Top news stories for today – June , 8 2016
Another car bomb explodes in Turkey
A police officer and two civilians have been killed by a car bomb explosion outside a police station in Turkey near the Syrian border, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said Wednesday. As many as 30 others have been injured and multiple ambulances have been sent to the scene in the town of Midyat, in the Kurdish majority southeast.
The prime minister has blamed Kurdish militants for the attack. The Kurdish worker’s party, or PKK, has been targeting Turkish police and military since July in their struggle for autonomy in Turkey’s southeast.
Prime minister Yildirim spoke after visiting those injured in an attack in Istanbul that occurred just a day before, killing 11 people, including seven officers, and wounding 36 others during the morning rush hour. VOA
N Korean diplomats’ money-making scheme
North Korean diplomats have frequently been suspected of engaging in illicit activities of various sorts to make up for inadequate government funding or to pay the so-called “loyalty payments” to the government in Pyongyang.
In April Kang Song Gun, a commercial counselor at North Korea’s consulate in Karachi, was apprehended while trying to bring 855 boxes of duty-free liquor, nearly double the amount allowed, into the country. In May 2015, another North Korean diplomat, Koh Hak Chol, a third secretary at the consulate, was apprehended by customs officials while carrying liquor that exceeded quotas, the source said.
Another source in Pakistan said some North Korean diplomats who were arrested for illegal liquor selling continued the illicit activity after their release. There have been at least 10 confirmed cases of illegal liquor trade involving North Korean diplomats in Pakistan since 2009, another Pakistani source said. VOA
Russian anti ISIS brochure casts US as villain
Russian Peace Foundation, which is part of Russia’s Public Chamber, a government entity established to monitor the nation’s human rights, prepared 38-page illustrated brochure, “Strashnaya Skazka Daesh” (“Daesh Horror Story”), says its aim is to “unmask IS recruitment strategies.”
In announcing that the brochure would be distributed among the country’s students, Yelena Sutormina, a Public Chamber official and co-author, said late last month that its aim was to inform teenagers about the methods of “various pseudo-religious and extremist organizations” so that they can “resist their recruiters.” The brochure, Sutormina said, contains “real stories” of people who were able to escape the influence of recruiters.
The first-person accounts contained in the brochure, all of which are anonymous, describe alleged atrocities committed by American troops as being a major “motivating factor” for joining IS. VOA
Somali president visits world’s largest refugee camp
Somalia’s president says he wants plans in place to accommodate more than 300,000 Somalis expected to come home if Kenya closes the Dadaab refugee camp. President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud spoke Monday, as he became the first-ever sitting Somali leader to visit the sprawling complex in eastern Kenya, the biggest refugee camp in the world.
Kenyan Interior Secretary Joseph Nkaissery, one of several Kenyan officials who welcomed Mohamud to Dadaab, affirmed his government’s decision to shut down the 25-year-old complex, despite pleas from U.N. refugee agency UNHCR and others to keep it open.
“Kenya is committed to close the camp,” Nkaissery said. “It is a decision we have already reached and we will jointly collaborate with the Somali government and the UNHCR on your safe return.” Mohamud said if the refugees must come home, he wants Somalia to be ready to accommodate them. VOA
US Presidential election
Hillary Clinton makes history: Hillary Clinton made history on Tuesday night as she became the first woman to claim the presidential nomination of a major U.S. political party. “Thanks to you, we’ve reached a milestone,” she told supporters at Brooklyn Navy Yard. “Tonight’s victory is not about one person. It belongs to generations of women and men who struggled and sacrificed and made this moment possible.” Clinton mentioned her late mother, and how she wished she could see her daughter become the nominee, and told supporters to not “let anyone tell you that great things can’t happen in America. Barriers can come down, justice and equality can win. Our history has moved in that direction, slowly at times, but unmistakably thanks to generations of Americans who refuse to give up or back down.” The Week
Clinton wins California, New Jersey, New Mexico, and South Dakota: Hillary Clinton won California, the biggest prize of the primary season, along with Tuesday’s New Jersey, New Mexico, and South Dakota Democratic primaries. Bernie Sanders captured the North Dakota caucus and the Montana primary. Heading into Tuesday’s primaries, Clinton had 1,812 pledged delegates, and after interviews with superdelegates, The Associated Press reported on Monday night she had the necessary 2,383 delegates to be called the presumptive Democratic nominee. On the Republican side, presumptive nominee Donald Trump, the only candidate still in the race, easily won primaries in New Jersey, South Dakota, New Mexico, Montana, and California on Tuesday. NBC News
Bernie Sanders vows to remain in the race: Despite Hillary Clinton making history earlier in the night as she claimed the party’s nomination, Bernie Sanders announced late Tuesday night in Santa Monica, California, that he isn’t going anywhere. Sanders vowed to press on to the Washington, D.C., primary on June 14 and then take the fight for “social, economic, racial, and environmental justice to Philadelphia” for the Democratic National Convention. “I am pretty good at arithmetic and I know the fight ahead of us is a very steep fight, but we will continue to fight for every vote and delegate,” he promised. At the end of his speech, Sanders raised his fist and declared, “The struggle continues.” The Week
Donald Trump responds to criticism over racist comments: On Tuesday, Donald Trump responded to critics on both the left and right who have called his comments about Mexican-American judge Gonzalo Curiel racist. In a statement, Trump said, “It is unfortunate that my comments have been misconstrued as a categorical attack against people of Mexican heritage,” adding that he is “friends with and employ[s] thousands of people of Mexican and Hispanic descent.” Trump did, however, maintain that he is justified in questioning if Curiel can give him a fair trial in the Trump University case. Earlier Tuesday, House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell condemned Trump’s attacks on Curiel, with Ryan saying Trump’s comments were “absolutely unacceptable.” Twitter, CNN
Sen. Mark Kirk retracts his endorsement of Donald Trump: Illinois Sen. Mark Kirk has announced he “cannot and will not” support Donald Trump for president, according to a statement released Tuesday. Kirk, who said last month he would support Donald Trump if he was the Republican nominee, decided to retract his endorsement of the mogul due in part to his comments regarding Mexican-American judge Gonzalo Curiel. Kirk is one of the most vulnerable GOP senators this election cycle, as he is facing a Democratic challenger in Rep. Tammy Duckworth who has made a concerted effort to link Kirk to Trump. “After much consideration,” Kirk’s statement read, “I have concluded that Donald Trump has not demonstrated the temperament necessary to assume the greatest office in the world.” The Hill, CNN, The Week
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