Top News Stories for Today – November 8, 2016
Park agrees to withdraw PM nominee
South Korea’s embattled president, Park Geun-hye, says she will allow the country’s parliament to select a new prime minister, a major political concession as she seeks to survive a growing political scandal.
President Park announced her decision Tuesday after meeting with Chung Sye-kyun, the speaker of South Korea’s opposition-controlled National Assembly. In addition to allowing parliament select a new prime minister, Park also agreed to allow that person control of the cabinet. The president recently nominated Kim Byong-joon to the largely ceremonial position, but opposition lawmakers refused to even hold a hearing to approve his appointment. VOA
Philippine Court OKs Marcos Burial in Heroes’ Cemetery
The Philippine Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that the country’s former dictator, Ferdinand Marcos, could be buried in a national heroes’ cemetery.
Marcos ruled the Philippines from late 1965 until early 1986. His 20-year presidency was marked by widespread corruption and human rights abuses to silence opponents. He was forced from power in February 1986, when protests following a presidential election marred by widespread fraud forced Marcos and his family into exile in the US
Marcos and his wife, Imelda, were accused of funneling billions of dollars of government funds out of the country. Marcos died in 1989 in Hawaii. The government of his successor, Corazon Aquino, initially refused to allow his body to be returned to the Philippines, but in 1993 the family brought the remains to Marcos’ hometown, Batac. VOA
ISIS mass grave found near Mosul
Iraqi authorities say the military coalition pressing a huge offensive against Islamic State extremists near the northern city of Mosul have uncovered a mass grave containing at least 100 decapitated bodies. Initial reports Monday from Western and Kurdish journalists say the dead are believed to be civilians.
A spokesman for Iraqi federal police said the bodies were discovered at an agriculture college outside the town of Hammam al-Alil, 15 kilometers south of Mosul’s center. Police said medical specialists were deployed to the scene to probe the massacre and try to identify the bodies. VOA
Top ISIS recruiter arrested in Germany
Five people linked to the so-called Islamic State (IS) group have been arrested in co-ordinated raids in Germany, including a senior Islamist figure, reports say. Flats were raided in northern and western Germany and a mosque was searched near Hanover. Among those arrested was an Iraqi who goes by the alias Abu Walaa, or “the preacher without a face”.
All five men held are suspected of recruiting jihadists for IS and providing help for their journey to the conflict zone. They deny any link to terrorism. BBC
Prince Harry and his girlfriend Markle
Prince Harry has confirmed US actress Meghan Markle is his girlfriend, in a statement from Kensington Palace attacking the media for subjecting her to a “wave of abuse and harassment”. The statement said the couple were “a few months into a relationship” and it was “not right” that Ms Markle should be subjected to such treatment. It said the prince rarely took formal action over “fictional stories”. “But the past week has seen a line crossed,” it added.
In recent days a number of newspapers have carried front page stories about the 35-year-old actress, best known for playing Rachel Zane in the TV drama Suits.
Polls open on Election Day 2016: After a long and contentious campaign, polls opened at 6 a.m. on the East Coast Tuesday in states like Connecticut, eastern Kentucky, Maine, New Hampshire, New York, New Jersey, and Virginia, with other states beginning voting at 6:30 or 7 a.m. More than 46 million people have already voted, and three small towns in New Hampshire have already tallied their Election Day votes — Dixville Notch and Hart’s Location voted for Hillary Clinton, while Millsfield’s lopsided Donald Trump win gave Trump an overall 32-25 edge. Here’s a handy list of poll opening and closing times across the country. The Week, Ballotpedia, USA Today
Early voting prompts cautious optimism among Democrats: More than 46 million people voted before Election Day this year, about on par with 2012 numbers, but a sharp increase in early voting by Latinos and women in key swing states has boosted optimism among Democrats and the Hillary Clinton campaign. It’s difficult to draw any firm conclusions from early voting, because more than half the electorate hasn’t voted yet and different states have different disclosure rules, but the sharp rise in Latino turnout in Nevada and Florida especially is widely considered bad news for Donald Trump. Still, there has been an across-the-board decrease in black early votes, especially in North Carolina, likely due to restricted early polling places and hours, and that could tilt the state to Trump. The Week, Politico, Vox
Clinton, Trump make final appeals to voters: The 2016 presidential campaign ended a little after 1 a.m. on Election Day, after nearly 20 months of hard-fought campaigning. Donald Trump ended the night in Grand Rapids, Michigan, telling the crowd, “If we don’t win, this will be the single greatest waste of time, energy, and money in my life.” He urged the crowd to go home, sleep, then vote. Hillary Clinton held her last campaign event in Raleigh, North Carolina, where she told her voters to reject Trump’s “dark and divisive” vision and said there’s no reason “America’s best days are not ahead of us.” She ended with a line about love trumping hate. In the frenetic last day on the trail, Clinton held four events in three states and Trump hit five states. With an official estimate of 33,000 people in attendance, Clinton’s penultimate event — a Philadelphia rally with Bon Jovi, Bruce Springsteen, and Michelle and President Obama — was the largest of the 2016 campaign. The Week, The Associated Press, ABC News
President Obama calls on voters to ‘reject fear’ and ‘choose hope’: Speaking at a rally Monday night in Philadelphia, President Obama made his final appeal for voters to cast their ballots for Hillary Clinton on Election Day. Speaking to a massive crowd of 33,000, Obama said the United States cannot elect Donald Trump, who he argued has “utter contempt for the values that make our nation great.” Anyone who “sees women as objects, minorities and immigrants as inferior, other faiths as presumably un-American, cannot lead this diverse, dynamic, big-hearted country that we love,” he said. The time to reject the “politics of resentment and the politics of blame” is now, he added, and by rejecting fear and choosing hope, “I’m betting the wisdom and decency and generosity of the American people will once again win the day, and that is a bet that I have never ever lost.” Politico, The Week
New York steps up security ahead of election night: With Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton holding their election night events within one mile of each other Tuesday in Manhattan, the New York Police Department has launched one of its largest security campaigns ever. The city will field more than 5,000 uniformed officers, “by far the largest election detail that the NYPD has ever had,” NYPD Chief of Department Carlos Gomez said. Intelligence reports warn of potential non-specific terror threats from the Islamic State and al Qaeda — counterterrorism teams, heavily armed officers, and “every canine member” of the explosive-detecting teams will be on the streets. The overall numbers are similar to those dispatched in the city for New Year’s Eve. Politico
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