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News Wrap: France, UK pledge to take in thousands of refugees

In our news wrap Monday, hundreds of people broke through Hungarian police lines near the Serbian border to walk on the main highway to Budapest. Meanwhile, European leaders debated how to handle the new wave of refugees. Also, President Obama announced a new executive order requiring federal contractors to give paid sick leave to their employers.

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    There was renewed trouble today as countries across Europe tried to cope with the influx of thousands of migrants and refugees. Hundreds of people broke through Hungarian police lines near the Serbian border and marched north on the main highway to Budapest. The refugees outnumbered police, who used pepper spray to try to maintain order. Some 340,000 asylum-seekers have arrived in the 28-nation European Union already this year.

    The developments come as all of Europe debates how to handle the new wave of refugees. German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that all E.U. countries should pitch in. But Hungary's prime minister, Viktor Orban, questioned a proposed quota system.

    Meanwhile, French President Francois Hollande pledged to take 24,000 refugees over the next two years. And British Prime Minister David Cameron said that Britain will expand its refugee program, and resettle up to 20,000 Syrians over the next five years.


    Britain should fulfill its moral responsibility to help those refugees, just as we have done so proudly throughout our history. But in doing so, we must use our head and our heart by pursuing a comprehensive approach that tackles the causes of the problem, as well as the consequences. That means helping to stabilize countries where the refugees are coming from.


    A U.N. official estimated that as many as four million Syrian refugees will now try and head to Europe, unless the world helps Syria's neighbors, Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey, offset costs of caring for them.

    President Obama used this Labor Day holiday to require companies doing business with the federal government to give paid sick leave to their employees. The White House estimates the executive order will benefit some 300,000 workers. The president said the policies also benefit employers by improving retention and recruitment.

    The defense minister of Iraq narrowly escaped being hit by a sniper outside Baghdad today. Islamic State gunmen targeted his convoy as it traveled near Islamic State-controlled territory. One guard was wounded in the attack. Meanwhile, in Syria, human rights activists reported that Islamic State militants have taken control of another oil field, this one at Jazal in the central province of Homs.

    In Guatemala, there will be a runoff presidential election after candidates split yesterday's vote. It comes just after the resignation of the country's leader amid a corruption scandal. Ballot counting went on overnight, and showed a wealthy businessman and a former first lady both trailing former TV comic Jimmy Morales, who's never held political office.

  • JIMMY MORALES, Guatemalan Presidential Candidate (through interpreter):

    We are part of a dissatisfied population that doesn't want more of the same, of course. Our proposal has come to be understood and our proposal is reduced into one sentence: A healthy and educated population thrives.


    The top two finishers will advance to the runoff election set for October 25.

    In economic news, Chinese stocks were down today, even after the head of China's Central Bank said that his country's market turmoil appears to be coming to an end. But that assurance did calm investor jitters in Europe, as markets there managed modest gains, still, trading lighter than usual with Wall Street closed for the Labor Day holiday.

    Harvard Law Professor Lawrence Lessig has become the sixth Democrat to enter the race for the White House. The 54-year-old South Dakota native made the announcement yesterday in an interview with ABC, after his presidential exploratory committee raised $1 million. Lessig has pledged to make campaign finance reform and voting rights issues top priorities.

    And scientists in Britain announced today they believe they have found an even bigger prehistoric monument near the ruins of Stonehenge, but it's underground. University of Bradford researchers used remote sensor technology to find about 100 stones toppled in the shape of a large arena. Some of them would have stood more than 15-feet high when they were built around 4,500 years ago. The site is about two miles from Stonehenge.

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