There’s no hope. A Twin Otter plane operated by Tara Air crashed today near the village of Dana in Myagdi district, killing all 23 aboard. The plane crashed into a hillside, and was still in flames when the search team arrived. According to a 2015 analysis, the airline has one of the worst safety records in the industry, but the cause of the crash — which occurred halfway through the 20-minute flight from Pokhara to Jomsom — remains unclear. Crews are being sent to recover the bodies because helicopters cannot land near the scene.
The Presidential Daily Brief
This is unprecedented. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is urging President Obama to not even bother nominating a new justice to the nation’s highest court. A written vow from Senate Republicans on Tuesday promised that not only would they refuse to hold hearings, but they wouldn’t even meet with the nominee, a traditional courtesy. The White House accused the GOP of devastating partisanship, pointing out that no nominee since 1875 has been denied a vote, but the Senate is firm: The next president will fill the vacancy.
It’s a slick strategy. Ali al-Naimi told a gathering of energy companies and oil-producing countries that Saudi Arabia won’t be cutting back on production, despite the global glut and plummeting prices. The Saudis know that U.S. and Canadian oil production is more expensive, and they’re betting they can shoulder the North Americans out of the free-falling market, even if prices drop to $20 a barrel. The news itself dragged prices lower, to under $33, with analysts warning that lack of confidence in oil could trigger another recession.
U.N. drops first delivery of aid into ISIS-besieged Syrian city. (BBC)
Sepp Blatter, Michel Platini lose Fifa appeals, but bans trimmed to six years. (The Guardian)
Tornadoes ravage Gulf Coast, killing at least 3. (ABC)
Judge orders Hillary Clinton’s staff to testify about emails. (FT) sub
Aid begins to arrive on islands devastated by Cyclone Winston. (Reuters)
Bolivian voters: President Evo Morales can’t run for fourth term. (AP)
Egypt admits mistake in sentencing toddler to life in prison for murder. (CNN)
These won’t satisfy. Chocolate maker Mars is recalling Milky Way, Snickers and Mars bars of all sizes across Europe and Asia. The U.S. isn’t affected, because it’s not supplied by the company’s Dutch factories — the ones being held responsible for a piece of red plastic a German customer found in a Snickers bar in January. Mars says the recall is voluntary and mostly a precautionary measure, but it’s warning customers against eating chocolates with best-before dates from June 2016 to January 2017.
They’re not cutting off water supplies … Nevertheless, student protests are on the rise in India, fueled partly by young liberalism in the face of a new right-of-center government. But social media and demographics feed the fervor, too. Students from both sides of the aisle know something’s afoot, whether they call it “fake nationalism” or “lack of patriotism.” They’re chiming in on everything from support for convicted terrorists to the Delhi rape case, sparking fiery debates, occasional violence and, these days, even suicides, arrests, and terrorism.
This isn’t the love bug. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says 14 new U.S. cases of the Zika virus, including several pregnant women, may have been contracted sexually. All of the new cases are women — the CDC has no evidence that females can transmit the virus to partners — and they may help researchers determine how long Zika remains in semen. For now, the CDC isn’t asking men to get tested, but encouraging people to use condoms or abstain from sex if they’ve traveled to an infected area.
It’s a wise investment. Just days after a similar study found Hollywood fails to provide equal representation across race and gender, a new UCLA analysis found movies and shows with multiracial casts also make more money. Study author Dr. Darnell Hunt said audiences increasingly “crave diverse content,” pointing to the fact that 60 percent of tickets for 2014’s most financially successful film, Transformers: Age of Extinction, were bought by minority audiences. Hunt says if Hollywood can’t be moved for altruistic reasons, maybe it can be ushered forward by the bottom line.
He couldn’t stomach it. Irving missed most of the Cavaliers’ Sunday win over the Thunder with flu-like symptoms — but the 23-year-old guard later revealed the cause was actually bed bug bites. The historic Skirvin Hilton Hotel in Oklahoma City, which already has a reputation for being haunted, has apologized and said an investigation revealed it was an isolated incident. Irving has since returned to action, but he may join a growing list of NBA players that seek alternative lodging options when they visit.