Top News Stories for Today – November 7, 2016
Battle for Mosul
Iraqi Kurdish forces launched an offensive Monday to capture the town of Bashiqa from Islamic State fighters. Kurdish peshmerga forces had surrounded the town for weeks ahead of the assault. Peshmerga Lieutenant Colonel Safeen Rasoon told Reuters that an estimated “one hundred IS fighters are inside” Bashiqa. Artillery bombardment and airstrikes on Sunday and early Monday preceded the offensive.
The town is about 13 kilometers northeast of Mosul, which is the largest city in Iraq still controlled by the Islamic State group. Iraqi government troops, along with peshmerga forces, began an offensive to capture Mosul three weeks ago. Iraqi forces entered the outer limits of the city late last week, but fighting has slowed as battles began in more densely populated parts of Mosul. VOA
Cambodian senator sentenced for facebook post
A Cambodian court on Monday sentenced an opposition senator to seven years in prison for material he posted to Facebook. Critics say the case is an example of the Cambodian government’s efforts to suppress opposition.
Hong Sok Hour, a member of the Cambodia National Rescue Party, was arrested in 2015 after he posted a purported copy of the 1979 border treaty between Cambodia and Vietnam. Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen said the document was forged and accused Sok Hour of treason.
The Phnom Penh Municipal Court found Sok Hour guilty of falsifying public documents, using fake documents and inciting chaos. Last month another opposition lawmaker, Um Sam Ann, was sentenced to two and a half years in prison for his online postings about the border with Vietnam. VOA
Former attorney general Janet Reno died at 78
Janet Reno, the first woman to serve as US attorney general and the epicenter of several political storms during the Clinton administration, including the seizure of Elian Gonzalez, died early Monday. She was 78.
Reno died from complications of Parkinson’s disease, her goddaughter Gabrielle D’Alemberte said. D’Alemberte said Reno spent her final days at home in Miami surrounded by family and friends. One of the administration’s most recognizable and polarizing figures, Reno faced criticism early in her tenure for the deadly raid on the Branch Davidian compound at Waco, Texas, where sect leader David Koresh and some 80 followers perished. Associated Press
Magnitude 5.0 quake rattles central Oklahoma
A magnitude 5.0 earthquake struck central Oklahoma on Sunday night, registering as the fourth strongest temblor to hit the state. The 7:44 p.m. CST quake was centered about one mile west of Cushing, 50 miles northeast of Oklahoma City, the US Geological Survey said. The quake was initially reported as being magnitude 5.3. Police in Cushing say no injuries have been reported, but there has been “significant damage” to buildings.
Cushing has a population of 7,900, and is home to the largest commercial oil storage hub in the United States. The strongest earthquake to shake the state was a 5.8 in Pawnee on Sept. 3, and scientists link an increase in quakes in Oklahoma to fracking, the process of drilling into the earth and injecting fluid at a high pressure to release the gas inside. NewsOK, The Week
Delhi announces emergency measures due to air pollution
Officials in the Indian capital shut down schools, halted construction activity and closed a coal-fired power plant temporarily as alarm bells were sounded about the deadly haze of air pollution that has shrouded the city this past week.
The emergency measures came amid rising calls for an urgent response to dangerous pollutants in New Delhi’s hazardous air which have spiked more than thirty times the safe limits set by the World Health Organization.
The Indian capital only acted after it was choked for six straight days. India has four of the world’s 10 cities with the worst air pollution according to the WHO. New Delhi ranks 11th. VOA
Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump make closing arguments before Election Day: After a busy weekend spent campaigning in swing states, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have similarly full schedules on Monday, the last full day of campaigning before Election Day. Clinton is scheduled to attend campaign events in Grand Rapids, Michigan; Raleigh, North Carolina; and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; she’ll end the day at a rally in Philadelphia with President and Michelle Obama, Bill Clinton, Bon Jovi, and Bruce Springsteen. Trump, who held rallies in five states Sunday afternoon, ending with a midnight rally in Virginia, plans to spend Monday in Florida, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and New Hampshire. Clinton, at her rallies and in a USA Today op-ed published Sunday night, is putting forward an optimistic foot, urging voters to choose unity over Trump’s division. Trump, at his rallies and in a dueling USA Today op-ed, said that he is America’s last hope. The Associated Press, The Washington Post, The Week
Clinton maintains slight polling lead in campaign’s waning hours: Hillary Clinton holds her edge on Donald Trump in the polls in the waning hours before the majority of Americans cast their votes in the Nov. 8 presidential election. In an NBC News/SurveyMonkey poll out Monday, Clinton has a 6-point lead on Trump, a result that has been mostly unchanged in that particular survey since the second week of September. A national poll by Bloomberg Politics conducted after FBI Director James Comey said once again that Clinton shouldn’t face charges related to her private email server also showed the former secretary of state ahead, with a narrower lead of 44 percent to Trump’s 41 percent. Wall Street Journal/NBC News found Clinton with a 4-point lead, and an ABC News/Washington Post poll stood at 47 percent for Clinton, 43 percent for Trump with an update planned for Monday afternoon. NBC News, Bloomberg Politics, The Week
FBI says new Clinton emails show no criminal wrongdoing: FBI Director James Comey said in a letter to the House Intelligence Committee Sunday that after examination of all the relevant new emails from Hillary Clinton’s private server, which were uncovered in connection to the investigation of former Congressman Anthony Weiner’s sexting scandal, the bureau has found no evidence leading it to alter its July decision to recommend no criminal charges against Clinton. The FBI had to sort through some 650,000 messages found on Weiner’s laptop to reach this conclusion, leading some to fear they could not be reviewed by Election Day and that Comey’s decision to reopen the Clinton investigation was merely a political ploy. After Sunday’s announcement, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump insisted that “Hillary Clinton is guilty.” The Hill, Politico, The Week
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