U.S. TO REMOVE CUBA FROM TERROR LIST
After this weekend’s historic meeting with Cuban President Raul Castro in Panama, Barack Obama announced plans to take off Cuba from the list of countries the U.S. accuses of sponsoring terrorism. The Washington Post reports on what this latest step in the rapprochement between the two neighbors means. In a short statement reported by Cuba’s newspaper Juventud Rebelde Josefina Vidal Ferreiro, the director of U.S. relations at Cuba’s Foreign Ministry, said it was a “just decision” since Cuba “should never have been included in that list.”
ISIS GAINS GROUND AROUND KEY IRAQI TOWN
Photo: Sami Jawad/Xinhua/ZUMA
Fighting rages on between ISIS militants and Iraqi troops around the strategic city of Ramadi, west of Baghdad, but jihadists have been gaining ground and a local Iraqi official warned the city could fall to ISIS fighters in the next hours, CNN reports. This comes after Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi obtained $200 million in humanitarian assistance from the Obama administration, an amount that was said to fall “far short” of what Abadi had been seeking.
YEMEN REBELS BLAST UN EMBARGO
Yemen’s Houthi rebels have condemn an UN Security Council resolution passed Tuesday, despite Russia’s abstention, that imposed an arms embargo on the Shia rebels as a decision that supports “the aggression,” Al Jazeera reports.
- According to Reuters, Egypt and Saudi Arabia discussed a possible “major military maneuver,” suggesting the Sunni coalition could follow up on their threat of a ground invasion after their air strikes campaign.
- Meanwhile, Iran, which has offered limited support to the rebels, proposed a four-point plan to solve the crisis, including inter-Yemeni dialogue, humanitarian aid, a ceasefire and the formation of an inclusive government. Read more from Tasnim news agency.
“We will do so with dignity, respect and care.” The remains of nearly 400 U.S. servicemen killed at Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, are to be exhumed so they may be identified and given individual burials, the U.S. Defense Department announced.
HUNDREDS FEARED DEAD AS MIGRANTS BOAT CAPSIZES
As many as 400 migrants travelling from Libya to Europe are feared drowned after their boat capsized off the coast of Libya with some 550 people on board, according to survivors. The Italian coast guard rescued 144 people on Monday, mostly young people. Nine bodies have been recovered so far but rescue teams found no more survivors since then, the BBC reports. Last year, an estimated 3,400 migrants died trying to cross the Mediterranean to reach Europe.
MY GRAND-PÈRE'S WORLD
Located in the middle of the desert, Dubai’s airport now surpasses London's Heathrow in international travelers. Part museum, part high-end shopping gallery, DXB is a global wonder, Claude Soula writes for French weekly L’Obs: “There simply aren't enough superlatives to describe the place: more space, more terminals, more shops, and now more international travelers than any other airport on the planet. The Dubai airport was built 30 years ago, and it has just surpassed London's Heathrow in terms of hosting the most international traffic in the world: 70.5 million travelers landed or passed through the emirate in 2014.”
Read the full article, Another Dubai Superlative: Inside The New No. 1 International Airport.
China’s growth continued to slow in the first quarter of 2015, prompting further speculation that Beijing might ease its fiscal and monetary policy, The Wall Street Journal reports. The economy grew by 7.0% between January and March, a six-year low. According to the IMF, India will soon kick its neighbor off its perch to become the world’s fastest growing economy.
ON THIS DAY
103 years ago today, the “Unsinkable” Titanic sunk. Get ready for your 57-second shot of history.
EU TO ANNOUNCE GOOGLE ACTION
The European Union announced plans Wednesday to charge Google for violating antitrust laws by using its dominant position in the search engine market to favor its own services over those of its rivals. The Financial Times had details of the expected action in its Wednesday edition, noting the EU’s move could eventually force the search giant “to change its business model fundamentally and pay hefty fines.” Read more about it on our 4 Corners blog.
MARRIAGE OF NOKIA AND ALCATEL-LUCENT
Finland’s Nokia and rival French firm Alcatel-Lucent have agreed to a deal that would create a major new European player in the telecom industry. Nokia will buy the telecom-equipment company in an all-stock deal that values the French firm at 15.6 billion euros ($16.6 billion), the companies said Wednesday. Read more from The Wall Street Journal.
DIVORCE CAN BREAK YOUR HEART, LITERALLY
A recent study suggests that divorcees, especially women, are more likely to have a heart attack than people who are continuously married.