Daily briefing

10 things you need to know today: April 21, 2016

Ted Cruz pushes for another GOP debate, Queen Elizabeth II turns 90, and more


Ted Cruz pushes for another GOP debate after crushing New York loss

Ted Cruz, wanting to improve upon his dead last finish in New York's Republican primary on Tuesday, is calling for another debate before next week's primaries in Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, and Rhode Island. "Donald [Trump] concluded the people of New York didn't deserve a debate," Cruz told reporters Wednesday in Florida. "Well, you know what? I think the people of Pennsylvania deserve a debate." Since it's now impossible for Cruz to win enough delegates to make him the Republican nominee, his only hope will be to rob Trump of the 1,237 delegates needed to lock the nomination and thus force a contested convention. Cruz will focus on Maryland and Pennsylvania in particular.


Harriet Tubman to replace Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill

Treasury Secretary Jack Lew announced Wednesday that former President Andrew Jackson will soon be replaced by Harriet Tubman on the front of the $20 bill, though Jackson's image will remain on the back. Though the Treasury had initially planned to usurp Alexander Hamilton from his spot on the $10 bill in order to feature a woman on the currency, the Founding Father will also remain on the $10, while leaders of the women's right to vote movement will be featured on Hamilton's flip side. The $5 bill will also be updated to depict civil rights-era leaders.


Obama, King Salman discuss human rights issues in Saudi Arabia

President Obama and Saudi Arabia's King Salman met for two hours Wednesday in Riyadh, with the White House saying the pair discussed their opposing views on regional conflicts, human rights issues in the kingdom, and the fight against the Islamic State. "The president and king discussed the challenges posed by Iran's provocative activities in the region, agreeing on the importance of an inclusive approach to de-escalating regional conflicts," the White House said in a statement. The White House did not say if the pair talked about a proposed bill in Congress that could hold Saudi Arabia responsible for any role it may have played in the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.


ESPN fires Curt Schilling over anti-transgender Facebook post

Former Boston Red Sox pitcher and ESPN baseball analyst Curt Schilling was fired by the network on Wednesday after he shared an anti-transgender meme on Facebook. In a statement, ESPN called Schilling's conduct "unacceptable." The Los Angeles Times reports the meme was a picture of a man in a wig and women's clothing with the caption, "Let him in! to the restroom with your daughter or else you're a narrow minded, judgmental, unloving, racist bigot who needs to die!!!" Schilling is believed to have added the comments, "A man is a man no matter what they call themselves" and "Now you need laws telling us differently? Pathetic."


3 government officials charged over Flint water crisis

Three government officials have been hit with criminal charges in connection to the lead-contamination water crisis in Flint, Michigan, state Attorney General Bill Schuette announced in a Wednesday press conference. The three charged include Flint laboratory and water quality supervisor Mike Glasgow, and two Michigan Department of Environmental Quality employees, Steven Busch and Michael Prysby. Charges include tampering with evidence and misconduct in office. Flint's water became contaminated after the city, under a state-appointed emergency manager, switched water sources to save money.


Up to 500 refugees believed dead after ship sinks in Mediterranean

Up to 500 people are feared dead after a migrant boat shipwrecked off of Libya last week. Survivors say the boat sunk several miles out to sea when smugglers tried to transfer a group of migrants from a small boat onto the larger fishing boat. Forty-one survivors who were still on the small boat when the larger boat sank reported the event to the UNHCR. The shipwreck would be the most fatal in the Mediterranean in many months and brings the sea's total number of mortalities in 2016 to over 1,000, which is more than a quarter of last year's record.


Canada aiming to legalize marijuana in 2017

Canadian Health Minister Jane Philpott announced Wednesday at a United Nations special session on drugs that Canada will introduce legislation in 2017 to legalize and regulate recreational marijuana. The government plans to form a task force that will design a marijuana regulation system after gathering insight from provincial and territorial governments, experts, and the public. "I believe that if we respect one another's perspectives and seek common ground, we can achieve our shared objective: protecting our citizens," Philpott said. "Better yet, we can improve their lives."


Volkswagen reportedly reaches buyback deal over emissions scandal

Volkswagen and U.S. officials have reportedly reached a framework deal to buy back nearly 500,000 diesel cars that used special software to evade emissions tests, Reuters reports. While the exact details of the deal have yet to be announced, Volkswagen has reportedly also agreed to a compensation fund for owners — though it is not yet clear how much money owners would receive — and it's also possible that the company would offer to repair polluting vehicles. The deal affects diesel versions of the Jetta sedan, the Golf compact, and the Audi A3; larger 3.0-liter diesel vehicles like Audi and Porche SUV models are not part of the buyback deal.


Former WWE wrestler Chyna dies at 45

Former WWE wrestler Joanie Laurer, better known as Chyna, was found dead at her home in Redondo Beach, California, on Wednesday. She was 45. Her manager, Anthony Anzaldo, told the Los Angeles Times Laurer was discovered in the afternoon, and the cause of death is not yet known. Local police say they have opened an investigation, but there were no signs of foul play. In a statement posted on Laurer's Twitter account, her management team called her a "true icon, a real life superhero." After a successful wrestling career in the 1990s, Laurer appeared on the reality show The Surreal Life in 2005, released six pornographic films from 2004 to 2013, and went to Japan to teach English.


Britain celebrates Queen Elizabeth II's 90th birthday

Britain kicked off a string of celebrations for Queen Elizabeth II's 90th birthday Wednesday (the monarch's special day is Thursday), releasing a montage of 90 photographs, one for each of her years. A portrait of the queen with her great-grandchildren and youngest grandchildren, shot by Annie Leibovitz, also went viral. Britain will celebrate the longest-reigning monarch in British history with longer pub hours, equestrian displays, and even an appearance by Helen Mirren, the actress who played her in a popular film.


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