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Friday, June 24, 2016

The Morning Roundup: Anarchy in the U.K.

Posted by on Fri, Jun 24, 2016 at 8:18 AM

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So, there is some news this morning from across the pond. By a 52–48 margin, the United Kingdom—swept up in the same sort of economically illiterate, racism-laced populism that gave rise to Donald Trump—voted yesterday to leave the European Union. From The New York Times

Britain has voted to leave the European Union, a historic decision sure to reshape the nation’s place in the world, rattle the Continent and rock political establishments throughout the West.

Not long after the vote tally was completed, Prime Minister David Cameron, who led the campaign to remain in the bloc, appeared in front of 10 Downing Street to announce that he planned to step down by October, saying the country deserved a leader committed to carrying out the will of the people.

The stunning turn of events was accompanied by a plunge in the financial markets, with the value of the British pound and stock prices in Asia plummeting.
Not just stocks in Asia, as it turns out. As the pound cratered—a decline of more than 10 percentage points in just six hoursDow futures dropped five hundred points

CNN: “Brace yourself for a Black Friday on Wall Street.”

Not worried yet? Here you go, from The Washington Post: “We think the time has come to consider that a financial market crash today may push a world economy teetering on the verge of a contraction over the edge,” said Carl Weinberg, chief economist at High Frequency Economics.

And what does the presumptive presidential nominee of the Republican Party, whose campaign is going to swimmingly that he thought it a good time to go check in on his new golf course in Turnberry, think of all this? 

Scotland actually voted to remain in the EU, but never mind. Here’s what Donald Trump had to say at a press conference

"I think it's a great thing that's happened. It's an amazing vote, very historic. People are angry all over the world. They're angry over borders, they're angry over people coming into the country and taking over and nobody even knows who they are. They're angry about many, many things in the UK, the US and many other places. This will not be the last."
That last part is more threat than prediction. 

Some other press conference gemsL 

And finally, this

“When the pound goes down, more people are coming to Turnberry, frankly,” Trump added during an afternoon press conference. 
To reiterate, the man who wants to lead the free world is celebrating the fact that the collapse of the British economy will be good for his business interests. As of this morning, he is only about 6 points behind Hillary Clinton.   

Let’s take a gander at the rest of the day’s headlines, shall we? 

1. Wake prosecutor accused of misconduct. 

An N.C. Court of Appeals has thrown out two convictions behind of apparent prosecutorial chicanery. The prosecutor involved, Colleen Janssen, endured her father’s kidnapping in 2014. These two cases happened later that year. 

Colleen Janssen, the Wake County prosecutor whose father was kidnapped in 2014, engaged in misconduct in two robbery and assault cases later that year that led to this week’s N.C. Court of Appeals decision to overturn the convictions.

Defendants in the robbery cases contend that Janssen, an assistant Wake County district attorney, urged a Raleigh police detective to delay bringing drug charges against her key witness until after their trials.

According to the appellate ruling, Janssen not only corresponded with the investigator through her personal email account, but she failed to disclose the information to defense attorneys who could have used the details to raise questions about the prosecutor’s witness, a man now convicted of marijuana trafficking.

The ruling was issued Tuesday, the same day that a federal jury convicted Kelvin Melton, a high-ranking gang member, of conspiring with others to kidnap Janssen’s father, Frank Janssen, from his Wake Forest home.

Federal prosecutors contended Melton orchestrated Frank Janssen’s abduction from inside his state prison cell to exact revenge on Colleen Janssen. She was the lead prosecutor in the case that led to Melton receiving a lifetime prison sentence after being declared a violent habitual felon.

2. The Durham County Health Department recommends better mental health care for inmates of the county jail

A Durham County report on the January death of an inmate recommends changes to treat and monitor inmates with complex, chronic illnesses.

The report is based on an investigation that followed the death of Matthew McCain, 29, who was found unresponsive in his Durham County jail cell at 5:30 a.m. Jan. 19. McCain was pronounced dead 38 minutes later.

Ashley Canady, McCain’s girlfriend, said after his death that McCain was epileptic and diabetic. She said he wrote and called often about receiving insufficient insulin treatments.

The Durham County Health Department investigation sought to identify any irregularities in the care provided, ensure the quality of care was acceptable and identify any areas in need of improvement.

The investigation concluded that McCain, who suffered from a seizure disorder, hypertension and diabetes, died as a result of “complications from a seizure disorder,” according to the county report.

This comes on the heels of a federal report, released earlier this month, that found conditions at the jail to be improving

Following months of protests over allegations of inhumane treatment of prisoners at the Durham County Detention Facility—including maggots in mashed potatoes, rodent feces in food warmers, and inmates being denied toilet paper and medications—Sheriff Mike Andrews invited the National Institute of Corrections to tour the jail in late April, interview prisoners and staff members, and recommend improvements.

On Monday, the NIC, an agency within the Federal Bureau of Prisons that seeks to improve corrections facilities, released its report. The sheriff's office promptly blasted out a press release declaring that "detainees reported improvements in food, medical care, and maintenance in recent years."
3. Bluegrass pioneer Ralph Stanley has died

Ralph Stanley, a patriarch of Appalachian music who with his brother Carter helped expand and popularize the genre that became known as bluegrass, died Thursday. He was 89.

Stanley died at his home in Sandy Ridge, Virginia, because of difficulties from skin cancer, publicist Kirt Webster said.
4. The Supreme Court gives a thumbs-up on affirmative action

The Supreme Court on Thursday upheld the race-conscious admissions program at the University of Texas, saying that the plan taking race into consideration as one factor of admission is constitutional.

The 4-3 ruling greenlights the limited use of affirmative action polices by schools.
But the Court also split—4–4, thanks to the failure of the Senate to fill the vacancy left by Antonin Scalia’s death—on President Obama’s executive orders regarding immigration, meaning a lower court ruling striking them down stands. 

In a crushing blow to the White House, the Supreme Court announced Thursday it was evenly divided in a case concerning President Barack Obama's controversial executive actions on immigration.

The one-sentence ruling, issued without comment or dissent, means that the programs will remain blocked from going into effect, and the issue will return to the lower court. It is exceedingly unlikely the programs will go into effect for the remainder of the Obama presidency.

Obama, speaking at the White House, lamented the ruling.

"For more than two decades now our immigration system, everybody acknowledges, has been broken," Obama said. "And the fact that the Supreme Court wasn't able to issue a decision today doesn't just set the system back even further, it takes us further from the country that we aspire to be."
 
The ruling will impact the more than 4 million undocumented immigrants seeking to be able to come out of the shadows and apply for these programs to stay in the United States. Immediately after Obama announced them in late 2014, Texas and 25 other states challenged the plans and they were blocked nationwide by a federal district court the next year.
That’s all for today. Assuming the world doesn’t implode over the weekend, the Roundup will see you Monday. 

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