World AM News Briefs For Friday, 10 August 2018
Good Morning Australia!! - Who's fingerprints are on the missile that killed dozens of young kids? - Lombok is hit by another quakes as the death toll grows - France will reinvestigate the mysterious disappearance of Flight MH370 - And more in your CareerSpot Global News Briefs:
Dozens of people are dead after the Saudi-led, US-backed coalition lobbed a missile at a bus crowded with young children as it traveled in Sadaa in in the rebel-held north. The Red Cross said most of the more than 50 fatalities were kids under the age of 10, and the extent of injuries to the survivors is shocking and life-altering. The coalition, which supports Yemen's government, claimed its actions were "legitimate". "Grotesque, shameful, indignant," is what Jan Egeland of the Norwegian Refugee Council called it in a Twitter post. Human rights groups in the past accused the government and its allies of bombing civilian markets, schools, hospitals, and residential areas.
Israel fired a barrage of missiles into Gaza in response for rocket attacks. Gaza officials say a pregnant young mother and her one year old daughter were killed, as was a Hamas militant in another strike; several are injured. Earlier, Israel said it killed three Hamas militants. Tensions have been high for several months with Palestinians demanding the right to leave the encircled city to return to their ancestral lands, while Hamas has stepped up rocket attacks and taking potshots at troops over the border into Israel.
Another strong quake rocked Lombok, Indonesia amid confusion over the death toll. This one was a magnitude-5.9 temblor, the third powerful quake in two weeks and enough to knock down walls and structures that were weakened by the earlier quakes. Various government agencies and local media issued conflicting death tolls ranging from 220 to 381 lives lost. What we know for sure is that it's bad, and people are in need of water, shelter, and medical care.
Puerto Rico is admitting the death toll from last year's Hurricane Maria was much, much higher than the official number of 64. But not in an official announcement with an apology: A line from a draft report to the US Congress says the death toll is more like 1,427. Also, the US Caribbean territory is waiting to formally revise its count until a George Washington University study on the discrepancy comes in.
US Vice President Mike Pence says the proposed and widely-mocked "Space Force" as proposed by Donald Trump will cost US$8 Billion over five years to get going. However, the administration says the US doesn't have money for education, job training, preserving the environment, healthcare, et cetera. The White House wants the space Force to come online by 2020.
Abortions happened in Argentina last week and they'll happen next week, just not legally. Argentina's Senate failed to approve a bill to legalize Women's Reproductive Rights by a 38-31 vote. It had been earlier approved by the lower house, and public opinion polling says the majority want the option of safe, legal abortions performed by medical professions up to 14 weeks. Currently abortion is allowed in Argentina only in cases of rape, or if the mother's health is in danger. Activists say they will not give up.
France is opening its own investigation into the disappearance of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370. Dissatisfied with the Malaysian investigation that ended this month with no conclusion, the French are "starting from scratch". Of particular interest will be radar "pings" and satellite positioning information. Four of its citizens were among the 239 passengers and crew on board the plane when it deviated from its Kuala Lumpur-to-Beijing route in 2014, flying off into the Indian Ocean and never to be seen intact again. Pieces of the Boeing 777-200ER washed up on the French territory of Reunion Island.
The entire board of a major American mega-chuch has stepped down in a sex scandal. Pastor Bill Hybells of the Chicago-area Willow Creek church is accused by several women of being the grabby sort and of having extra-marital affairs. The church council quit after admitting it did a lousy job investigating the women's claims and didn't take them seriously enough. The church is the fifth largest in the US; it has 20,000 members and stadium-sized "churches" to host 2,000 people every Sunday in Chicago's wealthiest suburbs.
A Thai monk accused of leading a jet-set lifestyle has been sentenced to 114-year in prison for an array of fraud-related crimes. Wiraphon Sukphon is also accused of having sex with a minor, and that verdict is expected in two months. He was defrocked as soon as the allegations came out, which coincided with a 2013 YouTube video showing him on a private plane enjoying the high life. Since taking power from the Democratically-elected government, the Thai Junta has cracked down on hucksters who would take advantage of the Buddhist monkhood to line their pockets.
New York City will put a cap on the number of ride-hailing vehicles operating in town. This comes after complaints from anti-congestion activists who say the 80,000-plus Uber, Lyft, and other vehicles have made the Big Apple's traffic jams even worse, and from traditional cabbies whose livelihoods have been undermined by non-union, unregulated drivers. Several cabbies have committed suicide, unable to make ends meet. New York City will now have the power to regulate minimum rates of fares, minimum pay for drivers, and create a new rulebook for app companies.