TheDailyBlog.nz Top 5 News Headlines Wednesday 2nd March 2016

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5: Rubio: Trump “Unelectable” After Refusing to Disavow KKK

On the campaign trail, Florida Senator Marco Rubio criticized Trump’s remarks refusing to disavow backing from former KKK member David Duke.

Sen. Marco Rubio: “He’s unelectable now. He refused to criticize the Ku Klux Klan. He’s now been given three interviews. This morning on the Today Show, he blamed it on a bad earpiece, that he couldn’t hear the question. I don’t care how bad the earpiece is, Ku Klux Klan comes through pretty clearly, and he refused to criticize it.”

Democracy Now!

4: World’s 20 richest people are $70bn poorer, says Forbes

Spare a thought for the billionaires of the world: the combined wealth of the 20 richest people on the planet has fallen by more than $70bn (£50bn) following a slump on global financial markets.

The latest annual ranking of billionaires by Forbes shows that falling share prices, a dramatic drop in the price of oil and volatile currency markets have shaken the global elite.

The combined wealth of the top 20 has fallen from $899bn last year to $827bn and the number of billionaires in the world has shrunk from a record 1,826 in 2015 to 1,810. It is the first time in seven years that the number of billionaires has decreased, and is the first drop in the wealth of the top 20 since 2012.

The Guardian

3: Palestinians demand truth about death in Sofia embassy

Ramallah, Occupied West Bank- Almost a week after he was found dead in the Palestinian embassy in Bulgaria, Omar Nayef Zayed’s case continues to grip the occupied Palestinian territories.

On Tuesday, a few dozen Palestinians protested by the Bulgarian Representative office in Ramallah amid a heavy security presence.

The protesters held a banner threatening that “the crime of assassinating AlNayef won’t go unpunished”, raising posters of the 51-year-old found in a pool of blood outside the building in Sofia.

The protesters held the Bulgarian authorities responsible and demanded the truth about his death be revealed.

“We came here to deliver a clear message to the Bulgarian representative; that they are responsible for this heinous crime,” Ahmad Zayed, Omar’s brother told Al Jazeera.

“They should have provided protection for Omar and the Palestinian embassy, but they didn’t.”

Aljazeera

2: Congressman Suggests FBI Is Taking Advantage of San Bernardino Tragedy to Push Agenda

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A leading House Democrat expressed serious concern on Tuesday that the FBI is exploiting the ISIS-inspired massacre of 14 people in San Bernardino to sidestep Congress on the encryption debate.

Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., said it was troubling “that in the middle of an ongoing congressional debate on this subject, the FBI would ask a federal magistrate to give them the special access to secure products that this committee, this Congress, and the administration have so far refused to provide.” He spoke at a hearing of the House Judiciary Committee, of which he is the ranking Democratic member.

“Why has the government taken this step and forced this issue?” he asked.

It was a rhetorical question.

“I suspect that part of the answer lies in an email obtained by the Washington Post and reported to the public last September,” Conyers said.

“In it, a senior lawyer in the intelligence community writes that ‘although the legislative environment towards encryption is very hostile today…it could turn in the event of a terrorist attack or criminal event where strong encryption can be shown to have hindered law enforcement.’”

Conyers continued: “I am deeply concerned by this cynical mindset. And I would be deeply disappointed if it turns out that the government is found to be exploiting a national tragedy to pursue a change in the law.”

The congressman was referring to a leaked letter authored by the intelligence community’s top lawyer, Robert S. Litt. In the letter, Litt advised “keeping our options open for such a situation.”

The Intercept

1: Refugee crisis: European leaders demand urgent support for Greece

Aid agencies and NGOs have said Europe’s “unconscionable” response to the refugee crisis is courting humanitarian disaster, as Brussels scrambled to prepare emergency summits and desperate scenes unfolded across the continent, from Greece’s border with Macedonia to a makeshift camp outside Calais.

With the EU entering what many see as a make-or-break phase in tackling the crisis, the bloc’s most senior leaders called for urgent action to support Greece as at least 8,500 refugees and migrants remained trapped without permanent shelter on the country’s closed northern border with Macedonia.

Frontex, the EU’s border control agency, said 30 times as many migrants entered Europe in January and February as in the same two months of last year, and the UN’s refugee agency announced that 131,724 people had crossed the Mediterranean – the vast majority of them reaching Greece – so far in 2016, almost as many as made the journey in the first six months of 2015.

The UNHCR said the continent stood “on the cusp of a largely self-induced humanitarian crisis”, with governments “not working together despite agreements … and country after country imposing new border restrictions”.

In a scathing statement, Human Rights Watch condemned the EU’s “utter failure to respond collectively and compassionately to refugee flows”.

The Guardian