Daily Briefing

10 things you need to know today: February 28, 2016

Kimberly Alters
On the road to the election.
REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
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Hillary Clinton routs Bernie Sanders in South Carolina primary

Hillary Clinton was immediately named the winner of the South Carolina Democratic presidential primary Saturday, dominating the contest thanks to support from African-American voters. Clinton crushed opponent Bernie Sanders, winning roughly 74 percent of the vote — including the backing of nearly 9 in 10 black voters, exit polls showed. In her Palmetto State victory speech, Clinton vowed, "Tomorrow, this campaign goes national," alluding to the Super Tuesday contests on March 1. Seven of the 11 states voting Tuesday are in the South, where Clinton hopes to carry her momentum among African-American voters to victory. [The New York Times, Fox News]


The Revenant looks to win big at 88th annual Academy Awards

Oscar predictors and bookies are calling Alejandro G. Iñárritu's The Revenant a heavy favorite for golden statuettes at Sunday night's Academy Awards. The Week's Scott Meslow expects the wilderness survival story to take top prizes for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Cinematography, and Best Actor, to Leonardo DiCaprio. Critical darling Mad Max: Fury Road is expected to sweep the visual awards, such as Best Film Editing, Best Production Design, and Best Visual Effects. [The Week]


Iran reformists sweep parliamentary elections

Partial election results released Sunday show Iran's reformists sweeping the country's parliamentary elections, winning all 30 seats in Tehran and handing the country's hard-liners a stark defeat. The victors are allies of reformist President Hassan Rouhani, who said Saturday "the people showed their power" by voting and "gave more credibility and strength to their elected government." These are the first elections in Iran since the country signed a nuclear deal, supported by Rouhani, with world powers last year. The final election results are expected Monday. [CBS News, BBC News]


Former Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer endorses Donald Trump

Former Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer announced Saturday that she is endorsing Donald Trump for president. The support comes on the heels of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Maine Gov. Paul LePage's endorsements of the Republican frontrunner, and just days ahead of the Super Tuesday contests on March 1. Brewer cited her appreciation for Trump's tough stance on immigration and said of the mogul, "as a Washington outsider, Mr. Trump gets it." [Donald Trump, CNN]


Russian coal mine accident kills 36

A coal mine in Russia collapsed Sunday after a methane gas leak triggered a third explosion, following two previous explosions in the mine late Thursday. The gas leak caused the three blasts and resulted in a blazing fire, conditions that combined to kill 36 people, including five rescue workers. Russian Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich visited the mine Sunday and told Russian news agencies that while investigators had suspicions about the cause of the accident, their findings were not yet ready for release. [NBC News, Fox News]


Top Republican brass 'verging on panic' in efforts to stop Donald Trump's rise

While Donald Trump picked up three gubernatorial endorsements over the weekend, some top Republicans are still flailing for a way to stop the mogul's charge to the nomination. The New York Times reports a meeting was held between top GOP governors and donors last week in order to fortify an anti-Trump message, while a separate effort to unite an anti-Trump super PAC went unfulfilled. Advisers with the Rubio and Kasich campaigns have acknowledged the possibility of a brokered convention battle. "There's this desire, verging on panic, to consolidate the field," Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), a former Jeb Bush supporter, said. [The New York Times]


CDC warns pregnant women against traveling to Rio Olympics amid Zika outbreak

The CDC released an advisory Friday urging pregnant women to avoid traveling to Brazil for the 2016 Summer Olympics due to growing concerns over the Zika virus. "The Zika outbreak in Brazil is dynamic," the CDC said, issuing strict recommendations for pregnant women and their male partners to either "use condoms or abstain from sex" entirely if they insist on attending the Games, which are being held in Rio de Janeiro. The Zika virus infection has been linked to miscarriage and microcephaly, a severe birth defect of the brain. [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , The New York Times ]


NFL quarterback Peyton Manning to reportedly announce retirement

Long-time NFL quarterback Peyton Manning will reportedly announce his retirement from professional football this week. Manning led the Denver Broncos to a Super Bowl championship earlier this month, but the question of his retirement loomed for much of the season, with speculation reaching a height after the Broncos defeated the Carolina Panthers for the title. Manning, who turns 40 next month, is the oldest quarterback to ever win a Super Bowl and has two championship rings to his name. [The Denver Post]


MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry to leave the network over diversity issues

Sources at MSNBC said Saturday the network would cut ties with host Melissa Harris-Perry, after the host refused to appear on her program Saturday morning. Harris-Perry wrote an email to her coworkers earlier in the week saying she felt "worthless" in the eyes of network executives following several pre-emptions of her show for election coverage. "I am not a token, mammy, or little brown bobble head," Harris-Perry wrote. The network has faced similar diversity criticism over its treatment of Jose Diaz-Balart's weekday show and its demotion of two African-American hosts, the Rev. Al Sharpton and Joy Reid. [The Washington Post, The New York Times]


Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry sets NBA three-point record

Golden State Warriors guard and reigning league MVP Stephen Curry made NBA history Saturday, breaking the league's record for most three-pointers made in a single season. Against the Oklahoma City Thunder, Curry drained 12 threes — including a game-winning triple with 0.6 seconds left in overtime — bringing his total for the season to 288 and surpassing the previous record-setting mark of 286, which he himself set last year. With 24 games left in the Warriors' regular season schedule, Curry could easily bring the record to more than 300 three-pointers made in a single season. [ESPN]