Top News Stories for Today – May 15, 2016
Germany to spend $106 billion on refugee
The German government expects to spend roughly $106 billion — 93.6 billion euros — on costs associated with the refugee crisis by the end of 2020, according to weekly news magazine Der Spiegel, which cited a draft from the federal finance ministry for negotiations.
In 2015, Germany took in more than 1 million migrants, many of whom fled war in Syria and other war-torn nations. Officials expect another 600,000 migrants to enter Germany in 2016, a decrease due to the European Union’s deal with Turkey to stem migrant flow. Reuters via The Week
Transgender bathroom case in US
Conservative politicians were quick to slam President Obama’s directive Friday that public schools allow transgender students to use the bathrooms that match their gender identity rather than biological sex, with Texas officials even going so far as to hint at a lawsuit.
“We will not be blackmailed,” Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick said, advising local school boards and superintendents not to heed the administration’s orders. White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest responded by pointing out the directive is merely “guidance” for how schools can ensure students aren’t discriminated against, and that it doesn’t add any legal requirements — though there’s an underlying implication that schools that do not comply will be at risk of losing federal funding by refusing to follow Title IX rules. Fox News, The New York Times via The Week
IS attacks Iraqi gas plant
Islamic State extremists have claimed responsibility for a suicide bomb attack on a state-run gas facility north of Baghdad Sunday that killed 11 people and wounded 21 more. A suicide bomber exploded a car near the front gate of the gas production facility at around 6 a.m. local time. Following the explosion, another van carrying at least six more terrorists wearing explosive vests gained access to the facility.
After about an hour of shooting, security forces were able to neutralize the men. But not before they were able to set fire to three of the facility’s gas storage containers, a spokesman for Baghdad Operations Command said.
The IS-affiliated Aamaq news service reported that a group of “caliphate soldiers” were responsible for the attack. VOA
Boko Haram leaders captured in Nigeria
Cameroon says the multinational joint forces fighting Boko Haram have captured five leaders of the radical Islamist group, including Boukar Kaou, traditional ruler of Kumche in Nigeria. Dozens of the terrorists were killed and 60 women and children freed.
Cameroon’s communication minister and government spokesperson Issa Tchiroma says 1,000 troops of the multinational joint task force fighting Boko Haram organized systematic raids between May 10 and 12 on Boko Haram bases in Nigeria’s Madawaya forest, some seven kilometers from Cameroon’s northern border, killing 58 Boko Haram fighters.
Tchiroma says 15 Nigerian women, three Cameroonian women and 28 children who had been held captive in the Boko Haram stronghold were freed and taken to Cameroon. He says huge quantities of war weapons were either destroyed or seized. VOA
Beijing criticizes US report on China
China’s defense ministry expressed its “strong dissatisfaction” with the United States, criticizing an annual report by the U.S. Department of Defense as misrepresenting the country’s military development. The Defense Department report to the U.S. Congress, issued Friday, said that China was focused on developing and weaponizing the islands it has built in the disputed waters of the South China Sea so it will have greater control over the maritime region without resorting to armed conflict.
On Saturday, Defense Ministry spokesman Yang Yujun told the state news agency Xinhua the U.S. report on China’s military activities in 2015 had “willfully distorted China’s national defense policy.”
“China follows a national defense policy that is defensive in nature. Moves such as deepening military reforms and the military buildup are aimed at maintaining sovereignty, security and territorial integrity, and guaranteeing China’s peaceful development,” Yang said. VOA
US Presidential election
Trump’s private interactions with women: The New York Times interviewed dozens of women who have worked with presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump. On Saturday, the newspaper published an investigation revealing those women describing Trump as making unwanted advances and making inappropriate and demeaning comments to them in private settings. In an interview, Trump denied many of the reported anecdotes, including telling Miss USA contestants which of them he found attractive and asking an ex-girlfriend to rate his ex-wives’ attractiveness. The New York Times via The Week
Clinton on Trump’s tax return: Hillary Clinton continued to turn up the heat Saturday on Donald Trump ‘s refusal to release his tax returns. Her campaign released a video online Saturday titled “What’s Donald Trump Hiding?” that includes a series of clips over the years of Trump being asked whether he plans to release his returns.
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