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Daily Briefing

10 things you need to know today: April 25, 2016

Samantha Rollins
Ted Cruz shakes hands with John Kasich
AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee
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1.

Ted Cruz, John Kasich join forces to stop Donald Trump

Republican presidential candidates Ted Cruz and John Kasich issued statements nearly simultaneously Sunday announcing they are coordinating efforts to prevent Donald Trump from becoming the Republican presidential nominee. Cruz's campaign manager said in a statement that having Trump "at the top of the ticket in November would be a sure disaster for Republicans." The Cruz campaign will start focusing its resources on Indiana ahead of the May 3 primary and will "in turn clear the path for Gov. Kasich to compete in Oregon and New Mexico." Hours after the announcement, Trump called the move a "horrible act of desperation." [CNN, Politico]

2.

U.S. deploying 250 more U.S. troops to Syria, launching cyberattacks on ISIS

President Obama is sending 250 more U.S. military personnel to combat the Islamic State in Syria, bringing the total number of U.S. military forces in the war-torn country to about 300. U.S. officials say a main goal is to get more Sunni Arabs in the fight against ISIS. U.S. Cyber Command, the cyber-warfare cousin of the National Security Agency, has also been attacking ISIS, disrupting their communications, recruitment, and day-to-day operations, The New York Times reports. Cyber Command typically focuses on the nations that use the internet to attack the U.S. — Russia, China, Iran, North Korea — but Obama has added ISIS to the list of targets. [The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times]

3.

Israel frees its youngest Palestinian prisoner

Israel freed a 12-year-old girl believed to be the youngest Palestinian ever imprisoned, the nation's prison service said Sunday. Dima al-Wawi pled guilty to attempted manslaughter after approaching an Israeli West Bank settlement with a knife in February. She left her more than four-month sentence early after appealing. Her February arrest came as daily violence between Israel and Palestinian groups had been escalating for seven months. [The Associated Press]

4.

Poll: Trump, Clinton ahead in Pennsylvania before Tuesday primary

Presidential hopeful Donald Trump holds an 18-point lead over Ted Cruz among likely Republican voters in Pennsylvania, an NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist poll out Sunday shows. Trump has 45 percent support to Cruz's 27 percent and John Kasich's 24 percent. On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton leads Bernie Sanders 55 percent to 40 percent. Pennsylvania is one of five states headed to the polls Tuesday. [NBC News]

5.

Marijuana grow operations found at scene of Ohio murders

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine said the execution-style murders of eight family members near Piketon last week were "pre-planned." "They thought this thing through, whoever did it," he said. "This is not the case where somebody got mad at someone else and shot them and there's a witness, two witnesses." DeWine said police found marijuana growing operations at three of the four crime scenes, 70 miles east of Cincinnati, and so far, they are unsure if there is more than one suspect. Ohio Gov. John Kasich told CBS News "justice will be delivered," and an Ohio business owner is offering a $25,000 reward for information leading to arrests in the case. [The Washington Post]

6.

Clinton: 'Not interested' in Koch support

Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton promptly dismissed comments made Sunday by conservative billionaire political donor Charles Koch, in which he suggested "it's possible" Clinton could make a better president than any of the remaining GOP contenders. "Not interested in endorsements from people who deny climate science and try to make it harder for people to vote," Clinton tweeted. Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus attempted to smooth over Koch's comments, saying the brothers, and Charles in particular, tend to "go out of their way" to appear nonpartisan. [Politico]

7.

American CEOs rail against populist political moment

Chief executives at large U.S. corporations aren't feeling the Bern or enjoying Donald Trump's populist tirades, The Wall Street Journal reports, and "concerns are mounting in boardrooms and corner offices that antibusiness rhetoric may solidify even after the November election." Many corporate chiefs are giving up on the next president and instead trying to elect friendly candidates to Congress, WSJ says, and they "fault Democrats for ignoring tax treatment that puts U.S. firms at a disadvantage and chide Republicans for neglecting investments in education, infrastructure, and workforce training that could help workers who have been left behind in a globalized economy." [The Wall Street Journal]

8.

Former U.S. senator announces marriage to a man

Harris Wofford, a former Democratic senator from Pennsylvania and adviser to President John F. Kennedy Jr., announced his marriage to a man 50 years his junior Sunday in a New York Times op-ed. Twenty years after the death of his wife, with whom he enjoyed a "happy half-century" of marriage, Wofford, 90, said he will soon marry his longtime companion and boyfriend Matthew Charlton, 40. "Too often, our society seeks to label people by pinning them on the wall — straight, gay, or in between," Wofford wrote. "I don't categorize myself based on the gender of those I love." [The New York Times]

9.

Solar plane completes Pacific flight without fuel

A solar-powered plane successfully touched down in California Sunday, completing a two-and-a-half-day flight without a single drop of fuel. The Solar Impulse 2, piloted by Swiss explorer Bertrand Piccard, took flight 62 hours earlier from Hawaii. The trip, which is being heralded as a major step in clean technology, is part of Piccard and his partner Andre Borschtberg's plan to pilot the plane across the world without any fuel. "It's a new era. It's not science fiction. It's today," Piccard told CNN. "It exists and clean technologies can do the impossible." [CNN]

10.

Beyoncé's Lemonade reportedly coming to iTunes, Amazon

Tidal's period of exclusivity with part-owner Beyoncé's new album Lemonade is reportedly going to be quite short. The New York Times reports that the album, which was released Saturday in a splashy music video debut on HBO, will soon be available for purchase on iTunes and Amazon. The singer's sixth album, which touches on issues of love, infidelity, and black womanhood, features guest appearances from artists including Jack White, The Weeknd, James Blake, and Kendrick Lamar. [The New York Times]