Obama demands Lynch vote
President Obama called on Republicans to schedule a vote on his nominee to replace outgoing Attorney General Eric Holder, calling Loretta Lynch's monthslong wait a case of Senate "dysfunction" gone too far. At a news conference with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, Obama also said he planned to make a "strong case" for his ambitious trade deal to skeptics within his own party and he left open the possibility that sanctions on Iran might be lifted at once if a deal over the country's nuclear program is reached. He said the details of the Iran deal would be hammered out by Secretary of State John Kerry and negotiators, but he noted that "there are a lot of different mechanism and ways" to lessen the sanctions.
Measles outbreak declared over
The measles outbreak that began at Disneyland over the winter holidays is over, California health officials said. A total of 131 people were infected with the measles in California as well as at least 25 others who resided in seven other states, Canada and Mexico. There have been no new measles cases related to the outbreak that began at Disneyland in 42 days. It can take 21 days for a person infected with measles to show signs of illness. An outbreak can be declared over if no new illnesses are reported for 42 days.
Espresso finally arrives in space
The SpaceX supply ship arrived at the International Space Station, delivering the world's first espresso machine designed exclusively for astronauts. Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti captured the Dragon capsule, which arrived three days after its Florida launch, with the help of a giant robot arm. The cargo carrier holds more than 4,000 pounds of much-needed groceries, experiments and equipment. Italy provided the espresso maker for Cristoforetti, who's been stuck with instant coffee since her mission began in November. The espresso machine is three months late because of the backlog created by last year's loss of a supply ship in a launch explosion.
Chicago schools chief takes leave
Chicago Public Schools Chief Barbara Byrd-Bennett has taken a leave of absence pending the outcome of a federal probe into a no-bid contract with a company she once worked for. Mayor Rahm Emanuel's administration decided on that option because Byrd-Bennett has not been accused of wrongdoing. While she is out, Chicago Board of Education Vice President Jesse Ruiz will serve as interim CEO.
Pressure to aid refugees grows
With Syria's neighbors shutting their borders to refugees and thousands trying to cross the Mediterranean, the war in Syria is creating the worst global refugee crisis in decades, putting new pressure on the United States and other Western countries to open their doors. U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres has stepped up calls for industrialized countries to shelter 130,000 Syrian refugees.
Long-wanted Saddam ally killed
Iraqi security forces killed Izzat Ibrahim al Douri, the highest-ranking member of the late Saddam Hussein's regime to escape the U.S.-led invasion and occupation. Final confirmation of his identity will come from DNA testing.
Anti-immigrant violence persists
Shops and vehicles owned by foreigners were attacked in downtown Johannesburg as the government tried to quell a wave of anti-immigrant violence that has claimed at least four lives. Police officers fired rubber bullets and stun grenades to disperse crowds of immigrants from other African nations.