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7 August 2019

Five things you need to know today: Labour would not block new Scottish referendum

Plus, Trump to face protests as he visits El Paso and Dayton, Pakistan vows to resist India over Kashmir, Gove calls EU "wrong and sad". 

By New Statesman

McDonnell: “We would let the Scottish people decide”

A future Labour government would not block a second Scottish independence referendum, John McDonnell has said. In an interview at the Edinburgh Fringe festival, the shadow chancellor said any decision about a public vote was a matter for the devolved parliament. He told broadcaster Iain Dale: “We would not block something like that. We would let the Scottish people decide. That’s democracy.  “There are other views within the party, but that’s our view.” McDonnell’s comments contradict the position consistently taken by Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard, who has opposed a second referendum.

Trump to face protests as he visits El Paso and Dayton

Donald Trump will face protests as he visits El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, the sight of two mass shootings which left 31 people dead. Beto O’Rourke, the Democratic presidential candidate and El Paso natve, said that Trump was not welcome. “He’s helped to produce the suffering that we are experiencing right now. This community needs to heal,” he said. Trump has so far refused to comment on the El Paso gunman’s white supremacist manifesto and has not supported stronger gun control measures proposed by Congress.

Pakistan vows to fight Indian removal of Kashmir’s autonomy

Pakistan has vowed to resist India’s decision to revoke Kashmir’s autonomy by any means necessary. Imran Khan, the Pakistani prime minister, denounced the act as illegal and said: “I am afraid that [India] will now carry out ethnic cleansing in Kashmir”. On Monday, India announced that it would end the special status granted to the territory in return for joining the Indian union following independence in 1947, and divide the state of Jammu and Kashmir in two. China has also condemned the move for undermining the country’s territorial sovereignty.

Gove calls EU “wrong and sad” over stalled Brexit negotiations 

Michael Gove has denounced the EU for refusing to reopen Brexit negotiations with the UK, calling it “wrong and sad”. Gove, who is responsible for no deal planning, said: “It is the EU that seems to be saying they are not interested. They are simply saying: ‘No, we don’t want to talk.’ I think that is wrong and sad. It is not in Europe’s interests.” The EU has consistently warned that is not prepared to countenance the removal of the Irish backstop, a measure designed to prevent the creation of a new hard border. 

YouTube and Netflix become third and fourth most popular channels

The four most popular television channels in Britain now include YouTube and Netflix, an Ofcom report has found, revealing the dramatic growth of streaming services. UK adults now watch an average of 34 minutes of YouTube and 18 minutes of Netflix a day, figures surpassed only by BBC One at 48 minutes and ITV at 37. The total number of UK streaming subscriptions rose by a quarter in 2018 – from 15.6m to 19.1m and viewers now watch 50 minutes less traditional TV each day than in 2010.

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