YEMEN AIRSTRIKES MOVE INTO DAY FIVE
Warplanes from the Saudi Arabia-led coalition fighting Houthi rebels in Yemen destroyed arms depots overnight in day five of its offensive, Saudi website Al Arabiya reports. This comes after the weekend’s Arab summit in Egypt’s Sharm el-Sheikh, where Sunni nations agreed to form what The Washington Times describes as a “NATO-like alliance.”
- Writing in the Saudi newspaper Arab News, journalist Mohammed Fahad Al-Harthi says the summit “can be the beginning of a new phase in joint Arab action and the credibility of Arab countries if decisions are translated into reality.”
- Saudi ambassador to the U.S. Adel al-Jubeir said that the agreement didn’t involve immediate plans for a ground invasion of Yemen. But Jubeir insisted that the Sunni coalition was in a “war of necessity” against the Iran-backed Shia Houthi rebels. A Saudi spokesman said yesterday that the airstrikes would continue until President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, who fled the country last week, could rule.
NIGERIA AWAITS VOTE RESULTS
Photo: Yang Yang/Xinhua/ZUMA
A tense Nigeria is awaiting results of the weekend’s presidential vote, which was too close to call, Vanguard reports. Protests erupted yesterday with supporters of the country’s main opposition party denouncing election irregularities, according to The Guardian Nigeria. Many across the country couldn’t vote on Saturday due to issues with biometric voter cards, while attacks from terror group Boko Haram in the northeast killed at least 41 people, including a legislator.
Thousands of protesters, including French President Francois Hollande, took to the streets of Tunis Sunday for an anti-terrorism march in response to the March 18 attack at the city’s Bardo Museum that left 22 dead. Read more from on our 4 Corners blog.
CRUNCH TIME FOR IRAN NUCLEAR TALKS
With less than two days to go before a deadline to outline an agreement, talks on Iran’s nuclear program are entering a critical phase. In exchange for lifting economic sanctions that have hurt the economy, world powers are trying to ensure that Iran can’t acquire nuclear weapons. But The New York Times reported yesterday that Iran officials backed away from an agreement to send a large portion of its enriched uranium abroad, raising a potential obstacle to any deal.
Despite the ruble's free fall, a shaky economy and growing international isolation, cosmetics companies and the beauty industry at large can rest easy that Russian women will buy what they're selling, Kommersant’s Anastasia Yakoreva and Nina Vazhdaeva write. “The future looks equally bright for those in the plastic surgery field. Counterintuitively, the crisis has actually been good for this industry. Just before the new year, the number of clients doubled at the Platinental Aesthetic Lounge, a plastic surgery clinic. ‘On the one hand, clients are afraid that prices will increase, so they are rushing to do surgeries that they have already planned,’ says clinic president Andrei Iskornev. ‘On the other hand, they are spending the money on themselves that wasn't enough anymore for an apartment or a car.’”
Read the full article, Beauty, Russia's Recession-Proof Industry.
ON THIS DAY
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Thirty-four years ago today, U.S. President Ronald Reagan was shot and seriously wounded in a failed assassination attempt. Time for your 57-second shot of history.
The second round of French elections yesterday found the ruling Socialist Party on the wrong end of a drubbing, losing 28 of the country’s 61 so-called departments, or areas, it previously controlled, Le Monde reports. Former president and leader of the center-right UMP party Nicolas Sarkozy was the clear winner, and he characterized the results as a “repudiation” of President François Hollande and his Prime Minister Manuel Valls. Marine Le Pen’s National Front finished third in percentage share of the vote but didn’t win any departments.
EX ISRAELI PM GUILTY OF CORRUPTION
A Jerusalem court has found former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert guilty of corruption. He was accused of accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars from American businessman Morris Talansky when he was Jerusalem Mayor and Minister of Trade in exchange for preferential treatment, Arutz Sheva reports. He will be sentenced in early May.
MY GRAND-PÈRE’S WORLD
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“We got Bruce Jenner, who will be here doing some musical performances. He’s doing a his-and-her duet all by himself.” Jamie Foxx’s opening monologue at the iHeartRadio Music Awards yesterday was poorly received, with the famous actor being accused of “transphobia.” Read more from USA Today.
ANCIENT EGYPTIAN HE-BREW
In Tel Aviv, archaeologists have uncovered fragments of ancient pottery that Egyptians used to make beer some 5,000 years ago, showing that they had settled farther north than previously known in what would later become the “first modern Hebrew city.” Read the full story from Haaretz.
‘O LUNA MIA
Will the stars align for you this week? Find out in this week’s installment of Simon’s horoscope, direct from Rome.