PBS NewsHour

World’s largest uncut diamond expected to fetch $70 million today

A model displays the 1,109-carat "Lesedi La Rona" diamond at Sotheby's in the Manhattan borough of New
         York, U.S., May 4, 2016. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

A model displays the 1,109-carat “Lesedi La Rona” diamond at Sotheby’s in the Manhattan borough of New York, U.S., May 4, 2016. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

The world’s largest uncut diamond is on sale today.

The 1,109-carat stone is about the size of a tennis ball and is expected to sell for $70 million at a Sotheby’s auction in London.

The Lesedi La Rona, meaning “Our Light” in the Botswanan language Tswana, was unearthed in November. Sotheby’s jewelry division chairman David Bennett calls the diamond “the find of a lifetime.”

“No rough even remotely of this scale has ever been offered before at public auction,” he said in a statement.

The Lesedi La Rona is the largest diamond to be found in over a century.

Sotheby’s said the last time a diamond this large was found was in 1905, when miners discovered the 3,106-carat Cullinan Diamond near Pretoria, South Africa.

A study by the Gemological Institute of America also indicates that the Lesedi La Rona’s color and transparency puts it in a rare category that makes up less than 2 percent of all gem diamonds.

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What we know — and don’t know — about the Istanbul bombing

Turkish flags, with the control tower in the background, fly at half mast at the country's largest airport, Istanbul
         Atatürk, following yesterday's blast in Istanbul, Turkey, June 29, 2016. REUTERS/Murad Sezer

Turkish flags fly at half mast at Istanbul Atatürk airport following Tuesday’s blasts. Photo by Murad Sezer/Reuters

At least 41 people are dead and more than 230 wounded after three explosions struck Istanbul Atatürk Airport in Turkey late Tuesday, according to the Associated Press.

The Islamic State group was blamed for the attack, the AP reported. However, the group has not claimed responsibility.

In a joint statement released Wednesday from the European Union High Representative Federica Mogherini and Commissioner Johannes Hahn, the leaders pledged solidarity with Turkey and committed themselves “to work closely together to fight the global threat of terrorism in all its forms.”

Relatives of one of the victims of yesterday's blast at Istanbul Atatürk Airport mourn in front of a morgue in Istanbul,
         Turkey, June 29, 2016. REUTERS/Osman Orsal

Relatives of one of the victims of the blasts at Istanbul Atatürk Airport mourn in front of a morgue in Istanbul, Turkey, on June 29. Photo by Osman Orsal/Reuters

Most of those killed and wounded in the attack were from Turkey. No Americans are known to have been involved at this point. The victims included five people from Saudi Arabia, two from Iraq, and one each from Tunisia, Uzbekistan, China, Iran, Ukraine and Jordan, the Guardian reported.

Leaders from across the region and the world condemned the attack. Israeli President Reuven Rivlin sent a condolence letter to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, according to the AP. In his letter, Rivlin said: “I take this opportunity to welcome the chance to renew our good relationship especially because our strengthened dialogue will greatly aid in our joint efforts against this threat, and because it sends a strong message to the terrorists that we will stand untied against hatred.”

People leave Turkey's largest airport, Istanbul Atatürk, Turkey, following a blast June 28, 2016. REUTERS/Osman Orsal

People leave the airport in Istanbul following the explosions on June 28. Photo by Osman Orsal/Reuters

Officials say three men armed with guns entered Atatürk Airport’s international arrivals area late Tuesday, a busy time for the airport, the Guardian reported. After they opened fire, they detonated their suicide vests, according to the newspaper.

The airport, the largest in Turkey and third largest in the European Union, halted all flights until Wednesday, according to the airport’s Twitter account. The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration halted flights to and from the airport after the blast, wire reports said. Flights resumed Wednesday from Istanbul to the United States, the Associated Press reported.

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A man walks behind shattered glass at Turkey's largest airport, Istanbul Atatürk, following yesterday's blast June 29,
         2016. REUTERS/Murad Sezer

A man walks behind shattered glass at Istanbul Atatürk Airport on June 29. Photo by Murad Sezer/Reuters

The post What we know — and don’t know — about the Istanbul bombing appeared first on PBS NewsHour.

News Wrap: Deadly suicide bombing strikes Istanbul airport

Paramedics help casualties outside Turkey's largest airport,
         Istanbul Ataturk, Turkey, following a blast, June 28, 2016.     REUTERS/Ismail Coskun/IHLAS News Agency. TURKEY OUT. NO COMMERCIAL

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GWEN IFILL: Good evening. I’m Gwen Ifill. Judy Woodruff is away.

On the “NewsHour” tonight: A raucous meeting of the European Union’s Parliament exposes the deep divide created by the United Kingdom’s decision to leave.

Also ahead this Tuesday: House Republicans conclude their two-year investigation into the Benghazi attacks, but find no new evidence of wrongdoing by Hillary Clinton.

And we get rare access to a controversial correctional facility housing sex offenders long after their sentences have been served.

CRAIG BOLTE, Juvenile Sex Offender: Once the doors close, you know really quickly that you are going to die here, and that’s your only way out.

GWEN IFILL: All that and more on tonight’s “PBS NewsHour.”


GWEN IFILL: A terror attack in Istanbul, Turkey, this evening has killed at least 28 people at the main airport. The regional governor says as many as three suicide bombers opened fire, then blew themselves up.

Within minutes, amateur video showed lines of ambulances arriving and police rushing in. Many of the 60 wounded were ferried to a nearby hospital.

European leaders convened today, hoping to calm the chaos over Britain’s vote to leave the E.U. What they got was a kind of verbal victory lap by the backers of Brexit.

Margaret Warner has our report.

NIGEL FARAGE, Leader, UK Independence Party: When I came here 17 years ago and I said that I wanted to lead a campaign to get Britain to leave the European Union, you all laughed at me. Well, I have to say, you’re not laughing now, are you?

MARGARET WARNER: It was a day of high drama at the E.U. Parliament in Brussels. Nigel Farage, a leader of the Brexit movement, the head of the U.K.’s Independence Party and a member of the E.U. Parliament, taunted his fellow lawmakers.

NIGEL FARAGE: You, as a political project, are in denial. You’re in denial that your currency is failing. You are in denial — well, just — well, just look at the Mediterranean.

I will make one prediction this morning: The United Kingdom will not be the last member state to leave the European Union.

MARGARET WARNER: Marine Le Pen, the leader of France’s far-right National Front, came to Farage’s defense.

MARINE LE PEN, Leader, French National Front Party (through translator): This is perhaps the most important historic event in the continent since the fall of the Berlin Wall.

MARGARET WARNER: Meanwhile, the timetable for negotiating Britain’s exit dominated much of the day. The president of the European Commission urged London to invoke Article 50 of the E.U. treaty quickly to start the process.

JEAN-CLAUDE JUNCKER, President, European Commission (through translator): I would like the United Kingdom to clarify its position, not today or tomorrow at 9:00 a.m., but swiftly.

MARGARET WARNER: But British Prime Minister David Cameron said Britain won’t invoke Article 50 and start negotiating the exit until he steps down this fall. But he pressed his European counterparts today for the best possible terms.

DAVID CAMERON, Prime Minister, United Kingdom: I want that process to be as constructive as possible. And I hope the outcome can be as constructive as possible, because, of course, while we are leaving the European Union, we must not be turning our backs on Europe.

MARGARET WARNER: In Berlin, however, German Chancellor Angela Merkel told her Parliament that Britain cannot expect to get everything it wants.

ANGELA MERKEL, Chancellor, Germany (through translator): We will make sure that the negotiations will not follow the principle of cherry-picking. There has to be and there will be a clear distinction whether a country wants to be a part of the E.U. family or not.

MARGARET WARNER: Back in London, there was more domestic political fallout. Labor leader Jeremy Corbyn, who opposed the Brexit, lost a nonbinding confidence vote within his own party today. But he again insisted again he will not resign.

As for economic fallout, the British treasury chief, George Osborne, warned it will take tax hikes and spending cuts to stabilize the country’s financial position. And London’s Mayor Sadiq Khan called for giving the capital greater autonomy to protect itself against economic uncertainty.

For the “PBS NewsHour,” I’m Margaret Warner.

GWEN IFILL: Back in this country, the Justice Department announced Volkswagen will spend roughly $15 billion to settle an emissions cheating scandal. It includes $10 billion to buy back or repair 475,000 V.W. and Audi vehicles. Another $2.7 billion will go to offset excess pollution. And officials said $2 billion will fund research into zero-emission vehicles.

SALLY YATES, U.S. Deputy Attorney General: Volkswagen turned over 500,000 American drivers into unwitting accomplices in an unprecedented assault on our country’s environment. While this announcement is an important step forward in achieving justice for the American people, let me be clear, it is by no means the last step.

GWEN IFILL: Volkswagen still faces billions of dollars in potential fines and penalties, and possible criminal charges.

Efforts to push new Zika funding through Congress bogged down today. Senate Democrats blocked a Republican bill containing $1.1 million. They objected to restrictions on the use of birth control grants. Today’s outcome kills any chance of action before the Fourth of July recess.

And the world’s number one golfer, Jason Day, has withdrawn from the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro over the threat of Zika. The Australian star said he won’t risk infecting his wife with the virus, which can cause birth defects. Day is the latest high-profile athlete to pass on the Summer Games.

And markets rebounded after a two-day rout caused by the Brexit vote. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 269 points to close at 17409. The Nasdaq rose 97 points, and the S&P 500 added 35.

Still to come on the “NewsHour”: Republicans release a two-year report on Benghazi — what did it find?; a look at why Great Britain’s Brexit vote divided generations; how juvenile sex offenders are getting locked up decades after their sentences end; and much more.

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Digging into the Brexit vote’s stark generation gap

Demonstrators gesture outside the Houses of Parliament during a
         protest aimed at showing London's solidarity with the European Union following the recent EU referendum, in central London,
         Britain June 28, 2016.        REUTERS/Paul Hackett - RTX2IQQJ

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GWEN IFILL: We return now to the story of Brexit, and a look at the generational divisions among British voters in last week’s referendum.

Hari Sreenivasan is in London.

HARI SREENIVASAN: Carshalton, less than 15 miles from the center of London. Unlike their downtown neighbors, these South London voters decided it was best for Britain to leave the European Union.

After Sunday services at All Saints Anglican Church comes Sunday tea, this week with a spoonful of Brexit.

Hillary Wortley is happy that the U.K. is getting out of the E.U.

HILLARY WORTLEY, England: They take our money, they don’t give it all back to us, and what they do give back to us, they tell us what we should spend it on.

HARI SREENIVASAN: Forty-seven-year-old Tracey Hall-Green works in financial services, an area already hit by the Brexit. But she says that the E.U. was providing diminishing returns.

TRACEY HALL-GREEN, England: More and more weak countries are joining. Initially, there were seven countries, so that was fine, but now there are 28. And there’s strong powers, and then there’s a lot of other ones which are bankrupt, like Greece.

HARI SREENIVASAN: As for the current market turmoil?

TRACEY HALL-GREEN: If there’s a blip, I’m quite happy to take a bit of a hit in the interim for the good of the country.

HARI SREENIVASAN: In nearby Sutton, Martin O’Leary was taking a smoke break outside a pub where he was watching a soccer match.

And you voted which way?

MARTIN O’LEARY, England: I voted to leave the European market, yes.


MARTIN O’LEARY: First of all, I think most of it was mainly immigration, but also it’s like the schooling system. It’s like my granddaughter can’t be guaranteed to go to a school near here — she might have to go four or five….It’s just overpopulating our schools, our hospitals and everything.

HARI SREENIVASAN: We caught up with Paul Scully, who represents this bedroom community in Parliament.

His family was getting ready for brunch. We sat down on his patio. And he told us why a majority his constituents voted the way they did.

Why is it better for someone in this neighborhood if Britain is no longer part of the E.U.?

PAUL SCULLY, MP, Sutton and Cheam: I think there’s three things. There’s the economy. There are opportunities around the world, whereas the European economy isn’t growing at all.

HARI SREENIVASAN: He also mentioned immigration.

PAUL SCULLY: Where people can come from Greece, where youth unemployment is 50 percent, to London on the hope of a job, whereas if you have got a skilled worker, skilled I.T. consultant from India or you have got a nurse from the Philippines or from Australia, they have got to apply and go through a lot of bureaucracy to have the hope of coming here to do a job that we really want them to do.

HARI SREENIVASAN: And, finally, sovereignty.

PAUL SCULLY: They don’t want an unelected, unaccountable bureaucrat in Brussels, in Belgium, talking — telling us what we should be doing and creating regulations and directives.

HARI SREENIVASAN: Bill Main-ian and his friends at the local U.K. Independence Party, or UKIP, campaigned for nine months to convince voters to leave the E.U.

BILL MAIN-IAN, England: In a word, sovereignty. In a word, democracy. In a word, destiny.

HARI SREENIVASAN: Bill wasn’t able to convince his own children.

After your daughter came home from the polls and you figured out that she didn’t vote the same way you did, what was that conversation like?


BILL MAIN-IAN: Look, once they understood the issues, they made it on the other side, I respect that. Wouldn’t agree with it, but I would respect it.

HARI SREENIVASAN: It wasn’t just the Main-ian household. Across the country, there was a generational divide; younger voters wanted to remain, older voters wanted to leave.

HALEY: I’m really quite terrified about the whole thing.

HARI SREENIVASAN: Haley and her husband, Dan, who didn’t want to give us their last names, are in their 20s and live in London. Unlike Haley’s parents, they voted to stay in the E.U.

HALEY: I’m not really sure what’s going to happen and that uncertainty is really — is really unsettling.

HARI SREENIVASAN: Nineteen-year-old Phoebe Jordan is also worried.

PHOEBE JORDAN, England: In two years, I will be leaving university, which is the same time we will be leaving the E.U. And I’m nervous about jobs, working abroad. I think it makes the majority of me and my friends very nervous.

HARI SREENIVASAN: Swati Dhingra, a professor at the London School of Economics, says the fears of Jordan and her peers are well-founded.

SWATI DHINGRA, London School of Economics: The large, persistent negative effects of wages on young college graduates if they enter during a downturn, even 15 years afterwards, they have 2.5 percent lower income. So, in that sense, these are persistent effects which stay with the younger population, and they are the ones who are going to be growing up with that.

HARI SREENIVASAN: Quite a few of the young people say this is going to jeopardize our futures.

BILL MAIN-IAN: Their future actually I think has been guaranteed because of the patriotic campaigning that our side of the debate has been doing. They may not see it now. Perhaps in five, 10, 15 years’ time, they may recall their position and may be grateful.

HARI SREENIVASAN: Back at All Saints Church, Hillary Wortley says Britain’s young voters have only themselves to blame for the outcome.

HILLARY WORTLEY: A lot of the young people didn’t vote and that’s why they’re angry now. My nephew didn’t vote because he thought he could vote online, and when he found out he couldn’t, he couldn’t be bothered to move down to the polling station.

HARI SREENIVASAN: The message from the pulpit, healing after division.

MAN: Revenge is sweet to start with, but living on sugar will kill you.

HARI SREENIVASAN: A sermon likely to be repeated as this continental divorce continues.

For the “PBS NewsHour” I’m Hari Sreenivasan in London.

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