Daily Briefing

10 things you need to know today: October 26, 2015

Harold Maass
A patient is hauled into a hospital in Pakistan.
AP Photo/Naveed Ali


Powerful earthquake shakes Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India

A 7.5-magnitude earthquake hit Monday in northern Afghanistan, with tremors felt in cities across the country, and in Pakistan and India. The full extent of the damage was not immediately known, but the powerful quake reportedly caused buildings to collapse. There were early reports of injuries near the epicenter in Afghanistan, and at least 43 deaths. People from Kabul to Islamabad described the quake as the most violent they had ever felt. "I thought it was the end of everything," said one restaurant worker in Islamabad. [The Washington Post, The Associated Press]


At least 5 killed when whale-watching boat sinks off British Columbia

Five people died Sunday when a whale watching tour boat sank off of Tofino, British Columbia. The 64-foot boat, Leviathan II, was carrying 27 people when its crew sent out a mayday call around 4 p.m. When search and rescue efforts were paused due to darkness, 21 people had been rescued and one remained missing. It was unclear what caused the vessel to sink on a calm, clear day. Jamie's Whaling Station and Adventure Centers, the vessel's tour operator, said early Monday that its "entire team is heartbroken" over the tragedy. [CNN, NBC News]


Republicans view Trump as most electable candidate, poll finds

Republican voters see Donald Trump as their best bet at winning the White House, according to an Associated Press-GfK poll released Sunday. Seven in 10 likely GOP voters said the billionaire businessman and former reality TV star could win if nominated, while just six in 10 said his closest rival, retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, could win. Both are tapping into a strong desire for an outside candidate. Among experienced politicians, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush is seen as most electable, with numbers rivaling Carson's. [The Associated Press]


European leaders agree to coordinate migrant response

Leaders from the European Union and the Balkan peninsula have agreed to a 17-point plan to control the flow of migrants, the European Commission said Monday. Negotiators decided in talks held in Brussels that there should be 100,000 accommodations in reception centers on the route from Greece to Germany. Half of the spots will be in Greece, which aims to be able to house 30,000 migrants by the end of the year. The rest of the accommodations will be in countries farther along the migrants' path. [Reuters]


Trump says he won't apologize for bringing up Carson's religion

Donald Trump said Sunday he would not apologize for bringing up rival GOP presidential frontrunner Ben Carson's Seventh Day Adventist religion because he had not said "anything bad" about it. "All I said was I don't know about it," Trump said on ABC's This Week. Carson, who recently pulled ahead of Trump in Iowa polls, said it was "a little interesting" that Trump would talk about religion, because he "went ballistic" when Carson questioned his faith several weeks ago. [The Washington Post]


Haitian election officials appeal for calm after landmark vote

Haitians voted Sunday in landmark elections that could have a profound impact on the path of the Caribbean nation's fragile democracy. More than five million registered voters are eligible to cast ballots for 54 presidential candidates, as well as representatives in a parliament that has not functioned for 10 months. The vote wrapped up without major snags, marking three straight elections without disruption by fraud or violence. Election officials appealed for calm until final results are released in November. [The Associated Press]


Patricia's remnants dumping rain on Louisiana next

The remnants of the former hurricane Patricia, downgraded to a tropical depression by Sunday, moved on after contributing to huge downpours in parts of Texas. Some areas got as much as 20 inches of rain from two storms hitting at once. The storm moved on toward Louisiana on Sunday, where some areas were expected to get as much as eight inches of rain overnight. There were no confirmed deaths from Patricia — which hit Mexico's Pacific coast as the strongest hurricane ever recorded. One man was, however, reported missing. [Reuters, The Associated Press]


Actor Jimmy Morales wins Guatemala presidential vote

TV comedian Jimmy Morales won Guatemala's presidential election on Sunday, taking more than 72 percent of the vote in a sign of public frustration with the political elite. Former First Lady Sandra Torres came in a distant second. Morales had led the polls since early September, when former President Otto Pérez Molina resigned due to a bribery scandal. Morales, a social conservative with the National Convergence Front party, said he had won "a mandate, a mandate to clean up corruption that has eaten at this country." [Time, The Wall Street Journal]


Suspect charged with second-degree murder for Oklahoma State parade crash

Adacia Chambers, the driver who allegedly crashed into Oklahoma State University's homecoming parade, was charged with four counts of second-degree murder, police said Sunday. Chambers, 25, was detained on suspicion of driving under the influence after she allegedly plowed into a crowd, killing four people. The dead were identified as Bonnie Jean Stone and Marvin Lyle Stone, both 65, Nikita Prabhakar Nakal of Mumbai, India, and 2-year-old Nash Lucas, son of a student at the university. [USA Today, CNN]


Biden says he "couldn't win" presidential election

Vice President Joe Biden told CBS' 60 Minutes that he had made the "right decision" by choosing not to run for president again because he "couldn't win." The interview, which aired Sunday, was Biden's first since he announced Wednesday that he would not seek the 2016 Democratic nomination. "I'll be very blunt," he said, "if I thought we could've put together the campaign that our supporters deserve and our contributors deserved, I would have gone ahead and done it." [CBS News]