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The exit poll shows UK heading for Brexit and Conservative dominance

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  • The official exit poll points to a huge majority for Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party
  • Johnson is on course to win the party’s biggest parliamentary majority for decades with the opposition Labour party on course for its worst result in a century.
  • The result, if borne out, will give Johnson the freedom to radically change Britain’s future outside the EU.
  • It kills off any prospect of Britain’s exit from the EU being prevented.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The official exit poll published on Thursday evening suggests that Boris Johnson is on course for the largest Conservative majority for decades, with the opposition Labour party set for their worst result in a century.

If borne out in the official results, it will mean the UK is on course to leave the EU by the end of January 2020 with all hopes of a second referendum on Brexit now dead and gone.

It will also mean the likely end of Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership of the Labour party, with the UK set for at least a decade more of Conservative dominance.

For Britain’s pro-Europeans it is a bleak and heavy defeat and means that the UK is heading for a radically different economic and political settlement outside of the EU.

With such a large majority, the terms of that settlement will be decided almost entirely by the prime minister, without fear of either Brexit hardliners or pro-Europeans in his party holding him back.

The single ray of light for those who have campaigned against a hard Brexit is that this freedom will allow Johnson to opt for a softer form of exit from the EU than he had previously campaigned for.

Johnson is a mercurial politician who has repeatedly shifted his position on the EU over the years and may well opt to maintain a closer relationship with the EU than he has promised.

However, while a majority may free Johnson up to soften his Brexit plans, it could also free him up to significantly harden them.

The choice will ultimately be his and his alone.

After years in which Conservative prime ministers have seen their plans dictated by a divided parliament, this exit poll suggests that the power to decide Britain’s future will now be firmly back in the hands of 10 Downing Street.



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US military adviser resigns after Trump’s photo-op at church

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  • The former principal deputy under secretary of defense for policy resigned, effectively immediately, from the Defense Department’s science board.
  • James Miller’s reasoning centered around President Donald Trump’s controversial visit to St. John’s Episcopal Church, where he posed with a Bible for photographs as protesters in the surrounding area were tear-gassed for the event.
  • Defense Secretary Mark Esper was also present during the visit.
  • “You may not have been able to stop President Trump from directing this appalling use of force, but you could have chosen to oppose it,” Miller wrote in his resignation letter to Esper, which was obtained by The Washington Post. “Instead, you visibly supported it.”
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

A Department of Defense adviser resigned, effectively immediately, from the military’s science board citing what he believed to be a violation of conduct from Defense Secretary Mark Esper.

In his resignation letter, James Miller Jr., the former under secretary of defense for policy from 2012 to 2014, recalled that he swore an oath of office to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States … and to bear true faith and allegiance to the same,” similar to what the defense secretary had done before he took office.

“On Monday, June 1, 2020, I believe that you violated that oath,” Miller wrote in his letter to Esper, which was obtained by The Washington Post.

Miller’s reasoning centered around President Donald Trump’s controversial visit to St. John’s Episcopal Church in Washington, DC, on Monday, where he posed with a Bible for photographs as protesters in the surrounding area were tear-gassed for the event.

Esper, along with US Army Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was also present during the visit.

“Law-abiding protesters just outside the White House were dispersed using tear gas and rubber bullets — not for the sake of safety, but to clear a path for a presidential photo op,” Miller wrote. “You then accompanied President Trump in walking from the White House to St. John’s Episcopal Church for that photo.”

“You may not have been able to stop President Trump from directing this appalling use of force, but you could have chosen to oppose it,” Miller added. “Instead, you visibly supported it.”

In his letter, Miller also queried Esper on where he believed the Constitution’s limits were in relation to his duties.

“You must have thought long and hard about where that line should be drawn,” Miller wrote. “I must now ask: If last night’s blatant violations do not cross the line for you, what will?”

“Unfortunately, it appears there may be few if any lines that President Trump is not willing to cross, so you will probably be faced with this terrible question again in the coming days,” he added. “You may be asked to take, or to direct the men and women serving in the US military to take, actions that further undermine the Constitution and harm Americans.”

Esper claimed he was unaware of where he was going with the entourage on Monday.

“I thought I was going to do two things: to see some damage and to talk to the troops,” he said in an NBC News interview.

“I didn’t know where I was going,” he added. “I wanted to see how much damage actually happened.”

Miller served on the military’s Defense Science Board, a group of retired senior officials who are “best equipped to tackle the Department’s challenges in acquisition, cyber, communication technology, and weapons of mass destruction.”

He was awarded the Medal for Distinguished Public Service, the Defense Department’s highest honorary award for civilians, four times in his career, according to his biography from the Center for a New American Security think-tank.

“I wish you the best, in very difficult times,” Miller said at the end of his letter. “The sanctity of the US Constitution, and the lives of Americans, may depend on your choices.”



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Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz says US stimulus programmes have ‘failed’ — and that policymakers should now focus on preventing a ‘lost generation’ of workers

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  • Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz said in an interview with CNBC that US stimulus programmes have “failed, and we have to admit that.”
  • The US has launched $2 trillion worth of stimulus, and another $3 trillion package is set to be voted on by the Senate.
  • Stiglitz, who won a Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences in 2001, fears for the US economy, saying: “The worst case scenario for the economy is another Great Depression.”
  • He said the US should also consider giving some benefits to those who are still in high school or recent graduates who don’t usually qualify for unemployment insurance. 
  • Failure to do this could lead to a “lost generation” of workers, Stiglitz said.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Stimulus programs have failed to help the Americans in most dire need, according to famed Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz. 

Stiglitz told CNBC in an interview published Tuesday: “The problem wasn’t just the amount of money. It was how the programs were designed,” Stiglitz said.

“Our programs have failed, and we have to admit that,” Stiglitz added. 

The Treasury Department announced last month it would borrow $2.99 trillion in the second quarter to foot the bill for the government’s economic rescue response to the coronavirus pandemic. 

The US has already launched one $2 trillion stimulus programme, and another worth $3 trillion is currently before the Senate. It is unlikely to pass, however, as it was proposed by the Democratic Party and the Senate is controlled by Republicans.

Stiglitz said the Paycheck Protection Programme was “particularly badly designed.”

Stiglitz, a professor at Columbia University and a winner of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences in 2001, noted: “The businesses with the best connections with the banks, the best customers, got at the head of the line, and those weren’t the smallest businesses, they weren’t the people who needed it most.”

The Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences is not technically a Nobel Prize as it was not established by Alfred Nobel, but it is widely considered the most prestigious prize in economics, and many consider it equivalent to a Nobel Prize.

Read more: Famed economist David Rosenberg says investors are falling into a classic market trap that’s historically preceded a further meltdown — and warns ‘there’s not going to be much of a recovery’

Stiglitz downplayed the notion that the US economy will bounce back in a V-shaped recovery once the pandemic subsides. 

“Even after pandemic is put under control, economic recovery is not going to be easy.”

“The worst case scenario for the economy is another Great Depression. We are already at the levels of unemployment associated with the Great Depression,” he added. 

Some 40.7 million citizens have filed for unemployment in the past 10 weeks.

What the US can learn from other countries policies 

Stiglitz cited a number of other countries he believes have handled the pandemic better than the US.

“What is happening in the US compared to other countries is that Denmark and New Zealand did design the [stimulus] programmes in the way I would have recommended.” 

Some of these countries have paid companies to continue listing their workers on their payrolls, an approach which Stiglitz would have preferred the US to implement in tackling unemployment. 

Stiglitz said the US needs to particularly focus on younger generations including recent graduates and those still completing high school. 

Read more: GOLDMAN SACHS: Buy these 25 beaten-down stocks all poised to jump more than 18% from current levels

He said: “In our bailouts we didn’t help the universities, we gave money to some dieing industries, but not to the industries of the future, including higher education.”

“Those graduating from college or high right now are facing a very tough job market. They are not eligible for unemployment insurance, they are caught in between.”

Stiglitz added that those who are in school or training are usually eligible for some form of benefits in Europe, something the US could implement. 

He also thinks the US would have to at some point reduce the burden of student debt.

“Australia has a very good system based on Income Contingent Loans where the amount paid is related to your income and even after 20 years if you made the choice to go into [low paid sector] then they forgive the loan,” he said. 

Stiglitz added: “These are valuable years which you shouldn’t be wasting feeling disconnected or resentful, I would put a high priority on that type of a programme.”





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Consumers want action from brands showing support for protests

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Brands from Nike to Amazon have released ads and public statements amid nationwide #BlackLivesMatter protests about the death of George Floyd, and while corporate engagement with social issues is not new, more and more high-profile brands are speaking up. But consumers have also been responding by calling for further action beyond providing words of support. As more consumers make potential purchase decisions based on a brands’ social stances, it may be more worthwhile to take the risk — but brands doing so should be prepared to show how they’re taking direct, measurable action.

select attitudes towards brands that take social:political stances according to US internet users



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Consumers increasingly expect brands to speak on social issues, especially younger consumers. The percentage of consumers who are belief-driven buyers — those who say they choose, avoid, or switch products based on the brand’s stance on societal issues — has been increasing, growing from 51% in 2017 to 64% in 2018-19, according to 2019 figures by Edelman.

This is especially true of the younger generation: Gen Z is “more likely than other [generations] to call on brands to make a difference,” and three times more likely to say that the purpose of a business is to “serve communities and society,” according to a May 2019 survey by BBMG and Globescan. 

If brands do speak up, consumers are looking for genuine, substantive support. Though consumers want to see brands stepping up, they’re also wary of companies that merely use social issues for profit: While 59% of respondents in an October 2019 DNA Seattle survey said they were likely to be more loyal to brands that supported causes they cared about, a slightly higher percentage (61%) said they thought too many brands were using societal issues as a marketing ploy.

For these wary consumers, simply speaking out on an issue may not be enough — people want to see companies take active steps, such as making donations or committing to hiring diverse leadership, for example. “Brands have to offer something measurable because today’s consumers expect more than just words — especially after the way brands responded to the COVID-19 pandemic by throwing millions of dollars in donations at various communities,” said Burrell Communications CCO Lewis Williams in an interview with Adweek. 

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