World AM News Briefs For Friday, 11 May 2018
Good Morning Australia!! - David Goodall ends his life with a powerful statement - Trump and Kim set a time and place - Iran and Israel forces in direct confrontation - And more in your CareerSpot Global News Briefs:
Australian scientist David Goodall has ended his life by assisted suicide at a Swiss clinic. The right-to-die group Exit International helped the 104-year old get to the Life Cycle clinic in Basel said the only hitch was the amount of paperwork that had to be filled out before beginning the process: "In fact his last words were 'This is taking an awfully long time!'" relayed the group's founder Philip Nitschke. Goodall made a point out of publicizing his trip to Switzerland, where assisted suicide is legal, to provoke a discussion about why Australians don't have a right to determine their own fates (except in Victoria where a patient would have to be terminally ill).
Mahathir Mohamad has been sworn in as prime minister of Malaysia, making the 92-year old the world's oldest elected leader. Mahathir told reporters he'd focus on the country's finances; specifically, getting back millions and millions of dollars lost in the corruption scandal at 1Malaysian Development Berhad (1MDB), the state investment fund set up by his predecessor and one-time protege Najib Razak. "We believe that we can get most of the 1MDB money back," adding, "We have to increase the confidence of investors in the administration."
The orange clown Donald Trump will meet North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Singapore on 12 June. This announcement came hours after three Korean-Americans who had been detained by Pyongyang arrived at an air force base near Washington, DC. But it also comes after Trump and Kim spent much of the past 18 months lobbing insults and threats at each other, only to have that change a few weeks ago when South Korea announced major breakthroughs in talks with the North. No sitting US president has ever met a North Korean leader.
The CEO of the big Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis apologized to employees after it had been revealed that the drug maker paid US$1.2 Million to Trump's personal lawyer Michael Cohen to gain access to the White House. "We made a mistake entering into this engagement and as a consequence are being criticized by a world that expects more from us," wrote Vasant Narasimhan. "Personally, for my family it was also a difficult day as unfounded stories spread through the US news. I went to sleep frustrated and tired." One senior company official told Stat News that workers "feel disgusted" and that "people are angry and confused, because it makes all of us look bad". Other companies engaging in this flagrant spectacle: Korea Aerospace Industries, US telecom behemoth AT&T, and Columbus Nova, an investment firm linied to Russian oligarch Viktor Vekselberg and therefore to Vladimir Putin.
Italy is a step closer to a coalition government with the anti-establishment Five-Star Movement (M5S) which has no problem crawling into bed with The League, an anti-immigrant, fascistic hot mess formerly known as The Northern League - because for years they couldn't even get along with people in the south. Literally! They actually used to hate southern Italy. Yeah, that's going to work. Both parties put their Euroskeptism aside and now claim they want to reform the EU from within. But The League ran on a 15 percent flat tax that would benefit the wealthy and corporations, and Five-Star promised more social and financial help for low income families. Good Luck.
A dam burst in Kenya's Rift Valley has killed at least 47 people. "Many people are missing. It is a disaster," said Rongai town police chief Joseph Kioko. The Patel Dam is located about 190 kilometers northwest of Nairobi, above commercial flower growing operations. After a week of torrential rain, it gave out and flooded two villages, taking out homes, business and crucial infrastructure such as power lines.
Mass protests have erupted again in Nicaragua, with tens of thousands demanding more freedom of speech and less Daniel Ortega. The president is now in his third term, and that's too much for some people. Although known as a Leftist, Ortega sparked outrage and deadly clashes earlier this year with a plan to cut social security payouts while increasing workers' contributions.
Israel appears to have the upper hand in its military confrontation with Iranian forces in Syria. The IDF struck dozens of Iranian elite Quds Force positions after the Iranians lobbed some rockets in the direction of Israel - although, Israel says none of the Iranian fire actually crossed the border. The Israeli attack into Syria was its largest since 1973, while the Iranian missiles are being called Tehran's first direct assault on Israel in th decades the two regional powers have been butting heads.