Top news stories for today – June 26, 2016
Other EU exit movements underway
Slovakia’s People’s Party has already launched a petition calling for a referendum vote even as Slovakia prepares to assume the EU’s six-month rotating presidency in July. Marine Le Pen of France’s National Front Party tweeted her interest in a Frexit, writing, “Victory for Freedom! As I have been asking for years, we must now have the same referendum in France and EU countries.” USA Today, Reuters, The Week
Hawaii law put gun owners in FBI database
Hawaii became the first state in the nation to automatically place all gun owners in an FBI criminal tracking database, which will enable the federal government to “monitor them for possible wrongdoing anywhere in the country.”
If a Hawaiian gun owner is arrested for any reason, their hometown police will be notified and their permission to own a gun reexamined. Hawaii Gov. David Ige, who signed the bill Thursday, said it “has undergone a rigorous legal review,” but critics say the new law is an extreme and invasive measure. Yahoo News, Office of the Governor, The Week
Kerry to visit Britain in post-Brexit turmoil
Aftershocks from Britain’s stunning decision to leave the European Union continued Sunday, as the country’s politics and its relations with the world plunged into deeper uncertainty. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, already in Europe, added previously unannounced stops in London and Brussels to his trip at the last minute.
Kerry plans to meet with British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond and other officials as part of a process of maintaining ties with Washington’s top ally in a new era when Britain is less engaged with Europe.
The Obama administration has reacted with concern to the Brexit referendum and what it will mean for relations with London and with the EU. “The United Kingdom and the European Union will remain indispensable partners of the United States even as they begin negotiating their ongoing relationship,” President Obama said in a statement Friday. VOA
The battle for Falluja is over
Lt. General Abdul Wahab al- Saadi, the commander of the liberation of Falluja operations, announced on state TV that the city was liberated Sunday after recapturing the neighborhood of al-Jolan from ISIS.
Standing in the al-Jolan neighborhood, he said this was the last area of Falluja that ISIS had control of. Over 1,800 ISIS militants were killed during the military operations by the Iraqi forces to recapture the city and villages surrounding it, al-Saadi told al-Iraqiya TV.
In a symbolic victory, troops from the Iraqi Federal Police raised the national flag over the Falluja mayor’s office Friday. The move came nearly four weeks after the start of a U.S.-backed offensive to liberate the city, the last major ISIS foothold in Iraq’s Anbar province. CNN
Beijing is sinking 4 inch a year
An international study led by Beijing-based researchers has discovered that the city is dropping by as much as 11 centimeters (4 inches) in some districts per year. The thirsty city has depleted its groundwater, which the study identified as the cause of the sinking.
Using satellite imagery and GPS data, the team analyzed topographical trends from 2003 to 2010 and found that the city, which has a population of over 20 million, was sinking at an alarming rate.
The study was published this month and supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China. VOA
US Presidential election
Conservative icon says he’s leaving GOP over Trump: Conservative commentator and columnist George Will, Pulitzer Prize winner, says he is leaving the Republican Party because of Donald Trump — and he’s advocating that others do the same. In a speech at a Federalist Society luncheon Friday, he told the audience, “This is not my party,” according to PJ Media, a conservative news website. PJM reported that Will cited House Speaker Paul Ryan’s endorsement of Trump is one of the reasons why he decided to leave the party.
Donald Trump’s shifting positions on Muslim ban: Donald Trump’s proposed ban on Muslims entering the United States has been a central issue of his campaign — but he has described the ban differently in the weeks since the mass shooting in Orlando. His spokeswoman, Hope Hicks, told CNN Saturday that Trump supports barring only Muslims from “terror states,” not all Muslims. Trump even indicated that the ban is not ironclad, telling CNN in a brief interview on Saturday he would consider allowing Muslims from states with heavy terrorist activity to enter the U.S., as long as they are “vetted strongly.” CNN
Rising GOP star Love skipping party convention: Utah Rep. Mia Love, joined the ranks of Republican leaders and lawmakers who will be skipping their party’s convention next month, saying that she would instead visit Israel with a congressional delegation. Love, who has long been viewed as a rising star inside a party seeking more diversity, was given a prime-time speaking slot at the 2012 Republican Convention. But The Salt Lake Tribune reported that she would instead visit Israel with other lawmakers and campaign for re-election during the convention next month. CNN
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