49.5% with 99% of precincts reporting. Now all eyes turn to next week's New Hampshire primary.

  • "Tonight is a victory for courageous conservatives across Iowa and all across this great nation," Vox quoted Cruz as saying in his victory speech.
  • Trump, who said he still expected to win the Republican nomination, said he was "just honored."
  • "It is rare that we have the opportunity we do now to have a real contest of ideas," Clinton said, adding she was breathing a "big sigh of relief."
  • "Nine months ago, we came to this beautiful state, we had no political organization, we had no money, we had no name recognition, and we were taking on the most powerful political organization in the United States of America," an overwhelmed Sanders said.
  • See how today's front page of New York's Daily News mocks Trump.


"Sooner or later, I think the dam is going to burst," Jordan's King Abdullah tells the BBC about the influx of refugees there, characterizing the situation as reaching a "boiling point." Jordan has welcomed refugees from neighboring war-torn countries for decades. Syrians fleeing their country now make up almost 20% of Jordon's population, but only 1% of them have work permits. King Abdullah, who also said 25% of the country's budget was being spent on helping refugees, stressed the need for more international funding if Jordan is going to accept more refugees.


August's Olympic Games in Brazil's Rio de Janeiro will "go ahead" despite the devastating mosquito-borne Zika virus, International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach said yesterday, Reuters reports. Bach added that conditions will be good for athletes and spectators to attend the event. This came just after the World Health Organization declared the virus an international public health emergency, The Guardian reports. Last week, the WHO said the Zika virus, suspected of causing microcephaly in babies, was "spreading explosively" and could infect as many as 4 million people in the Americas.


The French far-right National Front party is currently able to garner a majority of votes among the working class, but not among the middle class or senior executives, Jean-Marc Vittori writes for Les Echos. "If a National Front victory in 2017 isn't the likeliest prospect, it should not, however, be ruled out entirely," he continues. "It's actually not difficult to imagine how it could happen."

Read the full article, The Perfect Storm That Could Lead To A Le Pen Presidency.


Syria peace talks in Geneva entered a second day today after opposition representatives and UN diplomats gathered on Monday. "We are starting officially the Geneva talks," UN Syria envoy Staffan de Mistura said yesterday, following humanitarian demands by the main Syrian opposition bloc, Al Jazeera reports. Syrian government representatives are expected there this morning, and the opposition in the afternoon.

  • Meanwhile, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reports that Syrian government forces and their allies made significant advances in a major offensive that could cut insurgent supply lines between the northwestern city of Aleppo and the Turkish border.
  • An ISIS suicide bomber killed at least 18 Iraqi soldiers today when he detonated his car in the town of Al-Bu Dhiaab, north of Ramadi, which was recently liberated from the terrorist organization.


Photo: Liu Dawei/Xinhua/ZUMA

At least 100,000 Chinese travellers are stuck in Guangzhou's main railway station during their journeys home for the Chinese Lunar New Year festivities that begin Feb. 8.


A cartoon of an early 20th century Senegalese Muslim leader has sparked a nationwide uproar, with the vignette criticized by civilians and political leaders alike. The Paris-based African news magazine Jeune Afrique published a cartoon of Sheikh Ahmadou Bamba, founder of the Mouride Brotherhood, last week in which a passing Westerner asks why the traditionally robed leader is "wearing a dress." The magazine formally apologized for the caricature over the weekend and removed it from the website, though it is still visible on the cartoonist's Twitter profile. The caricature poked fun at ongoing controversy in Senegal over men carrying handbags, a new fashion trend pioneered by the young singer Wally Seck. Read more in English.


James Joyce, Shakira and Philip Seymour Hoffman. We've got 'em all in today's shot of history.


For the first time in 24 years, more people are migrating from Australia to New Zealand than vice versa (25,273 vs. 24,504 in 2015), according to Statistics NZ. It's the highest net gain of Australians moving to New Zealand since 1991. The two countries have an agreement allowing most citizens to work and live in either country, and the rise is being explained by New Zealand's economic and political stability.



Google's parent company Alphabet has become the world's most valuable company after announcing that its global revenues rose by 13% last year, Forbes reports. This means that Apple, which had been holding the title since dethroning Microsoft in 2010, has now been deposed too.

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Life On "Mars": With The Teams Simulating Space Missions Under A Dome

A niche research community plays out what existence might be like on, or en route to, another planet.

Photo of a person in a space suit walking toward the ​Mars Desert Research Station near Hanksville, Utah

At the Mars Desert Research Station near Hanksville, Utah

Sarah Scoles

In November 2022, Tara Sweeney’s plane landed on Thwaites Glacier, a 74,000-square-mile mass of frozen water in West Antarctica. She arrived with an international research team to study the glacier’s geology and ice fabric, and how its ice melt might contribute to sea level rise. But while near Earth’s southernmost point, Sweeney kept thinking about the moon.

“It felt every bit of what I think it will feel like being a space explorer,” said Sweeney, a former Air Force officer who’s now working on a doctorate in lunar geology at the University of Texas at El Paso. “You have all of these resources, and you get to be the one to go out and do the exploring and do the science. And that was really spectacular.”

That similarity is why space scientists study the physiology and psychology of people living in Antarctic and other remote outposts: For around 25 years, people have played out what existence might be like on, or en route to, another world. Polar explorers are, in a way, analogous to astronauts who land on alien planets. And while Sweeney wasn’t technically on an “analog astronaut” mission — her primary objective being the geological exploration of Earth — her days played out much the same as a space explorer’s might.

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