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Explainer-Scotland’s difficult route to another independence referendum By Reuters

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Explainer-Scotland’s difficult route to another independence referendum By Reuters



© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon campaigns in Midsteeple Quarter for the Scottish Parliament election, in Dumfries, Scotland, Britain May 3, 2021. Jeff J Mitchell/Pool via REUTERS

By Andrew MacAskill

LONDON (Reuters) – Scottish independence supporters are calling Thursday’s election the most important in the nation’s history as they vow that if they win a majority in the devolved parliament, they will push for another referendum on breaking from the United Kingdom.

The Scottish National Party (SNP) is close to controlling the devolved parliament – knows as Holyrood – outright in Thursday’s election.

The only time the SNP have won a majority before in 2011, Britain’s then-Prime Minister David Cameron bowed to pressure and agreed to a referendum in 2014. Scots then voted by 55-45% to remain in the more than 300-year-old union.

However, even if they win a majority, there are no defined rules for how Scotland can force another referendum. The British government says the law means that Scotland would require the permission of the British parliament, and Prime Minister Boris Johnson has repeatedly said he will reject any such demand.

Without a clear democratic path to another referendum, the SNP will need to exert political, moral, or legal pressure to force another vote.Below are some of the paths to Scottish independence:

POLITICAL TRENCH WARFARE

If the SNP – along with the Greens, who also support independence – win a majority, they will claim they have an undeniable right to hold another referendum. Regardless of the result, Johnson is expected to turn down any request. He has said the issue was settled seven years ago and the next one should not be held until the 2050s.  

This will result in “political trench warfare” between the Scottish and British government over who has the power to call a referendum, according to James Mitchell, a professor of politics at Edinburgh University.

Mitchell said the independence movement will make angry demands and use street protests and political stunts to highlight what they say is Scotland being denied the right to decide its future. “It will be very heated,” he said.

There is broad acceptance among British political leaders that Scotland, which joined with England in 1707, cannot be trapped forever against its democratic will.The risk for the British government is by denying a referendum it may increase support for Scottish independence.

COURT BATTLES

Scotland’s leader Nicola Sturgeon has said that if the SNP wins a majority and COVID-19 pandemic is over, she will pass legislation to hold a new referendum by the end of 2023. She will then dare the British government to challenge the decision in the courts.

Under the Scotland Act 1998 – which set up the Scottish parliament – “the Union of the Kingdoms of Scotland and England” is a matter reserved for Britain’s parliament.However, the matter has never been tested in court and lawyers and academics disagree over whether the Scottish parliament could have the power to call a referendum.David Hope, former deputy president of the UK Supreme Court, said the Scotland Act was a major constraint on the Scottish government: “They are trapped within a statute which is very carefully drafted.”Others think it is not so clear-cut. “There are respectable arguments for saying that a referendum bill would be within devolved competence,” said Professor Aileen McHarg, an expert on constitutional law at Durham University.

UNAUTHORISED REFERENDUM

Sturgeon has previously said she would only seek to secede from the United Kingdom through a legally agreed referendum.

She is facing pressure from some nationalists to abandon this strategy and to call a referendum without the British parliament’s permission. But unionists could boycott this vote and claim the result lacks legitimacy.

If the independence movement was to hold a referendum without the consent of the British government, it could also struggle to gain international recognition if it won.

That would mirror the situation in Spain over Catalonia four years ago, when the regional government held an independence referendum that the central government said was illegal.

Michael Keating, a professor of politics at the University of Aberdeen, said that if the pro-independence parties keep winning elections, the British government will eventually have to back down. The union is based on the principle that any country could leave if it wants, he said.

“If people keep voting for nationalist parties, how can you tell them they don’t want another referendum?” he said. “You can’t keep saying no forever.”





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Woman fights on for damages over Vietnam War use of ‘Agent Orange’ By Reuters

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Woman fights on for damages over Vietnam War use of ‘Agent Orange’ By Reuters


5/5

© Reuters. Tran To Nga, a French-Vietnamese woman, who claims she was a victim of Agent Orange, attends a news conference in Paris, France, May 11, 2021. REUTERS/Sarah Meyssonnier

2/5

By Yiming Woo and Sarah Meysonnier

PARIS (Reuters) – An elderly French-Vietnamese woman vowed on Tuesday to pursue her legal fight to obtain compensation for health problems which she says were caused by exposure to the toxic herbicide “Agent Orange” during the Vietnam War.

Earlier this week, a French court rejected a lawsuit filed by 79-year old Tran To Nga against 14 chemical companies, but she told reporters she would appeal.

“I am disappointed, I am angry, but I am not sad,” said Tran To Nga, whose news conference was broadcast on Reuters TV.

“We are going to carry on because our cause is just. Truth is on our side,” she added.

U.S. warplanes dropped about 18 million gallons (68 million litres) of Agent Orange – so-called because it was stored in drums with orange bands – between the early 1960s and early 1970s to defoliate jungles and destroy Viet Cong crops.

Tran, who worked as a journalist and activist in Vietnam in her 20s, has said she suffers from effects including Type 2 diabetes and a rare insulin allergy.

Her lawsuit, first filed in 2014, sought compensation from chemical firms including U.S. companies Dow Chemical and Monsanto (NYSE:), now owned by Germany’s Bayer (OTC:).

Those multinational companies had argued they could not be held legally responsible for how the U.S. military had decided to use their product.

So far, only military veterans from the United States and other countries involved in the war have won compensation over Agent Orange. In 2008, a U.S. federal appeals court upheld the dismissal of a civil lawsuit against major U.S. chemical companies brought by Vietnamese plaintiffs.

The United States has said there is no scientifically proven link to support the claims of dioxin poisoning of many Vietnamese plaintiffs.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.





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U.S. stocks lower at close of trade; Dow Jones Industrial Average down 1.36% By Investing.com

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U.S. stocks lower at close of trade; Dow Jones Industrial Average down 1.36% By Investing.com



© Reuters. U.S. stocks lower at close of trade; Dow Jones Industrial Average down 1.36%

Investing.com – U.S. stocks were lower after the close on Tuesday, as losses in the , and sectors led shares lower.

At the close in NYSE, the declined 1.36%, while the index fell 0.87%, and the index declined 0.09%.

The best performers of the session on the were Salesforce.com Inc (NYSE:), which rose 0.81% or 1.74 points to trade at 215.63 at the close. Meanwhile, Nike Inc (NYSE:) added 0.54% or 0.73 points to end at 137.13 and Honeywell International Inc (NYSE:) was unchanged 0.00% or 0.00 points to 230.94 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Home Depot Inc (NYSE:), which fell 3.10% or 10.57 points to trade at 330.55 at the close. The Travelers Companies Inc (NYSE:) declined 3.05% or 4.93 points to end at 156.74 and American Express Company (NYSE:) was down 2.67% or 4.23 points to 154.45.

The top performers on the S&P 500 were NortonLifeLock Inc (NASDAQ:) which rose 10.77% to 23.35, Freeport-McMoran Copper & Gold Inc (NYSE:) which was up 4.77% to settle at 44.78 and Arconic Corp (NYSE:) which gained 2.94% to close at 36.44.

The worst performers were Hanesbrands Inc (NYSE:) which was down 12.01% to 19.27 in late trade, Occidental Petroleum Corporation (NYSE:) which lost 7.92% to settle at 24.52 and Pioneer Natural Resources Co (NYSE:) which was down 5.89% to 157.71 at the close.

The top performers on the NASDAQ Composite were Bridgford Foods Corporation (NASDAQ:) which rose 50.95% to 21.42, Sequential Brands Group Inc (NASDAQ:) which was up 36.19% to settle at 13.1700 and Saga Communications Inc (NASDAQ:) which gained 34.04% to close at 28.31.

The worst performers were Larimar Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:) which was down 35.67% to 8.440 in late trade, Alset Ehome International Inc (NASDAQ:) which lost 34.38% to settle at 4.16 and Rackspace Technology Inc (NASDAQ:) which was down 20.82% to 19.02 at the close.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the New York Stock Exchange by 2356 to 880 and 93 ended unchanged; on the Nasdaq Stock Exchange, 1947 fell and 1428 advanced, while 106 ended unchanged.

Shares in Freeport-McMoran Copper & Gold Inc (NYSE:) rose to 5-year highs; up 4.77% or 2.04 to 44.78. Shares in Arconic Corp (NYSE:) rose to 5-year highs; gaining 2.94% or 1.04 to 36.44. Shares in Bridgford Foods Corporation (NASDAQ:) rose to 52-week highs; up 50.95% or 7.23 to 21.42. Shares in Larimar Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:) fell to 52-week lows; down 35.67% or 4.680 to 8.440. Shares in Alset Ehome International Inc (NASDAQ:) fell to all time lows; falling 34.38% or 2.18 to 4.16. Shares in Saga Communications Inc (NASDAQ:) rose to 52-week highs; up 34.04% or 7.19 to 28.31.

The , which measures the implied volatility of S&P 500 options, was up 11.09% to 21.84 a new 1-month high.

Gold Futures for June delivery was up 0.04% or 0.75 to $1838.35 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in June rose 0.75% or 0.49 to hit $65.41 a barrel, while the July Brent oil contract rose 0.51% or 0.35 to trade at $68.67 a barrel.

EUR/USD was up 0.15% to 1.2147, while USD/JPY fell 0.11% to 108.67.

The US Dollar Index Futures was down 0.02% at 90.168.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.





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EA pins hopes on ‘FIFA 21’, ‘Apex Legends’ with upbeat revenue forecast By Reuters

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EA pins hopes on ‘FIFA 21’, ‘Apex Legends’ with upbeat revenue forecast By Reuters



© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: An Electronic Arts office building is shown in Los Angeles, California, U.S., July 27, 2020. REUTERS/Mike Blake

(Reuters) – Electronic Arts Inc (NASDAQ:) on Tuesday forecast full-year adjusted revenue above analysts’ estimates, betting that demand for its titles, including “FIFA 21” and “Apex Legends”, would stay strong even as COVID-19 restrictions ease.

The video gaming industry has been among the big pandemic winners thanks to a surge in engagement from gamers staying indoors. U.S. consumer spending on video games rose 18% in March to a record of $5.6 billion, according to data from research firm NPD.

EA estimated full-year adjusted revenue to be $7.30 billion, higher than a Refinitiv IBES estimate of $6.61 billion.

The video game publisher has been expanding its customer base and mobile gaming footprint through deals for companies including UK-based Codemasters, known for racing titles such as “F1” and “Dirt”, and the “Kim Kardashian: Hollywood” game creator Glu Mobile (NASDAQ:).

Its revenue was $1.49 billion for the fourth quarter ended March 31, beating expectations of $1.39 billion.

“EA delivered a strong quarter, driven by live services and Apex Legends’ extraordinary performance,” the company said in a statement.

But net income fell to $76 million, or 26 cents per share, from $418 million, $1.43 per share, a year earlier.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.





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