ISIS TAKES IRAQ TOWN OF RAMADI
ISIS is gaining ground again in Iraq, capturing the town of Ramadi, west of Baghdad. It’s a heavy blow to the Iraqi government and any hopes of rooting out the terrorist group. Shia militias, who already played an important part in retaking the city of Tikrit two months ago, are reportedly on their way to try and recapture the city with troops who fled the scene yesterday. At least 500 people, civilians and soldiers, have been killed in recent fighting, which also drove out 8,000 residents from the city, AP reports. But a local government spokesman warns the death toll could go much higher amid mass killings at the hands of ISIS fighters.
MORSI SENTENCED TO DEATH
Photo: APA Images/ZUMA
Mohamed Morsi, Egypt’s first elected president and former Muslim Brotherhood leader, has been sentenced to death along with more than 100 other people for their roles in massive 2011 prison escapes, Mada Masr reports. Morsi and 15 other Muslim Brotherhood figures are also believed to have leaked sensitive information to Qatar. The ruling has been referred to the highest religious authority in Egypt, the Grand Mufti.
YEMEN STRIKES RESUME AFTER TRUCE
The Saudi-led coalition has resumed its airstrike campaign in Yemen after a five-day humanitarian ceasefire expired yesterday. The UN envoy to Yemen urged both parties to extend the truce, but his calls were ignored, Al Jazeera reports. Yemen’s exiled foreign minister said Saudi Arabia had decided not to renew the agreement because Houthi rebels had violated the ceasefire. Though there were some reports of clashes between Houthi rebels and pro-government forces, the truce was largely respected.
A group of 64 organizations has launched a complaint against Harvard University, accusing it of discrimination against Asian-American candidates, The Wall Street Journal reports. Research has shown that Asian-American applicants are required to score 140 points higher than white students, 270 points higher than Hispanic students and 450 points higher than African-American students on their SAT exams to have the same chances of admission.
EU TO APPROVE LIBYAN NAVAL MISSION
EU foreign ministers are meeting in Brussels to discuss the migrant crisis and are expected to approve a mission to destroy boats used to smuggle people from Libya across the Mediterranean, the BBC reports.
ON THIS DAY
Mount St. Helens erupted 35 years ago today, killing 57 people. Time now for your 57-second shot of history.
TEXAS BIKER SHOOTOUT LEAVES 9 DEAD
At least nine members of rival biker gangs were killed Sunday afternoon after a gunfight broke out at a restaurant in Waco, Texas, The Dallas Morning News reports. Another 18 people were taken to the hospital with injuries, and 150 gang members were arrested.
MY GRAND-PÈRE’S WORLD
Every year, he watches 1,800 films and rejects 1,750. As L’Obs’ Fabrice Pliskin writes, the second-in-command at the Cannes Film Festival cuts a wide swath, making and breaking films and careers every year. “It’s the last Saturday before the April 16 press conference, where the festival’s official selections will be unveiled,” he writes. “Frémaux phones and fires off texts. He answers to the distributors, producers and directors bombarding him with emails to convince him ‘their film is the eighth wonder of the world,’ he says. ‘I’ll do everything I can to get Amy Winehouse onto the Croisette,’ the distributor-producer of a documentary on the late soul singer writes with humor, referring to a prominent road in Cannes. A swarm of trade professionals flatter him and hunt him down tirelessly.”
Read the full article, Thierry Fremaux, Dream Maker And Breaker Of Cannes.
‘O LUNA MIA
Our favorite astrologer Simon is back again this week with the deets on your sign. You know you want to look.
DAREDEVILS DIE AT YOSEMITE
BASE jumpers Dean Potter, 43, and Graham Hunt, 29, died in Yosemite National Park Saturday after jumping from the 7,500-foot-high Taft Point, 3,000 feet above above Yosemite Valley. The sport involves leaping from relatively low altitudes with a parachute. Read more from The Los Angeles Times.
SPORTS AND POLITICS
It’s been a sporty weekend for politicians. Russian President Vladimir Putin added yet another notch to his athletic belt by playing in an all-star ice hockey game. Meanwhile in Salt Lake City, Mitt Romney stepped into the ring to face five-time heavyweight boxing champion Evander Holyfield for a charity fight. And the former Republican presidential candidate even took a swing at Hillary Clinton.