EU to act on migrant crisis

EU leaders will hold an emergency summit on Thursday to consider a response to the migrant crisis in the Mediterranean after acknowledging that urgent action has become necessary. On Monday, EU foreign ministers proposed doubling rescue resources and said efforts would be escalated to reduce smuggling and human trafficking in the waters between North Africa and Europe.

Authorities in Italy announced the arrest of the captain and a crew member from a boat that capsized at the weekend, with the possible loss of hundreds of people, north of Libya. Search and recovery efforts are continuing. Meanwhile, another ship containing Syrian refugees disintegrated near Greece.

(PBS News Hour)

The Wall Street Journal reports on why the “brazen, multi-million-dollar people-smuggling enterprise run by Libyan militias and tribesmen are hard to combat.”

***

* WORLD * US warships are headed to Yemen apparently to counter Iranian ships that are thought to be aiming to supply Houthi rebels. Aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt, and guided-missile cruiser USS Normandy have passed through the Strait of Hormuz and are moving through the Arabian Sea, the Washington Post reports.

Michael Crowley at Politico writes on how the worsening situation in Yemen could complicate an Iran nuclear deal as it enters its possible final stages.

The BBC‘s Orla Guerin gained rare access to the port of Aden and reports on the humanitarian situation facing people who remain.

(BBC News)

Meanwhile, at least 25 people were killed and hundreds injured in this explosion on Monday, when an airstrike hit what locals suspect was an underground munitions storehouse.

(Reuters)

In Baltimore, six police officers were suspended as city officials investigate the circumstances surrounding the death of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old black man who died on Sunday after being arrested a week earlier.

“We have no evidence — physical, video or statements — of any use of force,” the deputy police commissioner, Jerry Rodriguez, said at the news conference. “He did suffer a very tragic injury to his spinal cord, which resulted in his death. What we don’t know, and what we need to get to, is how that injury occurred.”

 

The FBI and Justice Department acknowledged errors spanning more than two decades in forensic examinations which led to “flawed testimony” in a number of trials, including some where defendants had received a death sentence.

Californians could get the opportunity to vote on a state ballot measure known as the Intolerant Jackass Act – a response to the controversial proposed Sodomite Suppression Act.

Monday, in case you’d forgotten, was 4/20.

***

* POLITICS * The Senate could be nearing a deal on the confirmation of Attorney General nominee Loretta Lynch. The Hill reports that a vote could come on Wednesday or Thursday.

The Koch brothers, the influential Republican donors who control one of the biggest private political organizations in the country, appeared to signal they may favor Wisconsin Gov Scott Walker in the race for the GOP nomination. The New York Times reported:

“When the primaries are over and Scott Walker gets the nomination,” [David] Koch told the crowd, the billionaire brothers would support him, according to a spokeswoman. The remark drew laughter and applause from the audience of fellow donors and Republican activists, who had come to hear Mr. Walker speak earlier at [Monday’s] event, held at the Union League Club.

Politico‘s Ken Vogel later tweeted:

Elsewhere in the GOP field, after saying at the weekend that he was “91 per cent” likely to join the race for the nomination and would make a decision next month, Sen Lindsey Graham said his friendliness with the Clintons should not disqualify him among Republican voters.

The Washington Post‘s Robert Costa reports that a leading ally of New Jersey Gov Chris Christie had “defected” to the Jeb Bush campaign. The news comes as Christie’s approval rating in his own state falls to its lowest ever. Costa writes:

Still, Christie is far from ready to leave the 2016 conversation. Last week, he held multiple events in New Hampshire, which holds the first-in-nation primary, and drew large and enthusiastic crowds to town-hall meetings. On the policy front, he has shifted right, proposing a series of changes to Medicare and Social Security that have won praise from tea party activists — a bloc long skeptical of him.

 

Hillary Clinton, meanwhile, is in New Hampshire continuing her “listening tour”.

She criticized Republicans who had gathered in the state at the weekend, saying “I don’t know what they’d talk about if I weren’t in the race.” Politico reports:

She swatted away attacks due to be published in a book out next month, “Clinton Cash: the Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich,” by Peter Schweizer. “[I’ll be] subjected to all kinds of distractions and attacks, and I’m ready for that. I know that that comes, unfortunately, with the territory,” she told reporters.

The BBC‘s Anthony Zurcher looks at the background to the book and the damage it could possibly do to Hillary’s campaign.

Clinton Cash is published by HarperCollins, a mainstream US house – not a more partisan imprint like Regnery, which has made a small fortune from anti-Clinton books. Critics will be quick to point out that HarperCollins is owned by conservative media magnate Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation, however.

Schweizer is a former speechwriting consultant for Republican President George W Bush, a fellow at the conservative California-based think tank the Hoover Institution, president of the Government Accountability Institute and a senior editor-at-large for Breitbart.com, a right-wing news and opinion website.

 

Olivier Knox writes at Yahoo Politics on “the big business of little presidential campaign souvenirs.”

NHbuttons(image: New Hampshire Historical Society)

***

* BRITISH ELECTION *

SNP National

(The National/Tomorrow’s Papers Today)

The SNP launched its manifesto at an indoor rock-climbing center in Edinburgh, with leader Nicola Sturgeon saying this election “is not about independence,” she said. “It is about making Scotland stronger. So we will use the influence of SNP votes at Westminster to ensure that promises made during the referendum are delivered.”

The BBC‘s Nick Robinson calls Sturgeon “the undoubted star” of the election so far. But The Economist says the manifesto “condemns the party to insignificance.”

Fair play to whoever on the desk at the Beeb who was able to contain themselves enough to write this caption.

***

* BUSINESS * Are you ready for Mobilegeddon?

The Washington Post reports that law schools across the US are wrestling with their lowest enrollment numbers in years and are trying to adapt as changes in the job market hit their bottom line.

Seth Stevenson at Slate writes on a “Twitter-reading bot that made millions on the options market.” 

I know a guy—a human guy—who was on the other side of that trade. And he says this wasn’t the first time it happened to him. He’s convinced that someone’s figured out a tweet-trading algorithm, one that’s faster than anything he’s ever seen before. So fast, he fears, that it might eventually put him out of a job.

***

* MEDIA * Monday was the announcement of the 2015 Pulitzer Prizes (full list of winners). The Columbia Journalism Review has five takeaways.

Politico‘s Jack Shafer writes a pretty remarkable take-down of the Pulitzers and the whole prize culture in the industry. He says:

Most journalists can refer to themselves as “prize winning” in their biographical notes because prizes seem to outnumber journalists these days. “Everybody has won, and all must have prizes,” as the Dodo says at the conclusion of the caucus race in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. “Prizes, prizes!” Dodo insists, taking the thimble from Alice’s pocket and presenting it to her. “We beg your acceptance of this elegant thimble.”

 

A couple of news organizations also launched expansion sites on Monday – The Guardian debuted a beta of an “international” home page, aimed at giving readers outside the three main edition areas “a less UK-centric view of the news.”  Also, Politico launched its European edition. The magazine said: “A weekly print edition of POLITICO will be unveiled Thursday, April 23, 2015, with approximately 30,000 copies distributed in Brussels as well as to key capitals and cities, including Paris, London, Berlin and Frankfurt.”

Jason Rezaian, the Washington Post reporter currently held in Tehran, is to be charged with espionage and three other serious crimes, including “collaborating with hostile governments” and “propaganda against the establishment,” according to his attorney.

***

* SPORTS * The Boston Marathon was run on Patriots Day in the city, the day before the start of the penalty phase in the trial of convicted bomber Dzhokar Tsarnaev.

* Special coverage from the Boston Globe is here.

Fox Sports’ hiring of 74-year-old baseball outcast Pete Rose as an on-screen analyst may or may not move the hit king closer to rehabilitation and possible admission to the Hall of Fame. Richard Sandomir at the New York Times writes that the timing and publicity could be right, especially with this year’s All Star Game set for Cincinnati.

So, yes, hiring Rose is a way for Fox to get the type of publicity that has not come with its hiring of any other studio analyst. Fox’s message is clear: Come watch Pete Rose, the banished superstar who for many years denied gambling on baseball, the ex-con and the career hits leader. Maybe he’ll be outrageous. Maybe he’ll be revelatory. Maybe he’ll say something that will blow his chance at returning to baseball.

 

The day after quarterback Tim Tebow signed with the Philadelphia Eagles, he has – of course – been immortalized in salty dough.

pretzel

 ***

* CULTURE * Jon Stewart said his final appearance as host of The Daily Show will be on August 6th.

HBO apparently wrote to a Williamsburg bar/screening room telling them not to show Game of Thrones at its regular Sunday viewing parties.

If it’s your birthday on Tuesday, you share it with The Queen and Iggy Pop, among others.

(Iggy Pop delivers the 2014 John Peel Lecture – YouTube/Webbie Webster)

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s