Top news stories for today – June 28, 2016
David Cameron to attend Brexit summit
But EU lawmakers and the leaders of Germany, Italy, and France said Britain should invoke Article 50 as soon as possible, and the EU won’t hold any Brexit discussions until the UK starts the clock. Cameron and his EU counterparts will be able to discuss the timing and other Brexit details at a two-day summit starting Tuesday; Cameron will attend only the first day.
Germany’s Angela Merkel said Tuesday that Britain may want “close relations” with Europe, but “whoever wants to leave this family cannot expect to have no more obligations but to keep privileges.” BBC News, The Associated Press
Volkswagen to pay $14.7 billion for scandal
Under the deal, which will be filed Tuesday in San Francisco, VW will pay $2.7 billion in fines to the EPA and the California Air Resources Board, spend $2 billion on clean-emissions technology, and set aside $10.03 billion to buy back cars from customers and give owners as much as $10,000 per car for their trouble.
The vehicles were emitting more pollutants than allowed under U.S. and California law, and if the settlement is approved by a judge, car owners will have to either surrender their vehicles or agree to have them fixed to meet emissions standards. Bloomberg, The Week
Turkey apologizes Russia, restores ties with Israel
On Monday, Turkey restored full diplomatic relations with Israel and apologized to Russia for shooting down a Russian fighter jet last year. There are financial reasons for both acts of rapprochement: Restoring ties with Israel cleared the way for natural gas deals that will move gas from Israel to Turkey, and from Turkey to Europe; and Russia had demanded the apology before lifting sanctions on the import of Turkish goods and exports of Russian tourists to Turkey.
Last Nov. 24, Turkish F-16s shot down a Russian Su-24 in the mountainous Turkish-Syria border area; the pilot was killed, and a Russian marine was shot dead in a helicopter rescue attempt. Turkish-Israeli ties frayed after Israel launched a military raid in 2010 on a Turkish aid ship en route to Gaza, killing 10 Turkish activists. The New York Times, BBC News
Benghazi report to release
House Republicans are planning to release a long-awaited report Tuesday on the Benghazi terror attacks that killed four Americans on Hillary Clinton’s watch as secretary of state, reviving the politically charged issue less than five months before the election.
The report, parts of which have already been reviewed by CNN, paints a picture of a perfect storm of bureaucratic inertia, rapidly worsening security in Libya and inadequate resources in the months that led up to the killings of Ambassador Chris Stevens and three colleagues on September 11, 2012. Clinton told the House Benghazi Committee last year that she was aware of the dangers in Libya but “there was no actionable intelligence” indicating a planned attack.
The portion of the report obtained by CNN doesn’t offer a scathing indictment of Clinton. But it does argue that intelligence was available suggesting an attack was possible and Clinton and a top aide, Patrick Kennedy, should have realized the risks posed to the Benghazi mission by extremist groups. CNN
England’s another exit
Iceland pulled off one of the most astonishing results in the history of European football on Monday, knocking England out of the Euro 2016 finals. Playing at its first major international tournament, Iceland came from behind to win 2-1 in Nice and set up a quarterfinal tie against host nation France.
This victory, without doubt the most important in the country’s history, not only inflicted humiliation on England but also underlined Iceland’s reputation as a growing force in world football.
England, home of the world’s richest league, was woeful. In a week where Great Britain voted to leave the European Union, England was sent packing from Euro 2016 in embarrassing fashion. CNN
US Presidential election
Trump campaign struggles to explain state of proposed Muslim ban: Donald Trump has made a rhetorical shift in his proposed ban on all Muslims entering the US After the Orlando nightclub shooting, Trump said he “will suspend immigration from areas of the world where there is a proven history of terrorism against the US, Europe, or our allies.” In Scotland over the weekend, Trump said in countries with terrorism, “we don’t want the people coming in until they’re very strongly vetted.” Trump is preparing a policy memo to clarify the state of his Muslim ban, but spokeswoman Katrina Pierson told CNN’s Brianna Keilar on Monday evening that “there has been no change. He still does not want to allow individuals to come into this country who cannot be vetted.” “Individuals or Muslims?” Keilar asked. “Well, it doesn’t really matter where you’re coming from,” Pierson said. The Associated Press, CNN
Elizabeth Warren at Clinton event: Donald Trump is “a small, insecure money-grubber who fights for nobody but himself,” Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts said Monday morning at Cincinnati’s Union Terminal, as the possible vice presidential candidate lit up the crowd in her first appearance with Hillary Clinton. The joint appearance, and Warren’s enthusiasm for attacking Trump, added to speculation about her likelihood of receiving the nod to join Clinton as the vice presidential candidate on the Democratic ticket. Clinton and her supporters have touted Warren’s endorsement as the former first lady seeks to unite Democrats after a long primary battle with Sanders. USA Today
Sanders readies for platform fight on trade: Bernie Sanders is readying for battle over an amendment to the Democratic Party platform on trade. The Vermont senator is a staunch opponent of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a proposed 12-nation trade pact he says would have “disastrous” consequences for US workers and the environment. USA Today
Trump foes try to create a ballot spot for a challenger-to-be-named: The so-called #NeverTrump movement has not come up with a candidate to stop Donald Trump’s run for the White House, but a new group is trying to make sure that if they do, that candidate will have a place on ballots nationwide. John Kingston, a longtime Republican donor and ally of Mitt Romney, has put up seed money for a new group called Better for America to get a spot on ballots for a presidential candidate to be named later. The group, which launched in mid-June, has begun petitioning for ballot access using Better for America as a party name, planning to add a candidate name later. USA Today
Thousands of Republican donors avoid Donald Trump: Thousands of wealthy donors who helped fuel Republicans’ presidential ambitions in the last two election cycles have not donated to Donald Trump’s campaign or to other committees supporting his bid. Just 29 people who contributed to a super PAC supporting Mitt Romney four years ago had donated to Trump’s campaign. That accounts for about 2% of the more than 1,400 people who donated Romney during the 2012 election. Similarly, the analysis found only 23 individuals among the more than 3,400 donors who wrote checks to a super PAC supporting Jeb Bush’s candidacy in this election cycle had given to Trump or aligned groups so far. USA Today
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