Top News Stories for Today – October 12, 2016
Russian Olympics chief to resign amid doping fallout
Russian Olympic Committee chief Alexander Zhukov said Tuesday he wants to resign from the position to focus on duties as a lawmaker. Russian media quoted Zhukov as saying he would step down from the Olympic committee to focus on his position as deputy speaker in the lower house of the Federal Assembly of Russia, the State Duma.
Zhukov has served as Russia’s top Olympic official for the past six years, and his planned resignation comes after a massive doping scandal led to Russia’s track-and field team being banned from the 2016 Rio Olympics. VOA
Thai stocks tumble amid King worries
Thailand’s stock market and currency have tumbled and the prime minister has canceled an overseas trip amid concerns about long-ailing King Bhumibol Adulyadej‘s health. His son, the crown prince, returned to Thailand from Germany.
The Stock Exchange of Thailand’s benchmark fell nearly 7 percent Wednesday afternoon before recovering somewhat for a 4.1 percent loss for the day. Thai stocks have slid daily since Sunday, when the royal palace announced that Bhumibol’s condition was unstable, the first time it has used that phrase regarding the king’s health.
Also Wednesday, the Thai baht fell 1.1 percent to end at 35.76 to a dollar. Bhumibol, 88, is the world’s longest reigning monarch. He has spent most of the last decade in a hospital. VOA
Samsung drastically cuts profit estimates
Samsung Electronics severely cut its estimated profits for the third-quarter Wednesday after it was forced to entirely scrap its flagship line of Galaxy Note 7 smartphones a day earlier. The South Korean telecom company slashed its estimated profits by 33.3 percent from about $6.9 billion to $4.6 billion. The announcement came after Samsung shares on the South Korean stock exchange fell by nearly nine percent over the course of two days.
The company announced Tuesday it was shutting down production of the phone for good in the interest of consumer safety. Samsung announced earlier in the day Tuesday that it was stopping all global sales and exchanges of the Galaxy Note 7, and advised all customers to stop using the device immediately. VOA
9/11 detainees sue against US officials
The US Supreme Court has agreed to hear arguments on whether Muslims and other immigrants held for months after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States can sue former Attorney General John Ashcroft and other officials.
Senior Bush administration officials, including former FBI Director Robert Mueller and Immigration and Naturalization Service Commissioner James Ziglar, have asked the justices to reverse a 2015 lower court ruling allowing the long-running suit to proceed.
The lawsuit was filed by a group of Muslim, Arab and South Asian non-US citizens who, their lawyers say, were held as terrorism suspects based on their race, religion, ethnicity and immigration status and abused in detention before being deported.
Two of the justices, Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor, have recused themselves, meaning only six justices will hear the case. The court remains one justice short following Antonin Scalia’s February death.VOA
US Presidential election
Donald Trump emerges defiant amid GOP infighting: On Tuesday, Donald Trump tweeted that the “shackles have been taken off” and he can now “fight for America the way” he wants to, apparently referencing the announcement Monday that House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) would no longer actively campaign for or support Trump’s quest for the White House. Trump followed up that tweet with several more, including one attacking his own party for being “disloyal.” Ryan did not revoke his endorsement of Trump on Monday, but he was one of several GOP leaders to slam the Republican nominee for the comments he made in a video released Friday, in which he graphically discusses assaulting women. Trump indicated Tuesday that he wouldn’t sit by quietly as the GOP descends into a civil war; in addition to the defiant tweets, Trump released a new ad that doubles down on questioning Hillary Clinton’s health and stamina. The Hill, The Week
New national poll confirms Clinton’s rise after Trump tape, debate: Hillary Clinton has expanded her lead since Sunday’s debate against Donald Trump, according to a Reuters/Ipsos tracking poll released Tuesday. Clinton leads Trump by 8 percentage points among likely voters, 45 percent to 37 percent, up from a 5-point lead last week; 18 percent of voters said they would support neither Trump nor Clinton. Trump’s lewd hot-mic recording leaked on Friday does not appear to have lowered Trump’s already low poll numbers among women, but Clinton is now almost tied with him among evangelical Christians, a group Trump led by 12 points in July. In the new poll, 53 percent of debate watchers said Clinton won while 32 percent picked Trump. Reuters, The Week
Al Gore makes his campaign trail debut with Hillary Clinton: On Tuesday in Miami, Al Gore made his first appearance alongside Hillary Clinton on the 2016 campaign trail. Gore, who served as Bill Clinton’s vice president and was the 2000 Democratic presidential nominee, spoke passionately about addressing climate change in an attempt to rally young voters — a demographic Clinton has struggled to woo. “Your vote really, really counts a lot,” Gore said, and he referred to his paper-thin margin of loss to George W. Bush in 2000 as evidence: “You can consider me exhibit A.” Up until now, Gore has avoided getting involved in the election, aside from tweeting an endorsement of Clinton ahead of the Democratic National Convention in July. When Gore ran for president in 2000, the vote recount in Florida was his undoing; Clinton currently leads in the Sunshine State by an average of 2.4 points. The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Week
Billy Bush reportedly negotiating exit from NBC: Five days after he appeared in an infamous leaked video with Donald Trump, Billy Bush is reportedly negotiating his departure from NBC. Trump does most of the talking in the 2005 footage, but Bush laughs when Trump talks about an unsuccessful attempt to seduce Bush’s Access Hollywood co-host Nancy O’Dell and goads Trump on as he talks about forcing himself on women. NBC suspended Bush on Sunday from his months-old job co-anchoring the 9 a.m. hour of the Today show, and by Tuesday, Bush no longer appeared on Today’s digital billboards at 30 Rockefeller Center. Bush apologized on Friday, but if he had returned, former Today social media editor Anthony Quintano tweeted, the show was “going to have a real problem booking female guests.” Today is in a hard-fought ratings war with ABC’s Good Morning America. The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Week
Trump attacks Republicans for giving up on his campaign: Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump said Tuesday he is probably better off without the support of “weak and ineffective” people within his party, including House Speaker Paul Ryan. He said in an interview on Fox News that Ryan and other members of Congress were “being nasty” to him and not supporting his candidacy. The comments come days after the emergence of a 2005 videotape in which he made crude comments about women, and subsequent statements from a number of Republican lawmakers saying they do not back Trump. VOA
UN rights chief insists Trump would be ‘dangerous’ President: The U.N.’s human rights chief said Wednesday that if elected the next US president, Donald Trump would be “dangerous from an international point of view.” Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein called some of Trump’s comments about vulnerable communities and the use of torture “deeply unsettling and disturbing.” His comments to reporters in Geneva come a month after he said that populist politicians like Trump and Dutch nationalist Geert Wilders are using fear and the promise of a world that has never existed in order to gain appeal. Zeid said Wednesday he has no plans to tone down those kinds of statements. VOA
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