Top News Stories for Today – November 9, 2016
UN calls on Myanmar to allow aid into Muslim-majority area
Troops have poured into the region in response to the attacks, in which assailants believed to be from the mostly stateless Rohingya group killed nine policemen. The army declared the area an operation zone, blocked aid and barred foreign journalists and observers from the Maungdaw area. Residents and human rights monitors say extra-judicial killings, rape and arbitrary arrests have taken place.
Security forces have killed 33 alleged attackers, while five soldiers and one policeman have been killed, according to state-run media. VOA
US approve marijuana initiatives in several states
Marijuana initiatives won big in Tuesday’s elections. Ballot initiatives on recreational marijuana won in at least three of the five states where they were on the ballot, with voters approving them in California, Massachusetts, and Nevada.
A similar measure in Maine was leading early Wednesday, while another in Arizona was behind with two thirds of the votes counted. Voters in Florida, North Dakota, and Arkansas approved medical marijuana initiatives. “This represents a monumental victory for the marijuana reform movement,” said Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance. “With California’s leadership now, the end of marijuana prohibition nationally, and even internationally, is fast approaching.” The Washington Post, The Week
Russian is planning new Aleppo airstrike
Russian plans to launch new strikes on parts of war-ravaged Syria are being met with contempt in Washington, which is accusing Moscow of trying to show off its naval capabilities at the expense of innocent civilians.
Officials in Russia’s Defense Ministry told the Interfax news agency Tuesday that new strikes against Islamic State terror group targets on the outskirts of the northern city of Aleppo would come “within the next few hours.” “There are no ISIL positions in the immediate vicinity of Aleppo,” a US intelligence official said on condition of anonymity, using an acronym for Islamic State. VOA
Cracks in ISIS discipline seen
While there are no signs that the Islamic State group’s forces are falling apart in northern Iraq under the pressure of the offensive on Mosul, the militants’ last major urban stronghold in Iraq, commanders of both Kurdish and Iraqi military units have told VOA they see cracks emerging in jihadist discipline, indicating the resolve of some militants is weakening.
The picture is not totally uniform, according to the commanders in charge of the Iraqi-Kurdish assault. Some extremists are withdrawing from the fight unilaterally, they say, not under orders from their superiors to do so. This contrasts with other jihadist withdrawals that are clearly tactical. VOA
Donald Trump elected president in stunning upset over Hillary Clinton: Donald Trump was elected as the nation’s 45th president on Tuesday, beating Hillary Clinton in a clear rejection of the political establishment. Trump beat his Democratic rival not only in the key swing states of Florida, North Carolina, and Ohio, but even in Pennsylvania, a state that had not voted for a Republican presidential candidate since 1988. Clinton reportedly called Trump to concede and plans to address the nation on Wednesday. Trump, who pulled together what he called a “forgotten” coalition of blue-collar and working-class voters fed up with the status quo, praised Clinton and called for unity after a bitter campaign. “Now it’s time for America to bind the wounds of division,” he said. “It is time for us to come together as one united people. It’s time.” The Associated Press, The New York Times, The Week
Republicans retain majority in both House and Senate: Republicans fought off a bid by Democrats to reclaim control of the Senate on Tuesday, holding onto a narrow majority as GOP incumbents beat strong challengers in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, North Carolina, Florida, and Ohio. Indiana Rep. Todd Young (R) beat heavily favored former governor and senator Evan Bayh (D) in Indiana. The GOP was vulnerable, with more seats to defend, but in the end it lost only one seat — in Illinois, where Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D) defeated incumbent Republican Sen. Mark Kirk. Democrats also retained retiring Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid’s seat in Nevada, where Democrat Catherine Cortez Masto beat Rep. Joe Heck (R). Republicans also held onto control of the House. The Associated Press, CNN, The Week
President Obama invites president-elect Trump to White House: President Obama spoke with Donald Trump on Wednesday to congratulate him on winning the 2016 presidential election, and invited him to visit the White House this week. In a statement, the White House said “ensuring a smooth transition of power” is a top priority for Obama, and an in-person meeting with Trump is the next logical step in ensuring such a transition occurs. Hillary Clinton also called Trump to concede the presidential election. She is expected to address the nation on Wednesday morning. CNN, Fox News, The Week
Markets plunge after Trump upsets Clinton: US stocks appeared headed for heavy losses at the start of trading on Wednesday after Donald Trump’s upset victory in the presidential election. Dow Jones Industrial Average futures plunged by as much as 750 points, or more than 4 percent, then regained some ground after Trump made a conciliatory victory speech. The Dow was down by 301 points, or 1.6 percent, shortly before the opening bell on Wednesday. The Mexican peso dropped by 7 percent against the US dollar in a sign of market fears over Trump’s vow to renegotiate or end NAFTA, a free trade deal involving the US, Mexico, and Canada. Markets, like polls, had been betting on a victory by Democrat Hillary Clinton, who was expected to stay the course on the economy. MarketWatch, The Washington Post, The Week
Trump victory sets off protests in California, Oregon, Washington: Donald Trump’s presidential victory set off protests by hundreds of people on California college campuses and in Oregon. In Oakland, more than 100 protesters took to downtown streets. KNTV-TV reported that protesters burned Trump in effigy, smashed windows of the Oakland Tribune newsroom and set tires and trash on fire. In Oregon, dozens of people blocked traffic in downtown Portland and forced a delay for trains on two light rail lines. VOA
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