Daily Briefing

10 things you need to know today: February 9, 2016

Harold Maass
AP Photo/ Jacquelyn Martin


Voting starts in New Hampshire primary

Voting began early Tuesday in New Hampshire's presidential primary. A snowstorm hit the state on Monday, threatening to complicate the balloting. Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) won two of the three tiny districts that voted at midnight. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, who won the Iowa caucuses, took one. Kasich, Cruz, and Republican frontrunner Donald Trump each got nine votes overall. On the Democratic side, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) won two districts and 17 votes, while Hillary Clinton took one district and nine votes.


Obama asks for $1.8 billion to fight Zika

On Monday President Obama asked Congress for $1.8 billion to fight the mosquito-born Zika virus. The emergency funding would be used to expand mosquito control programs, support low-income women, and develop a vaccine and diagnostic test. The World Health Organization has declared Zika's rapid spread a global public health emergency. The virus is thought to be linked to a birth defect called microcephaly, marked by small heads and underdeveloped brains. Only one case of Zika transmission in the U.S. — by sex, not mosquito bite — has been reported so far.


Bloomberg says he might launch independent bid for White House

On Monday former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg told the Financial Times that he was considering launching an independent campaign for president. Bloomberg, the billionaire founder of a financial media empire that bears his name, criticized the nature of the debates among Republican and Democratic candidates, and said he was "looking at all options."


Syrians rush to border as Russian airstrikes intensify

Tens of thousands of Syrians got caught in a bottleneck at the Turkish border as they tried to escape escalating violence on Monday. Russian warplanes have been stepping up airstrikes as government ground forces advance against rebels north of Aleppo, Syria's largest city. The offensive caused a United Nations envoy to suspend peace talks in Geneva last week as opposition groups protested the violence. Germany and Turkey pledged Monday to intensify diplomatic efforts to end the fighting.


ISIS widow charged over U.S. aid worker's death

On Monday the United States charged the widow of a senior Islamic State leader in connection with the death of U.S. aid worker Kayla Mueller, who was reported killed in Syria a year ago. The suspect — Nisreen Assad Ibrahim Bahar, also known as Umm Sayyaf — admitted after her capture last year that she and her husband had held Mueller and several other young female hostages. A Yazidi teenager who escaped said ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi raped Mueller in Umm Sayyaf's home. Umm Sayyaf was captured in a May 2015 raid that killed her husband, Abu Sayyaf, and is now in Iraqi custody.


Developer of collapsed Taiwan apartment building arrested

Taiwanese police have arrested the developer of a 17-story apartment building that collapsed in Saturday's earthquake. Search and rescue crews have pulled 38 bodies from the wreckage of the Wei-Guan Golden Dragon building, built in 1992. Another 109 people are still missing and believed trapped in the rubble. Only two deaths were reported in other parts of Tainan, a city of 1.8 million. Two construction company associates were arrested along with the developer, Lin Minghui.


Protests erupt in Hong Kong over crackdown on street vendors

Demonstrators clashed with Hong Kong police overnight after authorities cracked down on unlicensed food vendors. Street hawkers traditionally sell fish balls and other fare during the Lunar New Year. Protesters supporting the vendors set fires in the streets and threw bottles, trash, and pieces of wood. Police say protesters shoved officers, who responded with batons and pepper spray. Three men were arrested and three officers were injured in the worst violence in Hong Kong since 2014 pro-democracy protests.


Many injured when charter bus crashes in Connecticut snowstorm

Thirty people were injured Monday when their charter bus crashed on Interstate 95 in Connecticut as a snowstorm hit the Northeast. The bus was carrying 70 people from New York City to the Mohegan Sun Casino near New Haven.


TV audience for Sunday's Super Bowl third biggest ever

About 111.9 million viewers tuned in to CBS for Super Bowl 50 on Sunday, making the program the third most-watched show in U.S. TV history. The matchup between the Denver Broncos and the Carolina Panthers trailed the 2015 and 2014 Super Bowls, which had 114.4 million viewers on NBC and 112.2 million viewers on Fox, respectively. Viewership peaked between 8:30 and 9 p.m. ET, when Beyoncé and Bruno Mars joined Coldplay for the halftime show.


Man believed killed by meteorite in India

Indian authorities said Monday that a 40-year-old man appears to have been killed by a meteorite over the weekend at a college campus in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Three other people were injured. The apparent strike left a crater four feet deep. Scientists are investigating to confirm the claim. The victim — a bus driver named Kamaraj — would be the first person killed by a meteorite since 1825.

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