BRIEFLY

Death penalty

RNZ – US President Donald Trump has called for drug traffickers to face the death penalty as part of his plan to combat the country’s painkiller-addiction epidemic. He outlined the proposal during a speech in New Hampshire, a state badly affected by the opioid crisis.

Bid for governor

RNZ – Sex and the City star Cynthia Nixon has announced she is launching a bid for New York governor in the upcoming Democratic primary. The actress and liberal activist said in her campaign launch video: “I love New York. I’ve never wanted to live anywhere else, but something has to change.”

Uber death

RNZ – Uber is suspending self-driving car tests in all US and Canadian cities after a woman was struck by a car and killed. The accident marked the first fatality from a self-driving vehicle, which are still being tested around the globe. Uber chief Dara Khosrowshahi said the death was “incredibly sad news”.

Military exercises

Reuters – The US and South Korea have agreed to resume joint military drills early next month, the Pentagon said, a move that was expected despite US President Donald Trump’s planned meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. The exercises are expected to begin on April 1, and will be of a “scale similar to that of the previous years”.

Deal flawed

Reuters – Saudi Arabia called the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers a “flawed agreement”, on the eve of a meeting between the Saudi crown prince and US President Donald Trump who have both been highly critical of Iran. Iran denies interference in the region’s affairs.

‘Son of a dog’

Reuters – Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called the US ambassador to Israel a “son of a dog” because of his support for Israeli settlers in the occupied West Bank. Mr Abbas also blamed Hamas for a bomb attack on the convoy of Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah in Gaza.

Arms race

Reuters – Russian President Vladimir Putin struck a softer tone towards the West after winning his biggest ever election victory, saying he had no desire for an arms race and would do everything he could to resolve differences with other countries. Mr Putin’s victory extends his political dominance of Russia by six years to 2024.