Top News Stories for Today – October 6, 2016
WikiLeaks plans massive document release soon
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said Tuesday the group would publish about one million documents related to the US election and three governments in coming weeks, but denied the release was aimed at damaging Hillary Clinton.
Assange, said the election material was significant and would come out before the November 8 US presidential election. He said the material would focus on war, weapons, oil, mass surveillance, the technology giant Google and the US election, but declined to give details.
Assange also signaled changes in the way WikiLeaks is organized and funded, saying the group would soon open itself to membership. He said the group was looking to expand its media ties beyond the 100 outlets it works with. VOA
EU creating new border guard agency
The European Union on Thursday announced the creation of a new cooperative Border and Coast Guard Agency that will patrol its external borders and deal with the influx of refugees coming from the Middle East and Africa.
The new agency will complement independent border police in each of the 28 nations that make up the bloc, and work with those agencies to “quickly identify and address any potential security threats to the EU’s external border,” according to a statement released by the European Commission. The agency will be fully rolled out over the next six months, and is expected to be fully operational by March 2017. VOA
Hurricane Matthew approaches US
Hurricane Matthew, a Category 3 storm with sustained winds of 125 mph, is gaining strength as it pounds the Bahamas on its way toward Florida, Georgia, and the Carolinas, the US National Hurricane Center said Thursday morning. On Wednesday, the governors of the states in the hurricane’s potential path either ordered or strongly encouraged nearly 2 million people along the coast to evacuate.
The last time a hurricane of Category 3 or higher hit the US was in October 2005, when Wilma made landfall in southwest Florida with 120 mph winds. It left five people dead and caused an estimated $21 billion in damage. Associated Press
US jobless claims fall to near 4 decade low
The latest Labor Department report released Thursday revealed US jobless claims fell to nearly their lowest level since 1973. In the week of Sept. 25 to Oct. 1, 249,000 Americans filed for unemployment benefits for the first time, down 5,000 from the previous week.
Economists polled by Reuters had forecast the number would rise to 257,000. Only once in the last four decades have there been fewer filings; in April of this year, jobless claims hit 248,000, the lowest mark since 1973. Thursday’s report marked the 83rd consecutive week that first-time jobless claims have remained below 300,000, which, Reuters reported, “is seen as indicative of a strong labor market.” Reuters, Bloomberg
Paris climate agreement to take effect in November
The landmark Paris climate accord cleared its final hurdle Wednesday when the European Union and 10 nations submitted their official ratification of the deal, which was struck last year. The treaty takes effect 30 days after countries responsible for 55 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions sign on, and the latest ratifications put it over the threshold.
The deal requires participants to reduce emissions to keep global temperature rise below 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit. It now will take effect Nov. 4. President Obama called the news a “turning point for our planet,” and United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the support is a “testament for the urgency of action.” The Associated Press
US move against N. Korea
After North Korea’s largest-ever test of a nuclear device in early September, the United States is taking an unprecedented hardline stance to curb the reclusive regime’s accelerated pursuit of nuclear development.
The US Treasury announced last week that it had sanctioned China’s Dandong Hongxiang Industrial Development and four of its executives. The Treasury accused the firm of laundering millions of dollars via US banks for North Korea’s Kwangson Banking Corporation, which has already been blacklisted by the US and United Nations for its involvement in the North’s nuclear and missile development.
US State Department indicated that more Chinese companies could be under US investigation for suspected breach of North Korean sanctions. VOA
US Presidential election
The Atlantic makes its first presidential endorsement in 50 years: In just the third-ever presidential endorsement in its history, The Atlantic on Wednesday declared its support for Hillary Clinton. Tellingly, the editorial is titled “Against Donald Trump,” as the editors wrote that while they “are impressed by many of the qualities of the Democratic Party’s nominee for president, even as we are exasperated by others … we are mainly concerned with the Republican Party’s nominee, Donald J. Trump, who might be the most ostentatiously unqualified major-party candidate in the 227-year history of the American presidency.” Not since 1964 — when the magazine endorsed Lyndon B. Johnson over Barry Goldwater — had The Atlantic weighed in on a presidential race. Its first-ever endorsement was for Abraham Lincoln in 1860. Read the magazine’s full argument here. The Atlantic
Trump, Clinton gear up for next debate: In the aftermath of Tuesday’s vice presidential debate, the focus has shifted to the second presidential debate between Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump, which will be Sunday in St. Louis, Missouri. Trump in particular has a lot riding on his performance in the second debate: It could be one of his last opportunities to turn the race around.Some early polls and many pundits gave Republican Mike Pence a slight edge over Democrat Tim Kaine in the only vice presidential debate. Pence’s cool, calm performance Tuesday night has a number of Republicans hoping that Trump might choose to channel his running mate in Sunday’s debate. VOA
Fox’s Sean Hannity calls Megyn Kelly a Clinton supporter: Conservative pundit Sean Hannity leveled what he might consider the worst insult imaginable at anchor Megyn Kelly in a tweet Wednesday night, which said she “clearly” supports Hillary Clinton. The tweet was apparently in response to Kelly comments earlier in the evening on The Kelly File when she accused both presidential candidates of avoiding tough interviews. USA Today
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