Top news stories for today – June 4, 2016
Muhammad Ali is dead at 74
Muhammad Ali, one of the world’s greatest boxers and the 20th century’s biggest personalities, died Friday night in Phoenix, after being hospitalized for respiratory problems. Ali, born Cassius Clay, changed his name and converted to Islam in 1964, after beating Sonny Liston for the heavyweight championship, the first of three times he won the heavyweight title.
Ali’s boxing career was briefly put on hold when he refused to serve in the Vietnam War, then ended for good when he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 1981. During his career he amassed a 56-5 record with 37 knockouts, and fought in some of the most famous boxing matches in history, including the “Rumble in the Jungle” in Zaire against George Foreman and the “Thrilla in Manilla” against Joe Frazier. Ali’s funeral will be Wednesday in Louisville, Kentucky, his hometown. The Associated Press, The Week
US economy adds only 38,000 jobs in May
The US economy added a measly 38,000 jobs in May, far below the 160,000 economists expected. The monthly job gains were the smallest since the fall of 2010. The March and April job numbers were also revised down by 59,000 jobs.
That means the US economy added an average of just 116,000 jobs per month over the last three months, reflecting a significant slowdown from last year’s average monthly growth of 229,000 jobs. This is partly due to “the Verizon effect,” as nearly 40,000 workers went on strike in April. Unemployment dropped from 5 percent in April to 4.7 percent in May, but largely because hundreds of thousands of people dropped out of the potential labor force. Business Insider, Bloomberg
Paris’ Seine rises to highest level since 1982
Rain continued to drench Paris Friday, doing nothing to alleviate the massive flooding of the Seine river, which is expected to crest at 20 to 21 feet — its highest level since 1982.
Thankfully, it appears the flooding will fall short of 26 feet, the level reached during the disastrous flood of January 1910. Still, the Louvre museum was closed all day in order to properly protect art from the rising waters, and one cannot walk through many parts of central Paris. “People have started to leave their homes because there is water in the streets, and they don’t want to stay if it means wearing rain boots inside,” one Parisian said. The New York Times, The Week
US defector’s sons in N Korea video
Two brothers who grew up in North Korea and identify themselves as the sons of an American defector appeared together in a North Korean video this week, calling on the United States to stop its hostility toward Pyongyang.
Speaking fluent Korean, with a North Korean accent, James and Ted Dresnok blame “American imperialism” for the tensions on the Korean peninsula, and call on the U.S. to withdraw its forces from South Korea.
“The United States must abandon its anti-North Korean policy,” Ted Dresnok says in the video. “The U.S. needs to wake up, reach a peace agreement with us, and leave South Korea. That’s the only way to save itself.” CNN
Mosquito season means Zika season
It’s nearly the start of summer in the U.S. — vacation time for families and breeding time for mosquitoes, including the one that carries the Zika virus. Dr. Tom Frieden, the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, says much can be done to prevent the spread of Zika in the U.S., particularly in the south, if Congress would only provide the money.
“We need a robust response to protect American women and reduce, to the greatest extent humanly possible, the number of families affected. We don’t know who those children will be. We don’t know where they will grow up, but anything we don’t do now, we will regret not having done later,” he said.
Frieden and other top doctors say Zika would not be a major threat except that it causes serious birth defects, including microcephaly, which literally means “small head.” VOA
US Presidential election
Trump says his temperament is more tougher then Clinton: Presumptive Republican U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump reacted strongly Thursday night to the blistering foreign policy speech Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton delivered earlier in the day in which she attacked Trump, saying he “is temperamentally unfit to hold an office that requires knowledge, stability and immense responsibility.” “My temperament is so much tougher, so much better than hers,” Trump countered in his evening address in San Jose, California. He said “Lyin’, Crooked Hillary” had “made up” his foreign policy. VOA
Trump gets big impact from small ad buys: Hillary Clinton has been vastly outspending Donald Trump on campaign ads, but a new survey suggests Trump is getting far more bang for the buck. In an online survey by the digital marketing firm Fluent, conducted Tuesday, 52% of respondents said they had seen a television ad in support of Clinton in the previous week and 45% said they had seen an ad supporting Trump. While she has a 7% advantage, it’s far less than the margin by which she has outspent him.
Clinton’s campaign thus far has aired about 105,000 ads, while Trump’s campaign thus far has aired about 33,000, said Travis Ridout, co-director the Wesleyan Media Project which tracks political advertising. The group estimated in mid-May that Trump had spent $18.5 million on TV ads while Clinton had spent about $62.6 million. USA Today
African-American singled out by Trump: A man at a Donald Trump rally here Friday says he took no offense when the candidate singled him out and said, “Look at my African-American over here.” “That was me, seriously. I got two autographs out of that,” said Gregory Cheadle, a Republican from Happy Valley who is running for the 1st Congressional District.
Cheadle said African-Americans have historically been dismissed by politicians, which is why they were so quick to support President Obama, the country’s first black president. So it was gratifying to him and he was proud that Trump would acknowledge him in an audience that was predominantly white, he said. USA Today
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