Top News Stories for Today

Top news stories for today – July 3, 2016

California approves new gun control

California approves new gun controlCalifornia Gov. Jerry Brown signed six new gun control measures into law on Friday while vetoing five other gun-related bills he said were excessive in regulatory scope.

Among the bills Brown signed was one prohibiting possession of magazines that can hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition, as well as a ban on semiautomatic weapons with “bullet buttons,” a feature that facilitates speedy reloading. Brown’s decision was hailed by gun control supporters as “far-reaching and bold” and by gun rights advocates as a “draconian” exploitation of post-Orlando fears. The New York Times, The Week



Suicide bombing kills 75 in Baghdad

Suicide bombing kills 75 in BaghdadA suicide car bombing at a busy shopping area in Baghdad early Sunday has killed at least 75 people and wounded more than 130 others. Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the blast in the Karrada district, saying Shi’ites were targeted.  The jihadist group considers Shi’ites heretics.

The blast went off after sundown when many people were in the streets after a day of fasting.  As the month of Ramadan nears an end, many Muslims go to shopping areas ahead of the holiday marking the end of the holy month.

The attack came little more than a week after Iraqi forces ousted Islamic State militants from the city of Fallujah, just 50 kilometers west of the capital. A second deadly blast occurred in eastern Baghdad, killing at least one person and wounding several others.  There has been no immediate claim of responsibility for the second blast. VOA



Britain likely to have woman PM

Britain likely to have woman PMBritain appears to be heading to having a woman prime minister again — 26 years since the country’s first, Margaret Thatcher, left office after a Conservative Party coup largely mounted over the country’s membership in the EU.

The leading candidates to replace David Cameron as leader of the ruling Conservatives and the country’s prime minister are now both women — the country’s tough-minded Interior Minister Theresa May, and Energy Minister Andrea Leadsom, a less experienced politician.

The three male contenders in the race appear to be losing ground fast among Conservative lawmakers, who vote in a series of secret ballots starting Tuesday to whittle the field until two candidates are left. The party’s 150,000 grass-roots members make the final decision in a postal ballot scheduled to be held by September 2. VOA



Pakistan’s mix reaction on  US drones death toll report

Civilian death toll from US drone strikes releasedReaction to the White House report on civilian casualties in drones was mixed in Pakistan, the country that has suffered the highest number of strikes and casualties outside active conflict zones.

Pakistan’s foreign office issued a press release reiterating its calls for “an immediate cessation of drone strikes that violate the territorial integrity and sovereignty of [S]tates.” Pakistan’s government routinely denounces the strikes which are deeply unpopular among the public, but authorities are believed to privately consent to the operations targeting militants in the country’s tribal regions.

The U.S. report said between 64 to 116 civilians had been killed in strikes outside active combat zones from 2009 to 2015. It said the strikes killed between 2372 to 2581 combatants. VOA

US Presidential election

FBI interviews Clinton in email investigation: On Saturday, presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton spoke with FBI investigators looking into the personal email server she used while secretary of state. The meeting lasted roughly three and a half hours. Several of Clinton’s current and former aides, who also used the server, have already spoken with the agency, though it was previously unknown whether Clinton herself would be required to give testimony. The FBI reportedly plans to finish its inquiry in advance of the major parties’ conventions at the end of July. “Secretary Clinton gave a voluntary interview this morning about her email arrangements while she was secretary,” a Clinton campaign spokesman said in a statement. “She is pleased to have had the opportunity to assist the Department of Justice in bringing this review to a conclusion.” The Hill, New York Times, The Week

Republican women organize to support Clinton: Five young Republicans women busily brainstormed how they could help Hillary Clinton become the next president of the United States, in Washington DC. The group included an unlikely gang of pro-Clinton foot soldiers, including a Mississippi-born Southern Baptist who got her start in GOP politics as an intern in the second Bush White House, a conservative health care policy analyst who has volunteered for anti-abortion causes and a former president of the Cornell University College Republicans. They kicked off the first steering committee meeting for a new organization: “Republican Women for Hillary.” Their motivation is “Stop Donald Trump”. CNN