Top news stories for today – June 24, 2016
Britain votes to leave the EU: The UK has voted to leave the European Union, with the Leave camp getting 52 percent of the vote and the Remain side notching 48 percent. As the results started to indicate a Leave victory, the British pound dropped to a 30-year low against the dollar. Almost 46.5 million people in England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, and Gibraltar were eligible to vote in the Brexit referendum, just the third nationwide referendum the UK has ever held. Turnout was 72 percent. The Guardian, Twitter, The Week
David Cameron plans to resign: Speaking for the first time since Britain voted to leave the European Union, Prime Minister David Cameron said Friday morning he believes new leadership is required for the country to move forward. He said he would like to see a new prime minister by the start of the Conservative Party conference in October, and this person will be the one to decide when to trigger Article 50, starting the formal and legal process of leaving the EU. “I do not think it’s right for me to try to be the captain that tries to steer our country to its next destination,” he said. Cameron, who promoted staying in the EU, also said the will of the British people “must be respected,” and he reassured Brits living in European countries and European citizens living in the UK that there will be “no immediate changes” in their circumstances or in traveling. The Week
Brexit approval hammers pound, roils global financial markets: The decision by UK voters to leave the European Union sent the British pound plummeting more than 9 percent against the U.S. dollar early Friday, to $1.35, its weakest level since 1985. The euro weakened 4 percent, and global stock indexes fell or braced for heavy losses — Japan’s Nikkei index dropped 8 percent, London’s FTSE was projected to open down 7 percent, and Dow Jones Industrial Average futures dropped by more than 500 points. Britain is the world’s fifth largest economy, and second largest in the 28-member European Union (after Germany). Leaving the EU will pull Britain out of a major free-trade union and force it to negotiate new trade deals with the U.S. and other nations, and it leaves London’s status as a global banking center in doubt. Reuters, USA Today
SCOTUS’s blow on Obama’s plan
The Supreme Court tied 4-4 on Thursday over President Obama’s executive action to suspend immigrant deportations. Since a lower court had ruled against the program, the tie essentially blocks it. The news comes as a blow to millions of immigrants who would have been granted work permits despite not having legal status in the United States.
The Supreme Court also voted 4-3 on Thursday to uphold affirmative action in a case brought against the program at the University of Texas, Austin. In Texas, the law guarantees admission to any student who has graduated in the top 10 percent of his or her high school class. The remaining enrollments go to students who are considered for other factors, such as race. The lawsuit, brought by a white student who was denied admission, claimed it was not fair to make such a decision based on the vague qualifier of “race.” The school argued that students learn better in diverse environments. Politico
Singing chanting in US House for gun law
Congressman John Lewis, a civil rights icon, led Democrats out to the Capitol steps where they were surrounded by supporters chanting “Thank You! Thank You!” The protesting lawmakers responded by breaking into the song they sang on the House floor hours before, the civil rights anthem, “We Shall Overcome.” But this time they added words looking ahead to the next session of Congress: “We shall pass the bill.”
The song ended a day and night of unprecedented and often intense firsts in the U.S. House of Representatives, as the Republican leadership shut down cameras showing the House floor, causing Democratic lawmakers to turn to social media and live video on the internet via Twitter to stream their protest. Congresswoman Debbie Dingell’s very personal experience with gun violence was one of the most emotional moments streamed live during the sit-in. VOA
Myanmar migrants in Thailand greet Suu Kyi
The Myanmar state counselor and foreign minister, on her first official visit to Thailand since her government was inaugurated, went to Mahachai in Samut Sakhon province to address 500 Myanmar nationals working there. But the overflow crowd of thousands more, barred from entering the venue, lost patience.
“Long live mother,” they chanted and waved Myanmar flags as security forces tried to regroup and ponder how to get the crowd under control. VOA
Asian millionaires are the richest
Millionaires in Asia are wealthier than their counterparts in other regions of the world, including North America and Europe, according to a report by the Capgemini consulting firm. According to the report, Asian millionaires’ wealth was worth $17.4 trillion in 2015, more than double the $8.4 trillion in 2006. In North America, millionaires saw their wealth increase from $11.2 trillion to $16.6 trillion over the same time period.
Moreover, the sheer number of millionaires in Asia grew by 9.4 percent over last year. The report said there were 5.1 million Asian millionaires in 2015, the majority, 2.7 million coming from Japan and another one million from China. The U.S., by contrast, had 4.5 millionaires.
The report found that Asian millionaires increased their wealth by nearly 10 percent in 2015 compared to just over 2 percent in the U.S. and Canada. The report said Latin American millionaires fared the worst, seeing their fortunes reduced by 3.7 percent, which was caused by volatility in the Brazilian stock market. European millionaires, meanwhile, saw a 4.8 percent increase in wealth. VOA
US Presidential election
Hillary Clinton seeks party unity: Democratic Party unity was the target when Hillary Clinton, the party’s presumptive nominee for the presidential election, met with fellow Democrats on Capitol Hill. But some rank-and-file Democrats who campaigned against Clinton are still skeptical about voting for her in the November general election, and that could put the party’s united front at risk. A lot of Sanders supporters believe Clinton is in politics for the money, and feels Clinton has changed her positions on key issues over the years, and does not have the same passionate concern for ordinary Americans’ problems that Sanders displayed. VOA
Sanders supporters split: A Bloomberg Politics survey this month of likely general-election voters said 45 percent of those who have supported Sanders do not intend to vote for Clinton, and nearly half of that group told pollsters they will vote instead for Republican Donald Trump. VOA
Donald Trump converts $50 million campaign loan into donation: Donald Trump announced Thursday that he has converted the nearly $50 million he has loaned his campaign into an outright donation. “This money is a contribution in order to Make America Great Again,” the real-estate mogul said in a statement, invoking his campaign slogan.
Campaign-finance reports filed Monday offered a bleak picture of Trump’s balance sheet, showing he raised just $3.1 million from donors last month, as he became the Republican’s presumptive nominee. He gave his campaign a $2.2 million loan last month, bringing his loan total to $45.7 million through the end of May. USA Today
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