Daily briefing

10 things you need to know today: February 27, 2016

Chris Christie endorses Donald Trump, Clinton and Sanders face off in South Carolina, and more


Chris Christie endorses Donald Trump

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie announced his endorsement of Donald Trump Friday during the Republican frontrunner's "mega-rally" in Fort Worth, Texas. "Donald and I have been friends for over a decade," Christie told the audience of over 8,000 people. "Donald Trump is someone who when he makes a promise, he keeps it." The endorsement comes at a key time, just days before Super Tuesday on March 1. "This is the one endorsement I felt strongly about and wanted to get," Trump said.


Clinton and Sanders face off in South Carolina

Democrats head to the polls on Saturday for the South Carolina primary, with FiveThirtyEight reporting Hillary Clinton has more than a 99 percent chance of winning the state. Both Clinton and Bernie Sanders have spent recent weeks attempting to earn the support of black voters, who make up a large portion of South Carolina's registered Democrats. However, despite Sanders' efforts, the contingent has mainly stayed loyal to Clinton. "There's a history between African-Americans and the Clintons," Carneal McCoy of North Charleston said. "There were a lot of good times."


Russia grounds planes as cease-fire in Syria takes effect

Russia has grounded its warplanes in Syria in observance of a temporary "cessation of hostilities" brokered in conjunction with the U.S., which took effect Friday night. A top Russian military official explained the decision to ground the planes by saying Russia wanted to "avoid any possible mistakes." The cease-fire, which excludes areas of the country controlled by ISIS, is seen as a stepping stone to U.N.-brokered peace talks. Despite the fact that the Syrian government, the opposition, and nearly 100 rebel groups agreed to the cease-fire, officials are skeptical of its chances of success.


Early election results show Iran's hard-liners losing ground to reformists

Early results from Iran's parliamentary elections show reformists receiving a strong backing while the nation's once dominant hard-liners are losing ground. Friday's election was the first since Iran reached an agreement with the U.S. and other world powers to curb its nuclear program, an agenda that was championed by moderate President Hassan Rouhani. If the reformists do indeed come out on top, it could mean continued progress toward easing religious social restrictions and striving for a better relationship with the international community.


Trump and Rubio trade barbs on pants-wetting, sweating after nasty debate

With audiences split on declaring Donald Trump or Marco Rubio the winner of Thursday night's debate, the two presidential hopefuls took to mudslinging on Friday. Rubio read Trump's misspelled tweets aloud at his Dallas rally, even going as far as to imply that Trump had wet his pants at the debate. Trump responded at his own rally with an animated impersonation of Rubio and claimed that the Florida senator wore too much makeup. This is just the latest uproar as candidates head into the crucial March 1 Super Tuesday primaries.


Kansas gunman reportedly served with restraining order just before shooting

Gunman Cedric Larry Ford was served with a restraining order just 90 minutes before he went on a shooting spree at Excel Industries in Hesston, Kansas, on Thursday, killing three people. Harvey County Sheriff T. Walton said that the protection from abuse order, which The New York Times reports is "usually intended to keep perpetrators of domestic violence away from their victims," could have sparked Ford's rampage at his place of work. Ford, 38, was killed in a shootout with the police.


Clinic performs first-ever uterus transplant in U.S.

Surgeons at Cleveland Clinic successfully completed a uterus transplant Wednesday, marking the first time the procedure has ever been performed in the U.S. The operation, which took nine hours, was performed on a 26-year-old woman using a uterus from a deceased organ donor. The patient hopes to become pregnant and give birth, though she will have to wait a year before she can try and will need in vitro fertilization. Prior to the experimental surgery in Cleveland, uterus transplants had only been performed successfully in Sweden.


5 dead after hours-long standoff in rural Washington

A Mason County, Washington, man called law enforcement on Friday morning to report he had shot two children, a woman, and another person in his home before entering into an hours-long standoff and negotiation with police. The suspect killed himself after two hours of talking with negotiators. "The gunshots, I figured, was target practice. I never thought more about it," one neighbor said afterward. A 12-year-old girl who is believed to be the daughter of the shooter was the only survivor.


The New Republic purchased by Tin House's Win McCormack

The century-old politics and culture magazine The New Republic was recently put up for sale by its owner, Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes. But the struggling magazine was given a new lease on life Friday, when it was announced that liberal political activist and Tin House editor-in-chief Win McCormack had purchased it. "We intend to continue in that same tradition, preserving the journal as an important voice in a new debate over how the basic principles of liberalism can be reworked to meet the equally demanding challenges of our era," McCormack said.


Yoko Ono hospitalized, but rumors of a stroke prove false

Influential artist and singer Yoko Ono, 83, was hospitalized for flu-like symptoms on Friday. Although initial reports claimed Ono had suffered a stroke, they were dismissed outright by her representative. Ono is the widow of the Beatles' John Lennon; their son, Sean Ono Lennon, reported on Twitter that his mother's only stroke was "a Stroke of Genius."


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Haitian gang asks $17 million ransom for abducted U.S. and Canadian missionaries
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Why America needs her foreign critics
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Twin roadside bombs in Damascus destroy bus carrying Syrian troops, kill 14
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