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

Published: Tuesday, June 21, 2016 @ 11:32 AM
Updated: Tuesday, June 21, 2016 @ 11:39 AM

It’s one thing when a bunch of politicians yammer on about an issue facing a country, but when David Beckham steps up to the mic to take a position, it’s time to start listening.

The former soccer god spoke out on Tuesday about the biggest issue facing his home country of England – whether to remain in the European Union, or to back out and be just Britain.

As an American, about now you are probably wondering why you should care about what the United Kingdom does. Good question.  Beside the Beckham beefcake part of it, the results of Thursday’s upcoming referendum on whether to stay or to go will have ripple effects around the world.

On Tuesday, Prime Minister David Cameron warned that if British voters choose to leave the EU the decision will be 'irreversible.’

Here’s a quick look at what Brexit is and why the results of the vote are  important.

What does Brexit mean?

Nothing, really. It is a combination of “Britain” and “exit” – or Brexit. What Britain would be exiting is the European Union.

What’s the European Union?

The European Union is an economic and political partnership of 28 countries. Each of the countries   are independent but they share trade agreements.  The European Union, or EU, operates a single market which allows free movement of goods, capital and services.

The 28 countries are: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

What is the argument for staying?

It is mainly an economic one. There are 3 million United Kingdom jobs linked to trade in Europe, according to those who want the UK to stay in the EU. The country also benefits from lower prices for things like travel within the EU countries. Another reason would be a law enforcement advantage – the European Arrest Warrant enables the UK and EU members to more easily extradite criminals across borders. Security – all for one and one for all – is another consideration.

What is the argument for going?

A big argument  is the country would save 350 million British Pounds a week, according to one source. Another major argument is that it would allow the UK to be in charge of her own borders (read: immigration). If someone has the right to live in one of the EU countries, they can live in any or all of the EU countries.

What does the Queen want?

Some reports suggest that Queen Elizabeth II is in favor of leaving the EU. However, we will likely never know what she really thinks about it as she remains non-political  in public. However, according to a chatty source who spilled the beans about a lunch the Queen and former Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg had in 2011, the queen was quoted as saying, the “EU is going in the wrong direction.” (Read: she is in favor of leaving).  

Anyone famous want the country to leave the EU?

Sir Michael Caine, Dame Joan Collins, Downtown Abbey creator Julian Fellowes and Elizabeth Hurley are down with Brexit.

Which celebs want to stay?

J.K. Rowling, Elton John, Simon Cowell, Jude Law, Keira Knightley and Benedict Cumberbatch say they like the EU just  fine.

What happens if they leave?

Any number of things can happen if the UK becomes the first country to leave the EU. Surely, there will be trade issues – Germany’s chancellor Angela Merkel has said trade agreements with Britain under the EU will not be the same if the UK leaves. There are jobs and other economic issues to consider. Also, Scotland, one of four nations that make up the United Kingdom, says they will have their own referendum for independence so they can then pursue their own membership with the EU.

When will we know?

The referendum is Thursday. We should know by Friday morning. Hard to call in advance since the vote seems, at least in polling, to be almost evenly spilt. 

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Bear kills dog, seriously injures another in Florida subdivision

Published: Thursday, April 26, 2018 @ 12:17 AM

(File photo)
(File photo)

Residents of a Seminole County, Florida, neighborhood were on high alert Wednesday because of an aggressive bear that killed one dog and seriously injured another one in recent days.

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The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission set traps in The Estates at Springs Landing subdivision along Markham Woods Road near Longwood to try to catch the bear, which killed a dog late Tuesday, days after injuring another.

The bear tore through a pool screen Tuesday and grabbed Maggie, Russell Nusynowitz's 15-year-old poodle.

His wife ran into the home as the bear killed the family dog and took her into the yard.

The attack came two days after Rick Mann encountered a bear and two yearlings in his garage. FWC believes the same bear was involved in both attacks.

When his 5-year-old Maltese-Yorkie mix, Reese, barked, the bear attacked, clamping down on the dog twice.

"When she came back the second time, I grabbed whatever I could," Mann said. "There was a vacuum cleaner there. I started swinging at her."

Reese underwent five hours of surgery.

"He's got seven puncture wounds, a bruised liver, a bruised kidney, numerous lacerations," said Roxane Mann, Rick Mann's wife. "Just a lot of issues. But he's hanging tough."

Roxanne Mann said the bear opened the refrigerator in the garage and helped herself to the food it contained, showing no fear of humans.

"The fact that she was starting to leave the garage and then came back to attack for the second time was very uncommon for a bear," Rick Mann said.

Word is spreading about the brave dog that stood up to the bear to protect his owner. The veterinarian who has been treating Reese has collected more than $1,000 in donations to help pay the vet bills.

FWC said area residents should keep their garage doors closed, not leave food outside and keep dogs on a leash.

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‘There’s blood everywhere’: Teen accused of premeditated murder of 11-year-old brother

Published: Wednesday, April 25, 2018 @ 12:35 PM

13-Year-Old Accused Of Killing 11-Year-Old Brother

An Ohio teen has been charged with aggravated murder in the fatal shooting of his 11-year-old brother, an act that police officials said was premeditated. 

Streetsboro Police Department officials said that officers and city fire medics responded just after 9:30 p.m. Monday to the boys’ home, where they found the 11-year-old with a single gunshot wound. He was taken to a hospital, where he later died. 

“The victim’s 13-year-old brother was taken into custody in what appears to be a premeditated shooting,” police officials said in a statement

Police and Streetsboro school officials identified the victim as Caleb Lishing. The older brother has been identified as Elijah Lishing, a student at Bio-Med Science Academy in Rootstown. 

News 5 in Cleveland reported that the Elijah Lishing fled the scene on foot, but was found nearby. He was arrested and booked into the Portage County Juvenile Detention Center. 

The boys’ were with a babysitter when the shooting took place. News 5 reported that the sitter frantically called 911 to get help.

“Something terrible has happened,” the woman said in the call, which the news station obtained. “I’m babysitting two kids. There’s blood everywhere.”

The caller told police that Caleb Lishing went to bed around 8:30 p.m. and his brother, a short time later. When she heard a ‘pop,” she ran into the younger boy’s bedroom.

“The other boy came out and said, ‘What was that?’ and I ran in here,” the babysitter said. 

Caleb Lishing had a hole in his neck and the room smelled of gunpowder, News 5 reported

“He’s got blood just pouring out of his mouth,” the caller said. “I don’t think he’s breathing.”

The babysitter did CPR on the victim until paramedics arrived. The Record-Courier in Kent reported that the woman screamed for Elijah Lishing, but he didn’t respond.

“He’s 11 years old and I don’t know where his brother went,” the woman said of Caleb Lishing. “I heard a pop and there’s blood in his chest.”

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Elijah Lishing is accused of shooting his brother with a .357 Magnum stolen from his grandfather’s home. The Record-Courier reported that the teen had to break into a locked gun cabinet to get the weapon. 

He is accused of taking apart part of the cabinet when he couldn’t find the key, which the grandfather kept at a different home, the newspaper reported

Monday’s shooting isn’t the first time police were called to the Lishing home. Police reports indicate that officers were called to the house four days before the homicide after Elijah Lishing’s stepmother reported that he was being “unruly.” 

The teen, who expressed thoughts of harming himself, was taken to a behavioral health center for evaluation, News 5 reported. It was unclear what treatment he may have received. 

The boys’ parents were out of the country at the time of the shooting, but were on their way home after being contacted by investigators, the Record-Courier said

Caleb Lishing’s slaying is the first homicide in Streetsboro in nearly 20 years. 

“It doesn’t happen here,” Lt. Patricia Wain, a police department spokeswoman, told News 5. “It’s traumatizing. A lot of our officers here have kids that age, so to have to walk into that and see that and take that call, it’s very difficult.”

A statement from Streetsboro City Schools administrators said that the school community was “shocked and saddened” by the death of Caleb Lishing, who was in the fifth grade.  

“Caleb was a well-liked student by his peers and teachers, and (he) loved coming to school each day,” the statement said. “He was a gentle soul who loved to read and talk to the adults around him.”

More than 20 grief counselors were on hand Tuesday to talk with students, faculty, staff members and parents about the loss. The counselors were also offering advice on how to recognize warning signs of potential trouble in children. 

Children who are depressed may complain of feeling sick, refuse to go to school, cling to a parent or caregiver or worry excessively that a parent may die,” officials said on the district website. “Older children may sulk, get into trouble, be negative or grouchy or feel misunderstood. Youth are more likely to respond to treatment if they receive it early in the course of their illness.”

Police officials asked for respect and kindness toward the family in a statement on the department’s Facebook page

“We ask that you keep the family in your thoughts during this difficult time,” the police statement said. “While we respect that everyone may have strong feelings about the incident, we request that you keep your comments positive with respect to the family and our community as they grieve their loss.”

Elijah Lishing was due in juvenile court for an initial appearance Wednesday afternoon. A judge issued a gag order in the case to protect the teen’s identity, but the ruling was handed down after police had already released his name and details of the case, the Record-Courier said

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George H.W. Bush recovering after infection, moved out of intensive care

Published: Wednesday, April 25, 2018 @ 2:44 PM
Updated: Wednesday, April 25, 2018 @ 2:44 PM

Biography of George H.W. Bush

Former President George H.W. Bush has been moved from the intensive care unit at Houston Methodist Hospital to a regular patient bed days after he suffered an infection that spread to his blood, a family spokesman said Wednesday.

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First U.S. memorial to 4,400 victims of lynchings across the South opens in Alabama  

Published: Wednesday, April 25, 2018 @ 10:38 PM

The National Memorial for Peace and Justice memorial was created from 800 hanging steel columns with the county and names of people lynched there etched into the column, including “unknown” victims. It’s the first U.S. memorial to the victims of lynchings.
Equal Justice Initiative
The National Memorial for Peace and Justice memorial was created from 800 hanging steel columns with the county and names of people lynched there etched into the column, including “unknown” victims. It’s the first U.S. memorial to the victims of lynchings.(Equal Justice Initiative)

The first memorial in the United States dedicated to the victims of white supremacy opens in Montgomery, Alabama, Thursday.

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The National Memorial for Peace and Justice by the non-profit Equal Justice Initiative, or EJI, overlooks the Alabama State Capitol and seeks to shine a light on a terrifying chapter of American history that is rarely talked about: the lynchings of some 4,400 black Americans across the South during a rampage of horror and violence that went on for decades.

“We need to find ways to live in this country and talk about things we haven’t talked about,” EJI founder Bryan Stevenson told The Root. Stevenson said discussing this shadowy part of American history may be uncomfortable for some, but he said it’s necessary in order to move beyond it. “It isn’t about retribution,” he said.

>> Related: ‘There’s blood everywhere’: Teen accused of premeditated murder of 11-year-old brother

Almost 25 percent of the victims of lynching were accused of sexual assault and nearly 30 percent were accused of murder, The Root reported.

The memorial was created from 800 hanging steel columns with the county and names of people lynched there etched into the column, including “unknown” victims. 

The memorial site also includes the Legacy Museum: From Slavery to Mass Incarceration

>> Related: Suspected 'Golden State Killer' arrested decades after serial rapes, murders: reports

A two-day summit, which is part of the opening events this week, is already sold out.

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