June 25, 2016
From Washington, this is VOA news. I'm David Byrd reporting. The fallout continues from Britain's decision to leave the European Union.
The British people voted by a narrow margin to break away from the EU, a move that gave some European leaders a bit of pause.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said, "We take note of the British people's decision with regret."
She added "there is no doubt this is a blow to Europe and to the European unification process."
Meanwhile, so-called Brexit supporters say the move was necessary to establish Britain's independence from Brussels.
Lord David Owen is Britain's former foreign secretary. "The EU has just gone into every nook and cranny, started off as a trade agreement. It moved towards a community, now is a union and it wants its own currency and now wants its own defense forces. Well, it's only a matter of time before it becomes a country."
Analysts say that it could take up to two years for the process to finish.
The news sent world stock markets and the value of the British pound tumbling.
The head of the International Monetary Fund said Friday the decision of the British people to leave the European Union should be respected.
IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde said it's important that Britain and EU authorities work together to ensure the negotiation process and that it be carried on in as smooth a manner as possible.
Madame Lagarde said the IMF will closely monitor developments on the matter and will work with its members to, in her words, ensure the resilience and the stability of the global economy in the period ahead.
For more on the Brexit and the rest of the day's news, visit our website voanews.com. This is VOA news.
U.S. President Barack Obama says that he spoke to British Prime Minister David Cameron and is confident "the United Kingdom is committed to an orderly transition out of the European Union."
Speaking at Stanford University Friday, Mr. Obama said that one thing that will not change is the special relationship between the U.S. and the U.K.
"Our NATO alliance will remain a cornerstone of global security and in a few weeks, we'll be meeting in Warsaw for the NATO Summit. And our shared values including our commitment to democracy and pluralism and opportunity for all people in a globalized world -- that will continue to unite all of us."
The president said that he believes Britain's unexpected decision to leave the EU speaks to what he called "the ongoing changes and challenges" that are raised by globalization.
The U.S. military has launched its first airstrikes against the Taliban in Afghanistan since President Obama expanded the authorities under which U.S. troops can attack the insurgents.
Pentagon press secretary Peter Cook confirmed Friday the strikes were carried out in the "southern portion of Afghanistan."
Earlier this month, Mr. Obama expanded U.S. military involvement in the country to allow more airstrikes against the Taliban as long as those strikes can help the Afghan offensive succeed.
Previously, U.S. commanders were authorized only to use airstrikes to protect U.S. forces on the ground.
West Virginia's Governor Earl Ray Tomblin has declared states of emergency in 44 counties after the worst flooding in the mid-Atlantic state in 100 years killed nearly 20 people.
Tomblin said Friday that he has confirmed 14 people have died from the flooding. "I'm saddened to report at this point we have confirmed 14 individuals have lost their lives in the storm. Our hearts go out to all the families."
As much as 25 centimeters of rain fell on Thursday, sending numerous rivers in the southwestern and central parts of the state over their banks and into the streets of nearby towns.
Meteorologists blame the floods on multiple thunderstorms concentrated in a relatively small area.
The heavy rain also sent torrents pouring down mountain sides.
U.S. President Barack Obama has designated a site in the heart of New York as a national park and the first U.S. national monument to gay rights.
The Stonewall National Monument in Greenwich Village includes the landmark Stonewall Inn, a tavern where the gay rights movement gained political momentum nearly 50 years ago. The tavern was the focal point of street rioting that broke out in 1969 after a police raid aimed at harassing the gay community.
I'm David Byrd in Washington.
That's the latest world news from VOA.