10 things you need to know today: June 26, 2016



Britain’s Tory prime minister, David Cameron, announced his resignation following the Brexit vote — but now it looks like Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, who supported remaining in the EU, may lose his position of power as well. Corbyn fired Hilary Benn, his shadow foreign secretary, Saturday evening, and another one of Corbyn’s senior advisers on the shadow cabinet soon resigned while calling for a change in leadership. Additional resignations are expected amid rumors of a party coup to oust Corbyn in the near future.


The Iraqi army retook the final piece of territory held by Islamic State fighters in Fallujah on Sunday. The city had been controlled by ISIS since January of 2014, when the then-nascent terrorist organization had yet to declare a “caliphate” in Iraq and Syria. Sunday’s victory came after five weeks of fighting in which some 1,800 ISIS militants were killed. “We announce from this place in central Golan district that it has been cleaned by the counter terrorism service,” said Iraqi Lieutenant General Abdul Wahab al-Saidi, “and we convey the good news to the Iraqi people that the battle of Fallujah is over.”


A petition to Parliament arguing “if the remain or leave vote is less than 60% based a turnout less than 75% there should be another referendum” on Brexit has attracted more than 3 million signatures from Britons since this past week’s vote. The request is so popular that its traffic briefly crashed the entire parliamentary website. Though the effort is considered unlikely to succeed, petitioners do have on their side the fact that the original vote is technically not legally binding, so the government could (in theory) overrule it.

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U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry updated his European itinerary to include stops in London and Brussels, abbreviating in the process scheduled talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. While in each city, Kerry will meet with top diplomats to address the implications of the Brexit vote and urge a careful approach to the extrication process. “The most important thing,” he said in Rome on Saturday, “is that all of us, as leaders, work together to provide as much continuity, as much stability, as much certainty as possible.”


Longtime conservative commentator George Will announced his departure from the Republican Party this weekend. “This is not my party,” he said in a speech on Friday, arguing that a President Hillary Clinton frustrated by a Republican Congress would be a preferable outcome to the 2016 election than a President Donald Trump given a free hand to rule as he pleases. In a follow-up interview, Will begged Republicans stuck with Trump to “Make sure he loses.”


A group of militants believed to be from Somalia’s al Shabaab Islamist terrorist organization launched an attack on a hotel popular among government officials in the country’s capital of Mogadishu on Saturday. The assault began when a suicide bomber detonated a vehicle by the gate of Hotel Nasa Hablod and ended with at least 15 people dead by the time local police ended the hostage situation Saturday night. The terrorists “were shooting at everyone they could see,” said eyewitness Ali Mohamud, who narrowly escaped.


The Nigerian army reports that it has rescued 5,000 people — mostly women and children — held hostage by Boko Haram terrorists for more than six years. The soldiers evacuated four remote villages in Borno, a state in the northeast region of Nigeria where Boko Haram has been active since 2009. The militant organization has killed more than 20,000 people, kidnapped and enslaved girls and women, and caused 2.5 million in Nigeria and nearby countries to flee their homes as refugees.

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At least two people have died in a fast-moving wildfire in central California which started on Thursday and is finally showing signs of slowing its growth. Firefighters found additional remains in a mobile home Saturday, but they were too badly burned to immediately determine whether the body belonged to a human or an animal. The fire has spread to cover about 35,000 acres and has destroyed 150 homes so far. Evacuations from affected areas are mandatory, and firefighters say the blaze is 10 percent contained as of Saturday night.


Legendary fashion photographer Bill Cunningham died on Saturday after being hospitalized following a stroke. As comfortable capturing glittering society parties as he was photographing street style he saw while biking around New York City, Cunningham worked at the New York Times for nearly four decades. “His company was sought after by the fashion world’s rich and powerful,” recalled Times publisher Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Jr., “yet he remained one of the kindest, most gentle and humble people I have ever met.”


Maine Gov. Paul LePage draws an annual salary of $70,000, the lowest pay of any governor in the nation and less than the average income of married-couple families in his state. Wanting to earn some extra cash, his wife, Ann LePage, has taken a summer job as a waitress at a waterside restaurant in Boothbay Harbor. “Oh honey, it’s all about the money,” she said of her new gig. “I told [the governor] my money I earn here I’m putting in a kitty” for a car.

Syndicated from The Week

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