Top news stories for today – June 29, 2016
Suicide bombings kill 41 at Istanbul airport
“The terrorists came to the airport in a taxi and then carried out their attacks,” said Prime Minister Binali Yildirim. “The fact that they were carrying guns added to the toll.” No group has claimed responsibility for the deadly attack, but Yildirim said signs are pointing to the Islamic State, without elaborating.
Militants from the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) have also bombed targets in Turkey recently, but they don’t usually kill civilians. Ataturk airport reopened Tuesday evening, even as workers were cleaning the wreckage from the triple bombing. Reuters, CNN, The Week
Brexit summit continue without Cameron
European Union leaders are meeting today in Brussels to continue talks regarding next steps following last week’s Brexit vote. Britain’s prime minister, David Cameron, who campaigned against the Brexit, attended the summit on Tuesday but will be absent on Wednesday.
The UK has been given some time to let the dust settle before activating article 50, thus triggering the formal leaving process, but on Tuesday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said, “I want to say very clearly tonight that I see no way to reverse this.” The remaining 27 members of the EU are eager to stem the fallout of the vote and maintain the strength and integrity of the EU without Britain. Belgium’s prime minister, Charles Michel, said, “We have to show Europe brings a real added value that can be felt by our fellow citizens.” The Guardian, The Telegraph, The Week
Obama to meet leaders of Canada and Mexico
On Wednesday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is hosting US President Obama and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto in Ottawa for a North American Leaders’ Summit that will focus on regional cooperation on trade and climate change.
Obama will also deliver an address to Canada’s Parliament. Pena Nieto arrived in Canada early for a state visit, and he and Trudeau announced agreements to lower barriers between the two countries. With Obama, the three leaders are expected to announce a continent-wide climate change partnership, aiming to produce 50 percent of North America’s energy from renewable sources by 2025. The New York Times, The Associated Press, The Week
EU tells Britain to get out now
British leaders appear to be in no hurry to start the process of exit from the EU. But France and other EU members fear the longer Britain waits, the more economic damage could occur. Brexit has already shaken markets around the world, and Juncker said Tuesday, “We cannot allow ourselves to remain in a prolonged period of uncertainty.”
Leaders of the leave movement are demanding Britain still get tariff-free trade with the rest of the EU, just like Norway, a non-EU member, enjoys. Some EU lawmakers are upset by the British demand, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel. She warns Britain against what she calls cherry picking, saying, “If you want to exit and leave this family, then you cannot expect to drop obligations and have privileges continue.” VOA
Americans believe economy is rigged
Seventy-one percent think the US economic system is “rigged in favor of certain groups,” according to a new poll by Marketplace and Edison Research. The poll asked a simple question: Which of the following comes closer to your opinion on the economic system in the US People could select between three options:
- The economic system is rigged in favor of certain groups
- The economy system is fair to all Americans
- Don’t know
Most selected rigged economy. It didn’t matter if the person was white, black or Hispanic or whether they identified as Republican, Democrat or Independent. The majority feel the American Dream comes with huge asterisk that reads “only for the favored few.”
No wonder the “rigged economy” has become one of the biggest talking points on the 2016 campaign trail. Bernie Sanders may have started it, but Donald Trump now uses that exact term and Hillary Clinton talks often about how she’ll help those “left behind.” CNN
Sharapova attends Harvard Business School
Tennis superstar Maria Sharapova is enrolling for a course at the prestigious Harvard Business School. The Harvard Business School’s admissions process is notoriously tough, accepting only 11% of all 2016 applicants. The former world No. 1 and five-time grand slam champion has an estimated net worth of $195 million, with “Brand Sharapova” even encompassing candy products.
Sharapova tested positive for meldonium during January’s Australian Open, a medication added to the list of banned substances at the start of 2016. Porsche and TAG Heuer dropped their endorsements of Sharapova, while the United Nations also suspended the athlete’s status as a goodwill ambassador with its Development Program; a job described by Sharapova as “one of my proudest contracts ever.”
Her ban lasts until January 25, 2018, though Sharapova has launched an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). The CAS is expected to deliver its ruling by July 18. But even if the ban is upheld, Sharapova appears already prepared for a life after tennis. CNN
US Presidential election
Trump and Clinton are neck-and-neck in a new poll: A slight improvement in Donald Trump’s poll numbers has him neck-and-neck with Hillary Clinton less than a month from the beginning of the general election season. The Quinnipiac University survey, released on Wednesday, gives Clinton a slight edge of 42 percent to Trump’s 40 percent. However, 61 percent of voters also believe that the competition between the two is leading to the increase of hate and prejudice in the U.S. “It would be difficult to imagine a less flattering from-the-gut reaction to Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton,” the assistant director of the Quinnipiac University poll, Tim Malloy, said. The New York Times, The Week
Trump unveils jobs plan: Donald Trump on Tuesday used a speech in Pennsylvania to attack rival Hillary Clinton’s past positions on free trade agreements and to outline his own plan to create jobs. He also railed against free trade deals, slammed China as a currency manipulator, and lamented the loss of US manufacturing jobs in his speech, which he said was meant to “declare America’s economic independence.” The speech was largely absent of the petty personal attacks that characterized Trump’s fiery and unpredictable primary election speeches. It was also more substantial than his past comments on the economy.
Trump outlined a seven-step plan to bring back jobs to the US. The plan included withdrawing the US from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade deal, renegotiating the terms of the North American Free Trade Agreement, and appointing trade negotiators to identify trade violations by foreign countries. The plan also included several threats against China. Trump vowed to label China a currency manipulator and to bring trade cases against Beijing both in the US and at the World Trade Organization. VOA
On terrorism, Americans favor Clinton over Trump: A new poll shows most Americans believe Democratic presumptive presidential nominee Hillary Clinton would do a better job dealing with terrorism than her Republican rival Donald Trump. Fifty percent of those surveyed in the latest Washington Post-ABC News poll say they trust Clinton to handle terrorism, compared to 39 percent for Trump. Clinton also received more favorable reviews for her response to the recent mass shooting in Orlando, Florida. Forty six percent said Clinton had the better response, while 28 percent preferred Trump’s. VOA
Elizabeth Warren says Trump driven by greed: Liberal Elizabeth Warren attacked Donald Trump on Monday during her first campaign appearance with Hillary Clinton, calling him an “insecure money grubber” who is driven by greed and hate. Warren, a leader of the Democratic Party’s progressive wing and a potential vice presidential pick, said Clinton had spent her career fighting for liberal values while Trump, a wealthy real estate developer, was focused on boosting his bottom line. VOA
NRA to run $2 million Benghazi-themed ad campaign for Trump: The National Rifle Association’s political arm is launching its first ad campaign of the 2016 presidential race, with a survivor of the terror attack in Benghazi urging viewers to vote for Donald Trump. The ad, which the NRA Political Victory Fund is backing with more than $2 million, is the group’s first campaign in the presidential race and one of the larger expenditures by an outside group on behalf of the presumptive Republican nominee. USA Today
Clinton says ‘it’s time to move on’ following release of Benghazi report: Hillary Clinton on Tuesday responded to a question about the morning release of the House GOP’s Benghazi report, saying “no one has thought more about” the 2012 attacks than she has, but that “it’s time to move on.” “I have said from the very beginning, nothing is more important than the safety and security of our diplomats and development officials who go into dangerous places around the world pursuing American values, interests and our security,” Clinton said during an event in Denver.
“And I said this when I testified for 11 hours that no one has thought more about or lost more sleep over the lives that we lost, the four Americans, which was devastating.” On Tuesday, Clinton said the nation must “learn the right lessons from this tragedy,” noting that she’d “immediately” assembled “an independent committee” to investigate the matter. USA Today
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