Midday Roundup: Cruz announces presidential bid at Liberty University
by Lynde Langdon
Posted 3/23/15, 11:30 am
It’s official. The 2016 presidential race got its first official candidate this morning when Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, announced his intention to run. Though many other contenders such as former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker have been unofficially campaigning for months, Cruz is the first to make an official announcement. By declaring his candidacy at Liberty University, the country’s largest Christian college, Cruz took an early stand as a cultural conservative. In videos posted online today, he attempted to connect with immigrants by referencing his Cuban father, women by praising his mother as a computer scientist who “shattered glass ceilings,” and religious believers by showing his family praying around the dinner table. He touted his efforts in the Senate to defund Obamacare and to block President Barack Obama’s executive action on immigration. Neither effort worked, but both demonstrated Cruz’s uncompromising values and set him up as a maverick conservative who is unafraid to take on either political party.
A memorable leader. Lee Kuan Yew, the founder of modern Singapore who helped turn the impoverished slum into one of the world’s richest nations, died Monday. He was 91. Lee, the country’s first and longest-serving prime minister, guided Singapore through a split with Malaysia in 1965 and led the transformation of what was then a sleepy port city into a global trade and finance center. Although he could have remained in office for much longer, he stepped aside in 1990. Still, he remained an influential behind-the-scenes figure for many more years, until his health deteriorated. “In the end, my greatest satisfaction in life comes from the fact that I have spent years gathering support, mustering the will to make this place meritocratic, corruption-free, and equal for all races—and that it will endure beyond me, as it has,” Lee said in his 2013 book, One Man’s View of the World.
Privacy breach. A group affiliated with ISIS has posted a list of what it says are the home addresses of 100 U.S. servicemen. It is calling for other radical Islamists to “behead them in their own homes.” The group, calling itself “The Islamic State Hacking Division,” said it got the addresses by breaking in to U.S. military servers. The Department of Defense is investigating the online posting, but it believes ISIS got the addresses from public sources, according to NPR.
WWII memories. This week marks the 70th anniversary of the end of the Battle of Iwo Jima during World War II. For 35 days in February and March 1945, two U.S. Marine divisions of 40,000 men fought the entrenched Imperial Army of Japan for control of the tiny island off the Japanese mainland. The Japanese fought nearly to the last man, with almost 20,000 dying before the island fell. Nearly 7,000 Americans were killed.
The Associated Press and WORLD Radio’s Kent Covington and Jim Henry contributed to this report.