UK votes in favor of 'Brexit': 5 things to know

Published: Friday, June 24, 2016 @ 8:22 AM
Updated: Friday, June 24, 2016 @ 9:25 AM

After months of contentious debate, Britain voted Thursday to leave the European Union in a historic referendum dubbed "Brexit." Here are some things to know:

Vote closely divided

The vote was a close one, according to results from the BBC. Of the 33.5 million ballots cast, only 1 million votes separated the two sides.

>> Related: Breaking Brexit: The UK votes to leave the EU

With voter turnout around 72 percent, 52 percent of Britons voted against staying in the EU. However, a majority of voters in Scotland, Northern Ireland and England's cities voted against leaving the 28-member union.

Prime Minister David Cameron resigns

Cameron, who led the campaign to keep the United Kingdom in the EU, announced his plans to step down as prime minister in the wake of Thursday's vote.

"I will do everything I can as prime minister to steady the ship over the coming weeks and months, but I do not think it would be right for me to try to be the captain that steers the country to its next destination," he said Friday in a speech outside his Downing Street office.

"We should aim to have a new prime minister in place by the start of the Conservative Party conference in October," he said.

Cameron became prime minister in 2010.

Pound plunges, global markets tumble

Financial markets took a dive after news of Britain's exit from the EU broke. At its lowest point, the British pound fell by 15 cents to $1.33 against the dollar – its lowest level since 1985, according to The Guardian.

"This is the biggest one-day plunge ever," the newspaper reported. "It even dwarfs the sterling crash on Black Wednesday in 1992, when Britain left the ERM (European Exchange Rate Mechanism)."

>> Related: What is Brexit? What you need to know about the UK and the European Union vote

Financial markets plummeted in the aftermath. Japan's Nikkei index closed down 8 percent.

"The Nikkei's drop was its steepest since March 2011, when threats of a nuclear catastrophe following a powerful earthquake and tsunami had sent financial markets reeling," Reuters reported.

The FTSE 100 index fell 8 percent after opening in London, according to the BBC.

What's next?

To leave the EU, Britain will have to invoke Article 50 of the 2009 Lisbon Treaty, which sets out the process for leaving. Cameron said Friday that he would leave that task to his successor.

Once Article 50 is triggered, negotiations for Britain's exit will begin. The negotiations are expected to take no more than two years.

Technically, the vote could be ignored altogether, although Cameron emphasized the need to take the referendum's results seriously.

"The will of the British people is an instruction that must be delivered," he said. "It was not a decision that was taken lightly, not least because so many things were said by so many different organizations about the significance of this decision. So there can be no doubt about the result."

Social media erupts with supporters, naysayers

Britons took to social media to express frustration and joy over the results of Thursday's vote. World leaders and pundits also weighed in on the historic vote.

North Korean officials reach out to Republicans for help understanding Trump: report

Published: Tuesday, September 26, 2017 @ 3:58 PM

VIDEO: President Trump Speaks To U.N. General Assembly On North Korea

North Korean officials are reaching out to Republican-linked analysts in an attempt to better understand President Donald Trump, according to a report published Tuesday by The Washington Post.

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The effort began before Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jung Un started trading fiery rhetoric in the wake of the Hermit Kingdom’s repeated missile tests, the Post reported.

“Their number one concern is Trump,” a source, who was not identified, told the newspaper. “They can’t figure him out.”

The Post reported that at least seven invitations have been extended to Washington-based analysts, including Douglas Paal, an expert on Asia who served on the National Security Council under presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush.

Paal, who is currently vice president for studies at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, told the Post that he declined North Korea’s request to arrange talks between its officials and “American experts with Republican ties.”

Read more from The Washington Post

“The North Koreans are clearly eager to deliver a message,” Paal said, adding that North Korean officials wanted the meeting to take place in a neutral location, such as Switzerland. “But I think they’re only interested in getting out of the country for a bit.”

This image made on Tuesday, Sept. 26, 2017, from propaganda video released by North Korea, shows U.S. President Donald Trump. Military analysts say North Korea doesn't have the capability or intent to attack U.S. bombers and fighter jets, despite the country's top diplomat saying it has the right do so. They view the remark by North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho and a recent propaganda video simulating such an attack as responses to fiery rhetoric by U.S. President Donald Trump and his hardening stance against the North's nuclear weapons program. Words say "Madman Trump in the 70th anniversary of the U.S. Air Force babbled that if there will be an attack on the North, the F-35 will lead the way" and "F-35, B-1B and Carl Vinson, lead the attack if you will. That will be the order you head to the grave." (DPRK Today via AP)(AP)

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Vladimir Putin bares chest, goes spearfishing

Published: Saturday, August 05, 2017 @ 8:40 AM

Vladimir Putin - Fast Facts

Russian president Vladimir Putin took a short vacation to begin August, heading to Tuva in southern Siberia to fish, swim and catch some rays.

In images and footage released by Russian state television, Putin and Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu can be seen enjoying the outdoors, The Associated Press reports. Putin is seen swimming and fishing, including spending two hours hunting a pike while spearfishing.

>> Read more trending news

Most of the images of Putin feature him bare-chested, except for the photos where Putin dons a wetsuit.

Putin is known for his love of adventure and the outdoors, and has taken active vacations since becoming Russia's president, The Associated Press reports.

In this photo released by Kremlin press service on Saturday, Aug. 5, 2017, Russian President Vladimir Putin holds a fish he caught while fishing during a mini-break in the Siberian Tyva region, a few days ago.(Alexei Nikolsky/Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

Manuel Noriega, former Panamanian dictator, dead at 83

Published: Tuesday, May 30, 2017 @ 1:09 AM

048177 19: General Manuel Antonio Noriega poses February 13, 1988 in Panama. In February 1988, two US federal grand juries indicted Noriega on drug trafficking charges and both American and Panamanian citizens strove to remove him from office. (Photo by Greg Smith/Liaison)
Greg Smith/Getty Images
048177 19: General Manuel Antonio Noriega poses February 13, 1988 in Panama. In February 1988, two US federal grand juries indicted Noriega on drug trafficking charges and both American and Panamanian citizens strove to remove him from office. (Photo by Greg Smith/Liaison)(Greg Smith/Getty Images)

Former Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega has died at age 83, multiple news outlets, including TVN and Telemetro, reported early Tuesday.

>> PHOTOS: Notable deaths 2017

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Prince William: 'Nobody should be bullied for their sexuality'

Published: Saturday, May 13, 2017 @ 10:37 AM

PARIS, FRANCE - MARCH 17:  Prince William, Duke of Cambridge attends a reception at the British Embassy during day one of their visit on March 17, 2017 in Paris, France. (Photo by Ian Vogler - Pool/Getty Images)
Pool/Getty Images
PARIS, FRANCE - MARCH 17: Prince William, Duke of Cambridge attends a reception at the British Embassy during day one of their visit on March 17, 2017 in Paris, France. (Photo by Ian Vogler - Pool/Getty Images)(Pool/Getty Images)

Prince William offered a message of support for the LGBT community Friday evening at the British LGBT Awards.

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The Duke of Cambridge, who was named "straight ally of the year" for the British lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities, spoke via a video message, according to the BBC. In the brief video, he talks about how he's become passionate about "protecting from bullying, particularly online." He said he's "encountered a number of tragic stories about LGBT young people who have sadly felt unable to cope with the abuse and discrimination they face in their lives."

Prince William concluded: "It is 2017, and nobody should be bullied for their sexuality, or for any other reason."