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Scotland's First Minister and leader of the Scottish National Party, Nicola Sturgeon, reacts after being declared the winner of the Glasgow Southside seat at Glasgow counting centre in the Emirates Arena in Glasgow on Friday. Photo: Andy Buchanan /AFP via Getty Images

Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced plans Saturday for a second independence referendum once the pandemic has abated following the country's parliamentary elections.

The big picture: Sturgeon's Scottish National Party (SNP) won 64 seats, one seat short of an outright majority in the 129-seat Parliament. But most seats went to pro-independence parties.

  • British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has vowed to block any second referendum push, but the SNP has published draft legislation for a secession bill.
  • Some SNP members have suggested they could "hold an advisory vote and force" the United Kingdom to challenge the legislation in court, Bloomberg notes.

What they're saying: "There is simply no democratic justification whatsoever for Boris Johnson, or indeed for anyone else, seeking to block the right of the people of Scotland to choose our own future," Sturgeon said at a news conference.

  • "It is the will of the country."

Of note: Johnson's ruling Conservative Party won comprehensively in local elections held across England on Friday.

  • The opposition Labour Party fired its chair Angela Raynor following its dismal results. One bright spot for them was the re-election of London Mayor Sadiq Khan, the capital's first Muslim mayor and Labour Party member.

Go deeper

3 mins ago - Health

Exclusive: New app will help employers verify workers' vaccine status

Photo: Proxy

A tech company is announcing a new health app Thursday that it says will help employers bring their employees back to the office safely by verifying their COVID-19 vaccination status.

Why it matters: The app, or others like it, could be a sign of how employers can enforce vaccination requirements without relying on the honor system or hand-checking CDC vaccine cards.

4 hours ago - World

Canada First Nation finds mass grave at another school site

A memorial around the Centennial Flame on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, on June 4, honoring 215 Indigenous children found buried in an unmarked, mass grave at a one-time residential school in Kamloops, British Columbia. Photo: David Kawai/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A First Nation in Canada said Wednesday "hundreds" of unmarked graves have been discovered at the site of a former residential school in the prairie province of Saskatchewan.

Of note: The Cowessess First Nation said in a statement the number of graves found are "the most significantly substantial to date in Canada" — suggesting it's more than the remains of 215 Indigenous children discovered last month at a former residential school site in Kamloops, British Columbia.

Biden replaces FHFA director after Supreme Court ruling

Mark Calabria, then-director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, during a Senate hearing on Capitol Hill in 2020. Photo: Astrid Riecken/ Pool/Getty Images

The White House on Wednesday replaced the regulator who oversees mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, hours after a Supreme Court ruling enabled President Biden to oust the Trump appointee.

Why it matters: The removal of libertarian economist Mark Calabria as Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) director gives Biden more control over the fate of Freddie and Fannie, "which play an outsize role in the housing market and are central to many homeowners' ability to afford homes," per the New York Times.