British voters support a referendum on final Brexit deal — YouGov

In the June 23, 2016 UK referendum, about 17.4 million votes, or 51.9 percent of votes cast, backed leaving the EU. (Reuters)
Updated 27 July 2018
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British voters support a referendum on final Brexit deal — YouGov

LONDON: The proportion of voters who favor a referendum on the final terms of any Brexit deal has overtaken those who do not for the first time, according to a YouGov poll for The Times.
When they were asked whether there should be a referendum on the final terms of any Brexit deal, 42 percent said there should be a fresh vote while 40 percent said there should not. The rest did not know.
The poll of 1,653 adults in the United Kingdom was conducted on Wednesday and Thursday this week, The Times said.
Fifty-eight percent of Labour voters, 67 percent of Liberal Democrat voters and 21 percent of Conservative voters supported a second referendum.
In the June 23, 2016 referendum, 17.4 million votes, or 51.9 percent of votes cast, backed leaving the EU while 16.1 million votes, or 48.1 percent of votes cast, backed staying. Many opinion polls were wrong about the result.
Two years on from the referendum, the YouGov poll showed that the views of most voters on whether to leave had not changed.
In the event of a referendum on Britain’s EU membership tomorrow, 45 percent said that they would vote to remain, while 42 percent would vote to leave, with 4 percent saying that they would not vote and 9 percent saying they did not know, The Times said.


Sri Lanka churches halt public services over security fears

Updated 22 min 1 sec ago
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Sri Lanka churches halt public services over security fears

  • Potential bombers ‘at large’ as death toll lowered to 253
  • Muslims asked to shun Friday prayer

COLOMBO: Sri Lanka’s Catholic churches suspended all public services over security fears on Thursday, as thousands of troops joined the hunt for suspects in deadly Easter bombings.

A senior priest said that all public services were being suspended and all churches closed “on the advice of security forces.”

Authorities revised the death toll down to 253, from the previous figure of 359, explaining that some of the badly mutilated bodies had been double-counted.

The father of two of the suspected bombers has been arrested on suspicion of aiding his sons.

Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said suspects remained at large and could have access to explosives. Some of the suspects “may go out for a suicide attack,” Wickremesinghe said.

Hundreds of Ahmadi refugees in western Sri Lanka have taken refuge in mosques and a police station after facing intimidation following the bombings. Scores of Ahmadis who settled in Negombo after fleeing persecution in their home countries have been thrown out of their accommodation by landlords.

Sri Lanka’s Defense Secretary Hemasiri Fernando resigned on Thursday over security failures. He submitted a letter of resignation to President Maithripala Sirisena.

Britain’s Foreign Office advised against all but essential travel to Sri Lanka.

“The horrific attack is a demonstration of how tactics, techniques and procedures (TTPs) that originated in this island nation several decades ago returned to haunt a shocked and broken government thanks to a complete collapse of counterterrorism capability or capacity,” Dr. Theodore Karasik, a security expert, writes in an opinion piece.

Hate preacher Zahran Hashim, head of the National Thowheeth Jama’ath group that is being blamed for the attacks, developed a reputation as a preacher who “copied” Daesh propaganda videos to enhance his posts via the pro-Daesh Al-Ghuraba media channel, which used Facebook and YouTube as its primary platforms, Karasik says. 

Sri Lanka’s Islamic affairs minister, M. H. M. Haleem, asked all Muslims to avoid prayers on Friday for security reasons. He also said it would be a mark of respect for those who perished in the nation’s worst violence in years.

Politician and Western Province Gov. Azath Salley told Arab News that the blasts were orchestrated by a handful of extremists and that the island’s Muslim population could not be held responsible for their “deviant” actions.