'We Want Our Waters Back': Flotilla Pushing for UK to Leave EU Prompts Skirmish on the Thames | NECN

'We Want Our Waters Back': Flotilla Pushing for UK to Leave EU Prompts Skirmish on the Thames

A flotilla of some 30 vessels pushing for a so-called "Brexit" glided up the Thames Wednesday



    In Pictures via Getty Images
    Flotilla of fishing vessels heading up the Thames to make the case for Brexit in the EU Referendum, to be held on June 23, on June 15 in London, United Kingdom.

    The battle over whether or not Britain should stay in the European Union spilled from the airwaves to the River Thames on Wednesday.

    In one of the more surreal moments in the campaign for the June 23 referendum, fishermen who had organized a flotilla on the London river to protest EU fishing policies shot off water hoses at dinghies full of rival campaigners, who crashed the fishermen's flotilla as it traveled up the Thames to the Houses of Parliament.

    As if that weren't enough, rock star philanthropist Bob Geldof sidled up to the boat carrying noted "leave" campaigner Nigel Farage and told him he was up the river without a paddle.

    "You are no fisherman's friend," Geldof said.

    Yoga Pants Parade Protests Op-Ed in Rhode Island

    [NATL] Yoga Pants Parade Protests Op-Ed in Rhode Island
    Hundreds of people took to the streets in Barrington, Rhode Island this weekend to protest an op-ed written in the local newspaper that many found offensive. The letter, written by Alan Sorrentino, critiques older women who wear yoga pants in public, saying the clothing does not compliment a woman over 20 years-old. "This is way more than yoga pants. It is women fed up with the policing of our wardrobes," said parade organizer, Jamie Burke. Sorrentino claims that his op-ed was just a joke but many are calling his comments sexist. (Published Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2016)

    The incidents — described by police as good natured — underscore how complex the campaign has become as Britain prepares to go to the polls on June 23. The reach of the EU into every aspect of life has meant that all sorts of groups — from scientists to CEOs — have registered an opinion on whether to stay or go.

    Rolls Royce became the latest big business to register a view, arguing that Britain should stay in a letter to its 23,000 employees in the U.K. The engineering company warned that a British exit, or Brexit, would be bad for business amid uncertainty about the future.

    Britain's Treasury chief sounded another warning about how a vote to leave the EU would damage the economy, arguing he would have no choice but to raise taxes and slash spending.

    Osborne's remarks on the BBC seized attention in part because of their dire nature. He said that the government would have to raise income and inheritance taxes to fill a 30 billion pound ($42.4 billion) budget "black hole" that government ministers say will emerge if Britain leaves the EU.

    Adorable Twin Panda Cubs Feast on Special Cake

    [NATL-DFW] Cute Pandas Celebrate 100 Days
    Twin panda cubs in a zoo in southwest China have celebrated their first 100 days of life. They feasted on a specially made cake at a party of visitors. (Published Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2016)

    "No Conservative wants to raise taxes — least of all me," Osborne said. "But, equally, Conservatives understand — and, indeed, I suspect many Labour politicians understand — that you cannot have chaos in your public finances."

    Furious members of his party backing Britain's exit say they'll block any attempts to impose an emergency "punishment" budget and warned that Osborne's position would be "untenable" if he tries to push through tax increases. The opposition Labour Party, which backs "remain," also warned they would not support any budget that slashed public services.

    Just to rub it in, some 57 Conservatives signed a letter laying out their displeasure in a back and forth that underscores the political civil war among the Tories over the issue.

    "If he were to proceed with these proposals, the chancellor's position would become untenable," they said. "This is a blatant attempt to talk down the market and the country."

    As lawmakers challenged Prime Minister David Cameron to explain his views to the House of Commons on Wednesday, the flotilla of some 30 vessels taking part in the "leave" campaign glided up the Thames outside.

    Joining them on their journey were a smaller number of vessels with flags backing the "remain" camp. Reflecting the level of the debate, one of the "leave" trawlers turned a water hose on two of the "remain" dinghies. It was not enough to hurt anyone but left the occupants sodden.

    There were also water-infused exchanges of views between Geldof and Farage.

    Farage branded the Geldof protest "just disgusting," and called him "deeply ignorant about how the Common Fisheries Policy works."

    Infants, Parents Should Share Room: New Guidelines

    [NATL] Infants, Parents Should Share Room: New Guidelines for Infant Sleep Safety
    The American Academy of Pediatrics has released updated guidelines for new parents on infant sleep safety. Experts say room sharing could reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) by half and recommend babies sleep in a crib or bassinet in the parent's bedroom for at least the first six months and up to age 1. (Published Monday, Oct. 24, 2016)

    The policy is a set of rules for managing fishing fleets and stocks — and like all things in this debate, it is controversial.

    It was created to manage a common resource: fish stocks, putting limits on catches. Experts say stocks have been overfished for decades — if not longer — and there is concern that without intervention, some species will never recover.

    The goal of the policy is to give equal access to EU waters and fishing grounds, allowing for fair competition. But its efficiency has been questioned and some fishermen complain that it has been neither fair nor equitable.

    "I think everyone knows it has to be done," said Bryce Beukers-Stewart, a fisheries biologist expert from the University of York. "But not everyone is happy in the way it is being done."

    Baby Lemur Makes London Zoo Debut

    [NATL-DFW] Baby Lemur Makes London Zoo Debut

    London Zoo is welcoming the first ever baby aye-aye lemur just in time for Halloween.

    The creepy-looking creature was actually born on July 1 but has only emerged from its secluded nesting box for the first time this week.

    The species of lemur (formally known as Daubentonia madagascariensis) are unique in that they have an unusually large middle finger and are associated with doom in their native Madagascar. Natives there believe that if an aye-aye points its long finger at you, death is not far away.

    Zookeepers expressed their excitement at the birth although they only saw the baby recently as it has been hiding in its nest box.

    (Published Monday, Oct. 24, 2016)

    As Britain is an island, the issue of whether the policy is fair is a deeply emotive one. Entire communities have been decimated by declining fish stocks and blame the policy.

    Prime Minister David Cameron argues that under his government, fishing has grown by 20 percent thanks to reforms. But Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn says the problem is the government's decision to give the majority of its quota to large companies. He urged people to "stop blaming Brussels."

    The arguments over who is to blame did not interrupt Farage in any way. He argued EU membership had "destroyed our industry."

    "We want our waters back," he said.

    Police Chase Turns Into Shootout in California

    [NATL] Police Chase Turns Into Shootout in California
    A police pursuit turned into a shootout early Sunday morning in California when a Madera police officer with a civilian ride-along in the car tried to pull over a white Mazda SUV. The SUV driver refused to stop and instead shot at the cop car, hitting the windshield. The officer was not hurt and the civilian had minor scratches from broken glass. Suspects are still at-large, according to police. (Published Monday, Oct. 24, 2016)